to the club you thought you'd never have to join
Heart woes making you sad? Patronizing cardiologist making you mad? Then you are in the right 'hood.
At the tender young age of 53, I had a series of heart events including a walking heart attack. Who knew you could multitask -- make breakfast for your kids and have a cardiac arrest? Who knew that the E.R. doctor would dismiss my elevated cardiac enzymes and abnormal EKG and send me home with salad recipes?
Color me stunned to learn that doctors triage heart patients differently: express lane for men. Women? More along the lines of a deli counter: take a number lady.
Blatant gender discrimination in cardiac events is so common, it has a name: The Yentl Syndrome.
Named after the movie Yentl, in which a gal (Barbra Streisand) is only taken seriously after she pretends to be a dude. Meaning: women heart patients are more likely to die from heart disease than men ... simply because they aren't men.
The past coupla years have been bumpy as fuck and then, in the life-gives-you-lemons moment of inspiration, I thought "Hmm, maybe there are other gals who had incompetent doctors! Maybe we could share ideas and help the new pledge class of the Unicorn Heart Club."
I might need to order in some more chairs, though. According to the American
Heart Association, 720,000 people have their first heart attack every year.
That's one first-timer heart attack every 40 seconds.
stories + books
Tracey found her tribe at Seattle's The Moth StorySLAM six years ago. She's won four times and has had the privileg of telling at Seattle Town Hall and at Unexpected Productions.
She published her yoga memoir in 2007 and is currently at work on her heart memoir. She's also working on a novel, You Done Us Wrong, which looks at the fun eugenics crowd in the 1920s.
Women going to the ER with chest pain are seven times more likely (than men) to be misdiagnosed.
Bigger picture, twelve million people in the U.S. are misdiagnosed every year. To add insult to injury, medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.
Because it is what all the other kids are doing. And it's easier than a podcast... right?`
A grab bag of topics ranging from Loch Ness to unicorns, podcasts to books, gluten free recipes and the Golden State killer.
faces of heart disease
Jerry Garcia, Orson Wells, John Candy and F. Scott Fitzgerald all made less-than-healthy life 'choices' that contributed to their ensuring heart attacks.
But not all heart disease folks are tubby, chain smokin' bad boys.