Monthly Archives: January 2015

Day 761: You don’t look flu-ish

Yesterday, my venerable and long-time cardiologist, Dr. Salem — who always looks boy-ish, to me — told me to come into the hospital to get tested for endocarditis and for the flu, because I was fever-ish.

I saw a doctor — whose first name was Ann (spelled right-ish, we both agreed) — who told me I didn’t look flu-ish. She said something like,  “Most people who have the flu cannot move, they feel so blue-ish and awful-ish.” I’m sure-ish she didn’t use those exact words, but I’m close-ish.

Dr. Ann looked new-ish, but it’s difficult-ish to judge, since (1) she was wearing a mask and (2) I didn’t take a picture of her. I did take these, snap-ish-ly, when Dr. Ann’s assistant (who collects animal statues) was putting in the endocarditis orders, test-ish-ly:

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Is it me, or does that look very platypus-ish?

It’s true(-ish)  Dr. Ann and her assistant were new-ish to me, but I could tell they were both true blue-ish


which is one motto-ish of that hospital.

I knew-ish, from past experience, that the endocarditis results would take five days to return results.  Dr. Ann told me the flu results would come back, hour-ish-ly, after I was home-ish.

I’m going to write the rest of this post quick-ish, so I can take these:


By the way-ish, what “-ish” do those look like, to you?

When I was home-ish, I got a call from Dr. Ann that the first-ish flu test said I did NOT have the flu.

To be true-ish,  as I remained fever-ish last night, I got anxious-ish, since my fear-ish-ness then went to endocarditis.  The phone range twice-ish, but I didn’t answer.  Later-ish, I picked up a message, to find out that Dr. Ann had called back-ish, to tell me that I DID have the flu, based on the second-ish result.


So am I, since I got a flu shot at work and I still don’t feel or look horribly flu-ish.

In any case-ish, I hope-ish this music is cure-ish, for whatever ails us:

You can find that blues-ish St. James Infirmary, performed by low-down-ish Eric Clapton and Dr. John,  here-ish at You-ishTube.

Thanks-ish to you-ish, for being so true blue-ish (here and now-ish).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 760: Is it me?

Somebody said this in my office yesterday, during a therapy session:


In that question, I heard all this:

  • Am I to blame?
  • Am I the only one?
  • Am I not seeing things clearly?
  • Am I strange?

How might YOU hear, ask, or answer that question …


Today, I’m feeling sick and running a fever.


It’s definitely me, Ann Koplow, running fevers between 99 and 101 F, since I got home from work last night.

Last year, I wrote  this post about running a fever, which turned out to be pneumonia, which kept me out of work for over a month.


I don’t like to stay out of work that long, because I love what I do as an individual and group therapist.

My doctors and I have a plan that I should get tested whenever I run a fever, to prevent the possibility of endocarditis — an inflammation of the heart I’ve had three time before.

You might be thinking now:


Shouldn’t Ann go get tested? Like NOW?”

Never fear; I have emailed my doctors to see what they advise.

I have a preference to NOT go into the hospital to see doctors any time soon, especially since my birthday is three days away.


I don’t think that’s just me. Who would want to be in the hospital on their birthday?

I don’t know if you notice, but I tend to catastrophize worst case scenarios. “I have a fever! Oh NO! It’s something AWFUL! I’m going to be in the hospital ON MY BIRTHDAY!!”


Actually, catastrophizing and quickly going to worst case scenarios is NOT just me. I witness people doing that all the time, in individual and group therapy.


It’s me, again, letting you know that I heard back from Dr. Salem, my incredibly speedy and wonderful cardiologist, telling me that I should go in to the hospital today and get tested for flu and endocarditis.


I don’t think it’s just me who would have this reaction: I don’t want to go out in the cold and soon-to-be-snowy conditions, here in the Northeastern USA. However, I will. I’m a very good patient (I’ve had lots of practice) and I completely trust my doctors.

