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A Mother’s Day without my mother

12 May

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

As Christopher Buckley wrote in his memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, when the last of your parents dies, you are an orphan. This is poignantly true if that parent is your mother.

“You lose the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses. Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms. She is the one who validates and the one who shames, and when she’s gone, you are alone in a terrible way.”

This month marks both the occasion of my mother Joanie’s birthday (she would have turned 91 on May 7th, coincidentally the fourth birthday of Everly Rose, the darling great-granddaughter she would never meet) and yet another Mother’s Day when I didn’t send my Mom a card and flowers. I’m getting used to that reality by now. She died seven years ago on February 21st, 2012.  Continue reading

The science of safety – and your local hospital

14 Apr

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     April 14, 2019

Have you ever walked up to a big door and pulled when you should have pushed? Have you done this despite the sign on the door telling you specifically how it works? Have you even pulled repeatedly on the same door when it won’t open?  I sure have. . .

Dr. Terry Fairbanks tells this story of some door-watching he did at his local bagel shop while he sat at a table waiting for his wife.

“I watched person after person pulling on the shop door despite the PUSH sign. But if this were healthcare, we’d put a policy in place, make a policy binder, and put it on the nurses’ shelf!

“But it’s not about policy, it’s about changing the door!”   

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When heart attack symptoms disappear – and then return

24 Feb

The 2018 Heart Sisters blog posts you liked best

30 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters     December 30, 2018

This year, a “Best Of” list with a twist. Usually my behind-the-scenes WordPress stats page tracks total views so far for each article I write. That kind of all-time list, however, simply favours the oldest articles, most of which have the advantage of attracting readers over and over, year after year ever since I launched Heart Sisters back in 2009. So this year, here are your Top 10 most-read of the dozens of articles I wrote in 2018: Continue reading

Appropriately confident: what are YOU really good at?

21 Oct

 by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    October 21, 2018

It all started with a little post on Twitter by San Francisco OB-GYN Dr. Jen Gunter, urging this call to action:

I was hooked when I read an early response from a pediatrician, who (on top of everything else a pediatrician might feel self-confident about) mentioned that she does the New York Times crossword IN PEN. Now, that is true confidence, my heart sisters. . .

I decided to bite, tossing aside all that ‘aw shucks’ false modesty that women are so often socialized to embrace. Here’s how I responded about myself:
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