Failure to inspire

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters 

Blogging sometimes feels like a cross between therapy (writing about what I’m obsessing over at any given moment) and planning a classroom lecture (getting emerging research, current journal references and my own thoughts in order about very specific subjects – mostly women’s heart disease and the experience of becoming a patient). 

But if you’ve been here before, you already know that one of my favourite parts of noodling away on this blog is the interactive response from my readers. This is always a two-way street. Your comments make me laugh, they make me cry, they almost always make me want to respond. My favourite kind of reader comment: “I thought I was the only one who felt this way. . . “

But what some of you may not know is that sometimes, reader comments can also make me feel tired and cranky.   

That statement may surprise you, until you remember that I’m a heart patient, too.

I live with ongoing cardiac symptoms of coronary microvascular disease, sometimes alarmingly bad and always frightening.  Several times every week, I have to stop and ask myself if today is the day I will:

  • A. have to call 911
  • B. go back into the hospital
  • C. die

Living like this can be, as you might imagine, exhausting.

But happily, C. has not yet happened so far. Thanks to my terrific care team of physicians, a supportive network of caring family and friends, my often-reluctant acceptance of the need to learn p-a-c-i-n-g, and my trust in pain self-management and the team at my Pain Clinic, I can manage nicely most days – even on the bad ones. In between, I can noodle…

Back in 2009 when I launched Heart Sisters, I had no vision, no strategic plan, no clue that this blog would grow to its current size, or that it could ever attract millions of views from 190 countries!  See also: Fun facts about my women’s heart blogThis began as a static 3-page site meant for the women who were signing up to attend one of my free Heart-Smart Women presentations.

Then I started some “value-added” content, a little blog post here, another one there, reflecting the most common questions women were asking during my talks. I’ve gone from running a new blog post every day (most likely due to the temporary insanity of the freshly-diagnosed) to once a week, typically early on Sunday mornings.

But while I was working on my book (A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease”, Johns Hopkins University Press), I found it impossible to write my manuscript full-time as well as creating weekly blog content here.

So for almost two years, I ran old posts each week from my Heart Sisters archives, hoping that these might be enough to keep my loyal regulars interested and still appeal to new readers.

Some of my regulars noticed that things seemed different around here, and many of you let me know how you felt about it.

When I did write an occasional original post during that time, some readers didn’t share my emboldened opinions on women’s cardiac research, diagnostics and treatment news. (Don’t get me started on why we still don’t have mandatory reporting of diagnostic error, for example!)

Or, as one irritated reader commented:

“Carolyn, who cares what YOU think?”

Well, I used to assume that if somebody comes to my site, and chooses to read an article that I wrote, it means that they might care what I think.  Evidently, not.

Tellingly, when I dared to briefly mention my quasi-political views in one of many articles I’ve written about society’s pervasive gender gap, for example, a recent reader fumed:

“I read your blog to learn more about women’s heart disease, NOT to hear your political opinions.”

I’ve had a number of readers threaten to boycott my blog (“FOREVER!”) because  something I wrote “surprised” them (or more frequently, “disgusted” or “outraged” them).

But the worst cut of all: when they let me know in no uncertain terms that I have somehow “disappointed” them.

Among the most “disappointed” are often my male followers, a small number of whom can be counted on to offer some variation on But what about the MEN? in response to emerging research I write about if it’s specifically on women’s heart disease.

Spoiler alert: it always is! 

Or, as one of my book reviewers (Robert in Australia) succinctly criticized:

A bit too much emphasis on how women are neglected when it comes to heart disease. Happily, for me and my fellow patients, my doctors, nurses and physios did everything by the book.”

(Thank you, Robert, for helping to prove my frickety-frackin’ point).

Not surprisingly – and as I already knew because of the many other blogs that I like to follow – readers follow a blog because of what they can get out of it. (And in my own case, I also want good grammar, spelling and punctuation, thank you very much!)

Readers generally want to be informed, and supported, and understood, and validated – and yes, “inspired”.

This expectation to inspire is problematic for me.

My sole blogging job, in the minds of some readers, is to inspire them. Not to say what I really think. Not to express opinions that they may not share. Not to be “me”.

