Day 857: Dis/Comfort

Monday evening, after my discomfortingly long surgery earlier that day, the comforting Dr. Mark Estes visited my typically comfortable hospital room to comfortingly talk about my recovery. At one point, he said:

You’ll have quite a bit of discomfort.

I turned, uncomfortably, to say to my visitors, “When a doctor uses the word ‘discomfort’ …”

And Dr. Estes finished my sentence:

It’ll hurt like hell.

How much discomfort do I have right now, as I’m writing this dis/comfort post?

Well, I wouldn’t use the word “hell” to describe my comfort level. However, I wouldn’t use the word “heaven,” either.

Since Monday’s surgery, several comforting people have asked me to rate my pain/discomfort level on a scale of 1 to 7, 8, or 10. While I can’t comfortably remember the upper end of that scale, I feel comfortable telling you that those pain/discomfort scales include faces of people in increasing amounts of discomfort. I usually feel uncomfortable looking at those discomforting faces and trying to assign a number to my own discomfort.

How comfortable are you with discomfort scales like those?

Has my discomfort decreased since Monday?


Am I comfortable?

Not yet.

Will my left shoulder — where Dr. Estes implanted a pacemaker/defibrillator — ever feel comfortable again?

I hope so.

Will I feel comfortable returning to work in four days?

Time will tell.

Yesterday, my comforting friend Peggy visited me at home, bringing this Get Well balloon, which could cause different levels of dis/comfort, depending on where you live:

Peggy and I then took a short comforting walk in the beautifully comfortable weather. Along the way, Peggy expressed some discomfort about how pansies don’t seem to have faces the way they used to. In response, I comfortably took these photos:


Are you comforted or discomforted by the faces in those pansies?

I am much more comfortable with that kind of slush than I am with the uncomfortable slush and snow that discomforted Boston for so many months, this year.

Are you comforted or discomforted by the other photos I took yesterday?


Lately, I’ve been very comfortable with the music of Todd Rundgren, especially when he gives comforting answers like these:

I find that performance of “Love is the Answer” very comforting.

Comfortable thanks to Dr. Estes, to Peggy, to flowers and flowering trees (with or without faces), to flavored slush, to welcoming things everywhere, to Michael for the comfort food last night, to Todd Rundgren, and to all my comforting visitors, including you!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Post navigation

47 thoughts on “Day 857: Dis/Comfort

  1. It is comforting to get this post ~ although discomforting to read that you may return to work in four days (that is just amazing…but I hope you take it slow!). The Red Sox balloon is nice (so very nice it wasn’t a Patriots balloon). You sound great and the photos sure look great ~ so be as comfortable as you can be and rest well. Cheers ~

  2. But for the discomfort you are experiencing which made me wrinkle up my face in discomfort thinking of the pain in your left shoulder, I was comforted by the wonderful pansies, cat in the window, blooming tree and flowers and knowing that you had gotten out for a walk. Take comfort in knowing I am thinking of you dear Ann

  3. yeoldefoole

    It’s a confort to me to walk the streets, peeking out your camera!

  4. Wishing you comfortable and comforting days ahead.

  5. Face it, Ann. Flowers comfort me because of my nose and eyes, not theirs. Your recovery comforts me even more. Walking! Back to work on Monday. You have shouldered this operation like a champion. Your Red Sox so far this season …

  6. Ann, those flowers are gorgeous. I don’t have to be a doctor to read about the implanted pacemaker/defibrillators and that they do cause discomfort because they are bigger. Also you’re tender from the surgery, so it’s a matter of that area desensitizing itself and getting used to it. The discomfort in life (any discomfort is called “dukkha”) in Buddhist terms, which means that even though it’s a discomfort, in Eastern philosophies, these are simply part of existence and every day living.

    Royal Ann:


    • I am disillusioned by my ignorance, but comforted with your beautiful special heart.

    • I found your comment gorgeously comforting, Maria.

      I am surprised that you use the words “disillusioned” and “ignorance.” I would be even more comfortable if you could appreciate your own wisdom, which you share so generously here.

      • Thanks Ann, I will, so you are more comfortable. I will appreciate my own wisdom now more, thanks. 😇👼🏼😺

  7. Here’s hoping that all discomfort is minimized quickly Ann. Hugs to you! ❤
    Diana xo

  8. Olufunke Kolapo

    Thanks for sharing. It’s amazingly comforting to read this post. And I feel comfortable too, at least for now (;
    I don’t know about later. What matters is being comfortable now…so, comfortable thanks to you!

  9. thanks for sharing
    beauty & love
    through the discomfort

  10. Your photos are amazing. I hope they gave you comfort during these times!

  11. I sure hope that your pain disappears faster than the snow did, Ann.

    One thing that stands out for me when I read your posts — you are rarely alone. You are surrounded by friends who want to shoulder your pain with you, who even look for faces in pansies with you. You are very loved and I hope that dissolves some of your discomfort.

  12. I hope each day brings you closer to comfort.
    I love your flower photos. For some reason, pansies always remind me of puppies’ faces!

    • That makes sense that my friend Peggy sees faces in pansies, because she loves puppies! Thank you for your comforting visit, Annabelle.

  13. Ann,
    In being aware of your discomfort, prompts we who are less discomforted, and have the room, to take on a collective bit of yours. Hope this lightens the load somewhat.
    Two thousand years ago, a divine someone else did the same for all. He still comforts me by picking up my slack from time to time.
    All we need to do is welcome His helping hand.
    Feel better.

  14. I hate those ‘discomfort’ scales too. You feel you are making a fuss if you choose any of the higher numbers, and that is embarrassing… I thought this was an English problem!

    • I have discomfort about choosing the higher numbers, too, so I guess it’s not just an English problem!

  15. I have chronic pain but I’ll still never choose the higher numbers, because I’m tough, and becasue I’m always afraid it’s about to get worse, and it usually is. Feel better!

  16. ann, sending you get well wishes 🙂 – and may your return to work be comforting as well…

  17. Nature’s bounties provide plenty of comfort. However, a few kind words and a reassuring smile do just as well.

  18. I hope you will continue to be ‘on the mend’ and am sorry about the discomfort and pain. Todd Rundgren is one who always ‘got me’ smiling, with “Hello, It’s Me…” talking about oldies but goodies, Ann. I liked the idea of being a kid again and ordering a slushy.

  19. Barneysday

    Just found your blog, after you liked my recent post. Judging by what I can discern from your most recent posts, you live in Massachusetts, and have a pacemaker. Small world. I grew up in western Mass in South Hadley falls, and have had a pacemaker for over 10 years now, and still kicking! I haven’t been back to Mass in 30 plus years, as I am now a tried and true Californian, but I still have a few contacts back there.

    As for the pacemaker, I’m on my second set of batteries, and no matter how it feels to have an electronic unit the size of a silver dollar sitting in my chest, the alternatives is so much more uncomfortable! As long as I’m looking at the grass from the green side, instead of the brown, all is good.

    I wish you well in a quick and successful recovery.

    • It IS a small world. I’ve lost count of how many pacemaker batteries I’ve gotten, since I got my first one over 52 years ago, when I was 10 years old. I want to move to California after my 17 year old son graduates high school, so maybe we’ll meet up there, too!

  20. Pingback: Day 862: Don’t know why | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  21. Pingback: Day 1062: Get your daily dose of goodness | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  22. Pingback: Day 2033: Good Bye | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: