heart condition

Day 3338: Chores

It’s no chore for me to blog every day and here’s a definition of “chore.”

My husband, Michael (who does almost all the chores around here) and I sometimes discuss what chores we dread. He dreads the chore of taking out the garbage and I dread the chores of being on call at work, doing our taxes, and testing my blood every other week because I take the anticoagulant Coumadin. We both dread the chore of taking either of our cats to the vet.

Last night, I asked this question on Twitter:

I phrased the question that way because a few people have let me know that they find my Twitter questions a chore. I look forward to reading all the answers to that question, which will be no chore at all.

My niece Julie McGrath has said this about chores: “Try changing I HAVE to do this to I GET to do this!” Using Julie’s advice, I’ll say this: I get to check my blood INR today!

I also get to share all these quotes about chores with you, plus other random images.

Today I get to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, which is no chore at all.

If it’s no chore, please leave a comment below.

Now I get to express my thanks to all who get to do chores and who read my blog, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3329: Special talents

I think we all have special talents, and what I love about watching the Olympics is witnessing special talents other people have.

Last night, I dreamed I was snowboarding the half pipe, doing somersaults and other incredible tricks!

Shaun White and I share a special talent: we’ve both survived and thrived after being born with serious heart conditions.

I have a special talent for including links in these blog posts, so please click on the paragraph above for more information about the incredible Shaun White.

Can you find special talents in my images for today?

It takes a special talent to celebrate every day.

This is what I find when I search YouTube for “special talents.”

What’s your special talent?

One of my special talents is expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 3320: Groundhog Day 2022

On 2/2/22, I have 22K followers on Twitter and I’m celebrating my 22 + 47th birthday!

My plan for Groundhog Day 2022 is to take the day off from work; spend it with my husband, my son, and our two cats; play our annual game of Sorry; eat flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream; read; take a walk; listen to music; and practice this song on the ukulele:

Two days after Groundhog Day, I’ll be performing that song at a remote Open Mic.

I was able to catch, live, the Groundhog’s prediction for 2022:

Of course, commercials almost ruin that, but the prediction is there (and no surprise).

Can you see evidence of Groundhog Day in my other images for today?

Because of the rare heart condition I was born with, I’ve never been a girl or woman in sports. However, if you can’t play a sport, be a sport, which I guess I am.

How are you going to celebrate Groundhog Day 2022?

I’m going to express my gratitude to all those who have been there for me during Groundhog Day(s), including YOU!

Categories: celebrating, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 3301: Intuition

My intuition tells me to start this blog post with a definition of “intuition.”

My intuition told me to ask this question on Twitter last night:

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My intuition tells me that we could all use a laugh these days.

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My intuition tells me to blog every day and share images like these with you:

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It looks like the Daily Bitch’s intuition has not served her well.

24 years ago, my intuition told me to get tested for endocarditis (a very dangerous heart inflammation) when I was eight months pregnant and running a fever. I had never had endocarditis but, for some reason, I felt like I might have it. The doctor told me I had the flu and that was why I had the fever but “since you’re here and because of your heart, I’ll test you.” A few days later, I got a phone call, “come into the hospital immediately, you have endocarditis.” They put me on IV antibiotics for six weeks and told me, “This might make the baby deaf.” It didn’t.

After my son was born, I said to my cardiologist, “Why do you think I asked to be tested for endocarditis? There was really no logical reason for me to do that.” He said, “I think somebody up there is looking out for you.” My intuition told me that it was my late father, who had died the year before.

This is what I find on YouTube when I search for “intuition.”

My intuition tells me I will get some great comments on this post.

Thanks to all who have good intuition, including YOU.

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

Day 3296: Numbers

I’ve written numbers of blog posts about numbers during the last 3,296 days, although I am not sure what that exact number is.

I was thinking about numbers today because of the rising numbers of COVID cases worldwide. Because the Omicron variant is so highly contagious, those numbers seem very scary.

I was also thinking of numbers today because every other Sunday I need to check my INR numbers. I check those numbers every other week because I have a mechanical heart valve, so I need to take a number of anti-coagulant pills every day.

The INR numbers, for me, are supposed to be between 2.5 – 3.5. (The INR number for a typical person is supposed to be 1.) If the numbers are too low, my mechanical heart valve might clog and need to be replaced. If the numbers are too high, I might bruise and even bleed internally.

My numbers are usually pretty steady, but sometimes they are a little too high or low. There are very few numbers that have been really scary. But I still get nervous whenever I’m waiting a number of seconds for my home testing machine to give me those numbers every other Sunday.

Here is the number I got this morning:

That is outside the ideal numbers of 2.5 – 3.5, but not by much. My anticoagulant nurse, Veronica, will call my cell phone number tomorrow and, I assume, tell me to eat higher numbers of spinach leaves this week and/or reduce the numbers of pills I take.

Do you see numbers in my other images for today?

Out of those numbers of National Days, I’ll be celebrating National Sunday Supper Day at home with my husband Michael and my son Aaron.

Here’s “Numbers” by Kraftwerk.

Over the years, I’ve taken countless numbers of photos, just so I can end these blog posts with thanks to YOU.

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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

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