One more


… before I end this post.  Am I alone in thinking all these photos are interesting and beautiful, in their own way?

Image1 (2) Image1 (3) Image1 (4) Image1 (6) Image1 (7)

Many thanks to Dr. Salem and to everybody who has ever thought or said, “Is it me?”

Is it you?

Categories: personal growth, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , | 52 Comments

Day 759: We go on

This post may go on for a while, since there was a lot going on yesterday.

The first thing I needed to do yesterday — after going on about tests in this blog post — was to go on into work.

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As you can see, we are going on — in Boston, Massachusetts USA —  despite quite the blizzard.

Penny the Pen …


goes on adventures with me these days. That chair is where my patients usually sit as we go on, in therapy sessions,  about many important issues. Yesterday, the hospital-based primary care practice where I go on practicing individual and group psychotherapy was closed down, due to all the snow that had gone on the day before.

We go on with the support of competent, caring people, don’t you think? Where I work, one of those people is Chris.


Chris is one of those people who cares so much that she’ll go on into work even when the practice is closed. In that photo, you can see her hands going on about their business, as I went on taking that photo in her office.

Soon after I took that photo, I told Chris I had to go on to a scheduled cardiac test at Children’s Hospital, across the street.

I’ll go on, briefly now,  about that scheduled cardiac CT scan. My doctors — who I tend to go on about in this blog (like here, here, and here) — prefer to go on solid data about my very unusual heart, as we make some difficult decisions about heart surgery. The cardiac CT scan, going on at hospitals near me, should help with that (especially for a heart like mine, which goes on despite a backwards design).

Here are some photos of me going on to the cardiac CT scan at Children’s Hospital, yesterday:

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It takes courage for me to go on through those doors, since scary and painful things were going on around me in that hospital, when I was growing up.

We go on healing, throughout our lives, from painful experiences when we were younger. For me, returning to old places, in a new way, helps, as does taking photos as I go on:

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Kind and competent people helped me go on through that unfamiliar test, yesterday.


Melissa and I are going on, there, about a new device that helps her find a good-enough vein for the CT scan. Because Melissa did not believe that she was photogenic (even though I went on about how untrue that was), I used Penny as a stunt double for her:


Melissa and Del (not pictured) got the needle and the IV to go on through my vein like it was supposed to.


Shall we go on, in this story, to the cardiac CT scan room?

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We Bostonians — whether we’re adults, children, patients, or treaters — do go on about the Red Sox.

I shall go on, now, and  introduce you to Kara


… who is standing next to her portrait in the CT scan room’s giant mural.  Kara’s story about that mural reminded me that we go on, despite tragedies in our lives. The mural was designed by a man whose sister had died young, and he used her huge vinyl record collection to create the images on the wall.

Kara showed me how one co-worker, because of where she’s located in the mural, gets teased about having a split personality:


I could go on and on about the kindness of Kara and Melissa, who took care of me with heated blankets during the CT scan procedure and ginger ale and snacks after it was all over:


That was my first ginger ale in about 50 years! When I was a kid at Children’s Hospital, ginger ale was the only drink they had going on there, and I haven’t been able to stomach it since … until I decided to try it again, yesterday.

We go on, when we try things with a new perspective. That ginger ale tasted delicious.

After the cardiac CT scan, I had to go on to more tests at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, nearby.

I passed by this room, at Children’s Hospital


dedicated to the cardiologist who helped my parents and me go on, when I was born with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries.

Before I go on too long about my Day of Tests yesterday,  here’s a photo I quickly snapped of the Pulmonary Functioning Test (PFT) Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital:


After that test, I went down to the lobby of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and saw this:


A memorial — created by his co-workers — to Michael J. Davidson, the cardiac surgeon who was shot and killed last week.



We go on, as best we can.


I then went on home, as Pat Metheny’s “We Go On” played in my headphones.

(“We Go On” is going on at YouTube, here and now.)

