Day 1391: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

To start telling this story, today’s post title is a quote from the musical Hamilton.


Who lives, on the day I’m writing this?

  • I do, against all odds and even though a team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic  essentially killed me* on September 21 in order to repair my heart before they brought me back to life.
  • Mel Brooks, thank goodness, even though he is 90 years old (and whom I’ll be seeing today in person in Boston).
  • Approximately 7.5 billion people, according to this link.


Who dies, on the day I’m writing this?

  • Kevin Meaney, suddenly at age 60, who was one of my and my son’s favorite comedians.
  • 151,600 people, according to this link.


Who tells your story?

I’ll tell you who tells my story —   it’s me, through this blog.  Perhaps because my story has included so many doctors and medical institutions from the moment I was born, it’s VERY important to me to be the expert of my own experience — the primary teller of my own story. Of course, I can’t control how others will tell my story after I die, but to quote Kevin Meaney about that, “I don’t care.”

Here’s how I photographically choose to tell my story of October 21, 2016, when I went to  one hospital for cardiac rehab and then to another hospital to get blood work to prepare for ANOTHER surgical procedure on November 2 and also to drop in on my  amazing cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem:













And because we do need help from others to tell our stories, I want to thank my friend Carol, who is such a wonderful woman, for capturing the story of those last four photos.

Here’s the last photo that I took yesterday, to tell my story:


Now, how would you tell a story in a comment, below?

I’ll end today’s story with live gratitude to all those living and dead who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — no matter how you tell your story.

* I’m glad you lived to read  this part of my story from the Mayo Clinic surgeon’s report on  September 21:  “The aorta was occluded, and 800 cc of cold blood cardioplegia was infused into the aortic root obtaining satisfactory asystolic arrest.” Doesn’t that sound like they satisfactorily killed me?

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Day 1391: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

  1. I try to live so that I have a bit of story to tell every day Ann. These are some of my favorite pictures, because you look amazing.

  2. It’s hard to tell a story right now with a copy of Kevin Meaney’s CD “That’s Not Right!” just a few feet away. Those words ring so true right now.
    Many years ago I was in a music store and they had a box of free buttons. Purely by chance I grabbed one that said “What’s this cat’s story?” It was and still is my philosophy. Every cat, not to mention dog and person, everything has a story I’d like to know. That’s so right.

  3. Really interesting Ann, I looked up the word ‘Cardioplegia’:

    “The word cardioplegia combines the Greek ‘cardio’ meaning the heart, and ‘plegia’ paralysis. Technically, this means arresting or stopping the heart so that surgical procedures can be done in a still and bloodless field. Most commonly, however, the word cardioplegia refers to the solution used to bring about asystole of the heart, or heart paralysis.”-Wikipedia

    Yes, that means they had to stop your heart to be able to do the surgery. That is fascinating Ann. It means that you were in the best of hands possible at the Mayo clinic!

    As to “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”, that is something only Nature can answer.

    • “Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature.”- Baruch Spinoza

  4. Hi Ann, I have been thinking a lot about you lately and decided to get on WordPress to see how you were. Sounds like you are the “new and improved Ann”. I am so glad everything went well, and you look mahvelous (intended spelling error).

  5. So glad you’re better – long may your story continue! 🙂

  6. The surgeon’s report is way way scary. Dr Salem is way way normalifying.The squirrels in tu-tu’s? 🙂

    • Lots of different stories, Maureen. The squirrels in tu-tus were on a thank you note at cardiac rehab — a grateful patient has labelled the squirrels with the names of two of the staff there. Love that you tell a little story here, almost every day. ❤

  7. In the 2nd to last photo it looks like you are singing to Dr Salem- which made me wonder if you ever have? Looking good Ann!

    • Good question, Lisa. I think I’ve sung for lots of medical people but NEVER for Salem. Maybe I’ll change that story in the near future. You’re looking good, too! ❤

  8. Pingback: So Right, So Long. - Freethinkers Anonymous

  9. Congratulations to you and your docs for your living to tell your story

  10. Living is better the dying, well I think it is not that I have ever died so really don’t know what dying is like and in no hurry to find out, just saying and the women in mum’s side of the family generally live long lives which I hope to do

  11. Pingback: Day 2810: Will to live | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  12. Pingback: Day 2812: Overload | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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