Monthly Archives: September 2016

Day 1360: Clean and ready

The title for today’s post comes from a sign I saw yesterday on an examining table at the Mayo Clinic.

img_5397

Yesterday, I was clean and ready to use the knowledge and advice of Dr. Carol Warnes, the expert on unusual hearts like mine.

This morning, after using a special anti-bacterial soap, I am clean and ready for my open heart surgery today.

My boyfriend Michael, who took the photo above,  is clean and ready for guest blog appearances here.

After I had my cardiac catherization yesterday, which showed that my arteries are clean and ready for today’s surgery, I met the amazing Dr. Joseph Dearani, the Mayo heart surgeon who will be replacing my leaky valve with a clean and ready to use  mechanical one. When I was ready to share with Dr. Dearani my knowledge that he plays jazz saxophone,  Dr. Dearani was ready to answer my question, “Who is your favorite jazz sax player?”  I was clean amazed that he named my favorite saxophone player — the late,  great Michael Brecker.  I asked Dr. Dearani if he would play Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny music in the operating room during my surgery, and he was cleanly ready to do that.

Are you clean and ready for my other photos from yesterday?

img_5396

img_5398

img_5399

 

img_5402

img_5400

img_5404

That last photo shows the clean and ready waiting room near admissions, where I’ll check in today at 5:30 AM, after this  post is clean and ready to publish.

Are you clean and ready for using a tune  with Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny playing  clean and beautiful musical lines?

 

I am clean and ready to join Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny in expressing that readily beautiful sentiment: “Every day I thank you.”

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Day 1359: Center for the Spirit

Here’s the first photo I took yesterday at the Mayo Clinic, a center for the spirit of people like me who need life-extending, life-improving, and life-saving heart operations:

img_5339

Do any of my other photos from yesterday provide a center for the spirit?

img_5335

 

img_5341

img_5342

img_5343

img_5344

img_5345

img_5346

IMG_5347.JPG

img_5348

img_5349

img_5351

img_5352

img_5353

img_5354

 

img_5355

img_5356

img_5357

img_5359img_5360

img_5361

img_5362

img_5363

img_5364

img_5365

img_5366

img_5367

img_5369

img_5368

 

img_5371

img_5372

img_5373

img_5374

IMG_5376.JPG

 

IMG_5379.JPG

img_5380

img_5378

img_5383

 

img_5387

img_5388

img_5377

img_5389

img_5391

img_5392

img_5393

img_5394

All new directions converge at this center for the spirit, as I prepare myself for a cardiac catherization today and open heart surgery tomorrow. Since blogging daily at WordPress has been a center for my spirit since January 1, 2013, I’ve made sure that another center for my spirit — my boyfriend Michael — will center himself in front of my laptop to give updates to my readers after my surgery.

Art and music are both centers for my spirit. Here‘s some music I hope can be a center for your spirit, from a CD I made sure to bring with me to the Mayo Clinic:

 

What are centers for your spirit?

Spirit-centering thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for centering my spirit with your visit, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1358: In the clouds

Usually, when I fly in the clouds, I take a photo, because the beauty of those clouds puts me in the clouds. Yesterday, when my boyfriend Michael and I flew from Boston to Minneapolis, I did not capture any clouds, because Michael (who usually stays home with the cats when I travel) had the best view of the clouds from the window seat.

After we descended through the clouds and landed in Minneapolis, we caught a ground shuttle to  Rochester, Minnesota. I noticed a beautiful woman with clouds of pure white hair sitting behind me in the shuttle and I said, “Excuse me for being nosy, but where are you going?’  When she (whose name was Anne)  replied, “The Mayo Clinic,” I shared that I was going there for open heart surgery and a valve replacement. Even though I felt cloudy before we spoke, I was in the clouds when Anne told me:

  1. She had a valve replacement at the Mayo almost exactly six years ago.
  2. Her surgeon was Dr. Dearani, who will be my surgeon, too.
  3. Her experience was very positive.
  4. Dr. Dearani and his team were “the best.”
  5. When she woke up from the surgery, she thought “I was in the clouds, because I was on top of so many pillows.”

Since I’ve been especially dreading the moment after I wake up from heart surgery because those moments were so hellish when I was a kid, I was in the clouds that Anne’s memory was so heavenly.

Anne and I were both in the clouds when we agreed that our meeting yesterday was most likely arranged by certain beings in the clouds.

I am still in the clouds as I’m writing today’s blog post, which is not where I expected to be two days before heart surgery. I hope you are in the clouds when you see my photos from before and after I was in the clouds yesterday.

 

img_5296

img_5297

img_5298

img_5299

img_5300

img_5302

img_5303

img_5304

img_5305

img_5306

img_5307

img_5310

img_5314

img_5311

img_5312

img_5313

img_5315

img_5316

img_5317

img_5324

img_5325

img_5326

img_5327

img_5328

img_5329

img_5330

img_5331

img_5332

 

img_5334

img_5333

Which photos put you in the clouds ?

