Skepchick Quickies 3.9


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. My mother died of a heart attack when I was 23. She was just 65. She went to the doctor on a Friday feeling ‘rundown’. She had had diabetes for years and avoided doctors like the plague. Despite what was obvious to us — it had to be serious if she went to the doctor — the doctor said, well, it might be nothing but maybe she should come back on Monday for stress tests. Over the weekend she suffered a series of small heart attacks (they told us later) and she died Monday morning after being rushed to the hospital. My father had a pacemaker and had had no problem getting his heart attack diagnosed. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of honouring what our bodies tell us rather than what doctors say our bodies SHOULD tell us.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. My mother is a heart attack survivor because the doctors listened to her when she insisted something wasn’t right. I can’t even imagine the pain and anger of losing someone because of a doctor’s disbelief and neglect.

  2. That xkcd comic rings a bit true for me. I’m ashamed to admit that many years ago, I subscribed to this site called “Double Your Dating” in an attempt to have better success in meeting women … and it’s core message is very similar to what the pickup artist in the xkcd comic believes. I had several crash-and-burns before I gave up that nonsense.

    1. Yeah the whole “treating them like a human being” thing works out pretty well actually.

  3. Yeah, I’m glad you posted the xkcd comic. The third panel pretty much sums up how I feel whenever I watch “How I Met Your Mother.” Is honesty really so bad? I have no problem with people trying to get more dates, but the effort you expend should really be focused on boosting one confidence, not on lowering someone else’s. (I mean the general “you” Myth, just to clarify)

    1. Negging is a really effective way to play office politics. Man, I can be a real Marvin The Manic depressive Robot and have the whole opposition ready to slash their own wrists.

      It’s a real dirty trick to play on somebody who has been nice enough to date you, though.

  4. Thank you for posting ?For women, heart attacks look different* We lost my mom when she was just 43 years old to heart disease. Her left arm had been turning purple and hurting her, as well as some pain in her left side and chest area, she had shortness of breath and felt bad alot. She was told she was having panic attacks and treated for them, when the pain did not go away, she went back and was told it could be a pulled muscle in her chest and panic attacks, she was in and out of the hospital for months with the same problem. Got to the point where she told me she was getting used to the pain. Less than 2 months later she was walking through the house, grabbed her chest and collapsed. My sister performed CPR as did the Paramedics when they arrived, but it was too late she was already gone. What makes me so angry about this is that the doctors made my mom feel like she was going crazy, like maybe it was all just panic attacks, like it was all in her head…. She had over 80% of her arteries blocked by the time she died and it makes me wonder that if this problem was found when she first started having symptoms if maybe I’d still have my mom to this day. I was 19 years old when she died, had been married for almost a year and just finding out I could never have children. I miss her everyday.

    1. I went to the doctor several times for my mother’s cancer (which she survived) but I could not believe how when she decided to ask questions the (male) doctors often times would say “listen, we’re the doctors here, we know what we’re doing, your question is not a concern” and it took my father and mother cursing the doctors out and getting superiors in the room to actually get some answers as to what kind of choices she really had.

      Sexism in the medical field kills women, and the doctors who are sexist should be barred from practicing.

    2. That is just awful and I’m so sorry. I would’ve lost my own mother a few years ago had she not been listened to when she had her heart attack.

      We shouldn’t have to fight to be taken seriously. I’ve been lucky enough to have good health so far, and even I’ve had run ins with doctors who won’t listen to me and my concerns.

  5. This is terrible news for those of us who do suffer from panic attacks, since we always think we’re having a heart attack anyway. These articles never seem to explain how you can tell the difference. Or should we just be going to the ER every time we have a panic attack?

    1. I imagine there are other ways to evaluate your risk. If you’re fairly young and healthy, it’s probably not a heart attack, for instance. Otherwise I have no idea, but that’s a really, really good question.

    2. Blegh, I hear you. I don’t get panic attacks, but my migraine onsets are an unpleasant mix of symptoms that mimic heart attack and stroke onset.

  6. “I’m going to the bathroom to roll a bowling ball down under the line of stalls.” — best excuse to leave a table EVER

  7. I am trying to figure out if the radio contest guy is just a completely clueless asshole, or just a complete asshole. And he called her “theatrical”? Gahh…

    Oh, well. At least goats

  8. I’m in Halifax, actually, and the contest has generated huge debate. The feminist community is torn between ignoring the contest to deprive the station of the publicity (it is, after all, a well-known jock rock station, known previously for featuring on its website the ‘thong of the day’) and protesting because it’s gone too far. The station’s initial response, posted on its site, was an innocent, “I don’t know how you can accuse us of such things” stance, that claimed the people complaining were the ones making light of serious issues by bringing them into what was just a “little radio contest”. Rich.

    1. There are several platforms for complaint: the use of the term “mail-order bride” (downplayed in the original defense), the promotion of the contest which was primarily the announcers sniggeringly implying that the winner would be receiving sex (without saying that, of course, and the fact that that is what some of us heard speaks to our mindset, according to JC Douglas); the implications about foreign women’s sexuality; and the ‘we’re all bros here’ attitude of the whole thing. My problem with some of the protests is, in some ways it’s fed into a moral panic about international human trafficking (a la Ashton Kutcher). I believe in legal prostitution but only in a context of choice, and equality of power. This contest feeds a whole bunch of frat boy stereotypes about women and men and relationships and it helps no one. (Except the winner — it helps him get to Prague. And what, no women want to go to Prague?)

  9. I’d been hoping someone else would say it so I wouldn’t have to.

    What’s wrong with playing for a Czech mate?

    *Ducks hurriedly to avoid the rotten tomatoes.*

  10. I sent the heart attack link to my mom yesterday morning, and THAT NIGHT she experienced all the symptoms listed.  She emailed this morning to say her heart was pounding before she started having a "panic attack" — exactly how they described it.
    Might not have realized that it was actually a heart attack if not for that article.  Thank you skepchick!

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