Just shut up and listen!


by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    March 25, 2018

A Heart Sisters article that I first ran here five years ago is called When Are Cardiologists Going to Start Talking About Depression? 

As you can imagine, it’s a serious subject. And it’s an important subject, given how common – yet pervasively overlooked – the situational depression associated with heart disease is. A freshly-diagnosed heart patient who becomes depressed is not only miserable, but this is a person who’s significantly less likely to take meds, exercise, eat heart-healthy foods, quit smoking, follow medical instructions – and is generally at significant risk for poor cardiac outcomes.

Dozens of my readers shared their moving and vulnerable stories about their experiences in response to this post. For example, this comment from a reader named Christie, sent to me nine days after her husband survived a heart attack:  Continue reading “Just shut up and listen!”

Emotional intelligence in health care relationships

I’m so pleased to share, with her kind permission, this guest post written by Colette Herrick, originally published on the Six Seconds website. I especially love her example of how a new puppy taught her twin grandchildren a powerful lesson in compassion.

“While medicine continues to advance, receiving health care as a patient is fundamentally a human process.

At the center of effective care delivery is a connection between the health care provider and patient. Yet in the last 25 years, many pressures have eroded the quality of this human-to-human healing connection. The good news is that in spite of all the external and very real pressures on the patient-provider relationship, research reveals something many of us have known: health care providers can learn fairly simple skills that make a large difference.  Continue reading “Emotional intelligence in health care relationships”

Empathy 101: how to sound like you give a damn

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

During the first follow-up appointment with my (now former) family doctor a few weeks after surviving a heart attack, I noticed something unsettling right away. First, she seemed utterly preoccupied with her own possible part in missing some magical sign that I’d been at risk for this surprising cardiac event. She reviewed lab test after lab test while I sat there watching her claw through a thick file (no electronic charts there!) of my lipid and blood pressure results going back years. It struck me that this follow-up visit was somehow all about her – not about ME at all!

Hey! Remember me? The one who actually had the frickety-frackin’ heart attack?   Continue reading “Empathy 101: how to sound like you give a damn”