heart condition

Day 3218: What’s a good title?

What’s a good title for this post?

What’s a good title for your autobiography?

People shared many good titles for their autobiographies in response to my question, last night, on Twitter. At this point, my good titles for my autobiography include

  • A Very Unusual Heart
  • The Backwards Heart
  • It Takes One To Know One
  • Assault and Batteries
  • That Must Have Been Scary

I reserve the right to come up with more good titles before I actually write it.

What’s a good title for today’s collection of images?

What’s a good title for this precious day?

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “What’s a good title?”

What’s a good ending for this “What’s a Good Title?” blog post?

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 3172: National Grateful Patient Day

Since the day I was born in 1953 with a very rare heart condition, I have been a grateful patient. And today — as well as being the first day of Rosh Hashana — is National Grateful Patient Day.

This morning, I am a little less grateful and patient than usual to be a patient, because my nose bleed — caused by the unfortunate combination of our new kitty Joan scratching inside my nose and my being on anticoagulants because of my mechanical heart valve — has not completely resolved.

However, if I focus on being patient and grateful, I know that I have wonderful people on my medical team who will help solve this problem, just as they have solved so many issues with me before.

I am especially grateful and patient, every day, because it’s so unlikely that I would have survived — with such overall good health — as long as I have with my very unusual heart.

And really, what’s so terrible about a little nosebleed? I have been a grateful patient through so many surgeries, set-backs, scares, disappointments, surprises, dangers, close-calls, and physical and emotional traumas over the years, and look! I’m still here to blog about it today.

So let’s try our best, during these challenging times, to gratefully and patiently celebrate another precious day. Here are the other images this grateful patient has to share with you on September 7, 2021.

The Daily Bitch is right about this: with my heart condition and my tendency to catastrophize, the way I do things may not always be the easy way. However, the way I’ve done things has helped keep me alive and resilient, even if I’m not always the most patient of patients.

Here’s something I find when I search YouTube for “National Grateful Patient Day.”

If you’re patient enough, you’ll always find gratitude at the end of my blog posts!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 3167: Noses

People that knowses this blog know that I’ve been thinking a lot about noses lately, because the little girl with this nose …

… who didn’t know what she was doing, caused my nose to start bleeding out of control last weekend.

My husband Michael thinks that Joan the cat has a funny nose, but I love her nose.

I’m also loving MY nose more, here and now, because it no longer has an ugly and painful balloon stuck up it and it seems to be healing rather well!

I have to be careful and gentle with my nose for the next week. Because I take a blood thinner, the cat scratch inside my nose will take longer to heal. But the mouth under my nose is smiling today, for sure!

Yesterday morning, before I saw the reassuring Ear, Nose & Throat specialist at the hospital, I searched for quotes about noses and found these:

Do you see noses in any of my other images for today?

I smell blueberry popsicles in some people’s futures.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “noses.”

My nose knows that gratitude always smells sweet, so thanks to all who poke their noses into this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3163: Say Yes to the Mess

“Say Yes to the Mess” is something I put on a t-shirt years ago.

I chose to wear that t-shirt yesterday, partly because we’re all imperfectly messy human beings, trying to deal with the mess we’ve made — climate change, racism, pandemics, wars, etc. etc.

Little did I know that I would be wearing that same t-shirt to the Emergency Room this morning because of the first nosebleed I’ve ever gotten in my life, which started last night at 2 AM and is showing no signs of abating as I’m writing this.

What a mess!

I’ve had no choice but to say yes to many messes in my life. Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I like the messes; saying “yes” means I accept the reality of them and do my best to deal with them while staying positive. It also means accepting the intrinsic messiness of being alive while figuring out the next achievable step to move forward.

Let’s say yes to the mess in today’s images as I wait for a doctor to show up to stop my current mess.

A doctor just came in and we’re figuring out a way to say yes to this mess and to get me home soon!

Say yes to a mess of gratitude from me to you!

Categories: health care, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 3113: Time Out

Yesterday, Twitter put me in a “time out” after I tried to follow back too many new followers too quickly. That means I can’t let people know I like their posts or follow them back for three days.

I’m using this time out to catch my breath and ask myself this question:

Why do I feel like I have to get back to people so quickly?

