staying healthy

Day 1399: National ___ Day

In my nation of the United States of America, EVERY day is National Something Day.

If today is National Skepticism Day where you are, check out this link.

Yesterday, I saw signs for two out of the three National _____ Days listed for October 29:

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Today — which is National Candy Corn Day,  National Speak Up for Service Day, and  National Publicist Day — I am speaking up and publicizing all the other corny photos I took (in order) on National Cat Day, National Oatmeal Day,  and National Hermit Day:

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As you can see, we gave our cats some toys for National Cat Day,  and they celebrated like they do on any other day.

In anticipation of some upcoming national events here (including Halloween and Election Day), here’s “National Brotherhood Week” written and performed in the 1960s by our national treasure,  Tom Lehrer (who is still alive on this day):

 

Finally,  what day would you like today to be? I’m speaking  up — candidly, cornily, and publicly — and declaring today National Gratitude Day, as I express gratitude to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — to all my readers.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1389: Within Reach

Here are some things that are within reach for me, as I write today’s post.

  1. My laptop.
  2. The end of the 2016 U.S. presidential contest.
  3. Halloween.
  4. My getting the go-ahead to drive again, as my sternum heals from my September 21st open heart surgery.
  5. My returning to (and probably exceeding) my exercise “baseline” through cardiac rehab.
  6. Determining my weekly dose of Coumadin/Warfarin, an anticoagulant I now need because of my new mechanical heart valve.
  7. The replacement of my recalled St. Jude Medical  ICD (Implantable Cardiac Device) on November 2.
  8. My seeing Mel Brooks in person for the first time, two days from now.
  9. My next teeth cleaning, in five days.
  10. My return to work as an individual and group psychotherapist, probably during election week.

All day, yesterday, I took photos of things that were within reach of my iPhone camera:

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Here‘s a tune whose title was within reach in one of my photos, above:

 

What’s within reach for you, here and now?

The end of this post is within reach, as I thank all those who helped me create it and all those who are reading it today, including you!

 

Categories: personal growth, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1387: Parallel Realities

Yesterday, I encountered several parallel realities, including:

  • happiness and sadness,
  • blame and forgiveness,
  • health and illness,
  • life and death,
  • hope and despair,
  • improvements and setbacks,
  • old and new,
  • ups and downs,
  • pain and relief,
  • poverty and abundance,
  • ins and outs,
  • driving and walking,
  • connection and loneliness,
  • Democrats and Republicans,
  • fear and safety,
  • hot and cold,
  • cats and dogs,
  • doctors and patients,
  • belief and skepticism,
  • apples and oranges,
  • comedy and tragedy, and
  • one of my favorite CDs,  Parallel Realities,  with drummer Jack DeJohnette, guitarist Pat Metheny, and keyboardist Herbie Hancock.

Here‘s a live version of the great tune “Jack In” from Parallel Realities, wherein Jack, Pat, Herbie, and bassist Dave Holland work it out.

 

Early in the day, I attended Cardiac Rehab for the first time since the winter of 2015 and encountered several parallel realities there, including …

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… a cardiac rehab student named  Tori and a cardiac rehab veteran named Danise,

… two parallel  measurements of exertion, and

. … two parallel signs.

On the way home from Cardiac Rehab, my long-time friend Eleanor, who is very much alive, drove us by some characters who were definitely dead:

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Do you see any other parallel realities in my other parallel photos from yesterday?

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What parallel realities are you encountering, right now?

Finally, here are some parallel and real thanks for those who helped me create this “Parallel Realities”  post and those who came to read it (including you!).

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1376: What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have ____?

What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have my readers and my blog to write every day?

What do you have to look forward to if I don’t have a good enough explanation for the inspiration behind today’s post title?

When I was a little girl, there was nothing I looked forward to more than my mother finally saying “yes” to my repeated requests that we get a cat. One thing I did NOT look forward to, back then,  were all the hospitalizations I needed because of my congenital heart condition. After my first major heart surgery, when I was 10 years old, I woke up from the anesthesia and said to my mother:

What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have a cat?