Similarly, when the anonymous cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University reviewed my original book manuscript draft outline, the feedback was very positive (“This book will be a valuable addition to the literature!”) – except for concerns expressed about two specific chapters:

  • Chapter 3  (on misdiagnosis):  “Sounds like doctor-bashing to me!”
  • Chapter 7: (on psychosocial effects of living with a chronic and progressive illness): “Irrelevant to female heart patients.”

(By the way, I think you might catch a whiff of irony here when a cardiologist tells a female heart patient what is or is not relevant to female heart patients. And note to anonymous cardiologist: the word “misdiagnosis” is not “doctor-bashing”). 

In both cases, I had to strongly defend these chapters to  my JHUP editors.  It would be a great disservice to any women reading this book, I argued, to ignore the many cardiac researchers reporting that female heart patients are significantly more likely to be misdiagnosed compared to our male counterparts. “I’m not making this stuff up!” I once had to insist to my senior editor.

And I’m relieved to report that she agreed, and both chapters did remain in the book!

So all during this time, I was not only feeling wiped out from the deadline pressure of producing 70,000 words for my Johns Hopkins University Press editor on time, but from the ongoing maintenance of this blog.

For example, every comment from every reader here is moderated, meaning that when you hit ‘submit’, your comment is not published immediately, but only after I read it. This helps me weed out spam, trolls and hypesters who are selling miracle cardiac cures (you know, the ones that your doctor doesn’t want you to know about. . . )

It has surprised me sometimes to get identical serial comments from the same reader, demanding to know why the comment submitted at 7:26 p.m. is not yet up on my site by 7:36, and then by 7:46, and so on.

Perhaps these readers think I run a free 24/7 hotline service here. But no, it’s just me, in my kitchen, quite often in my jammies, and only when I’m feeling well enough to be here. Sorry, not sorry. . .

I’m very active on social media, particularly Twitter. One morning, when I quoted (word-for-word) the Harvard researcher Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas on how women tend to describe their cardiac symptoms to Emergency physicians, one particular Emergency doc in New Jersey (hello again, Rick Pescatore, D.O!) became so upset by what I’d quoted that he sent me 12 (yes, TWELVE) tweets in rapid fire succession (must have been a slow day in his ER), attacking what he considered “your particular style of sensationalism”, and calling me the following names:

  • myopic
  • misleading
  • unhelpful
  • inaccurate
  • uninformed
  • fear-mongering

No matter how many times I responded politely to each Tweet (I am Canadian, did I mention?) suggesting that he simply take a look at the quoted study himself, he responded with more name-calling. He clearly felt the need to put me, a stupid patient, in my place. For quoting a Harvard study. I now consider his name-calling a badge of honour. This, you see, is what I’m up against:  it’s far easier for a bully to attack a lowly patient than a Harvard researcher.

My friends at the Canadian Public Relations Society told me they weren’t surprised when I started Heart Sisters in 2009 to write about my own experience of heart attack misdiagnosis and survival – and especially  about what I’d learned while attending the WomenHeart Science and Leadership patient advocacy training at Mayo Clinic.

Some of those PR colleagues, in fact, concluded that this is simply what happens when a career PR person like me has a heart attack: she writes and speaks and looks stuff up. Because that’s all she knows how to do!

But “inspire”? That’s a tall order.

I agree with the words of the late patient activist Dr. Jesse Gruman, who spent decades in and out of hospital with a number of very serious illnesses.
She once described her own discomfort at being expected to inspire others through her commitment to patient advocacy, in her inimitable no-BS fashion:
“    This commitment is neither a sign of virtue nor of will.  I would trade that commitment in one hot second to not have been sick in the first place.”
Or, as musical composer (of the brilliant One Grain More parody) Michael Bihovsky wrote of his experience living with the debilitating connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome:
“    Every EDS patient knows that the hardest part of our day is the moment we open our eyes and awaken into the reality of our bodies. The fact is that sometimes I’m in a physical state where I just don’t have it in me to be inspirational.”


It was the death by suicide of Anthony Bourdain last year that hit home for me the inherent problem with our common preference for feeling “inspiredby those we don’t even know. Among the countless online condolences, I liked this particular observation from Imani (a blogger at Crutches and Spice, a student, and an advocate for disability issues):

“I am ashamed to say that I saw Anthony Bourdain as my inspiration. I only saw what I could learn from him.

“I’m ashamed to say I was inspired by him because that meant I couldn’t see the man, beyond what he could do for MY life.