This sense of urgency in responding to people as soon as possible affects me at work, in my relationships, on social media, everywhere. It makes me anxious and stressed.

When somebody reaches out to me, I imagine them waiting anxiously for my reply, and I feel more and more distress the more time I take getting back to them.

This has been a problem for me at work for many years. I know I blogged about it, in a post titled “The Doritos Cure.” That title was in reference to my supervisor suggesting that instead of my imagining patients waiting anxiously by their phone for my call back, that I imagine them eating Doritos and otherwise engaging in their day-to-day lives.

I’m taking a time out now to go back to my question above, “Why do I feel like I have to get back to people so quickly?”

My best guess, here and now, is that this relates to my experiences in the hospital when I was a child. Starting when I was eight years old, I spent a lot of time alone, in physical and emotional pain, in hospital rooms, waiting for nurses and doctors to respond to me. During those times, my only companion was the hospital heart monitor in my room, beeping out the tentative beats of my very unusual heart.

I would wait for the nurses and doctors to respond to the call light. I would wait for the precious hours when family and friends were allowed to visit me.

So perhaps I project the urgent needs of that scared child onto all who are waiting for me to respond.

I’m so glad I’m taking time out of my morning to make sense of all this.

Now I’m going to take some time out to share my images for the day.

The Daily Bitch is reminding me that it’s good to take a time out from toxic people.

“Time Out” is a GREAT Dave Brubeck Quartet album.

Thank you SO MUCH for taking time out of your day to read this time-out post!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3043: Whatever doesn’t kill me

Who said “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?

It didn’t kill me to discover that it was Friedrich Nietzsche.

It didn’t kill me to finally spell “Friedrich Nietzsche” right in that previous paragraph.

Here are others things that didn’t kill me:

  • being born with a rare heart condition,
  • spending lots of time in the hospital when I was kid,
  • ridiculous hospital rules which prevented my parents from staying with me,
  • a few awful nurses and doctors,
  • medicine that made me sick,
  • many surgeries,
  • relying on cardiac pacemakers since age 10,
  • the assassinations during the 60’s,
  • bullies at school,
  • mean or incompetent teachers,
  • bad leaders,
  • bad weather,
  • bad food,
  • choking on a piece of hard candy I accidentally swallowed while laughing,
  • car accidents,
  • scary plane trips,
  • scary movies,
  • scary people, including a rapist,
  • jobs that didn’t fit my skills or interests,
  • walking across a frozen river,
  • my mistakes,
  • other people’s mistakes,
  • traveling by myself,
  • not being able to swim,
  • three bouts of endocarditis because of a leaky heart valve,
  • valve replacement surgery,
  • public speaking,
  • public singing,
  • mountains,
  • valleys,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • PTSD,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • rejection,
  • disrespect,
  • sexism,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • ageism,
  • COVID-19, and
  • everything and everybody else I’ve encountered in my long life, including what you see in today’s images.

The Daily Bitch Calendar kills me (in a good way).

Here’s Finger Eleven with “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me”:

It doesn’t kill me to express gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2922: Personal Bests and Worsts of 2020

On the last day of each year, I put together my personal best and worst lists. In every other year, these have been Top 10 lists. For 2020, both my lists go to 11.

My son Aaron, my husband Michael, my Coping and Healing on-line therapy groups, blogging, my friends, the movie La Fée, surviving COVID, the Biden/Harris victory, walks by the ocean, and cats are on my 2020 best list.

Many deaths are on my 2020 worst list, including the COVID-caused death of a beloved patient, the death of my dear friend Eleanor, the death of my “heart brother” David (a wonderful man who had the same rare heart condition as me), and the death of our amazing kitty Oscar. Powerful and destructive narcissists (who shall remain nameless) are on my worst list, too.

Do you see any evidence of the Best and Worst of 2020 in today’s images?

2020 might be my best New Year’s Eve ever because tonight I’m facilitating a special NYE’s version of my Coping and Healing group!

Here’s my most-listened-to tune for 2020 (no matter what Spotify says!).

If you share some personal 2020 bests and/or worsts in the comments section below, that would be the best.

A happier 2021 and I personally thank you for making it through 2020!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2906: Today is a special day

Today is a special day because I’m alive, against all odds, and so are you.

