Posts Tagged With: Beacon Hill Dental Associates

Day 1991: Untold stories

I’ve told many stories in this blog over the years, but many remain untold.

We all have untold stories, including Boston’s Public Garden.


In my profession as a group and individual therapist, I hear many previously untold stories.  Because of patient confidentiality, those stories remain  untold outside the room (unless the story is mine).

Every picture tells a story, I’m told, but there are many untold stories in my pictures today.












I know there are untold stories in the news these days, but hope, respect, joy, peace, kindness, patience, healing, inspiration, comfort, and love seem to be missing in the stories that are being told.

Here‘s “Untold Stories” told by Sinead O’Connor:


I look forward to reading some untold stories in the comments, below.

My gratitude — for all who help me create these posts and for all who read them — is not untold.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1895: Forget Regret

Yesterday, in a group therapy session, people talked about regret.  I said, “Regret is really present in this room. Should we invite Regret to sit down?”   People looked a little less regretful when they invited Regret to sit in a corner.  They also asked Regret questions like “Why won’t you go away?”  I answered in the voice of Regret: “I won’t go away because I think I help you. What would you do without me?”  People said that as the session went on, Regret was still there but was getting smaller.

Near the end of the session, I went over to the chair where Regret was sitting, picked it up by the scruff of the neck, opened the door with my other hand, threw Regret into the hallway, and slammed the door.  I asked people how it felt now that Regret was out of the room.  “Wonderful,” was one reply.

Later that day, I went to physical therapy for my torn rotator cuff, and Regret visited me there.  I got so discouraged about my lack of progress that I focused on my regret for slipping and falling on January 31.  Then, I remembered the group, took Regret by the scruff of the neck and threw it out the door.

Here‘s the song I heard yesterday with the lyrics “Forget Regret.”

There’s only us

There’s only this

Forget regret

Or life is yours to miss

No other road

No other way

No day but today.

Kind and wonderful people — like Dr. Maria Gonzalez Del Castillo and Kate at Beacon Hill Dental Associates — help me forget regret.



Taking photos for this blog helps me forget regret.










Forget regret but don’t forget to comment!

I never forget to send a big thank-you to everyone who helps me create this daily blog, especially YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1613: Home

Welcome to my blogging home, dear readers.

Yesterday, in the home office of a major medical institution in Boston, a therapy group discussed the topic of “home.”   This hit home for me, because soon I’ll be changing my current home for a different one.

I asked the group to write, draw, or otherwise express thoughts and feelings about home. Here’s what I did:



From my home this morning, I’d like to share this music about home.

As I look at my list of “What Makes a Home a Home?” from the comfort of my home,  I see that I wrote “pictures.”  Here are more pictures from yesterday.












I also wrote that “People make the home” and listed gratitude on “What makes a home a home?”  Many thanks to the people in my therapy groups, to  my bass-playing dentist Dr. Del Castillo, to my friend Deb, to Simon & Garfunkel, to all the other people who help make this my blogging home, and to you — of course! — for visiting me in my home, here and now.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the release in the USA of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, here’s another Home song:

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1494: Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day!



Groundhog Day is my birthday.  Can you guess how old I am today? Here‘s a hint:

While there are many things out there on Groundhog Day 2017 that are making me afraid of my own shadow, there’s still a lot of sunshine.

Do you see shadows or sunshine in the photos I took the day before Groundhog Day?



























Happy Groundhog Day to all my readers and Happy Birthday to me!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Day 1172: The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen

Amazingly, yesterday somebody said to me, “That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

The person expressing that amazement did so during one amazing moment of an amazingly busy day for me, when I did individual and group therapy at work, went to my amazing dentist’s office, walked around Boston and its amazing environs, went to an amazing group psychotherapy organization board meeting, and took photos of many amazing things.

Would you be amazed if I asked you to guess which amazing photo below shows the amazing thing that person found remarkably amazing?




The most amazing thing I can think of doing right now is to try to remember if I’ve ever said, “That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!” out loud.   I’d be amazed if I haven’t, at some point in my amazing life,  but my memory isn’t amazing enough to come up with amazing specifics. My amazing guess is that I could have easily said that about

  • my son, Aaron,
  • my father, Aaron,
  • one of my cats,
  • my very unusual heart,
  • a new place I’d never seen before (like Yosemite, Monument Valley, the Yucatan, London, Edinburgh, etc.),
  • a live stand-up comedy performance,
  • professional dancers,
  • a work of art,
  • a piece of architecture,
  • the Beatles,
  • a Pat Metheny concert,
  • another amazing person, or
  • a kashmillion other amazing sights.