“I’m ashamed to say he was an inspiration, because I never was able to see him as a just a person.”

Just a person.

Not an inspiration. Not a role model. Not somebody who needs to think or talk or be a certain way so that strangers will approve.

And shouldn’t all of us expect to be treated as just a person?

Q: As a patient, do you ever feel pressured to be “inspiring”?


NOTE FROM CAROLYN:  My book “A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease” reads like a “best of Heart Sisters” blog collection. You can ask for it at your local bookshop or public library, or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon, or order it directly from my publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press (use their code HTWN to save 30% off the list price).

See also:

Please! No more bragging about mountain climbing!

Non-inspirational advice for heart patients

Confessions of a non-compliant patient

The new country called Heart Disease

“To just be a person, and not a patient anymore”

‘Healthy Privilege’ – when you just can’t imagine being sick

Everybody has plans ‘til they get punched in the mouth

Living with the “burden of treatment”

Looking for meaning in a meaningless diagnosis

Fun facts about my women’s heart blog

34 thoughts on “Failure to inspire

  1. Just keep on doing what you do better than any other blogger I know, Carolyn. You are an articulate, witty and empathetic voice for people who don’t know where to turn when they or someone close to them receive a devastating diagnosis. You help them navigate the system and advocate for what they need and give them hope when everything seems bleak and hopeless. And I love your opinions – positive and negative – perhaps because they so often mirror my own.

    I’ve learned so much from you. It’s YOUR blog and you can vent if you want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kate for taking the time to add your clearly superior opinion here! 🙂 I appreciate your supportive comment – and your encouragement to keep on venting!
      See you on Twitter…


  2. NOTE FROM CAROLYN: This comment has been removed because it was attempting to sell you stuff (LOTS of stuff).
    Another thing that makes me very cranky…


  3. Oh yes, tomorrow I am getting my 10th diagnostic imaging procedure/test not including blood and lab tests to better understand cause and treatment of my suddenly enlarged right ventricle.

    Just happened to mention new/different shortness of breath walking up hills and I am one of the lucky few – a cardiologist who believes me and who is pesky about getting to the bottom of things. Two key lessons here: use your voice; speak up for yourself and pay attention to what’s going on with you. Mine could be related to puncture or something else.

    But you and your blog do a tremendous service to women by providing information and encouragement to women suffering from heart disease. I am pretty sick and tired of people telling me that I look great so there can’t be anything wrong.

    I firmly believe that good medicine is a cooperative effort among all the care providers, the patient and her family and friends. Information, for me, reduces my uncertainty and anxiety. People who don’t respect my feelings make me angry.

    You are doing a huge service, Carolyn, and please don’t ever forget it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ya gotta love a cardiologist who believes you and who is “pesky” about getting to the bottom of things! That’s a good solid doctor to have in your corner. Too many women feel dismissed and demeaned when symptoms can’t be readily identified. I too believe that information reduces uncertainty and anxiety. Knowledge is power, as they say. The scariest part of any medical crisis I’ve experienced is the ‘not-knowing’… Good luck tomorrow, Helen. I hope this one will help to solve the mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m exhausted, girl😂 Being a mascot is hard work😩
    I can do some things to help.. but don’t look to me for salvation. I’m still fat🙏😠 in my Red Dress.. but I’m working on it.

    It takes a village💖💯👠💃👟

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carolyn – i have not come often enough to your excellent blog but when I do it provides me with so much more than I can say.

    I feel your anger at the eejits who whinge about the focus on women – duh, did they not read the title!!!!

    And as for those who can’t cope with your approach to this blog – duh, it’s a blog not an impartial, bland tabloid article!!!!!

    As someone who has a poorly understood long-term condition (M.E.) and a mainly women’s heart condition, Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), I really appreciate what you do here and identify with so much of the exasperation (putting it mildly) you must have felt over the years – thank you for helping me to deal with mine.

    I will continue to signpost others to you and hope that they don’t add to the whinger count!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Carolyn,
    I LOVE this post! Boy, do I relate. Like you, I’ve been blogging for a while now. Like you, readers’ comments mean a lot to me. It really is a two-way street. Readers are so wise. Like you, I try not to be bothered by negative comments. Like you, I have been chastised more than once for expressing my political views.

