Dec 012013

Di Bagshawe has forwarded this message, aimed at our female members and anyone else that could potentially be affected :


I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of this event that I have ever heard. Please read, pay attention, and send it on!  

I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description I’ve ever read.

Women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have … you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in 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 unbolt 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 (wheeled stretcher) or 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 stents 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 all ready 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 stents. 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.

1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body, not the usual male 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 Maalox 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!

2. 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 who 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.

3. 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. Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life.

*Please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends (male & female) who you care about!*

 Posted by at 8:28 am


 News  Comments Off on HEARTAGING TIMES
Nov 192013

The following message was received from Ken Peters, one of our earliest members, who moved to a retirement home in Hampshire :

Heartaging Times

Poole Heart Support Group has now been in existence for quite a few years giving many the opportunity of living a full and enjoyable life but as some graduate from the keep fit classes in the gym to the sit fit exercises there comes a time to contemplate the next move.

Of late the media has been debating the freedom of individual home living and residential accommodation for the infirm and aged but these arguments take little account of the personal circumstances of those concerned so I thought I would set out some of the points that led us to buy into sheltered accommodation and leave our delightful bungalow that we had so enjoyed for 25 years.

At the time I was approaching 90 years old and having difficulty walking, using a stick and often a rollator. The small but pretty garden was more than I could manage. I could no longer cope with any building maintenance. My wife was disabled and we needed help with the housework and cooking had become difficult.

On top of this many of our friends and neighbours had moved away or passed on so we were becoming isolated and getting around was becoming more difficult so we stated to look around for assisted living.

We did really want to stay in Dorset as it is such a lovely county with so many facilities but alas anything that was suitable was either sold out or not as yet built so we ended up here in Grove Place as the best alternative.

Before anything else one has to consider the finances involving such an upheaval and believe me it is an upheaval and a lot of paper work.

Surprisingly for us it costs less for assisted living than staying put despite the monthly service charge. There are many subsidised facilities available including an extensive menu. This includes a lounge with free tea/coffee, cakes and biscuits all day, snooker room, swimming pool, gymnasium, jacuzzi, subsidised bar, hairdressers and large gardens all of which are kept in good order. At a small cost housekeeping and care staff is available to help. Milk and papers are delivered daily and there is a small shop for minor items as well as our own bus for shopping and social trips.

We residents are an eclectic bunch of professionals and artisans that go to events, outings and trips. If you have a question there is usually someone with the answer. We get on very well and are never lonely.

So in old age there is a choice to make; do you stay put with home care if needed, find a care home or try assisted living. Much depends on circumstances and advice from family and friends as to the choice one makes to give “Old Hearts” a bit of TLC.

 Posted by at 10:19 pm

Poole and Bournemouth hospitals merger blocked

 News  Comments Off on Poole and Bournemouth hospitals merger blocked
Oct 202013

Dorset hospital trusts merger plan blocked

Two NHS hospital trusts in Dorset will not merge, the Competition Commission (CC) has decided.

Poole NHS trust said it would face a financial deficit if the merger did not go through

Poole NHS trust said it would face a financial deficit if the merger did not go through

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and Poole Hospital Trusts wanted to become one to save money.

It is the first time the Competition Commission, which normally rules on companies and commercial markets, has intervened in the NHS in England.

The trusts said the decision was “fundamentally wrong” and that they would “explore alternative options”.

In a statement, the trusts added they were “deeply disappointed” and felt the merger was the best option to ensure “high-quality hospital services to local people”.

“The assessment of the merger was always weighted to put competition ahead of benefits to patients, and we do not believe the NHS is best served in this way.

“The two trusts have worked extremely effectively together over the last two years and we will continue to explore areas where we can work in partnership. However, this will not be to the scale we had hoped.

“It will be much more difficult to make further savings as individual organisations, but we now need to explore alternative options and work closely with our commissioners as we look to the future.”

‘Not enough detail’

The merger was referred to the commission by the Office of Fair Trading, amid concerns about allowing two competing trusts to combine.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has 601 beds across two sites, whilst Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has 623 beds across three sites.

But the CC said the merger would “damage patients’ interests by eliminating competition and choice”.

Its chairman Roger Witcomb said the organisation was “acutely aware of the pressures facing NHS hospitals”.

“While the broad aims of the merger are desirable ones, there simply isn’t enough detail in the hospitals’ plans for us to conclude that any of the claimed benefits are likely to materialise,” he said.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is already being investigated by health sector regulator Monitor amid concerns over its finances and warned it faced a deficit if the planned merger failed.

The commission said it did not believe Poole would close as a result of the merger being blocked.

A spokesman for the Foundation Trust Network said the decision raised “significant fears about how competition law is being applied within NHS settings and on trusts’ ability to make much needed changes to how services are delivered”.

The NHS Confederation described the decision as a “body blow for change in the NHS”.

Bottom line

Annette Brooke, the Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, said she was deeply concerned by the decision.