As usual, music I love helped me go on, and I saw all this:

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Many thanks to Chris, Melissa, Del, Kara, Dr. Nadas, Dr. Michael Davidson, Pat Metheny, and all the kind people who have helped me go on in my life — including you, for visiting me here today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 758: Tests

How do you feel about tests, dear readers?

Feel free to comment with an essay, below. You can also skip that essay question and

a. answer the rest of the tests in this post,

b. answer some of the tests in this post, or

c. ignore every friggin’ test in this post.

Test #1: How did this exact line


appear on my computer screen?

a. My cat did my homework by stepping on my laptop.

b. I was experimenting with different keys, to test my knowledge of special characters.

c.  Somebody was showing me a math equation, much like somebody else tested me at work last week.


d.  I’m not sure, because that string of characters suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

e.  None of the above.

Test # 2: Put the following photographs — taken yesterday during a blizzard — in order, chronologically.

Photo A:


Photo B:


Photo C:


Photo D:


Photo E:


Test #3: If a cat were to type on somebody’s keyboard, which one would it be?

IMG_4926 IMG_4939

Cat A


Cat B


Cat C

Test #4: The writer of this post is taking some tests this afternoon. What kinds of tests will those be?

a. Math tests.

b. Tests of strength.

c. Cardiac tests.

d. Tests of patience.

e. Driving tests.

f. English tests.

g.  All of the above.

h. None of the above.

Test #5: These boots


a. Are made for walking.

b. Are made for shoveling.

c. Look like a bunch of layered socks.

d. Are waterproof.

e. Are found in fine department stores everywhere.

f. Are to die for.

g. (a) (c ) and (d) only.

h. (b)  only under duress and depending upon results of other tests.

i. Usually sit in a closet.

Test #6: One of these songs fits this post best. Which  is it?

a. Crash Test Dummies‘ “MMM MMM MMM MMM”  (found here on YouTube).

b. Loudon Wainwright III singing  his composition “School Days”  (here on YouTube).

c. Stanley Clarke playing his composition “School Days” (on YouTube here).

d. “ABC” by The Jackson 5  (here on YouTube).

Extra Credit: The writer of this blog saw a live performance of one of those songs. Which one was it?

Thanks to all humans and cats helping me write, test, and publish this post. And thanks to you — of course! — for taking the tests you choose, here and now.

Categories: humor, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 757: Serenely blizzarding

Here’s an exchange I had with my boyfriend, a little while ago:

Me: Michael! Is the house still standing?  What’s it like out there?

Michael: Yes, Ann. It’s serenely blizzarding.

Soon after that, I checked things out for myself. As far as I can tell, Michael is right.

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Now, what to do with all my serenely blizzarding thoughts, to create a post for me and you?

I know. I’ll share a blizzard of images and experiences, from yesterday and this morning.

Yesterday, a lot of people cancelled their therapy appointments at work.  The first person who showed up in my office paused — in the midst of a blizzard of feelings and thoughts — and serenely said, “Look what your computer monitor is sitting on.”


Somehow, I’ve been blinded, for three years, from really seeing that ream of white paper.

Later in the day, somebody else worked on seeing through and reducing a blizzard of regrets from a change not chosen.


Most people in Boston left work early, in preparation for the coming storm.  I heard a not-so-serene blizzard of concerns about traffic, so I waited until almost everybody else was gone. Here’s what I saw on my way to my car:

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The ride home was serene, with no external blizzarding. Here’s what I found, once I reached home:


I’m interested in what you might see here, among all this serene blizzarding.

Here’s everything you need to know about some music that blizzarded serenely through my headphones yesterday:

“Everybody’s Party,” performed live in serene-blizzard style by John Scofield and Pat Metheny, is found here on YouTube.

I shall now deal with my serene blizzard of thoughts about the permanency/effects of (1) the blizzard outside and (2) YouTube videos in these posts, by showing you one more photo …


… and by including another serene-enough blizzard of a song.