After I fell back asleep, I woke up again and said to my mother:

What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have a cat?

My mother looked forward and told me I could look forward to getting a cat after I came home from the hospital.

What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have a photo of me and my first cat Tuffy to share with you all?

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What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have my iPhone to capture images I find interesting, while I am recovering from recent heart valve replacement surgery?

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What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have music to enjoy, like “Morph the Cat” by Donald Fagen?

What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have comments about this post?

What do I have to look forward to if I don’t have gratitude for all those who helped me create this post and for you — of course! — no matter what you have to look forward to, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1305: All you need

As I went back to work yesterday —  after being away for weeks because of pneumonia and heart failure — it was obvious what I needed.

Do my photos from yesterday reveal what I needed?

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All I need in the near future is love, work, and seeing my son Aaron in that Arlington Children’s Theater production of Anything Goes!

All this post needs  is some great music (here and here on Youtube):

What’s all you need, here and now?

Thanks to all who give me all I need to blog every day, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1304: Crystal Clear

Yesterday, one of my doctors — Dr. Laura Kogelman of Tufts Medical Center — said to me

Your lungs are crystal clear.

Dr. Kogelman  made it crystal clear during my appointment with her that

  1. my pneumonia is gone,
  2. my heart failure has resolved,
  3. I am ready to go back to work today,
  4. I am no more likely to contract pneumonia in the future than anybody else,
  5. we are doing a good job preventing me from getting endocarditis (a dangerous inflammation of the heart which I’ve had three times before because of my leaky heart valve),
  6. she misses seeing my wonderful dentist, Dr. Luis Del Castillo (who used to be her dentist too),
  7. it’s okay for me to go to Edinburgh, Scotland in August with my son and my ex-in-laws,
  8. she thinks it’s going to be “great” when I get a new mechanical valve for my heart in September, and
  9. she liked the idea of my transforming my future open-heart-surgery scar with a tattoo.

I made it crystal clear to Dr. Kogelman that I did NOT like her idea of turning that scar into the medical symbol of a snake climbing a rod.  I told her, “I have plenty of medical symbols on my body already” and informed her that if I do decorate that  new scar after I get it in September, I’ll probably add some flowers and leaves.

What is crystal clear to you, here and now?

Are all of my photos from yesterday crystal clear?

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Is it crystal clear to you that I made that t-shirt and that I especially like to wear it to medical appointments?

Yesterday, somebody named Jeanyne, who works at Tatte Bakery in Boston  (not pictured), made three things crystal clear to me:

  1. she loved my t-shirt,
  2. she wanted to own a t-shirt like that, and
  3. her mother,  Diane, who recently retired, is just now starting a new business marketing cool new wearable items.

Is today’s featured music crystal clear to you ?

 

Crystal clear thanks to all those who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for all your crystal clear reactions.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1299: Looks

As I look around, I notice how much looks matter to people.  Personally, I look at a lot more than just looks when I look at somebody.

But look at me!  Yesterday, looks mattered so much to me that I requested that people look at this photo AND I asked them “HOW DO I LOOK?”

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Look, I’m like anybody else. I want to look good.  But I especially wanted to people to look at how I looked yesterday so they could see how I look a short week after  diagnoses of pneumonia and heart failure .

And even though I asked others “HOW DO I LOOK?”  I look at it this way:  What’s most important is how I thought I looked. If somebody else had looked at that photo critically and judgmentally, their looks would not have mattered to me, at all.

Are you ready to look at other images I looked at yesterday?

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Did any of those photos get a second look from you?

It’s time to look at some music!

I’ll take a look later to see if I get any comments for this post about looks.

Look!  It’s me thanking you for looking at my blog, here and now.

Categories: celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Day 1298: How to Not Die

As I approach my 1300th consecutive daily post here at WordPress, I am thinking that important topics, for me, include “How to Not Die” both as

  • a blogger and
  • a human being.