“We have a big financial problem at Poole hospital and I think it’s really important that it is made financially viable,” she said.

“One can certainly see there is a logic in merging management across two hospitals that are so close together [and] the bottom line is whether patients actually want choice over better services.”

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “It’s a sad day for the NHS when competition lawyers, and not doctors, are deciding what’s best for patients.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “The review of mergers is a matter for the independent competition authorities. They must make their decisions in the best interests of patients.”

From BBC News

 Posted by at 8:53 pm

Health behaviour and illness perception in cardiac rehabilitation

 Medical  Comments Off on Health behaviour and illness perception in cardiac rehabilitation
Sep 162013

Have you completed the questionnaire on “Health behaviour and illness perception in cardiac rehabilitation exercise and cardiac online support groups”?

This is a simple-to-fill questionnaire being organised by Loreta Martinaitye, who is a postgraduate student in health psychology at  Brunel University. She is conducting the research about healthy behaviours and would like people to answer her questionnaires that are not too long.

The online form is completely anonymous and can be seen by clicking here.

If you have any queries, then please contact Loreta Martinaityte at

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

Respiratory Reference Group

 Medical  Comments Off on Respiratory Reference Group
Sep 162013

Have you or a member of your family, been diagnosed with a respiratory condition?

We are currently developing services for people with respiratory conditions across Dorset and are setting up a

Respiratory Reference Group

which will ensure the views of patients and carers with respiratory conditions can inform what we do.

The first meeting will take place in late October 2013 then approximately every 6 months for up to two years.

Meetings will be relaxed and informal, refreshments will be provided and travel expenses paid; members may also be asked their views via post, telephone or e-mail in between meetings.

If you are interested or would like more information please e-mail or ring 01305 368057

The deadline for applications to join the group is Friday 11 October 2013

 Posted by at 5:29 pm

Jenni Sweetlove to run Bournemouth half marathon 2013

 News  Comments Off on Jenni Sweetlove to run Bournemouth half marathon 2013
Sep 102013

This is from our trainer Jenni Sweetlove :

My friend passed away in May this year. she was cared for in the Christchurch Macmillan Unit.

I will be running the Bournemouth half marathon on Sunday 6th October, raising money for Macmillan Caring locally. All donations will go to the Christchurch Unit.

My fundraising page is

 Posted by at 10:53 pm

Photo of Garston Down Walk

 Walking Group  Comments Off on Photo of Garston Down Walk
Jul 152013

garstondown002Sara Milne has sent a photo of the Walking Group’s walk at Garston Down on 3rd July. She writes :

“I took this photo on Wednesday – an action shot! I was on the walk with my Mum and Dad, as Stephen was working, and we all enjoyed it. Apparently, it was 4 1/4 miles long, so well done 1 and all!

Sara Milne”

 Posted by at 12:21 pm

Forum online

 News  Comments Off on Forum online
Jul 072013

I have created a forum for PHSG members to add information that may be of interest to other members. A very limited number of options are available at the moment, but if you have any suggestions, then post them in the Genera Comments are. Currently these are the areas that have been created :

  • General Comments – as mentioned above
  • For Sale / Wanted – do you have anything to sell to any of our members? Add them here, with a description and photo (if available)
  • PHSG Freecycle – You may have lots of items or unwanted presents that you wish to dispose of, which may be of interest to our members. If you are members of Poole Freecycle, then you will know how it works. I originally set up Poole Freecycle many years ago, although it has passed on to other moderators a long time ago.

Click on this link to get to the forum, or click on the Forum title in the main menu just below the photograph at the top of each page.

If the forum is little used, then it can be deleted in the future. Let’s see how it progresses!

I have already posted a plastic garden table that may be of interest to someone. If nobody shows any interest, then it will go on the Poole Freecycle list.

 Posted by at 8:19 pm

Skittles Evening

 News  Comments Off on Skittles Evening
Jul 022013

Derek and Margaret Pope organised a skittles evening on 24th June 2013 at Cobham’s Social Club in Merley. Just over 30 PHSG members participated and were split into teams of 6 members. Some teams had additional “helpers” just to confuse things a little!

My team, the “Crocodiles”, started off by leading in the first round, then went rapidly downhill! At least we weren’t last in the final reckoning.

The team in which Derek and Margaret were in – “Merley Marauders” – were overall team winners at the end, and the other winners/etc were :

  • Best lady – Sheena Parkin and Judy James
  • Best man – Roy White
  • Wooden spoon – Cyril Martin
  • Killer knockout round – Sheena Parkin

The event was a total success, and a full report will be printed in the next magazine.

Photos showing the expertise of many of the skittlers can be seen on the skittles photo page.

 Posted by at 10:30 pm
Jul 022013

If you exercise at Hamworthy, our trainer Jayne Frank has mentioned the problem with parking there. She mentions that there is parking round the back and this can be accessed from the front of the Fire Station.

Please pass this on to other PHSG members who exercise there.

 Posted by at 9:56 pm