The Bangles do that great live cover of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Hazy Shade of Winterhere on YouTube. Here are the originals:

It’s time, time, time for me to end this post.

What do you think about all this serene blizzarding?  Feel free to leave a blizzard of comments; that would be serenely cool.

A serene blizzard of thanks to Michael, the people I saw yesterday, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, the Bangles, Simon & Garfunkel, and you for making my blizzard more serene, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 756: Everything you need to know about the world

Last night,  I looked at these two photos I’d taken earlier in the day:

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I said to my boyfriend Michael, “Don’t these two pictures tell you everything you need to know about the world?” Michael replied, “Yes, they do, Ann.”

Do you think Michael:

  • actually meant that,
  • was humoring me, or
  • had his mind on something else, like what he was going to cook us for dinner?

If those two photos don’t tell you everything you need to know about the world, here are some more photos I took yesterday, that might tell you more:


IMG_4875 IMG_4876  IMG_4890  IMG_4879

IMG_4892 IMG_4888


Here are two more things about the world I know that you might not know yet (even after seeing all those photos):

  1. They’re predicting a “historic blizzard” for the Northeastern USA, starting tonight, and
  2. my birthday is a week from today.

You know what?  There’s still more to know, including this:  In my blog, I like to include music that fits the topic du jour. I’m having trouble deciding today, so here are three very different worlds:

You can find that wonderful world here on YouTube.

You can find that mad world here on YouTube. And if you want an eight-minute group-sing about being the world, that’s here:

What’s your favorite “World” song?  And if you want to leave any comment about what you know about the world, you know I’ll be grateful.

Here’s something else I know now: there’s a lot I don’t know about the world (including what Michael  — or anybody else — is really thinking).

Maybe Penny the Pen knows everything you need to know about the world.  If she does, I don’t think she’s telling.

While nobody can tell you everything you need to know about this mad, wonderful world, I can tell you four things I DO know (based on my worldly experience of a week-less-than-62 years):

  1. There’s always more to know about the world.
  2. An open mind helps.
  3. Fear, worry, and shame get in the way.
  4. If you want to be loved, love others.

World-wide thanks to Michael, Penny, snow people, national days of anything, flowers, the few remaining bananas at the supermarket last night, penne pasta, dog treats, doctors, Louis Armstrong, Gary Jules & Michael Andrews, everybody who contributed to “We Are The World,”  and (of course!) you, for showing up here today.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 755: Binge Watching

If you’ve been binge watching this blog, you know that I like to define my terms.


verb (used with object)
1. to watch (multiple videos, episodes of a TV show, etc.) in one sitting or over a short period of time:
“We binge-watched two seasons of the show in two days.”

verb (used without object)
2. to engage in this activity.

Also, bingewatch, binge watch.

My 16-going-on-17-year-old son, Aaron, and I have been engaging in the activity of binge-watching this TV show:


… and we finished watching Season 2 of the American version of House of Cards last night.

Here’s one result of binge watching a series about compelling, manipulative, and smart schemers:

When I’m doing or saying something for my own self-interest, it’s difficult NOT to feel evil.

Aaron and I agree about that side effect of binge-watching House of Cards.

My boyfriend Michael — who has seen the original, UK version of House of Cards — plans to bingewatch the American House of Cards when Aaron and I are away, binge-watching all things California, next month.

Other things I’ve been binge watching lately include …

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… the current season of American Idol (thanks to the recommendation of binge-watched and binge-watching blogger, Mark Bialczak) and …



… snow.

As you may have noticed, Oscar the cat likes to binge-watch me (among other things):

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This week, I shall be binge-watching — and also be binge-watched by — doctors, nurses, and other health professionals a) where I work and b) at two other Boston-area hospitals, for lots more cardiac tests.

What do you think would be a good binge-listening accompaniment for this binge-watching post?

I’ve already used the theme music  from House of Cards in this here recent post, so how about this?

(Live version of “Watching the Detectives” by Elvis Costello available for binge-watching here on YouTube.)

