Top 5 most popular Heart Sisters posts from 2022

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters  

Before I tear the last page from my 2022 calendar (yes! I still love my big paper calendars!), here’s my annual look back at what my readers were reading this past year on Heart Sisters. It was indeed a freakishly weird year for this site: the first time since its launch in 2009, for example, that I took a complete summer break from writing about women and heart disease. This happened unexpectedly after I became utterly obsessed with my newest passion: trying to grow roses in pots out on my balcony.  (If you’re a rose lover, you can find the archived gardening updates I wrote all summer, starting here). Spoiler alert: like many things in life, this summer adventure turned out to be mostly about managing unrealistic expectations. . .   Meanwhile, here are the five Heart Sisters posts that were most popular in 2022: Continue reading “Top 5 most popular Heart Sisters posts from 2022”

Diagnostic Uncertainty vs. Unwarranted Certainty: which is worse for patients?

by Carolyn Thomas     ♥    @HeartSisters 

The Emergency physician who misdiagnosed my heart attack displayed not even a whiff of uncertainty while delivering that misdiagnosis.  “YOU” – he declared confidently – “are in the right demographic for acid reflux!”  (without any gastrointestinal diagnostic tests). He sent me home that day with instructions to ask my family doctor to prescribe antacid drugs for my symptoms (central chest pain, nausea, sweating and pain down my left arm).  I now suspect that, if only that confident doc would have bothered to Google my symptoms, both he and Dr. Google would have landed on the same search result:  myocardial infarction (heart attack).

But in fact, he seemed remarkably certain despite being remarkably wrong.   . Continue reading “Diagnostic Uncertainty vs. Unwarranted Certainty: which is worse for patients?”

How I spent my summer vacation. . .

by Carolyn Thomas    ♥   @HeartSisters

.                                        2007:  My Kiftsgate rambling rose in glorious bloom!

For the first time in 14 years, I took a wee summer break from writing my weekly Heart Sisters posts, and started a small temporary site, The Novice Rose Gardener, in the spring of 2022 – mostly to track my new obsession/adventure:  trying to grow balcony roses. I truly believed this learning experience would bring me joy ( I LOVE LOVE LOVE roses!) – but, just like in real life, I learned that it’s far more about managing expectations. My adventure can now best be described as a horticultural roller coaster!  By the way, to my readers who have been asking when or if I’ll be getting back to writing those Sunday morning blog posts about women’s heart health: I’m unable to say quite yet.  Meanwhile, you can find links to my list of all 900+ articles here.  And for all of you who happen to love roses – or roller coasters – I’m archiving my balcony rose posts, starting here with the first essay:

1.  Right Rose, Right Place – March

My only experience with choosing and planting roses (as opposed to moving into a home that already had roses in the garden) was back in the late 90s when I read an article about an amazingly fast-growing rose called Kiftsgate.  The article said:            .

Continue reading “How I spent my summer vacation. . .”

Balcony roses: my late summer review

It’s been quite the summer, hasn’t it? For me, it’s meant spending lots of precious time with two charmers I’m madly in love with: my darling grandkids are 7-year old Everly Rose and 16-month old Baby Zack. (Grandchildren – I highly recommend them!)   It’s also meant the exhaustion of trying to stay cool during our unprecedented heat waves here on the west coast (as you know, high temperatures can be brutally hard on heart patients).  And it’s meant countless hours out on my little balcony, immersed in a new obsession that’s turned into a complicated late-COVID project for me:  learning how to grow roses in pots.   Continue reading “Balcony roses: my late summer review”

Writing about hearts – and now roses

by Carolyn Thomas

Regular Heart Sisters blog readers may have recently noticed that the Sunday morning blog posts I’ve been publishing here since 2009 have slowed down.  Well, not just slowed. They’ve stopped. With spring in the air and my new balcony rose garden on my mind, I’m taking a summer break from writing about women’s hearts. Instead, I’m pulling on my gardening gloves and exploring my latest infatuation: is it possible to grow roses in pots out on a balcony?          

And like many writers, the urge to document my summer adventure has turned into a little blog. It’s called The Novice Rose Gardener.  For quite a while, I’ve felt the need to write about the things in life that bring me PURE JOY.  In the final paragraphs of my last published blog post here, for example, I hinted that I needed a wee break to do just that. Although I’ve been an avid gardener here on the west coast for decades, I’ve never been tempted to grow roses – however lovely the photo on the rose tag may be – mostly because of their nasty reputation: high maintenance, short blooming season, black spot, powdery mildew, aphids.  No thanks!

But – something wonderful happened last summer.        .     Continue reading “Writing about hearts – and now roses”