I just googled “Pat Metheny most amazing” and found this site, which recommends this amazing performance of this amazing Beatles song as one of his 10 best:

Amazingly, it’s time for me to end this amazed and amazing post with one more amazing photo from amazing yesterday.


Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 969: Hooks

Yesterday, while I was walking to work, I was hooked by the title and by the music of a Sting song, “Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint.”

If you are hooked by that song, you can find it here on YouTube, which contains a lot of musical hooks.

Immediately after I was hooked by that tune, I was hooked by the sight of an actual hook in the sky:

When I got to work, I was hooked by my Wednesday morning therapy group, especially by their expressed relief and gratitude about my return from a two-week vacation.

I was also hooked by some anxiety, because:

  • I felt a little out of practice, facilitating a group, and
  • I had a 2 PM appointment with my wonderful dentist, Dr. Del Castillo, and — for the first time in years — I  would NOT be hooked up to an IV an hour before a dental procedure to receive endocarditis-preventing antibiotics.

Lest you be hooked by any concern about that, my doctors have decided that taking a single oral antibiotic is enough protection to prevent my heart from the dastardly hooks of endocarditis-causing bacteria (which have gotten their hooks onto my heart valve three times in the last 18 years).

As I am writing this hooky post, I’m being hooked by an unpleasant reaction to the oral antibiotic which is “off the hook, as the kids like to say” (which my boyfriend Michael likes to say). I shall be ringing my doctors’ phones off the hook, and  I won’t let them off the hook until we find an oral antibiotic with fewer yucky side effects.

I’m going to let you off the hook, now, and quit writing about my antibiotics. Instead, here are some other images that hooked me, yesterday:


Which one of those hook-y shots hooked you?

I am now going to unhook myself from writing this post and take some more probiotics. I wonder if one can get hooked on those?

Sky-hooks-and-tartan-paint thanks to Sting, everybody playing musical hooks in that video,  Michael, Dr. Luis Del Castillo (who is hooked on reading this blog), my therapy groups, PetSmart, Whole Foods Market,  probiotics, every single hook I encountered yesterday, and you — of course! — for getting hooked here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 934: Feelers

Yesterday, I found out that Kerri,

a nurse I’ve happily known for years, is leaving Boston for sunny Florida next month. As we were bidding each other a fond “adieu,” I said to her

I always have my feelers out for kind, wonderful people, and from the moment I met you in the Emergency Room all those years ago, I recognized how amazing you were.

Feeling the need, just now,  to looked up “feelers” in the dictionary, I found this:

An animal organ such as antenna or palp that is used for testing things by touch or for searching for food.

I don’t know about you, but my definition-seeking feelers have never previously  touched on  “palp,” before today.

And, my blog-creating feelers would change

searching for food


searching for nourishment

… but otherwise, I feel that definition is fine, for the feeling purposes of this post.

Speaking of feelings, I told Kerri I was glad for her but sad for me and other feeling, Boston-based people who know her.

As you might have felt before, I often have my feelers out for images that strike my feeling fancy, as I feel my way through a day. Here’s what my photographic feelers found yesterday:





What do your feelers tell you about those photos?

My feelers are telling me that other  feelers might assume — from those feeling photos — that I have cancer. I do not. I have a cardiac condition that necessitates my getting antibiotics before I visit my dentist, and I get those antibiotics in a cancer infusion center, where my fine-feeling-friend Kerri works (until August).

Also, there were many things my feelers encountered yesterday that did NOT make it to this post and — as usual — I’m hoping I didn’t hurt any feelings.

Here‘s what my musical feelers have brought back from YouTube:

Bernadette Peters is singing “I Feel You, Johanna” from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sweeney Todd.
Also, my feelers found this:

“I Peel You, Banana” by Robert Adams.

Feeling thanks to Kerri, the Infusion Center at Tufts Medical Center, Cam Neely, Dr. Del Castillo, Dr. Gonzalez and Michel (not pictured) at Beacon Hill Dental Associates, everybody at my high school reunion planning meeting last night (not pictured), Bernadette Peters, Stephen Sondheim, Robert Adams, and you — of course! — for bringing your feelers here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 675: Eyes

Eye — I mean I — am shocked that there are no posts I’ve written, since I first eyed writing a daily blog, with the word “Eye” in the title.