    Like breast cancer is the only thing I’m allowed to express views on. Really? I chose (actually, Dear Hubby came up with) the name Nancy’s Point partly because I figured it’d be clear (to readers and myself) that I could choose to write about whatever I darn please. Still, negative comments can hurt. Oh well. Enough rambling.

    Your blog is a godsend to your readers, of this I’m quite certain. And the beautiful thing is, your posts so often cross over into other disease/health areas as well. Advocacy is advocacy, regardless of specific condition. Thanks for another great read. Oh and, “just a person” – love that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nancy – It’s so funny that you should say precisely what I so often think when I read your blog about women with breast cancer: that our experiences of becoming a “patient” are universal.

      You write about breast cancer yet almost everything you write resonates with me, a person who lives with heart disease. Good example: your recent post on being an “over-achieving patient” – boy, did I related to that pressure (both societal and self-imposed!” (READERS: please check out Nancy’s Point! )

      This synchronicity among patients is indeed a “beautiful thing”, as you say.


      Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe that anyone who dares to be in front of others in any manner risks being considered a fountain of knowledge about the subject matter and everything else in the world including technology. I experience this weekly in a volunteer position and the amount of knowledge that is projected on to me never ceases to amaze me.

    Like you, I do what I do because it’s a calling in which I believe and want to share. So, I do get frustrated and want to quit at times, but I don’t. A couple of years ago I learned that pacing myself by teaching only two quarters rather than four gave me the needed break and the world didn’t end because I took time to take care of myself.

    I read everything you write and like what you have to say but for the others it’s impossible to even try to live up to everyone else’s expectations. They will always be disappointed.

    Wishing you continued good health, healing and well-being and rest knowing you are pretty darn good at what you do in spite of the challenges. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, Carolyn. We are human, and will not agree on every topic. I cannot tell you how much your blog has mattered to me during my acute recovery back in 2011 until now.

    Sound the gong! Speak your truth! It is ours as well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment means a lot to me, Dr. Anne – especially coming from a physician who is also a heart patient (my favourite kind of healthcare professional, I might add, given that combination’s unique ability to amplify empathy based on lived experience!) Not that I would wish heart disease on anybody, of course.

      Thank you so much for your kind words….


  9. I really enjoyed this particular blog–AND AGREED! I was diagnosed in 2003 with Atrial Fibrillation (Paroxysmal) and have been told that it will likely grow into full-blown AF.

    It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced, and I lived with warfarin for over a year, and had to have yearly medical certificates to ensure I could retain my driver’s licence. I have never had a repeat episode, which has always puzzled my cardiologists.

    That being said, I have been nagged to death by my current cardiologist to go back on anticoagulants just because of the risk factor, which meant that I had to learn to live without the anti-inflammatories I was taking because of a chronic issue with lumbar disc disintegration, for which I have had three surgeries. And being on anticoagulants meant that I had to deal with constant bleeding, including haemorrhages in my eyes. And no one could explain to me why I had never had another AF attack.

    What this blog did for me was not to provide me so much with medical information, but gave me the courage to sort out my fears and to accept that there may be a way to deal with all my issues, and to discuss the matter with my (female) GP and change my way of looking at things.

    I now have a regime which allows for some anti-inflammatory intervention, but also allowed me to try some new anticoagulant medication which does not make me bleed as much. AND to accept that my issues were not as life-threatening as they could have been.

    I am grateful that I am in reasonably good health, but I found that reading the book and this blog helped me put it all into perspective.

    So keep on writing — there are always going to be nay-sayers, but you do reach a lot of women!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a good example of that last statement, Lesley – all the way Down Under in Australia! Lovely to hear from you.

      Your description of what you’ve gone through to reach a compromise treatment plan that works better for you than your previous one (haemorrhages in your eyes – yoiks!!!) is a good example of true patient-centred care – and more importantly, shared decision-making!

      Medicine pays lip service to these noble concepts, but can also be prone to ‘treating to numbers’ despite the effects on a patient’s quality of life. A good example of this is the work of electrophysiologist Dr. John Mandrola (he’s my ‘go-to guy’ for all heart rhythm issues, AND he’s been diagnosed with AFib himself, so again – my favourite kind of doc!) He once wrote this:

      “Nearly all approaches to patients with AFib are preference–sensitive. No patient really NEEDS to have an ablation or take an anticoagulant drug.”

