Archive | December, 2012

A year in review: top 10 Heart Sisters posts for 2012

30 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

It’s that time again, when navel-gazing pundits everywhere compile their Best Of or Top 10 lists of movies, political stories, books or bloopers for the year that’s just about to slip away. Same here at Heart Sisters!  So let’s take a nostalgic look backwards today at what I like to describe as this “cardiac rehab for my brain” – and why over 690,000 people like you have visited this site since I launched it in 2009.

First, I wish a very Happy New Year to my readers, especially to:

  • those of you who choose to share what you like here with your colleagues, families or your health care professionals
  • my loyal blog subscribers and Twitter followers
  • those who have generously shared your heartfelt, inspiring and sometimes very entertaining personal comments here – I love them!
  • all women living with heart disease: you are not alone!

Now here’s our Top 10 list of the most widely-read Heart Sisters posts of 2012:    Continue reading

“The heart is a house with four rooms”

26 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Put your hand on your heart right now.  I’m guessing that your hand is likely in the correct general location (although if you’re like my American friends singing their national anthem, your hand is resting on your left chest area rather than over the heart’s actual central chest location, slightly tipped to the left). So go ahead and slide your hand a wee bit to the right where it belongs.

Now compare that little exercise to how well you’d know the location (or function) of your liver or your pancreas.

I’m pretty sure if we were playing Pin The Tail On the Major Organ, we’d lose on those two examples.

That’s why I loved Dr. Roxanne Sukol‘s creative and plain-English description of the heart. Dr. Sukol is the founder of Your Health Is On Your Plate, and has  spent much of the past 15 years making complex medical information easy for the rest of us to understand. Here’s how she describes our hearts:    Continue reading

If December 25th is your birthday

25 Dec


The Christmas truce – 1914

24 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Christmas Truce 1914As 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. One young soldier wrote home about this remarkable event:  Continue reading

Live to 100? No thanks!

21 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Today’s guest post comes to you from the engaging blog called PinkUnderBelly, written by Nancy Hicks, “a sassy Texas girl dealing with breast cancer and its messy aftermath.”  Her messy aftermath is substantial: diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in April 2010 at age 40, a bilateral mastectomy within three weeks of diagnosis, a nasty infection three weeks post-op, which led to four more hospitalizations and two more surgeries.

While Nancy’s blog focuses on breast cancer, her message on living until age 100 will ring true for many of us heart patients, too – republished here with her kind permission:    Continue reading

25 tips to manage the crushing fatigue of heart disease

17 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters

For my whole life BHA (Before Heart Attack), I can hardly remember feeling real fatigue. Oh, sure, I’d feel sore working long hot days on our fruit farm as a teenager. Or sleepy after pulling those all-nighters in college. Or out-of-my-mind exhausted coping with a teething baby and a sleepless toddler. Or tired at the end of a stressful day juggling deadlines in my public relations career. Or maybe even pleasantly pooped after my running group finished a long road race. But generally speaking, on a day-to-day basis, never ever the kind of severe fatigue I experienced AHA.

I’ve always  been one of those disgustingly perky early risers who leaped cheerfully out of bed the minute one droopy eyelid cracked open to discover the clock showed anything past 4:30 a.m.  Once I finished leaping, I’d hit the coffeepot and then the shower, in that order. Then away I’d go, tap dancing 90 mph to meet the day ahead, rarely slowing down until I hit the pillow much, much later that night.

But after I was discharged from hospital following my heart attack, I was gobsmacked to suddenly experience daily bouts of extreme bone-crushing fatigue that I could never have even imagined existed before.  Continue reading