I shall now eye how many posts I’ve written with the word “I” in the title.  Would U like to guess how many posts THAT might be?

I love guessing games, as you may have noticed, if you’ve eyed many of my 675 posts.

I just changed my mind, which I’ve heard is a “women’s prerogative.” I think everybody should have the choice to change her or his mind, don’t you?

How have I changed my mind?  Rather than have you guess how many times I’ve used the word “I” in a blog post title, here they all R (in reverse chronological order):

  1. Day 613: I don’t know what I look like
  2. Day 603: What I missed
  3. Day 591: And When I Die
  4. Day 578: I don’t care
  5. Day 574: I don’t know why
  6. Day 573: Why?  Because I thought it was _____.
  7. Day 568: How am I supposed to feel?
  8. Day 540: I Spy
  9. Day 449: Variations on “I Don’t Want to Go”
  10. Day 430: What I learned at the group therapy conference
  11. Day 424: Things I learned from groups this week
  12. Day 407: Two Images (before I leave for Panama)
  13. Day 399: What I wanted for my birthday
  14. Day 382: Why I was judgmental about yesterday’s blog post
  15. Day 373: Guilt (and a metaphor I made up!)
  16. Day 352: Snow (It’s safer than I feared)
  17. Day 330: What I am doing differently
  18. Day 303: What I know/What I don’t know
  19. Day 299: Why haven’t I published anything (outside of here)?
  20. Day 225: Reasons why I should move to Edinburgh, Scotland
  21. Day 224: Reasons why I shouldn’t spend too much time in our hotel room blogging this morning
  22. Day 223:  Reasons why I should move to London, Part 3
  23. Day 221: Reasons why I should move to London, Part 2
  24. Day 220: Reasons why I should move to London, Part 1
  25. Day 199: I dared to tweet some tweets
  26. Day 171: I Look
  27. Day 153: Do I Dare to Tweet a Tweet?
  28. Day 148: Dreams I Have Known
  29. Day 141: I am singing differently this year
  30. Day 132: What I learned on my spring vacation.
  31. Day 131: How I spent my spring vacation
  32. Day 128: I get by with a little help from my friends
  33. Day 124: Why I love the show “Dinner for Five”
  34. Day 121: Why I relate to the Boston Carjacking “victim”
  35. Day 119: I woke up differently, this morning
  36. Day 116: I just rewrote yesterday’s blog
  37. Day 114: Questions in my brain, as I woke up this morning
  38. Day 113: I am solving problems in my my sleep!
  39. Day 110: Arrrghh! I might still be in this guy’s movie!
  40. Day 107: Has the external world changed? I haven’t.
  41. Day 104: Things I know about groups
  42. Day 100: I confess
  43. Day 90: How I got back to sleep last night (featuring selling and sound effects)
  44. Day 55: There is NOTHING I have to do today (AND antidotes)
  45. Day 38:  Reasons why I should move to Charleston, SC
  46. Day 27: This blog is good enough AND I can make it better.
  47. Day 17: I think I wake up most mornings feeling uneasy
  48. Day 10: I’ve learned to leave the house before I feel ready
  49. Day 5: What I SHOULD (and SHOULDN’T) be doing


Am I the only one who thinks it would have been cooler if there were EXACTLY 50 posts there? Maybe WordPress’s search function missed something. I don’t have time to check that now, though.

What else do I want to say about that list, right now?

  • That’s a big list.
  • When I think about it, though, only a small-ish percentage (49 divided by 675 = 7.26%)  of the number of posts I’ve written have had the word “I” in the title.
  • Maybe that’s proof that I am not a narcissist, after all.

I also notice that:

  • I wrote more posts using the word “I” in the title during the first part of my blogging journey.
  • I wrote several posts, in a row, with the word “I” in the title, during the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath.

Does that mean I use the word “I” more when I’m new and/or anxious? I’ll let future generations  — who may study my every word — decide that.

I wish.

Anyway, Y did I choose the word “Eye” for today’s title?

Was it just an excuse to post one of my favorite songs, from many years ago?

(Loggins and Messina performing “Angry Eyes” found here on YouTube)

Was it just an excuse to introduce you to Elizabeth, my I.V. nurse  — whom I eyed (that is, met) for the first time yesterday? (For reasons why I need an I.V. before I go to the dentist, I suggest you eye this post.)

IMG_1780 IMG_1783

In that second photo, how do Elizabeth’s eyes (and the rest of her facial expression) look, to you? What do you think she was saying?