      Dr. Victor Montori and his Mayo Clinic-based team of researchers even have a name for what you and your GP came up with: “Minimally Disruptive Medicine“. It’s a beautiful concept…

      A little bit of tweaking and clear communication between doctor and patient can go a long way. Thanks so much for telling us all about a great example of this!

      Best of luck to you, and big hugs!


  10. I completely understand and agree with you! I have read your blog and book since my 2 open heart surgeries, and am grateful for the information and knowledge I have gleaned from it.

    My experience with my heart disease has been troubled with 2 cardiologists who claimed that an Anomalous Right Coronary Artery (ARCA) and Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HOCM) diagnosis at 58 should be simply “observed.” After a trip to Mayo for week-long testing, surgery WAS recommended due to the diagnosis and symptoms.

    Soon thereafter, a HOCM Clinic opened in my hometown of Portland, Oregon and further surgery was recommended. Five years later I am doing well, but will never be the energetic type A teacher/friend/mother/daughter/person that I used to be. Most of my extended family think I should just be over it (like a shoulder surgery 😜).

    The post perfusion, the PTSD, the ongoing issues should be dealt with like “a little arthritis” that everyone has! Understanding and empathy come mainly from my two awesome sons and my docs.

    Inspiration is not as valuable to me as learning new ways to accept and cope and more knowledge of my current situation. Perhaps my passion and respect and curiosity for knowledge that led me to a career in my beloved education field of teaching plays a role in this. The emotional side of my past and current situation takes a sad backseat to the realistic.

    I appreciate your honest and forthright approach, as well as the empathy you allow for yourself! That self comfort and empathy is often judged and so hard to come by! Continue!

    Best wishes and gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jackie. You bring up a number of good points here, and another vote of confidence in the care provided by Mayo Clinic. You were lucky in some significant areas: that week-long consult at Mayo, an HOCM clinic opens up near you (both seemed to direct you to appropriate surgery, finally) and also that you can get empathy and understanding from “awesome sons” (I too have an awesome son! and an awesome daughter!) and of course your docs.

      These factors may help to counter the lack of understanding from extended family, which is sadly quite common. There is a big fat difference between recovering from an acute care problem and from a chronic and progressive one. Our families and friends want and need us to be “normal” and “better” – and that genuine need sometimes comes across as “get over it already!” I remember responding just as impatiently during my mother’s early dementia symptoms: I remember (sheepishly) grabbing her by both shoulders and shaking her as I yelled at her: “STOP TALKING CRAZY!” but what I was really saying was “I want my OLD mum back again! Not this SICK mum!” I wasn’t thinking about her, I was worried and frantic and thinking only of my self and my own loss.

      It’s also an important reason that we have to pick and choose very carefully who we decide to confide in or complain to!


  11. Carolyn, if it weren’t for your wonderful blog and the many thoughtful responses, all of which I read carefully every week, I think that by now, having coped with coronary microvascular disease for 10 years, I’d be a basket case.

    Coping with MVD plus gender bias plus all the other little curve balls life tosses out would be infinitely harder without you. Phooey on those who disagree! They are truly disagreeables!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandra – I’m so glad you’re not a basket case, and am pleased that this blog may have had a part in preventing that outcome. Indeed, you are correct: phooey on those disagreeables!!!


      1. Well Carolyn you certainly made me feel inspired and supported over a very dismal time. Last Friday, just over a year on from my 100% blockage heart attack, I saw the cardiologist who had inserted the stent. Amazingly he remembered me and said it was because I was “euphoric” the next day in the ward, and it was an unusual response without drugs to a near death experience.

        Now I wonder if you can inspire me to find a way to tell him that was me being my normal self…… and don’t forget providing a focus for the disagreeable people to be able to transfer their anger, over what has happened to them, is a valuable service as it makes them feel better.

        Not flattering you, just being truthful.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. First of all, belated Happy Heart-iversary on your one-year cardiac milestone, Lindsay! I’m glad I was able to help you in some way to feel supported and inspired during that time. Thank you for saying that…

          Don’t know how to inspire you to tell your cardiologist your secret, but I can imagine that “euphoric” was not a common descriptor of patients’ demeanor fresh out of the cath lab! But honestly, I’ve heard all kinds of descriptions over the years (one of my favourites is from Jodi Jackson – heart attack at age 42 – who calls her own response, “Post Heart-Attack Stun“).


