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After all the massive stacks of information and recent campaigns on women's heart health and how the symptoms very often manifest as severe heartburn rather than left-arm numbness, you'd think her DOCTOR would be less dismissive. Unbelievable. The indignities of womanhood never cease.

That being said, your grandmother is one tough cookie! I'm so glad she's doing better.


Oh god, the brilliant, dismissive doctor is at it again.

My sister-in-law always had horrifyingly long, painful, bloody periods and instead of finding out what was wrong with her, her gynecologist just told her that "sometimes women do that" and put her on birth control pills...for ten years. She was 13.

Guess who is having problems conceiving?

And yes, she has now changed doctors and learning a slew of information about the state of her health. It's not great and it could have been managed better, obviously.


*FURBALL* Really, these doctors should be held accountable! My mum used to have bad osteoporosis and loads of muscle pain and her Dr. prscribed Prozac. She nearly fainted. Were she less informed, she'd now be taking Prozac bcs it gives your muscles that warm feeling, apparently.

I was a preemie (30 weeks) and was sickly all throughout, well, pretty much infanthood, childhood, adolescence and early adulthood (I was a bleeding pain, poor parents). When I was 11 months old my mum took me to the dr. bcs she felt there was something wrong with me. The dr. told her I needed a sibling and then he smiled at the silly lady. She took me to another dr. and I was anaemic as it turns out, and it took 9 further years to bring it under control. A sibling! GAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

On a brighter note, have been spreading the plastic news. And those people who mocked me bcs I always save glass jars? I fart in their general direction.


Eh, trigger happy me, left out the most important bit: I'm so happy your grandmother kicks royal ass and survived all this, and I hope she'll have loads of time to enjoy Sophie, and for her to enjoy her greatgrandma. NOW I can post this.


What's with these medical providers not taking women's symptoms seriously? Dawn at This Woman's Work linked to this story:
about a woman's bad treatment by nurses that almost got her killed. Unbelievable.

I'm glad your Grandma is OK, Jo.


Oh, Jo! So sorry about your grandma's heart attack! I hear you about doctors and their patronizing attitude towards older grandma recently went to her doctor complaining to spells of tachycardia that were totally debilitating and he told her it was anxiety and that she needed to relax more! Luckily my uncle convinced her to get a second opinion (and a heart cath) and it turned out to be a side effect from one of her medications, which has now been discontinued. It sucks because older people tend to have blind faith in doctors and IMO it is often abused.


Your grandma reminds me of you.
Asshole doctor.


I understand where you are coming from Jo, my grandmother has a strong family history of both heart disease and diabetes. Last year at the age of 84 she was diagnosed with both, not by her GP but through the hospital after my grandfather insisted she go to the local hospital emergency department (where they waited for 3 hours - my grandfather is 91!) cos she was unable to get her breath. Turns out she had had a heart attack at some stage in the last few years and the diabetes (who knows how long she'd had that for!) had masked the pain/symptoms. She ended up having a triple bypass in December and is pretty much back to her old self (except for the change in diet, and the many pills she now has to pop).

Now we as a family are not impressed by her GP as here in Australia there are a number of government incentives for Doctors to test for common health problems as a preventative, obviously wasn't done in this case.

But it comes down to my grandmother as well, as someone said, people of that age don't question their doctors. Even now when she goes for regular checkups if he doesn't ask the right questions she doesn't provide answers which he needs to know cos she doesn't know that its important/relevant! Lucky my mum is a nurse and currently living with my grandparents so she is aware of what is happening and bypassing the doctor for other advice/support.

Enough of a long comment from me, back to lurking!

Glad to hear that your grandmother also made it through the system!!


Egads...did her doctor get his M.D. by mail-order? I can think of a great place to stick that roll of Tums. I'm glad you have a tough granny...cute great-grandbabies are really good medicine, too =)


Oh Jo, I'm glad your Grandma is fine now in spite of the stupid doctor. I also read the post you linked to from last Spring - so beautifully written - and wow, what a family you have!


That's awesome that your grandma is so strong to make it through that and come out on top! All of my grandparents have long since passed, but I wish they had had the tenacity that your granny seems to.
And as far as GPs go, I went to a GP for 5 years complaining of pain in my ovaries, and he said it was just ovulation. Nevermind that I was going 3-6 months without periods and having pain 20 days out of the month. It wasn't until I started growing facial hair that I went to a REAL doctor and was promptly diagnosed with PCOS. And the GP has told two other women with tell-tale symptoms of PCOS that their symptoms are meaningless, and left it at that. Grrrrr........where's a malpractice lawyer when you need one?


Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman. I'm glad that she was one of the 10%.

And yes, women have heart attacks, too, and often the symptoms are very different from those of men's - although they can be similar, too.

Also, younger women with concerns are usually given the diagnosis of "anxiety" or "stress" or even the ubiquitous "IBS". From experience, I know it takes a closer look and a nuclear stress test to really get a good look at what's going on when it comes to younger women and their hearts. Heart problems in younger women don't always present themselves as the sterotypical crushing pain, etc.

Again, I'm glad your granny is fine. I hope that she can keep up her garden this year.


Older folks, women and diabetics often present with atypical symptoms of MI, not that shortness of breath and chest pain at rest are atypical. The GP should have clued in. I'd report him and let him explain to the state board why he dismissed her complaints.


My mother died at 58 from undetected heart disease which resulted in an MI. Your grandmother's doctor needs a reality check: women DO get heart disease, and it is their number one killer.

The saddest part of the story is that my mother WAS a doctor and should have known to take care of herself, but she was always thin, athletic and had no signs of heart disease. Your grandmother is a lucky lady, and I am so happy for you.


Major asshole.

I'm glad your grandmother is okay.

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