Elizabeth (who, like me, lives in all-male household) is demonstrating, in that photo, the look guys get on their face when they say things like:

  • I can’t find the milk.
  • Do you know where I put my belt?

I guess Elizabeth and I are both sexist.

What else did I eye yesterday?


That’s my dentist, Dr. Del Castillo. He’s told me that he reads this blog every day, so

Hi, Dr. Del Castillo!

As you can C, Dr. Del Castillo is growing a beard, and his wonderful dental hygienist, Michel (not pictured) is taking a poll of the patients in his practice, even as I am writing this post, to see what they think.

I’m sorry, but i don’t have the results of that poll, right now.

I did ask Dr. Del Castillo’s beautiful wife, Dr. Gonzalez Del Castillo (also not pictured) — who co-owns the practice and is a periodontist (not an oral surgeon, as I originally wrote) — what she thought of her husband’s beard.

You should have seen the look in her eyes, about that.

I didn’t capture THAT displeased expression, but I did take these other pictures yesterday:

IMG_1761 IMG_1763 IMG_1766 IMG_1767

When Elizabeth — my I.V. nurse — and I were talking about guys losing track of things, I showed her that last photo, which I had taken earlier in the morning on my walk to work, as proof of  …

What?  I don’t even want to think about it, right now. I mean,  that’s just _____! (Feel free to fill in any word you like, in the comments or elsewhere.)

Before I end this post, I’d like to add a few more things I spied, with my little eye, yesterday.

IMG_1796 IMG_1799 IMG_1801

I predicted, last night in Whole Foods Market, that my bf Michael and I would eye those EXACT cupcakes.

Thanks to Elizabeth, to everybody at Dr. Del Castillo’s dental practice, to U (for reading), to I (or more grammatically, me) (for writing), to Loggins & Messina, and to everybody else who helped me write this post, today.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 528: Transported (random thoughts and shots)

I became aware of a theme of “transported” as I moved through yesterday.

On the way to work, I noticed …







When I got to work, I did a group, where we talked about many things, including modes of transportation.




Then, I was transported, by car, to yet another dental appointment. I was scheduled for my 3-month teeth-cleaning, but I had lost track of that as the reason for the appointment. And, I could not get my teeth cleaned, yesterday, because I hadn’t been pre-medicated with antibiotics. However, I was very glad to be there, because I’ve had a toothache for about a week.

Michel, the dental hygienist there, was glad to see me, too.  She transported me with her kindness and great stories  — including how an adolescent Michel, who did not want braces or glasses but got them both at the same time, proceeded to (1)  lose her glasses and (2) remove her braces with a pair of pliers.

Here’s the not-quite-as-rebellious Michel:


Note that:

  • there are many photos of dogs on the wall, which reminds me of my doctor’s office (although all the photos there are of one dog).
  • Michel (and my dentist, Dr. Luis Del Castillo) carefully explored the cause of my toothache, which turned out to be a chip in a filling.
  • Michel is still assertive, these days. For example, she does not like having her picture taken.

After the dental appointment (and rescheduling the cleaning*) I was transported back to my car, through the Public Gardens:








I went home, to boyfriend Michael and son Aaron.  Soon, I discovered that Aaron had received a lead role in a local production. That was transporting, in a different way.

Later, I saw this being transported:


I remarked to Michael — on our last evening before he leaves, today, for a work-week away from us — that I was surprised anybody needed THAT much of that particular product.

Which reminds me of something else written on my work whiteboard, earlier yesterday:

“There’s never enough.”

Thanks to Michel (and others on my medical/dental team),  to Michael and Aaron, to all those who are transported (or transporting) in any way, to rebels everywhere, to people who are coping and healing as best they can, and to you — of course! — for transporting yourself here, today.

* From now on, I won’t be getting antibiotics intravenously before a teeth cleaning AND the cleanings will be once every four months (instead of three months).  My medical/dental team believes oral antibiotics and this frequency will be enough to prevent any re-occurrence of endocarditis. I find all that transporting, too.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 206: Letting Go

When I do my therapy groups, I always start the group with a mindfulness exercise.

When somebody new joins the group, I always acknowledge, honor, and celebrate that by doing a particular mindfulness exercise.

In this mindfulness exercise, I ask people to focus on their breath (a very common focus for a mindfulness exercise).

I invite them to observe, just notice, the breath. They don’t need to change the breath, in any way.