Many thanks to, Aaron, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, all the other talented people responsible for the fabulous binge-watching experience that is House of Cards,, Michael, binge-watching cat Oscar, my friend Carol (appearing in yesterday’s post and with Oscar, above), Mark Bialczak, American Idol, Elvis Costello, and YOU, for binge-watching or otherwise watching this blog.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 754: Réparation

For the first time in these Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, the title of the post is in French!

And, for the second time in these Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, the title of a post appears on a shampoo bottle. Here’s the first time, from a recent trip to New York City, co-starring my friend Deb:


Here’s the second time, co-starring Penny the Pen:


The topic of this post is reparative experiences, which I THINK is what réparation means. If réparation does not mean what I think it means, my excuse is: “I don’t speak French!”

Yesterday, I had a reparative experience.  I returned to a hospital where I had my first Transesophageal Echo (TEE) several years ago, when I was recovering from a mild bout of endocarditis. (I say “mild bout of endocarditis” because I guessed I had endocarditis very early on and we were able to treat it with antibiotics before my heart suffered any damage needing réparation.)

That first TEE experience, years ago, was awful for me.  When I’ve described it to nurses and other people in the know, they have offered this suggestion for réparation:

Maybe you weren’t sedated enough, that time.  Maybe they did the TEE without enough drugs.

That didn’t make sense to me, since I have such trust in my doctors and the hospital where I receive my medical care.

So, I had a lot of fear about yesterday’s TEE.

How did I seek réparation for that fear, yesterday morning?

  • I made sure to ask for help, from my trusted friend Carol, who generously agreed to drive me to the TEE procedure, to spend as much time as she could with me during the TEE, and to drive me back home afterwards.
  • I wrote this here post, while I was waiting for Carol to arrive.
  • I took some photos, to distract myself, after I finished yesterday’s post:


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One reparative thought, while I was taking those photos:

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

However, I couldn’t eat that apple, because I had stopped all water and food intake the midnight before, as necessary (p)réparation for the procedure.  And sure enough, doctors were NOT kept away.

On the drive to the TEE, Carol and I saw this:


We saw that license plate with the initials JW, just as we were discussing our mutual friend Jeanette W (who has appeared in this other reparative post about an NYC visit).

I didn’t take any other réparation photos on the way to the TEE, because I was too nervous. Why?

  • I was on my way to having my second TransEsophageal Echocardiogram, people!
  • We were running a little late, and
  • As I was calling the echo lab to let them know we would be a little late, Carol got on the Massachusetts Turnpike IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

Because being with Carol is a reparative experience no matter what is happening, we both survived that, quite nicely.

Here are some non-reparative experiences that happened on my way to my TEE, that I also survived:

  1. Because I was already 20 minutes late, I had Carol drop me off at an entrance I thought would provide a reparative short-cut to the location of my test.
  2. That entrance to the hospital, which used to provide the réparation of open access, was now reparatively or non-reparatively closed to the general public.
  3. I got somebody to reparatively buzz me into that entrance.
  4. That entrance, in réparation to something I could not understand, no longer provided direct access to the building where the TEE was taking place.
  5. People there, in réparation, gave me directions to the location of the test, which happened to be in the most confusing spot in the hospital.
  6. For whatever reason, I got temporarily lost in a hospital where I have had many réparations over the course of many years.
  7. The repáration “short-cut” involved more time, multiple stairs, and several elevators.

When I finally arrived at the echo lab, I suggested to the nice staff person there — as possible réparation — that perhaps I was TOO LATE TO HAVE THE TEST?!?!

No such luck.  Temporarily losing track of my hospital registration card also did NOT provide my fantasy réparation of cancelling the test, either.

I then called Carol, in (p)réparation of the distinct possibility that she might get lost trying to find me. I reached her, right after she parked her car, and gave her reparative directions.

Let’s see if I took any more réparation photos, before the beginning of the TEE …


That’s Gina, who was my nurse for the procedure.  However, this post needs some réparation, here and now. I took that photo AFTER the TEE, not before it.

