Scope creep: when NO means maybe, and maybe means YES

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     August 4, 2019

I’ve been grappling with a wallop of personal guilt lately. I don’t feel guilty because I’ve done something wrong, but because I finally had to say “No!” to a friend I’d been helping for a long time.

During my public relations career, we called this phenomenon “scope creep”. For example, you happily agree one day to a project with clear parameters, but over time one thing after another gets piled on top of your desk, until the project is suddenly so unwieldy that you wonder how this even happened.

It happened because of scope creep. And your inability to say No!”  to keep the whole thing on track as you went along.  And the way things change. Continue reading “Scope creep: when NO means maybe, and maybe means YES”

When women are far too busy to seek medical help

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     July 28, 2019

In the wonderful world of cardiology, we know that “time is muscle”. The faster a person in mid-heart attack can get prompt and effective treatment, the greater the likelihood of saving that heart muscle, and of survival itself. As Yale University researcher Dr. Angelo Alonzo has suggested, the weak link in the chain of events leading to prompt and effective cardiac treatment is often patient delay in seeking care (which I’ve written about lots because I was so good at this myself:  here, here and here, for example).  Ironically, even having “knowledge of symptoms or risk factors” does NOT decrease this pervasively common treatment-seeking delay behaviour.   . Continue reading “When women are far too busy to seek medical help”

Who is in charge of you?

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters     July 21, 2019

And you thought YOU had a lot of medical appointments. . .

Writing on her blog, Sick With Optimism, a Canadian patient regularly sees three nephrologists from three different clinics, two hematologists, two rheumatologists, a cardiologist, her GP – “as well as so many interns, inpatient doctors and fellows, I can’t even count!”

I was profoundly moved by her story about how one of her many recent doctors’ appointments evolved. . .

Continue reading “Who is in charge of you?”

“A Typical Heart” – this documentary film pulls no punches!

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters     July 15 , 2019

Just launched on July 15th, the important documentary film called A Typical Heart is a triumph. It’s about the deadly disparity in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes among male and female heart patients. It packs an incredible load of unforgettable factoids and quotable quotes into just 22 short minutes.     . Continue reading ““A Typical Heart” – this documentary film pulls no punches!”

The questions you don’t ask your doctor

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters     July 14 , 2019

Let’s say you’re a woman recently diagnosed with heart disease who wants to know if it’s “normal” to feel crushing fatigue every time you take a shower.  Or you’re a woman living with rheumatoid disease who needs advice on which shoes are best for people who suffer joint pain like yours. Or you’re a woman diagnosed with breast cancer who is trying to make sense of the new emotional extremes you’re struggling with.

Who you gonna call? Continue reading “The questions you don’t ask your doctor”

“Brave men” and “emotional women”: gender bias and pain

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters     July 7 , 2019

My little granddaughter Everly Rose is mesmerized by her “owies”. Every bruise, scrape, or even the tiniest scratch inflicted while playing with her kitten, Homie, requires a healing kiss and an equally healing Band-Aid, which can then be proudly pointed out to every stranger we pass on the street. One morning, after I’d had a hard fall while out with my walking group, she carefully examined the dark scab and asked me, very seriously, “Did you cry?” I told her that I’d thought about crying at the time, but then I patted myself all over, realized I wasn’t badly hurt, and so I decided not to cry.

She thought about this explanation for a long while, as if it had never occurred to her that not crying was even an option. Is that because Rosie is a little girl – and not a boy?  A Swedish study helps to answer that question.(1)    .   Continue reading ““Brave men” and “emotional women”: gender bias and pain”