[image quote: "In very surface level ways, to start, it got me thinking about death and my own mortality…that was something I became aware of pretty early on, just exactly what that meant—death, I had a pretty definite picture." - Alex, episode 28; Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy patient]

[image quote: "In very surface level ways, to start, it got me thinking about death and my own mortality…that was something I became aware of pretty early on, just exactly what that meant—death, I had a pretty definite picture." - Alex, episode 28; Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy patient]

28 Broken Hearts (episode page)
Description: In this episode Alex talks about his experience with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, having open heart surgery at 16, almost dying a couple times, his work in assisted living, and—my favorite topic—death in our death phobic culture. In the bonus episode he answers my Big Healthcare Question, and we talk about all of my arrhythmias and my own heart mysteries.

CW: graphic description of open heart surgery, sibling loss, death + dying

[intro]
Hey there and welcome to In Sickness + In Health, a podcast about chronic illness, disability, medical traumas, and everyday uncomfortable healthcare experiences. My name is Cara Gael; I’m not a doctor or medical professional, I’m just a person and a patient who really wants to talk about this stuff more.

Nothing said on this show should be considered medical advice. If you’re experiencing a medical issue, please seek qualified medical help. I know the system sucks, but I wish you a lot of luck. Every person is different, even within disease groups, so none of my guests should be regarded as official representatives or spokespersons for their conditions. Please respect their very personal choices, and unless they ask for it, please don’t make suggestions about treatments or lifestyle changes. Unsolicited medical advice is never not annoying.

In today’s episode, Alex talks about his experience with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, having open heart surgery at 16, almost dying a couple times, his work in assisted living, and—my favorite topic—death in our death phobic culture.

In the bonus episode he answers my Big Healthcare Question, and we talk about all of my arrhythmias and my heart shaped mystery box.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, occurs if heart muscle cells enlarge and cause the walls of the ventricles to thicken. The ventricles are those two larger, lower chambers of the heart. This thickening can interfere with how the blood pumps out of the heart to the rest of the body, and changes in those muscle cells can lead to arrhythmias that affect heart rhythm.

As always, I’ve included links to learn more about some of the things we talk about in this episode in the show notes. There you’ll also find links to Alex’s music projects, and his email if you have any questions for him.

I might be switching to an every other week release schedule, I haven’t fully decided yet. Producing weekly episodes is a little too much work for my energy levels, but I’m going to keep trying, we’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted.

Find us at insicknesspod.com and on social media @insicknesspod. If you can, take a moment to subscribe, rate and review us on iTunes, which helps other people find the show. And I hope you enjoy this episode!

[outro]

Thanks for listening to In Sickness + In Health. Find resources and more from us at insicknesspod.com and on social media @insicknesspod. Check out today’s bonus episode where Alex answer’s my Big Healthcare Question and we talk about all my arrhythmias and my heart shaped mystery box.

And don’t forget to be excellent to yourselves and each other.