Not Your Daddy’s Heart Attack

When she was 50 years old, Rosie O’Donnell left a medical appointment with her wife, who was undergoing treatment for cancer. As they left the hospital, the two of them helped lift a morbidly obese woman who’d become stuck in her car. Upon returning home with her wife, Rosie felt “as though a bear had grabbed both of my arms and ripped out the muscle.”

They hurt, but the pain wasn’t radiating into her chest,
neck, or jaw.

Rosie actually visited her therapist at first, thinking she was having a physical reaction to the emotional distress of helping the overweight woman. She’d identified with the woman because, as she says in “A Heartfelt Stand Up,” which aired on HBO in February, “I understand the shame of being overweight in America.” Rosie is not alone, since obesity is one of the top issues facing America. Her therapist sent her home, thinking that Rosie was having a panic attack. Instead, she was having a heart attack, and it almost killed her.


The Handbag Essential That Could Save Your Life

This post is a sponsored post on behalf of Bayer Healthcare, the makers of Bayer® Aspirin.

Our hearts need lots of things, like love and exercise. But they need something else that’s small enough to slip into our handbags: Aspirin.

Nearly 300,000 women in the U.S. suffer heart attacks every year,1 but most of us are woefully ill prepared for a sudden assault to this precious organ. Taking aspirin during a suspected heart attack and 30 days thereafter as directed by a doctor can help reduce our risk of death and lessen the damaging effects to our heart muscle.2 We should never leave home without it, yet most of us do. What’s worse, the majority of us wouldn’t even know if we were having an attack!

That’s why Bayer Healthcare, the makers of Bayer® Aspirin and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, have launched year 2 of Handbags & Hearts, a national campaign that urges us to carry aspirin in our handbags, and to learn about the different signs and symptoms of women’s heart attacks.

Bet you didn’t know that women experience symptoms such as nausea and cold sweats during attacks.3 Make sure to learn more here.

Why You Should Visit

Throughout the month of May, Bayer Healthcare will donate to WomenHeart. “Like” a post on and Bayer® will donate $1. “Share” a post and Bayer® will give $2 and $1 for coupon redemption—up to $50,000.

You can also enter to win 1 of 31 luxe designer handbags during the month. Start talking and enter to win.

Suspect You’re
Having A Heart Attack?

Call 911 the moment you suspect a heart attack and take your Bayer® Aspirin, as directed by a doctor. Remember, this simple and swift act could help save your life.

A Word From A Doctor

“As a cardiologist, I see women everyday who are unclear of the steps to take when they suspect a heart attack,” said Tracy Stevens, M.D., FACC, Medical Director of the Saint Luke’s Mid American Heart Institute’s Muriel L. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center, Kansas City, and member of the WomenHeart Scientific Advisory Council. “I feel compelled to spread the word, as there are actions we can take to better prepare ourselves and ultimately save lives,” said Dr. Stevens.

If heart attack preparedness is important to you (not to mention handbags), it’s time to visit this important site.

1 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2014 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association — Table 18-1
2 The ISIS-2 collaborative group. Randomized trial of intravenous streptokinase, oral aspirin, both, or neither among 17,187 cases of suspected acute myocardial infarction: ISIS-2. Lancet 1988; ii: 349–60.
3 Bayer Aspirin Survey: Conducted by Wakefield Research. Demographic Report, 1,000 U.S. Women Ages 40+. April (2013).ISI-2, ASA Professional Label and AHA MI Guidelines

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This Gadget Could Save Your Life

FOF Patti Frenette wants to stop fatal heart attacks, one Aspirinpod at a time.

Aspirinpods are available in our FOF Shop!

In 2003, Patti Frenette got the shock of her life when her fit, thin, younger brother suffered a serious heart attack at just 54 years old. She flew immediately to his bedside in Wichita to meet with his wife and cardiologist. “Thank God you gave him that aspirin to chew when he started feeling sick,” the cardiologist told his wife, “or he might not have survived.”

From that moment on, Patti was on a mission to spread the word about the benefit of taking an aspirin at the first sign of a heart attack. She created Aspirinpod, a heart-shaped pillbox, perfectly sized to hold two adult aspirin or four baby aspirin. It fits neatly everywhere, from your keychain to your golf bag, so you can be sure to have an aspirin with you if you or someone you love has a heart attack.

How did you come up with the idea for Aspirinpod?

When I returned from Witchita, I took an informal survey of friends and colleagues. I would ask, ‘If I were having a heart attack right now and asked you for an aspirin to save my life, would you have one?’ Out of 450 people surveyed, only 5 said yes. Lots of people had Advil or Tylenol, but very few had plain old aspirin. I realized, people just don’t know about this. It took a few years, but eventually I applied for the design patent, and by 2009 I was in production.

Exactly what dose of aspirin should you take?

At the onset of heart attack symptoms, you should call 911 and chew one 325 milligram (regular strength) aspirin or four baby aspirin.

What symptoms should you watch out for?

Women’s heart attack symptoms can be much subtler than men’s. As opposed to the crushing arm and chest pain that men feel, women often feel extreme exhaustion. Now, how many exhausted women do you know? A lot. Also, nausea, indigestion or discomfort in between your shoulder blades. By the time women get to the emergency room, it’s often too late. That’s why carrying aspirin with you as a woman is doubly important.

What exactly is the aspirin doing?

It’s thinning your blood, so that any clots or blockages and pass.

Do you know anyone who’s actually used their Aspirinpod and prevented a heart attack?

Oh, I get tons of letters. Actually, a woman I met through work had a heart attack at her desk, at 9am one morning, and she ate the aspirin from her pod. I had only met her a few days before and she wrote me a note afterwards saying how our meeting was serendipitous.

I actually used it, recently, when I had terrible stomach pains and thought I was having a heart attack! I was doubled over in pain and a friend called 911 while I chewed the aspirin. It turned out to be indigestion, but my motto is: Be Prepared. No Regrets.

Patti Frenette is the inventor of the Aspirinpod. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

Aspirinpods are available in our FOF Shop!