In any case, here’s what I want to tell you about Gina, who provided much réparation for yesterday’s TEE experience:

  1. Gina suggested a theory for why my first TEE was so awful: I have naturally low blood pressure, which probably required less sedation than usual. Sedation lowers blood pressure further, so standard sedation, that first time, might have required serious réparation.
  2. Gina took my blood pressure yesterday before the procedure started and it was unusually high, probably because of all the non-reparative experiences I had on the way to the TEE.
  3. Gina — as you can see in that photo  — is a New York Yankees fan working in a Boston hospital, which may or may not need réparation, depending on your perspective.

In case my post is confusing you in any way at this point, allow me to provide some réparation:

I got the standard amount of sedation yesterday for my TransEsophageal Echocardiogram, and it was MUCH EASIER.

Here are some more réparation photos I took yesterday, after I had recovered sufficiently from the TEE:


That’s Gina’s hand, holding my tee shirt. Get the pun,* people?


That’s Carol, with her beautiful smile. Get the pun,* people?

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That last photo shows these réparations:

  1. I’m home.
  2. I’ve removed all those friggin’ little leftovers of cardiac tests.

Here’s some repáration music I’ve been listening to lately, thanks to reparative blogging experiences provided here by Maria F., Mark Bialczak, coffeegrounded, and Maureen:

What do you think about all these réparations?

Thanks and réparations to Carol, Gina, Penny, the doctor and the cardiology fellow who also conducted my TEE (not pictured), Deb, Jeanette, Maria F., Mark Bialczak, coffeegrounded, Maureen, and everybody everywhere who has ever provided reparative experiences for anybody else, including you, of course!

* If my boyfriend Michael or anybody else who dislikes puns reads this post, I cannot offer any réparation.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 753: Better days ahead

How do I know, dear readers, that better days are ahead?

Because I’m getting a !!&$%(@!!? Transesophogeal Echocardiogram this morning and the days ahead HAVE to be better, in comparison.

What is helping me feel better about my day ahead, right now?

  1. Writing this post.
  2. Realizing that my amazing readers will be reading it.
  3. Looking forward to recovering at home, with my boyfriend Michael and my son Aaron.
  4. Looking further forward to February, when I’ll have (a) a birthday and (b) a trip to sunny California!
  5. Knowing that I’ll be accompanied to the test today by my friend Carol, who has already bettered many of my days and who sent me this link yesterday (bettering my day ahead):

If you like cats, you can better your day ahead by clicking on that link, above.

When I showed Michael that Today Show piece about The Meow Parlour, “New York’s first permanent Cat Cafe,” Michael wondered whether there might be better days ahead for us if we open a cat cafe  in Boston!

That IS a great idea, but — as much as I love cats — I don’t want to leave my job, where I get to witness people in group therapy working very hard to better days ahead.

Last night, people in my therapy group worked on many issues, including “uncertainty” and “balance.”


The things I learn in my therapy groups always better my days ahead.

Last night, after that group, I received a text from Peggy (my Panama travel buddy and long-time friend) who had another great suggestion for how I might have better days ahead:

One Thought — never Too Much Pat!! Listen profusely!

Then, I heard this on my walk to my car after work:

There are “Better Days Ahead” here on YouTube and for me, I believe.

What do YOU think about better days ahead? (Guess what will happen, for me, if you leave a comment below!)

Many thanks and better days ahead to Carol, the Meow Parlour (for bettering the days of humans and felines), Michael, Aaron, people who heal in groups, honey badgers (for their persistence and for showing up on the board, last night),  Peggy, Pat Metheny (for, as usual, bettering my day with his music), and — of course! — to you, for bettering my days ahead by being here, now.

Categories: blogging, friendship, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 752: Too much?

Here’s a question I heard in a therapy group at work, yesterday morning:


This question was asked and answered, in many different ways, by people feeling

  • vulnerable,
  • self-critical, and
  • overwhelmed.

