Posts Tagged With: adult congenital heart disease

Day 1424: Fantastic Thanks and Where to Find Them

On Thanksgiving Day 2016, you can find fantastic thanks here for …


  • our inner rock stars,


  • good radio stations,


  • signs beyond my understanding,
  • Boston,








  • great movies,


  • the future,


  • achieving the impossible,
  • Wonder Women,


  • Batman,
  • the freedom to be myself,


  • helpful directions,
  • popcorn,
  • butter,


  • most people,
  • fortunes,
  • schools,
  • my son Aaron,


  • my boyfriend Michael,


  • my sister Ellen,
  • friends,
  • cats,


  • trust,


  • my late parents,


  • time,
  • my very unusual heart,
  • my medical team,
  • delicious food,

  • YOU, my amazing readers!!!
Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1419: Let us be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world

Yesterday, a kind and compassionate teabag removed the sadness of my world.


Let me be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world, as best I can,  with this story:

When I was at cardiac rehab yesterday morning, feeling the sadness of the world, a guy (who had been kind and compassionate to me the week before) teased another guy there, like so: “You lift weights like a girl!” I immediately said, “Is that still an insult?”

Was that kind and compassionate?

When it became obvious to me that my new pacemaker/defibrillator was not being kind and compassionate to my heart while I was exercising, I decided to leave cardiac rehab early. I said to the guy, “I’m leaving, but it’s not because of what you said.”  He replied, “Hey! I’m doing my best, you know. I used to be a truck driver. I’m evolving!” I said, “We’re all evolving.”

Was that kind and compassionate?

To me, it felt like it removed some of the sadness of the world.

Soon after that, my kind and compassionate doctor, Mark Estes, removed the sadness of my world by reprogramming my pacemaker/defibrillator and by giving me more hope about my future. We also talked a little about the sadness of the world, which felt kind and compassionate.

Let us be kind and compassionate with my other photos from yesterday:





Do those remove any sadness from your world?

Here‘s the kind and compassionate music removing the sadness of my world, here and now:


Will you be kind and compassionate and remove the sadness of the world with a comment?

Let me be kind and compassionate, thanking all  who helped me create this post and you — of course! — for bringing your kindness and compassion to my world, today.

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

Day 1408: The News

Have you noticed that even when we say “enough,” The News doesn’t stop?

Here’s the latest news:  After I posted The News in yesterday’s new blog post, I went to cardiac rehab and told them the news that I was feeling  worse and more out of breath after getting a new Implantable Cardiac Device last week. (That device was replaced because of the news from the manufacturer that two people have died already from prematurely depleting batteries, which has  been in the news.)  When I exercised on the treadmill at cardiac rehab yesterday, the news was that my heart was not speeding up  correctly, the way it has been  between the time of my open heart surgery in September and my getting the new ICD last week.

How did I react to that news?  I had a complete meltdown, because the news has just been coming and coming at me for the past few months.

Then, I got into my relatively new car and drove to the hospital to deliver the news to my cardiologists.  It’s probably not headline news that I was crying and upset.  My worst fear was that I would hear this news:  Your new device won’t work as well as the old one and your only hope is to get ANOTHER new device.   That would have been too much news for me.

However, the news I got at the hospital was this: In more unexpected news, the pocket that holds my new device is filled with fluid, which means the new device can’t make my heart with its new mechanical heart valve speed up appropriately in response to new exercise. The news included this:  after that fluid is absorbed, the new device SHOULD act the way it was supposed to.

While that news was  “good,”  I don’t think it was news to my medical team that I had some new skepticism about “shoulds.”  Also, the new ICD won’t work correctly until the new and painful swelling and fluid go away, so I need to stay out of work for two more weeks. That might not be great news for my patients.

What’s the news, where you are?

More news: I’ll probably be watching the news tonight, because today is the United States Presidential election.

When I posted my news on Facebook last night, I included this:

I am just doing this to distract everybody from the election. You’re welcome.

What’s the photographic news from my not-so-new iPhone?






More news! We bought a new-to-us vegetable on Sunday, which Michael cooked in a new dish last night. It wouldn’t be news to me if one of my readers knew what that vegetable was (even though Michael and I didn’t).  I’ll tell you this news: Michael said the vegetable looked like fractals, and the Wikipedia page about that vegetable said the same thing!

What helps you deal with the news?  For me, it’s the power of love (also a song by Huey Lewis and The News):


The news would be good for me if you leave a new comment, below.

My final news is that I have new gratitude for all those who helped me create this new post and for you (and I hope that’s not news to you!).

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

Day 1402: Yikes!

I knew that “Yikes!” would be today’s post title when I looked at my favorite watch yesterday.


Here are just some of my reasons for saying “Yikes!” right now:

  • I have to go in to Boston for more surgery today, exactly six weeks after my open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  • The reason I need today’s surgery is that my Implantable Cardiac Device, which I received in May 2015, caused two deaths because of early battery depletion.
  • I had to stop eating and drinking last night at midnight, and I am  not reporting for surgery until 11:30 AM.
  • The weather is going to be unseasonably warm and beautiful today, but I will be otherwise occupied.
  • The United States presidential election, less than a week away.
  • The Chicago Cubs might win the World Series tonight.
  • If I feel up to it, I hope to sing at an Open Mic Friday night.
  • Because of its latest update, my iPhone no longer recognizes my thumbprint but has lots of new features which I haven’t had time to learn.

Speaking of my “improved” iPhone, here are all the other photos I took yesterday.  Do any of them make you go “Yikes!”?































Yikes!  The words “warming” and “naturally” in that last photo, above,  are reminding me of my first therapy session since my open heart surgery.  Yesterday, my therapist George and I came up with a soothing ritual to help me prepare for today’s surgery —  to place both my hands over my heart, to warm and naturally soothe my still painful chest cavity.

What is making you say “Yikes!” today, in your world?

Yikes!  If I actually am able to sing at an Open Mic night in two days, will I remember all these lyrics?

Yikes!  Joni Mitchell sounds great there.

Yikes!  Look at the time!  I have to get ready for my surgery.

Yikes!  I get so cranky when I can’t eat or drink when I want to!

Yikes!  I hope you leave a comment.

Yikes! I almost forgot to thank all those who helped me create this post and you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Day 1374: The near future

Whenever you’ve had a harrowing experience, it helps to plan for the near future, especially if you focus on what you adore.

For example, exactly  two weeks ago today I had major heart surgery which was, honestly, pretty harrowing. So it’s helping me to plan for and focus on the near future, which includes:

  • My college roommate, Maria, whom I adore, flying in from Portland Oregon, which I adore,  to stay with me and my boyfriend Michael, whom I adore,  for eight days.
  • An appointment this afternoon with my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Laura Snydman, whom I adore.
  • Getting a ride to my doctor’s visit this afternoon from my sister, Ellen, whom I adore.
  • Seeing Mel Brooks, whom I adore, in person in a few weeks, accompanied by my neighbor Karen, whom I adore.
  • Attending a performance of “An American in Paris,” which I adore, the following week with my friend Barbara, whom I adore.

It also helps to look at the near past, especially when my progress is so encouraging, which I adore.  For example, last night — for the first time since my surgery — I went for a short walk outside alone, which I adored. Here’s what I saw:



In your near future, you could plan to adore this post even more, as I show you other pictures from yesterday of things I adore:




Here‘s the music I am listening to as I write this near-future post, which I adore:

Is there a comment in my near future, which I would adore?

I adore everybody and everything that helped me create this near-future post and also you — of course! — for including me in your near future.

Categories: heart surgery, personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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