  12. Hi, Carolyn, You are inspiring, though! Is that a bad thing? Maybe if it’s the ONLY thing, then yeah, I get it.

    In fact I was surfing so called self-help/lifestyle “influencers” the other day and watched a bunch of videos that had me gagging. Their tone was patronizing, *not* inspiring. “I’ve got this all figured out so do what I say.”

    Those people actually make me feel bad about myself, the opposite of inspiring. THAT IS NOT YOU! I take my inspiration from women (yes, mostly women) who are humble, have a spot on sense of humor, and let their smarts shine through! We inspire, learn from, support and love one another in all our imperfect gloriousness.

    As for the trolls… trying to find a nice way to say, “F#ck ’em!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Dr. Aletta and thanks for this! I do know those self-help/lifestyle “influencers” – and I react with the same gag reflex. Yet millions of people flock to them for advice, so they must be on to something!?

      Okay! I will take your advice to the trolls to heart… ♥


  13. Carolyn: I have been especially cranky lately as 2 months ago I tore my rotator cuff in a fall. Whether or not it was your intention, I heard/felt your own crankiness in this column. I LOVE it!

    I believe we are in times in the world when everything and everyone seems to be cranky. I do believe that we will cycle out of it. I have always been an optimistic person but lately I feel that I am wallowing in annoyance. Even someone honking his/her horn annoys me!

    That said, it gives me great joy to wake up each morning, even with a less than excellent night’s sleep, with body achiness, and lacking the great energy that I used to have. It could be my heart condition (after a stent insert in 2016 I now have to say that I have “heart disease.” Really??? it was only one stent!), my aging body, or life in general.

    I am learning to embrace each day, even if it’s not the one I planned and to appreciate all the good things in my life.

    Carolyn: you and your continuing information and support are among the good things in my life. You are greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my! Susan, there is nothing like pain for two months to enhance crankiness! (Off-topic: I remember a dreadful experience once while attempting to try on bras in the lingerie shop’s change room while suffering through a shoulder injury. It was impossible!)

      When you write: “I have always been an optimistic person but lately I feel that I am wallowing in annoyance”, I feel like I could have written that identical sentiment! Sheeeesh…..

      I’m going to go and embroider that on a pillow.


  14. I am inspired by your writings. I got the best of care at Mayo Clinic with cardiologists. But the cause of my heart STRESS!! After being air lifted from 60 miles away to Mayo’s St. Mary’s Hospital, 7 stents within 15 hours, CCU for 3 1/2 days, once home I began to blog.

    I was willing to share my thoughts, opinions and thankfulness. One friend replied “You are not the only one who has had a heart attack”.

    So, I continue my hope of only making one woman aware makes a difference. I continually read your blogs and readers’ responses.

    Much like you I travel the road of wondering what each day will bring. My motto is just to make a difference in one life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Teula – aren’t you lucky to live so close to Mayo Clinic (despite the frightening cardiac emergency you went through)? It sounds like blogging for you was both a way to help yourself recover from such a serious crisis, and a way to help educate others. Good for you!


  15. Carolyn, I had to laugh in some parts of your blog this morning.

    To me, because we were at Mayo in 2008, you are an expert in your field and able to dispense knowledge on heart disease in so many aspects. You are credible and correct in what you relate to the general public.

    When someone would say to you, why should I listen to you? I want to come back to them “why are you even on this site then?” Geeze!

    It is difficult to get credible info. I went through years believing every word my cardiologist said, only to find that in the next year that it was all wrong. Now you do this! What a crock! That puts a new slant on “practicing” medicine.

    I enjoy reading your blog, Carolyn. It validates what I have gone through the last 40 years and gives me comfort that I am not alone in this. I loved teaching what we learned at Mayo because I knew it was the truth, not theory, that I could pass it on to others who were dealing with the unknown and devastating situations they never, ever wanted to deal with.

    I felt it was an honorable endeavor. Oh, well. My best to you. Carry on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good morning, my dear Mayo heart sister! Sharen, with decades of lived experience in being a heart patient, YOU are an expert.

      It’s like that recent twitter meme in response to the famous coffee cup wisdom (“Don’t Confuse Your Google Search With My Medical Degree”) The response goes like this: “Don’t Confuse Your 1-Hour Med School Lecture on my Diagnosis with the Thousands of Hours I’ve Lived With This Every Day!”

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your unique perspective here.


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