Saying the word “misdiagnosis” is not doctor-bashing

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   
.
Before my cardiac symptoms forced an early retirement, my entire adult career was spent in the field of public relations, in corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Which is to say I’ve had decades of firsthand experience speaking publicly on behalf of all kinds of people. I was paid to both defend the indefensible stupidity of certain industry presidents, and also to pitch engaging human interest stories to help promote good causes.
.
But it was only when I started voluntarily speaking out on behalf of other female heart patients that I encountered any real backlash – and that came from the most unlikely sources.       .          .  Continue reading “Saying the word “misdiagnosis” is not doctor-bashing”

Discordance: when patients and docs aren’t on the same page

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

In her Netflix comedy special, “Not Normal”, Wanda Sykes recalls  having severe post-operative pain following the double mastectomy she underwent after her breast cancer diagnosis. She asked hospital staff for pain medication, but was offered only ibuprofen (or, as Wanda now describes it, “ibu-f***ing-profen!”)  Her white male friends, by comparison, told her that they’d each been given far more effective meds for far less severe pain after their own hospital procedures.

Her recommendation to women now is: “Bring a white man to do your complaining for you! ”   That’s pretty funny. But we all know that the reality is not funny at all.              .        .
Continue reading “Discordance: when patients and docs aren’t on the same page”

Why you must stop saying “Well, at least. . .”

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

“Well, at least . . .”   It’s the innocuous start of a perfunctory platitude, offered up when we don’t quite know what else to say in the face of another person’s loss. Here’s why saying those words can feel so unhelpful during a health crisis:      .      .    Continue reading “Why you must stop saying “Well, at least. . .””

Most-read Heart Sisters posts from a crazy year

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

I’ve often been surprised by which of my Heart Sisters blog articles attract the most readers. Sometimes, the most obviously brilliant of my posts just sit there, ignored, while the ones I almost didn’t write (like that article on pacemakers! Who knew?) attract ongoing attention. The all-time most-read post ever, with a total of over 2.8 million views, is 2009’s “How Does It Really Feel to Have a Heart Attack?  Women Survivors Answer That Question.”  I could have retired from blogging right there.

And this year’s final tally of the most-read blog posts of the past year continues to surprise me. Here’s how the numbers people rank the Top 10:    .      . 

Continue reading “Most-read Heart Sisters posts from a crazy year”

Have I been a closet introvert all this time?

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Except for those blissfully naïve months of January and February when we had no clue what was about to hit us, 2020 has seemed like a dumpster fire called All-COVID, All-The-Time. Everything we knew and loved changed in ways few of us could have ever predicted. But I’ve noticed another big change overall – and that’s been in me.

The more I hunkered down inside my little apartment this year, the more I began to like hunkering.     .           .      .
Continue reading “Have I been a closet introvert all this time?”

The Christmas Truce – 1914

Armistice Day football match at Dale Barracks between German soldiers and Royal Welsh fusiliers    

by Carolyn Thomas        @HeartSisters

As World War I raged on in the trenches of Europe in 1914, Christmas Eve arrived cold and bleak. But German soldiers put up Christmas trees decorated with candles on the parapets of their trenches. Although their enemies, the British soldiers, could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out where they were from. Could this be a trick?

British soldiers were ordered not to fire, but to watch closely. Instead of trickery, however, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing carols and celebrating. Here’s what one young soldier wrote home about this remarkable event:     Continue reading “The Christmas Truce – 1914”