Today is a special day because I have special images to share.

Today is a special day because I swear that I don’t care if I f*ck shit up today. I have spent far too many of my special days worrying about f*cking shit up and, believe me, I am not the one who is f*cking shit up now.

Today is a special day because I found an open spot on the crowded list for a remote Open Mic this Friday evening. If you want to join the audience for my special performance of “People Who Hate People,” you have three special days to sign up using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn17

Here is Mr. Rogers with “Today is a Very Special Day.”

Today is a special day because I get to facilitate a “Coping and Healing” group and I get to see your comments on this blog.

As always, I am grateful for every special day I spend with you!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2883: Poop

If you want the poop/scoop on why I’ve chosen today’s title, here’s one reason why:

Here‘s the poop on “poop” from Merriam-Webster:

poop noun (1)
Definition of poop
1 informal : FECES, EXCREMENT
As a brand-new father, a new substance plays a big role in my life: poop.
— Scott Kramer
As the years go by, there’s trouble in paradise, and it isn’t just the ubiquitous goose poop.
— Katherine Lanpher
2 informal : the act of defecating
I have a complaint against dog owners that take their dogs for a walk but do not take a bag, then let their dog stop by people’s mailboxes and take a poop.
— Billie Johnston


poop
intransitive verb

slang : to become exhausted
poop out


poop
slang
: INFORMATION, SCOOP

If you check the definition of “poop” at Merriam-Webster, you’ll see that I left out some poop there. These days, there’s only so much poop I can take.

Do you see any poop in my other photos from yesterday?

I wonder how much poop we’ll have to deal with in 2021?!

Today is November 22, a day which usually makes me feel like poop (and you can get the poop on that here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). I guess I’ve gotten my poop together over the years, because I feel like the opposite of poop today.

What IS the opposite of poop? According to wordhippo.com, the opposite of poop includes

  • calm
  • delight
  • cheer
  • help
  • cure
  • being
  • philosopher
  • genius
  • sage
  • learned woman
  • wise woman
  • old soul.

Here’s “Whose Poop is It?” by JunyTony:

Here’s the poop about all the poop songs I found on YouTube: all have comments turned off. However, comments for this poop post are NOT turned off, so — if you’re not too pooped — please share your thoughts and feelings, below.

Thanks to all who help me share the latest poop in this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, definition, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Trump stickers | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2874: I know things ordinary people don’t know

I know things ordinary people don’t know because I

  • was born with a very unusual heart,
  • grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household,
  • had an incredibly funny, creative, and kind father, who loved to make people laugh,
  • had an incredibly caring, kind, clean and neat mother, who loved to laugh,
  • realized I had a connection with cats when I was very young,
  • had my first major heart surgery when I was 10 on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated,
  • have relied on cardiac pacemakers to keep me alive since that day,
  • spent a lot of time in hospitals where I met many different types of people,
  • danced in our basement to musicals when nobody was watching,
  • read voraciously when I was young,
  • learned to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele,
  • attended three schools where everyone there knew I had a heart condition,
  • travelled across the USA by bus when I was 21,
  • visited many different countries,
  • danced, danced, danced in the 1970s even though my heart rate was fixed at 72 beats per minute,
  • majored in English literature at college,
  • worked as a technical writer, marketing writer, teacher, manager, and psychotherapist,
  • volunteered for several years at a suicide hotline,
  • attended graduate schools for film studies and social work,
  • love hearing other people’s stories,
  • married two extraordinary men,
  • gave birth to an extraordinary son when I was 45 years old,
  • saw people behave at their best and their worst and everything in between (including me),
  • survived the coronavirus,
  • have kept learning from all the people I have encountered in my long life, and
  • have the Daily Bitch calendar, which knows a lot.

Can you tell that I know things ordinary people don’t know from the rest of today’s photos?

Harley knows things that ordinary cats don’t know, but he’s not telling.

It’s a good thing I know things that ordinary people don’t know, because I’ll be teaching several interns about my Coping and Healing groups this morning at 9.

Here is “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, whom I’ve known I’ve loved for a long, long time.

I also know gratitude that ordinary people don’t know, every day, so thanks to to all the extraordinary people I’ve known, including YOU!

Categories: group psychotherapy, heart condition, heart surgery, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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