Sharing our health struggles: too much, or not enough?

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

The directors of the 85-year long multi-generation Harvard Study of Adult Development have a new book out called The Good Life:  Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.*   In it, authors conclude that most of us “underestimate the beneficial effects of human connection.”

One of their key findings about fostering these connections seems directly aimed at those with chronic medical diagnoses like heart disease – especially as we get older:       . Continue reading “Sharing our health struggles: too much, or not enough?”

Med School is for doctors, but there is no ‘Patient School’ for us

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters   

Internal Medicine specialist Dr. Ann Hester’s new book is called Patient Empowerment 101 – but its subtitle is “More than a Book – It’s an Adventure!”   The adventure of Chapter 1 includes this:

“While physicians and medical professionals devote many years to studying medicine, patients simply don’t have a comparable Patient School to learn how to effectively navigate the healthcare system.”             .   
Continue reading “Med School is for doctors, but there is no ‘Patient School’ for us”

New Year’s resolutions for those who hate resolutions

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters   

Well, we’re into the New Year now. For some of us, that’s almost enough time to notice small cracks beginning to appear in the boldly announced resolutions made in the midst of all those post-Christmas excess guilt pangs. When I was one of the volunteer run leaders at our local Y Marathon Clinic during the last century, we’d often hear such resolutions from the first-timers starting our training workouts at this time of year – something like “This is the year I’m finally going to quit smoking, lose 20 pounds and run a marathon!”

“Honey,” I would gently say to them: “Pick one!”          .  Continue reading “New Year’s resolutions for those who hate resolutions”

Too fit and healthy to worry about heart disease?

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

Anne at the 2017 Monterey Bay Half Marathon, Thomas Blog photo*

 A number of my readers contacted me recently to make sure I’d seen Gretchen Reynolds’ new Washington Post article  (THANK YOU, dear heart sisters, for thinking of me!)  For those who missed it, I want to revisit some key messages from a tragic story about Gretchen’s friend, Anne – her hiking/mountain biking/distance running (also non-drinking and non-smoking) buddy.  Gretchen described 61-year old Anne as “kind and capable, modest and fit”.  She died suddenly last month.  Anne’s  cause of death, as Gretchen wrote in her regular column in the Post, was “a bolt-of-lightning heart attack” :         . 
Continue reading “Too fit and healthy to worry about heart disease?”

Top 5 most popular Heart Sisters posts from 2022

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters  

Before I tear the last page from my 2022 calendar (yes! I still love my big paper calendars!), here’s my annual look back at what my readers were reading this past year on Heart Sisters. It was indeed a freakishly weird year for this site: the first time since its launch in 2009, for example, that I took a complete summer break from writing about women and heart disease. This happened unexpectedly after I became utterly obsessed with my newest passion: trying to grow roses in pots out on my balcony.  (If you’re a rose lover, you can find the archived gardening updates I wrote all summer, starting here). Spoiler alert: like many things in life, this summer adventure turned out to be mostly about managing unrealistic expectations. . .   Meanwhile, here are the five Heart Sisters posts that were most popular in 2022: Continue reading “Top 5 most popular Heart Sisters posts from 2022”