How to Not Die  as a blogger could very well include changing the title of this blog from “The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally” to  “How to Not Die.” Don’t you think that new title would

  • attract more readers and
  • be a better representation of my life-long story of figuring out how to not die from heart-related challenges?

Unfortunately, this picture, taken yesterday, proves that my using “How to Not Die” would be a deliberate act of plagiarizing a beloved celebrity and author:


I guess you and I are stuck with the title of this blog, as I look ahead to the next 1300 consecutive daily posts.

How to Not Die, for me, includes getting up and out and taking photos of what’s alive around me, including these:














What music might you choose for a post titled “How to Not Die?”

“Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees?

 

Please help this blog post not die by leaving a comment, below.

Staying-alive thanks to Mel Brooks, the Bee Gees and everybody else who helps me create this “How to Not Die” blog, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 1283: What’s wrong with me?

What’s wrong with me, that I’ve been running fevers since last Thursday?

What’s wrong with me, that they admitted me to a regular room in the hospital from the Emergency Room on Monday and then had Jean move me the next morning to a weird-looking, isolated-feeling, private room all the way down the hall?

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What’s wrong with me, that they gave me one infusion of intravenous antibiotics?

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What’s wrong with me that I couldn’t figure out how to make that machine stop its annoyingly loud beeping for about an hour after the infusion was complete?

What’s wrong with me that I’ve been using the game “Hangman” as a way to distract myself since I was a little kid?

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What’s wrong with me that I thought I could figure out how to use the thermometer in my room by myself?

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What wrong with me that I converted that result to Fahrenheit, decided I was fever free, and reported that to people I know? What’s wrong with me that I’m confessing, now, that I actually was not using that thermometer correctly and that my fever has never gone down to normal since last Thursday without the help of Tylenol?

What’s wrong with me that these friggin’ fevers won’t go away?

What’s wrong with me that I, the patient, wrote stuff on the whiteboard in my hospital room?

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What’s wrong with me that they sent me down for an echocardiogram, where I was lucky enough to run into the amazingly wonderful  Eva, my favorite person who works there?

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What’s wrong with me that I’m now including links (here and here) to my other blog posts that feature Eva?

What’s wrong with me that I took  these pictures of Eva’s Apple Watch?

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What’s wrong with me that I sang for Eva during the echocardiogram?  What wrong with me that when I found out she also loves to sing and sings alto that I suggested we sing together some time in the future?

What’s wrong with me that I keep asking what’s wrong with me?  I should know, from my experience as a clinical social worker, that this is a much more useful question:

What’s right with me?

There must be some things right with me, because they sent me home from the hospital last night, even though my fevers haven’t gone away.  Here’s what is most likely NOT wrong with me: Endocarditis.  I’m all right with that. My doctors will call if any tests show what’s causing these fevers.

What’s the right music for this “What’s wrong with me?” post?

Thanks to Eva,  Miss Peggy Lee, all the other people who helped me make this post right, and thanks to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , | 57 Comments

Day 1281: Top 10 Reasons Why I Love July 4th

  1. It’s the birthday of  my looooong-time friend Lawry.
  2. It’s the birthday of  my long-time friend and co-worker Megan.
  3. It’s the birthday of my son Aaron’s long-time friend Cameron.
  4. FIREWORKS!!!
  5. Happy birthday, America!
  6. Toasted marshmallows are more readily available.
  7. A day off from my work at the hospital, which is very important for self-care.
  8. People appearing in public  with accessories more visually spectacular than usual.
  9. I wait all year for THE FIREWORKS!!
  10. The music  (found here and here on YouTube).

Unfortunately, because I’m still running fevers (which I do NOT love), I won’t be able to go to any fireworks in the  Boston area tonight.

Instead, I hereby present my own July 4th visual spectacular.

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Do any of those photos say “July 4th” to you?

Happy birthday to Lawry, Megan, and Cameron and a happy July 4th to you!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , | 35 Comments

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