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New Year’s resolutions for those who hate resolutions

6 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters     January 6, 2018

Well, we’re a week into the New Year by now. For some of us, that’s almost enough time to notice small cracks beginning to appear in the boldly announced resolutions made in the midst of all those Christmas excess guilt pangs. When I was one of the run leaders at our local Y Marathon Clinic during the last century, we’d often hear such resolutions from our first-timers at this time of year, something like “This is the year I’m finally going to quit smoking, lose 20 pounds and run a marathon.”

“Honey,” I would say to them gently: “Pick one!”  Continue reading

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

What to get the heart patient who has (almost) everything. . .

9 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     December 9, 2018

Oh, sure, you can do last-minute Christmas shopping for another scented candle, or a lovely piece of pottery that might end up on the yard sale table together some day. Or you can decide to shop for a truly useful gift for any women in your life who have been diagnosed with heart disease. Here’s why, in my admittedly biased view, that gift should be A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017) – along with some simple and painless ways for you to make that happen in time for Santa’s arrival: Continue reading

Still too tired to put away the Halloween costume…

2 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    December 2, 2018

I’m a wee bit embarrassed to admit that my Halloween costume is still on a hanger on prominent display, hanging from a bookshelf in the bedroom, waiting to be boxed up and put away. I’m thinking of calling it a room decor feature by now. It’s a spectacular clown costume, I must say, complete with big baggy pants in ravishingly bright colours and, of course, with its own rainbow clown wig. I’ve worn it dozens of times over decades, and often loaned it out to Halloween party-goers among my family and friends, too.

It’s pretty nice, but it’s not nice enough to explain why, after over a month, I haven’t been able to put this costume away yet. I suspect my utter inability to do so reflects the state of my life these days, and the fact that my days are typically divided into these two distinctly unique phases: Continue reading

Dr. Google in the E.R.

25 Nov

 by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters    November 25, 2018

Once upon a time, whenever the good citizens of Belgium experienced puzzling symptoms (let’s say, “twitching eyelids”), they would turn to Dr. Google to find out what might be causing the symptoms. But the Belgian government, concerned about false and scary health information online, came up with a public awareness campaign that warned: “Don’t Google It. Check a reliable source!” This also included a referral link to a government health site that could help to correctly answer questions about twitching eyelids and several other health issues.

This campaign was what patient activist Dave de Bronkart (aka ePatient Dave) bluntly described at the time as spectacularly wrong, insulting, misinformed and wrong-headed. Continue reading