Archive for April, 2009

This came to me in an email without an authors name so I am unable to give credit where it is due.

I was aware that when women suffer from a heart attack the symptoms are different to when a man suffers a heart attack and this is the best description I’ve ever read about this.

Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack … you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies.

Here is the story of one woman’s experience with a heart attack.

‘I had a heart attack at about 10 :30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, ‘A-A-h, this is the life, all cosy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you’ve been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you’ve swallowed a golf ball going down the oesophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn’t have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation—the only trouble was that I hadn’t taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws. ‘AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening — we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven’t we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, “Dear God, I think I’m having a heart attack!”

I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn’t be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else … but, on the other hand, if I don’t, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialled the Paramedics … I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn’t feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don’t remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney, getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the radiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like ‘Have you taken any medications?’) but I couldn’t make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.

‘I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stints.

‘Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.’

Be aware that something very different is happening in your body not the usual men’s symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn’t know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Mallox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they’ll feel better in the morning when they wake up … which doesn’t happen.

My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you’ve not felt before.
It is better to have a ‘false alarm’ visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

Note that I said ‘Call the Paramedics.’ And if you can take an aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

  • Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER – you are a hazard to others on the road.
  • Do NOT have your panicked husband drive you, he will be speeding and looking anxiously at what’s happening with you instead of the road.
  • Do NOT call your doctor — he doesn’t know where you live and if it’s at night you won’t reach him anyway, and if it’s daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn’t carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr. will be notified later
  • Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.

Don’t assume it couldn’t be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it’s unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep.

Avalon Essences – Aromatherapy


Our friend Jennine has an online shop called Avalon Essences, where she sells aromatherapy products.

I am an absolute fan of bath oils, massage and body oils, candles, pot pourri in fact anything that keeps my house smelling nice.

She also makes therapeutic balms that are practical as well as having a beautiful aroma.

Jennine makes her range of perfumes and oils and is always coming up with new mixtures that smell divine. You have to be quick when she takes her wares to the local market as they sell out very quickly, so its just as well she has her online store for those who can’t attend the local Tuggeranong Indoor Market.

She also blends herbal teas which can be uplifting or calming depending on the blend.

Particular favourites of mine are the christmas chai and the Mulberry.

So if you are looking for a great gift or just want to spoil yourself, I can definitely recommend the quality of the products from Avalon Essences as both Paula and I use them with confidence.


Natural Home Made Cough Remedy

42-15654483Nia ( as my daughter Varinia calls herself ) and her partner Shaun came to visit last night. Poor Varinia has a really bad cold similar to something I had myself recently, so I gave a cough remedy that Paula had found on the net, and that I use whenever I have a cold.

This recipe helps to break down congestion and stops the coughing

Although the recipe is from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition, June 1982, I have spoken to a number of people whose mothers gave them various renditions of the mixture when they were younger.

The remedy works especially well for dry hacking coughs that keep you awake at night and hang on even once the symptoms of the cold are finished.

Home Cough Remedy

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons water.
Mix all the ingredients together. I find a couple of tablespoons seems to work.

You will see why this remedy works once you read about the beneficial effects of the individual ingredients:

Ginger (zingiber officinale) is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that has long been used and recommended for arthritis and bursitis. Ginger is known for relieving chest congestion and is also a natural antihistamine and is used for for motion sickness and nausea.

Cayenne (capsaicin) is warming and stimulating making it an excellent addition to a cold remedy, it eases chills and reduces pain by suppressing the chemical that sends the pain message from the nerve endings to the brain.

Vinegar is another ingredient that has so many healthful uses.

Honey is soothing and is a useful ingredient for the relief from colds. Honey is known to draw pus and poisons out of wounds and it is useful for relief from colds.

The mixture is strong tasting even with water added.

I keep the mixture in the refrigerator after I make it.


  • Do not give this mixture to young children not only because of the strong hot taste but a child with a persistent cough should be seen by a doctor.
  • Do not give honey to children under 1 year old unless it is pasteurized or boiled for five minutes.
  • Any cold that persists should be treated by a doctor.