I also invite them to do the following: Breathe in something they would like to take in more of — from the room or from the universe. And breathe out something like they would like to let go of.

Because examples help explain things (especially something new), I always predict how I might do this mindfulness exercise.

I say something like this: “I don’t know what I’m going to breathe in and breathe out, but I’m going to make a prediction. I might breathe in gratitude for all of you being here, and I might breathe out any anxiety about doing something new, because every group is new.” (Other things I’ve predicted  I’m going to breathe in during this mindfulness exercise: hope, connection, and the awareness of each moment. Other things I’ve predicted I’m going to breathe out:  distraction, fear, and anything that gets in the way of my being in the moment.)

I really like this mindfulness exercise.  Even if I’m too distracted to focus very well, even if my mind wanders a lot (because that’s what minds tend to do), it helps to just allow for the possibility of — to make some space for — breathing in something helpful and breathing out something that gets in the way.

Yesterday, when I did one of these groups, there was somebody new there. (And, as I wrote about yesterday, somebody was missing, too, for a very good reason.)

So, because somebody new was joining the group,  I did that mindfulness exercise.

And, as often happens when I do that exercise,  I breathed in gratitude and I let go of …. anxiety.

I had a good reason to be anxious yesterday.

Doing something new is always a “good reason” for increased anxiety.

Here were some of the new things I did yesterday:

  1. I facilitated a therapy group, with a new mix of people
  2. I needed to get my 3-month teeth cleaning and I had to go to a new place to get the Intravenous antibiotics I require whenever I get my teeth cleaned.
  3. I went to a new dental hygienist, to get the teeth cleaning.

Probably some explanation would be helpful, right now, especially regarding #2 and especially for people who don’t know me and/or haven’t read every friggin’ blog post I’ve written this year.

I have a Very Unusual Heart. My VUH is prone to endocarditis (which is an infection of the lining of the heart).  (I wrote about this in detail, on Day 65, when I thought I might have endocarditis again.) Since I’ve gotten endocarditis three times so far in my life, my doctors and I came up with this plan: I will have my teeth cleaned every three months and I will receive an intravenous dose of antibiotics before each cleaning.

This is routine for me, now.

However, many things about this process were new, yesterday.

Some of these things were new because of a change I had chosen –  to go to a new dental hygienist, who works with my wonderful dentist, whom I wrote about here.


That’s my dentist, Dr. Luis Del Castillo (in a photo I took on April 13). (I didn’t take a picture of my new dental hygienist yesterday. Perhaps that’s because I was too ….. anxious?)

Some of the new things I encountered yesterday were due to changes beyond my control.


That’s my beloved IV nurse, Kerri. She left her position a couple of months ago — eeeek! — but, thank goodness, moved to another place within the same hospital, so  I could still work with her — Yay! (By the way, that picture was taken four months ago, at the old location. I didn’t take a picture of her at the new location yesterday.  Any guesses why that might be?)

Yesterday, I was breathing out and letting go of anxiety, every step of the way, as I encountered new things during this process of getting my teeth cleaned, this process of not getting endocarditis, this process of staying healthy and alive.

And when I’m doing something new (and when the possibilities of illness — and death — are more in my consciousness), I definitely have more anxiety to breathe out.

My new dental hygienist (not pictured), named Michel, said a lot of things to me yesterday as she was cleaning my teeth. I didn’t say much because, well, she was cleaning my teeth.

Here are some of the things she said to me yesterday that are sticking in my mind, right now:

  1. “I don’t expect you to trust me immediately. You are just meeting me.”
  2. “It’s very important to trust your dental hygienist. It’s a relationship. It’s especially important for YOU to be able to trust your dental hygienist.
  3. “Let me tell you all the reasons why you won’t get endocarditis by getting your teeth cleaned here.” *
  4. “With your history, I would expect that sometimes you might obsess about keeping your teeth perfectly cleaned and other time you wouldn’t want to deal with it, at all.”
  5. “Let me know if you are uncomfortable, for any reason, at any moment.
  6. “A lot of people cry here. “

She said that last thing, when — in response to her understanding and empathy — I let go, in a rush of tears.

I never cried with my old dental hygienist. That might be a reason why I left, and found a new one.

That concludes this blog post for today.

Thanks to Michel, Dr. Del Castillo, and Kerri; to everybody who has ever helped me stay healthy; and to you, too, for reading today.


* A teeth cleaning at the dentist is the leading cause of endocarditis, for people who are prone to it.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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