My daughter loves her career as a probation officer. She is very good at what she does, and finds the work both challenging and rewarding. Yet her client case load includes some of the most unsavory of individuals, found guilty by the courts of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault or worse, many of them  living with added complexities like addictions or mental health issues. She’s been insulted and screamed at by ...

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As I like to remind my women’s heart health presentation audiences, I am not a physician. I’m not a nurse. I am merely a dull-witted heart attack survivor. I also warn them that a lot of what I’m about to say to them is already available out there, likely printed on some wrinkled-up Heart and Stroke Foundation brochure stuffed into the magazine rack at their doctor’s office. So when the organizer ...

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Cardiologist Dr. Richard Fogoros has issued this blunt warning to those at risk for developing heart disease: "You need to change your life. If you don’t, you will suffer the consequences  – possibly decades earlier than is necessary." In his Heart Health Center column, he observed that most high-risk people end up making only half-hearted efforts to modify their heart attack risk.  And he blamed doctors for enabling this ...

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In his online essay, This Won’t Hurt A Bit, cardiologist Dr. Eric Van De Graaff tells his own story of being a hospital patient after surviving a motorcycle accident while he was in med school. His experiences as a patient will sound very familiar to heart patients, and the lessons he learned while on the other end of the stethoscope may very well have made him a far better doctor. A ...

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Dr. Elvira Aletta is a clinical psychologist with a unique perspective on what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. In her early twenties, she was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease that usually affects young boys. Then in her thirties, she came down with a chronic autoimmune condition called scleroderma. She’d never heard of that, either. She describes her ...

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When I had a heart attack two years ago, I was taken immediately from the E.R. to the O.R. for emergency treatment, including cardiac catheterization and a stainless steel stent implanted in a major coronary artery that was 99% blocked. But, overwhelmed and terrified, I knew nothing about what was about to happen, even though I have a vague memory of the cardiologist explaining something to me before I was whisked ...

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Having a heart attack felt nothing like I thought it would feel.   For one thing, unlike sudden cardiac arrrest, in which the heart stops beating and you stop breathing, during my heart attack (myocardial infarction), my heart continued beating, and I was conscious throughout despite horrific symptoms – so how could I possibly be having a heart attack? Like most women I know, I thought very little about heart disease, even ...

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