Was that


For me,  it was neither too much nor too little. I was honored to witness all of them, as they spoke, wrote, and shared about “too much.”

Often, in group therapy and elsewhere, people wonder: “Am I


They ask, in many different ways: “Are my feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, demands, desires, responsibilities, tears, fears, hopes, burdens, reactions, laughter, anger, worries,  disappointments, expectations


What do you think?

Yesterday, after work, I met with my primary cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, for two hours, for the second time in two months.

Was that


Did we talk


Whenever I talk to Dr. Salem, it seems like the right amount.

Did we decide


Not really. In the course of that long conversation, Dr. Salem and I discussed many scenarios and possibilities, including

  • the possibility of my having heart surgery soon after I return from California, in less than two months,
  • the distinct possibility that will help me feel better and live longer,
  • the distinct possibility of that heart surgery — valve replacement — making my heart worse,
  • the distinct possibility that if we do nothing for too long, my heart will deteriorate to the point where that surgery will not fix things, and I will need to wait for a heart transplant,
  • doing and deciding nothing until we get the results of the kashmillion* tests I’ll be undergoing in the next couple of weeks, and
  • Dr. Salem starting a blog about me.

I don’t think Dr. Salem was serious about that last possibility. When he said, “I’m going to start a blog about YOU,” as he left the exam room yesterday, to page one of the kashmillion* cardiologists I’ve been seeing lately, that sounded more like a threat than a promise.

Isn’t Dr. Salem


And I mean that with just the right amount of affection and respect.

In all that I dealt with yesterday, was there anything that seemed


One thing that seemed too much to comprehend and bear: When I arrived for my appointment with Dr. Salem yesterday, he was on the phone making plans to attend and participate in the memorial service for Dr. Michael J. Davidson.



I found those images here, left in loving memory of the cardiac surgeon who was shot and killed at a nearby Boston hospital, two days ago.

For you, is there anything in this post that is


I hope you know that any thoughts, feelings, or questions you express in a comment will NOT be too much, for me.

As I try to comprehend all that is happening around me, what helps me are

  • music,
  • community, and
  • humor.

So, when I woke up this morning, I thought about an old skit from Saturday Night Live. Let’s see if I can find it, anywhere …

I guess that was too much for me to expect, that I could show you the “Nuclear Plant Retiree” skit with Ed Asner, from Season 10 of Saturday Night Live.

If I try to describe that skit to you, would that be


In that SNL skit,  a nuclear power plant expert, played by Ed Asner, is retiring. At his goodbye party,  he says to his co-workers:

No matter what happens, you just need to remember one thing: You can never put too much water in the nuclear core.

Everybody nods and bids him farewell.

Some time after he’s gone, something goes horribly wrong at the reactor. As people are panicking, some people are convinced he meant “Don’t put any water in there!” and others think he meant, “Put as much water in as you can!”

The last shot in that skit: Ed Asner sitting on a tropical beach with a nuclear cloud in the background.

Isn’t language — and all the possibilities of human beings misunderstanding each other —


What music would be — not too much, not too little — just enough for this post?

As it is, this is the music I was listening to yesterday, as I was dealing with all there was:

If there’s too little of Pat Metheny playing “As It Is” in this post for you, you can find it here, on YouTube.

Would some other photos I took yesterday be


IMG_4804 IMG_4805 IMG_4806 IMG_4807 IMG_4808 IMG_4809 IMG_4810 IMG_4811 IMG_4812 IMG_4813 IMG_4815

My boyfriend Michael thinks it’s too much when people leave up Christmas lights this late in January. Since I enjoy color and light when it’s cold and dark, I think it’s just right.

Too much thanks to Dr. Salem, to the late Dr. Michael  Davidson, to my bf Michael, to Saturday Night Live, to Pat Metheny,  and to everybody everywhere who has ever helped me and others deal with too much and too little (including you).

* Kashmillion is too much.

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