“There is no gender bias in medicine. Because I said so…”

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters 

When my heart sister Katherine Leon was featured in The New York Times earlier this year, I was thrilled. Katherine, like me, is a graduate of the WomenHeart Science & Leadership patient advocacy training at Mayo Clinic. She told the Times of undergoing emergency coronary bypass surgery at age 38, several days after her textbook cardiac symptoms had first been dismissed by doctors who told her, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”     .
Continue reading ““There is no gender bias in medicine. Because I said so…””

30-Minute Heart Healthy Cookbook: a review

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

One of the first places that a cardiac diagnosis starts to change the lives of women who have it is in the kitchen. Suddenly, it can seem that everything you now choose to eat will either help your heart, or kill you dead. After my daughter Larissa flew home after my own heart attack, for example, she wrote out a hand-written list (still up on my fridge door, by the way) sternly dictating, among many, many other food rules, things like: “From now on, only low-fat cheese, <20% fat!”

This was a problem for me at the time. Have you ever actually tasted low-fat cheese? It is a hideous food-like product. I pictured a dreary future learning to live on lentils and kale smoothies and other foods I do not want to eat. . .     . Continue reading “30-Minute Heart Healthy Cookbook: a review”

The “new normal” – and why patients hate it

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

The “new normal”.  It’s what the freshly-diagnosed heart patient is supposed to get used to now. The implication seems clear:  Forget about your old life and the person you once were.”  Many of us fight that “new normal” label, but there might be another way to look at this.   . Continue reading “The “new normal” – and why patients hate it”

While we’re at it – and I am always at it…

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters  

I read an article in The Guardian recently. It happened to be about menopause, a stage of life I have already graduated from (thank goodness!)  But it was still interesting to me, as a person who once exhibited world-class projectile sweating during an event at which I was the guest of honour.

But that’s another menopause story entirely.

One particular line of this article leaped out at me. Not about menopause at all, actually, but about women who have opinions.    . Continue reading “While we’re at it – and I am always at it…”

Why is it so hard for your doctor to apologize?

Guest post by Dr. Fiona MacDonald, Dr. Karine Levasseur and Dempsey Wilford

You’ve just undergone surgery. Somehow, a mistake was made. The result is that you were harmed when you expected to be healed.

Hurt, angry and scared, you look to your doctors and ask: “What now? What do you have to say?” And they are silent.      Continue reading “Why is it so hard for your doctor to apologize?”