All I want for Christmas is not in a gift box

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters 

My family tells me I’m “impossible” when it comes to picking out a gift for me. I am rarely able to offer even a single helpful hint. Instead, I plead with them most years not to buy me “more stuff”.  I don’t want stuff. One only has to visit the average yard sale to witness the inevitable future graveyard of all that stuff. Bread machines. Crimping irons. Chia pets. Any kind of candle. Aside from absolute necessities of life (like groceries or my crafting supplies!), there are few things I now need, or even want.

Well, there are things I need and want, but hardly any come from a store or in gift boxes. Here’s what I really truly want Santa to bring me this year.     .        .      Continue reading “All I want for Christmas is not in a gift box”

Christmas lights amid the dark of COVID

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters 

Normally, I’m the kind of festive season fan who delays All-Things-Christmas until the week or so just before Christmas Eve. That’s when we start hanging the twinkling lights outdoors, wrapping presents, and cranking up Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.

But it’s 2020 now. And suddenly the season is feeling very, very different.     .      .   Continue reading “Christmas lights amid the dark of COVID”

Pandemic decisions: Bailey’s, bubbles and bikes

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   

“We humans are wired to pay attention to urgent threats, and so this global pandemic captures our attention in a way that a distant threat like climate change does not,” as the Harvard Business Review reminds us. And while my own attention was being captured in ruthless fashion this past year, I had to make a lot of decisions, both big and small – based on how COVID-19 was affecting my life.     .          .   Continue reading “Pandemic decisions: Bailey’s, bubbles and bikes”

On Call With Dr. Dave: my interview about women & heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥   @HeartSisters   

You can tell from watching this interview how much fun it was to chat with Dr. David D’Agate about women’s heart disease. Dr. Dave is a preventive cardiologist in Long Island, New York,  board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and nuclear cardiology – and probably best described by this personal testimonial from one of his heart patients: “extremely knowledgeable, kind and funny.”  My favourite kind of physician.         . .           .          . Continue reading “On Call With Dr. Dave: my interview about women & heart disease”

The familiar self, the unfamiliar self and the recovery of self

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   

As Bruce Springsteen once sang, “You get used to anything. Sooner or later it just becomes your life.”(1)  Bruce was right. Since being diagnosed with heart disease in 2008, I’ve observed a bizarre and surprising change in my ability to adjust to ongoing cardiac symptoms. My symptoms have not changed. But at some point, I just got better at adjusting to them.

In fact, I suspect that the chest pain which just feels “normal” to me by now would make most other people head straight to the Emergency Department.      .       .      Continue reading “The familiar self, the unfamiliar self and the recovery of self”

Walking the tightrope: women cardiologists in an old boys’ club

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   

You know there’s trouble when the Women In Cardiology Leadership Council reports this year that their group (part of the American College of Cardiology) is “very frustrated and concerned about the lack of growth in the numbers of women pursuing a career in cardiology.”(1) 

And no wonder! Fewer than 13 per cent of cardiologists are women, despite what’s been called “a robust pipeline of female med students and internal medicine residents” who could choose this field.(2)  And I’d bet my next squirt of nitro spray that a man implanted your stent  – because only about 5 per cent of all interventional cardiologists (the ones specifically trained for this procedure) are women.

Female cardiologists are not only the minority in their profession, but “discrimination against women is entrenched in the culture of cardiology”; in fact, female cardiologists are more likely than males (96% vs 8%) to experience discrimination related to gender.(3)       .         .            .         .    Continue reading “Walking the tightrope: women cardiologists in an old boys’ club”