I was in the clouds when I read, yesterday, that the Mayo  Clinic provides hospitalized patients with massage, guided meditation, and music after surgery.  Maybe I’ll experience something like this when I’m in the clouds:

I hope you know I’m in the clouds whenever you comment.

Thanks to all who helped put me in the clouds to create this post and to you — of course! — for traveling through the clouds to be here, now.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Day 1357: All You Need

Do you need to read a post today titled “All You Need”?  Is that all you need?  If not,  what helps you get all you need? Are you in touch with your needs?  Do you have fears about being too needy?  Do you need to learn how to reach out to others when you have needs?

Was that all you needed about needs?

All I need, right now, is to get on a plane with my boyfriend (and cook extraordinaire) Michael. We need to fly to Minnesota so I can get  the mechanical heart valve I need and  a brand new vertical “zipper” scar.

All we need are photos from needy me:

img_5277

img_5272

img_5271

img_5273

img_5274

img_5275

img_5276

img_5289

All I need are good friends who accept my needs and who give me lovely tokens for this trip I need to take.

img_5283

IMG_5285.JPG

img_5284

img_5286

img_5287

img_5288

All I needed to find for my trip was a new, comfortable robe for the hospital. Sometimes, we get what we need.

img_5290

img_5292

I found the robe I needed, last night, with a big beautiful heart.

All we need is a song about all I need by  The Hollies.

All you need, sometimes, is a good thank you.

img_5293

All you need to do, now, is leave a comment.  That’s just what I need.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Day 1356: Important

Yesterday, while I was waiting for an important appointment at an important Boston hospital, I saw this important book:

IMG_5233.JPG

img_5234

After I saw that important book, I saw my important cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem, who thought it important to tell me about two important people fainting when observing open heart surgery. It’s probably important for me to share now that I’m having important open heart surgery in four days at the important Mayo Clinic in important Rochester, Minnesota. That surgery is so important to me that I asked for an important hug from the important Dr. Salem yesterday for the first time in our important 34-year doctor/patient relationship. I also told Dr. Salem that I’m so important to his important colleague and fellow cardiologist Dr. Mark Estes that Dr. Estes had promised to importantly greet me with his important medical team at Boston’s important airport when I return in two weeks from my important surgery.

Then I went back to my important job at another important Boston hospital, where many important people wished me well.

Here are more of my important shots from yesterday:

img_5236

img_5237

img_5243

img_5244

img_5245

img_5246

img_5248

img_5250

img_5253

IMG_5251.JPG

img_5252

img_5254

img_5256

img_5257

img_5259

img_5261

img_5255

img_5262

img_5263

img_5268

img_5269

img_5265

img_5267

img_5230

It’s important to note that those last two important shots include important lyrics from the important musical, Hamilton. Here‘s the important Hamilton number “(I Am Not Throwing Away) My Shot.”

Another important fact in today’s important post: last night I gave myself my first important injection of twice-daily anti-coagulant before my important surgery …

img_5270

… and then I threw away my shot.

What’s important, here and now, to you?

Gratitude is important to me, so ….

img_5232

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1355: My heart soars

My soon-to-be-repaired heart soars at all the good wishes,  beautiful thoughts, and love I’ve been receiving here in the blogosphere and in the northern hemisphere.

My heart soared yesterday when somebody at work gave me a heart-felt, soaring present.

img_5221

img_5222

img_5223

img_5224

img_5225

img_5226

img_5227

img_5228

Like that heart-soaring girl,  I’ll soon be soaring through the air. In two days, I’ll be soaring with my boyfriend Michael to Minnesota for a new valve, which should make my heart soar even better.

What makes your heart soar?

My heart soars  at the memory of this music from Peter Pan.

When I was a kid, my very unusual heart soared whenever Peter Pan soared into my living room.

Whenever comments soar into my blog, my heart soars.

Thanks from my  soon-to-be-sore-and-then-healing heart  to all who helped me create this post  and to you — of course! — for soaring here today.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1354: See the love in everything

Yesterday, after facilitating a therapy group I loved at work, I went to see my lovely Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, George.  I love EMDR, because it has helped me reduce my anxiety about very unlovely experiences I had in the hospital when I was a child.

Because I’m having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic next Wednesday, I loved the opportunity  to work with George in reducing my anxiety about that.  George and I tried  several lovely images to use when I’m going into surgery on September 21, including floating on the top of lovely water or being held by loving hands.   I love that I came up with this idea at the end of the session: I said to George, “I shall just see the love in everything.” George loved that, too.

