Welcome to “Defective Heart Girl Problems” –

Being the scientist and science communicator that I am, I decided what better to do than start a blog to document this strange new universe in which I need open heart surgery.

I’ve thought a lot about how I wanted to share this process with friends and family and I finally settled on this format, as opposed to Caring Bridge or any number of heart surgery forums and websites. As a visual person, I wanted something that was more than just plain text entries. I wanted to be able to share pictures, links, videos, and who knows what else that I might come across. And I wanted it to be aesthetically interesting as well. So here we are.

A few tips and tidbits for navigating this site:

  • If my heart surgery is news to you, start with the Diagnosis and Background pages at the top to get up to speed.
  • The collage-looking posts on the home page are my actual blog entries, with the top left being the most recent (and the bottom right, the oldest).
  • Move your mouse over the blog posts to highlight a post of interest and click on the title of the post to make it full screen.
  • If you prefer to navigate/read one post at a time, once you have selected a post you can click on ‘next’ and ‘previous’ to move forward/backward in time.
  • Each post is categorized and the list of categories is at the top right of the screen.
  • If you want to filter out the noise and just get the essentials, click on the medical info category to isolate posts specific to my condition.
  • If you want to filter out the noise and just read my thoughts, click on the journal category to isolate the posts containing my thoughts on what’s happening and how things are progressing (this category will become more active as my surgery date approaches).
  • If you want to filter out everything except the fun, kooky stuff, try the random and shopping categories.
  • Lastly, you can sign-up to receive email notifications when I add a new post by following the instructions in the upper right corner of the screen.

Comment as often as you like (on individual posts or in the guestbook), or not – no pressure. I would love any and all interactions with you!

Thump thump.


  1. Barbara Yount

    Summer—this is a great help! I’ve researched your surgeon (internet) and it looks like you have made a good choice. Love, Aunt Barbara

  2. Sarah


    Thanks for making this blog. I feel like we have a lot in common. I’m also the year of the dragon and in a few months time will have OHS. I’m still doing consults with the surgeons at this point. I have a question for you. If you had the choice of robotic repair, would you go that route? I hear robotic is much longer surgery time compared to traditional OHS. Anyway, I love your writing style and I think you have a way of making people see the humor in a serious situation. Hope you’re feeling better.

  3. John

    Have you checked out the great support group on the forums at


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