Scary times: living with (but not IN) fear 

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

This is my 863rd blog post here on Heart Sisters. That’s a lot of articles.  Almost all of them so far are about women’s heart disease, or translating emerging cardiac research into plain language, or what it’s like for women when we suddenly become heart patients, or when we’re mistakenly told that our heart disease is not heart disease.

Never in the 11 years that I’ve been writing this blog have I felt like I’d run out of All Things Cardiac to write about.  Until today.             . Continue reading “Scary times: living with (but not IN) fear “

COVID-19: Can facts help to minimize fears?

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

Waiting for the other shoe to drop. The expression dates back to the early 1900s, from the description of hearing the loud ‘thump’ of an upstairs apartment neighbour loudly dropping one shoe onto a bedroom floor. It’s that state of suspended focus. Waiting. Waiting. Not knowing when that other shoe upstairs will finally drop so that you can roll over and go quietly back to sleep.

But you can’t know exactly when or even if you’ll hear that second ‘thump’. You can’t predict that outcome, any more than we can predict the emerging outcomes of our current COVID-19 virus scare. And waiting for outcomes can feel exhausting.     .    Continue reading “COVID-19: Can facts help to minimize fears?”

“Let’s all be palm trees together” in facing COVID-19

A guest post this week from Walk With A Doc* – because this says what I’ve been trying to say about feeling helpless and worried during the COVID-19 viral outbreak.
Unprecedented suckiness going on right now, there is NO doubt.
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We’re all seeing the same news and it’s shocking us all, every hour.
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When things go sideways, it never hurts to receive a care package.
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We tried to throw one together for you.     .

Four ways we use online info to make healthcare decisions

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

Remember that unfortunate Don’t Google It! campaign a few years back in which the Belgian government sought to warn patients against seeking health info online? Three of the (many) assumptions in that offensive campaign included:

  • patients are stupid
  • patients are not already online seeking input on all kinds of daily questions, big and small
  • all patients behave the same way (e.g. like hysterical hypochondriacs)

Too bad the creators of this campaign weren’t familiar with the results of an interesting study that challenged those assumptions.      .  Continue reading “Four ways we use online info to make healthcare decisions”

Post-stent chest pain

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

A friend’s daughter (who happens to be a cardiac nurse) phoned to check on me a few days after I was discharged from the hospital following my heart attack. I felt so relieved to hear her voice because  something was really starting to worry me:  I was still having chest pain.

Hadn’t the blocked coronary artery that had caused my “widow maker” heart attack just recently been magically unblocked? Wasn’t that newly revascularized artery now propped wide open with a shiny metal stent? Shouldn’t I be feeling better?

And that’s when I heard the words “stretch pain”  for the first time.    .       .  Continue reading “Post-stent chest pain”