Change your story, change the storyteller

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

I encounter a lot of patient stories from my Heart Sisters blog readers here, as well as from the women who raise a hand during my Heart-Smart Women public presentations. A heart patient’s story can at first kick off with a profound this-can’t-be-happening-to-me sense of disbelief as we try to make sense out of something that makes no sense at all. Telling the story to others helps us do this at first. “How did this happen?”  demand our worried family and friends while we lie there, overwhelmed. And thus our storytelling begins.       .      .    Continue reading “Change your story, change the storyteller”

A patient, a caregiver and a doctor walk into a bar…

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Just kidding about that title, dear readers! There’s no bar involved in this story. I couldn’t help myself.  But in this recent heart failure study out of Milan, Italy, a unique story-sharing experience evolved among three distinct stakeholder groups (patients, family caregivers and physicians), each guided by the concept called Narrative Medicine.(1)

The Italian researchers asked participants within these three interconnected groups of people to describe in their own words:

  • What is it like to be living with heart failure? 
  • What is it like to be a family member caring for the person with heart failure? 
  • What is it like to be a physician providing medical care to this person?        .           .

Continue reading “A patient, a caregiver and a doctor walk into a bar…”