I love reporting to you that after the session, I saw the love in everything and everybody.  I love that next week I shall also see the love in:

  • the lovely Deb, who will drive us to the airport in her lovely Honda Fit,
  • the security personnel at the airport,
  • the plane that takes my boyfriend Michael and me to Minneapolis,
  • the shuttle that transports us to Rochester,
  • the hotel where we’ll be staying across the street from the hospital before my admission,
  • all the staff at the Mayo Clinic,
  • all the tests they’ll give me,
  • the needles and other things they’ll poke me with,
  • the questions they’ll ask me,
  • the operating room,
  • the hands of my surgeon,
  • the cardiac care unit,
  • the machines I’ll be attached to,
  • the medications they’ll give me,
  • the tubes going in and out of my body,  and
  • everything and everybody else during my recovery.

Do you see the love in everything I photographed yesterday?

img_5197

img_5199

 

img_5200

 

img_5202

img_5203

img_5205

img_5207

img_5201

img_5208

img_5209

img_5210

img_5211

img_5212

img_5213

img_5214

img_5216

img_5217

img_5218

img_5219

I see the love in those cats named Stormcloud and Peaches, who are being adopted together by some lovely family today.

I see the love in this lovely tune, which my late father sang with love to my late mother at an anniversary celebration.

I will see the love in everything you leave in a comment.

I see the love in all who helped me create this post and in you, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1353: Practice kind listening and kind speaking.

What kind of tea bag would tell you  to practice kind listening and kind speaking?

img_5184

A kind and practical one.

I try to practice kind listening and kind speaking in my job as a group and individual therapist.  I think kind speaking is the finest kind and so is kind listening, although I wonder if people can tell I’m listening kindly.

Yesterday, I announced at a team meeting at work that this is my last week before my six-week medical leave, and people there listened and spoke kindly, which made me cry.  That reminds me of a post I wrote my first year of blogging, very soon after the Boston Marathon bombing, called Kindness can make me cry, even harder. If you like reading that kind of post, please be kind enough to click on the link in the previous sentence.

During a day of kind listening and kind speaking, I took these kinds of photos:

img_5185

img_5186

img_5188

img_5189

img_5195

img_5191

img_5192

img_5193

img_5194

Because my friend Deb was kind enough to give me a ticket, we both listened to and performed all kinds of amazing tunes at a Hamilton sing-along last night.  Here and here are two kind versions of my favorite kind of song to sing from Hamilton.

Gotta run for more kind listening and kind speaking at work today. If you are kind enough to speak your mind in a comment, I shall practice kind listening.

For all the kind people who helped me create today’s  post and for you and your kindness in visiting my blog today, here’s another kind of photo:

img_5196

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1352: Forget it!

I forgot my phone at work last night, so if you expected to see any photos from yesterday, forget it!

I tend to forget:

  • my phone,
  • umbrellas,
  • numbers,
  • song lyrics,
  • people’s names,
  • dates,
  • details about movies I’ve only seen once,
  • grudges, and
  • I forget what else.

Stress often increases forgetfulness.  I’m forgetting more than usual this week. If you want me to explain why that is, forget it!   I’d rather focus on what I wish I could forget, which includes:

  • past hurts,
  • past disappointments,
  • past illnesses,
  • past surgeries,
  • cruelty, and
  • politics, if only for a moment.

But forget it! I can’t control what I forget and what I remember. Right now, I remember talking to my friend Megan yesterday about the ups and downs of life and how we wished we could remember to ride them, like surfers riding waves.

I’m sure there are recent photos I’ve forgotten to include in this blog.

Here’s one!

img_5183

I forget why I took that.  Actually, I think I took it accidentally.

If you want me to come up with a reason for why that photo is a good match for today’s blog, forget it!  I have to leave early because I forgot to get an inspection sticker for my car, and if a cop stops me about having an expired sticker, forget it!

I wonder if there’s anything titled “Forget It” on YouTube?

Forget it!  There’s too many Forget Its on YouTube!  Here’s the first “Forget It” I found:

Here‘s a song I’ll never forget and which I heard yesterday on my way to work:

If you want me to explain why “Love is the Answer” by Todd Rundgren is unforgettable, forget it!

If you leave a comment, I won’t forget it. And I can’t forget to thank all who helped me create today’s post or you — of course! — for remembering to visit, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1351: Things We Love

Yesterday, I saw this sign, which I love:

img_5167

Throughout the day, I took other photos of things I love.

img_5162

img_5163

img_5164

img_5165

img_5168

img_5169

img_5170

img_5171

img_5172

img_5173

img_5174

img_5177

img_5178

img_5179

img_5180

img_5181

img_5182

Here‘s another thing I love:

Because we who love classical music believe it heals the body, soul, and mind, I’m going to request that classical music be playing during my recovery from open heart surgery, next week.

Here’s another thing we bloggers love: comments!

I hope gratitude is a thing you love, because I’m feeling it, now, for you.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.