Posts Tagged With: cardiac stress test

Day 722: I told you so

Yesterday morning,  I was treading on the treadmill at cardiac rehab


and  Danise


said, “I told you so!” as she recounted a story about her weekend.

I don’t know if I told you so before, but I often listen to conversations around me and if I find them interesting, sometimes I interrupt!

If you have a judgment (or any other thoughts) about that, feel free to tell me so.


Anyway, Danise and I told each other a little bit about “I Told You So” while — as I already told you so — I was treading on that treadmill. We agreed that “I Told You So” might make a good t-shirt. I also told Danise it would make a good title for today’s post.

If I haven’t told you so before, I’ll tell you now:  I almost never say “I told you so.” Why not?  I don’t think people like it if you tell them:

  1. I was right,
  2. You were wrong, and
  3. You should have listened to me.

Who wants to be told that?

If you tell somebody “I told you so” and  they react poorly, all I can say is …

… I told you so.

See?  How did that feel?

I told you so far, in this post, about Danise talking about her weekend and my working out at cardiac rehab.  What have I told you so far, in This Second Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, about recent developments with my very unusual heart?

Even if I told you so before, I’ll tell you this again:

  1. Several cardiologists in the greater Boston area have different beliefs about what’s going on with my very unusual heart and what should be done about it.
  2. I’m hoping, with all my heart, that the doctors who believe I need major surgery soon will NOT be saying, “I told you so,” any time soon.
  3. As I’ve told you so many times in this blog, I have a lot of trust and admiration for my primary cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem, who is a good listener and a great doctor.
  4.  On January 7, I’ll be seeing THE specialist for adults for my very rare congenital cardiac anomaly, at Boston Children’s Hospital.  How do I know this guy is THE specialist?  Several people have told me so.

I’ve told you so many things about my heart situation, lately. I’m not sure how comfortable you are, reading those kind of details. Perhaps I haven’t told you so in so many words, but it’s helpful for me to write about all this, here.

Even though I don’t say “I told you so” very often, I do like to form my own opinions about what’s going on with me medically, which can conflict with what the experts are saying.  If I’m right (and the experts are wrong), those are  opportunities to say, “I told you so.”

For example, when I transferred my care from Children’s Hospital in 1980 to work with Dr. Salem, he wanted to find out why I was born with a complete heart block — where the atria of my heart were NOT saying “I told you so, so, so, so, so, to beat after me” to the ventricles — necessitating my having a pacemaker at age 10. At that point, nobody had told me so that my heart was super unusual. Why? Because nobody at Children’s Hospital had discovered that I had congenitally corrected transposition of the great vessels (to be fair, cardiology technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to tell us so, back then).  I don’t have time to tell you so much the whole story of all that right now, since I need to go get a detailed cardiac stress test this morning — to get more data so the cardiologists can tell me so much more about what the &*#@!!&(# is going on with my weirdly unusual heart.  But I do want to tell you (so you will get my point)  what I did, back in 1980 when I disagreed with Dr. Salem’s conclusion that I might need heart surgery, after he discovered the truth about my bizarrely strange heart.

When Doctor Salem surprised me, while I was waiting for pacemaker replacement surgery in the hospital, by telling me so much about my heart, including that they might need to sew the pacemaker wires onto my heart after I had believed, for many years, that I would NEVER need that kind of surgery again, I got up out of my hospital bed and started packing my bags, to leave. Dr. Salem — whom I’ve told you so many times is a wonderful doctor — was empathic and creative enough to figure out, with me, another solution. And, since age 13 and until today — when I’m telling you so much, so quickly — I’ve never had heart surgery, again.

As I’ve told you so, above, I need to leave soon to go to a cardiac stress test today. But I have time to tell you one more story, about how I sometimes take opportunities to say, “I told you so!” to my doctors.

Last Friday, after synthesizing all the conflicting medical input I’ve been getting, I wrote an email to Dr. Salem. The subject of the email was:

By the way, here’s my working recommendation for what to do with me

A judgmental critic might disapprovingly say “I told you so, don’t do that!” regarding that email, because:

  • I came up with my own recommendations, even though I’m just the patient, and
  • I wrote such a friggin’ long subject for that email.

Would you like me to tell you what I told Dr. Salem in that email, so boldly?

You can tell me that you want me to tell you so, now. But I’m not going to tell you.


I may have told you so far, during my blogging journey, that I like to tell stories effectively. Therefore, I think it would be better if I tell you later, not now,  what I wrote in that email.

When will I tell you so much more about the contents of that email, and my prediction and recommendation about the best course of action for my heart? Probably, after I get the opinion of THE expert at Children’s Hospital, whom I’m seeing on January 7.  Honestly, dear readers, wouldn’t that make a great telling of the story? Especially if — based on what Dr. Michael Landzberg tells me — I’ll be able to say “I told you so!” to all those cardiologists who think I need a valve replacement or even more invasive heart surgery in the near future.

I told you so much and so little so far, today. Personally, I think it’s time I told you so, visually, with these other photos I took yesterday:


What am I telling you, in that photo I took at cardiac rehab? I told you so many people are stressed out over the holiday!


That’s Mary, whom I work with. If I haven’t told you so many times before this that I love working with her, I’ll tell you so now.  Before I took that photo, Mary told me this, “That diploma is in Latin, so nobody can tell how old I am!”

Have I told you that I park in a garage and easily walk the miles back and forth from work? (By the way, that’s more data that has gone into my personal recommendation about treatment for my heart, contained in my email to Dr. Salem, which I’ll be telling you about later.)  Here’s what I saw, yesterday, in that garage:


That car is saying, “I told you so that I’m a reindeer!”


Let’s see if my iPhone is saying “I told you so!” about having more cool pictures from yesterday I can tell you about, right now.

IMG_3905 IMG_3914 IMG_3924 IMG_3912

If you have any reactions to anything in this post, please tell me so in a “I told you so!” comment (or not).

Oh!  I forgot to tell you so about the song that woke me up this morning.

That’s Los Lobos, telling so many people, live, “Don’t Worry, Baby!”

I told you so!


Thanks to Dr. Salem, to Dr. Michael Landzberg, to Mary, to Danise, to Los Lobos, to anybody anywhere who has ever told me so (or told me anything else). And, thanks to everybody to whom I’ve ever said, “I told you so” … which now includes YOU!!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 509: Like, now

An alternate title for this post could have been “Random Thoughts on Like.”  I like the title I chose better.

“Like” describes a feeling or emotion AND it means, like, so much more.

When I Googled “like,” one definition came up first.  Would you like to guess which one it was?

I know some people like quick responses, so here’s the definition Google presented first:


preposition: like
  1. having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to.
    “there were other suits like mine in the shop”
    synonyms: similar to, the same as, identical to More
    • in the manner of; in the same way or to the same degree as.
      “he was screaming like a banshee”
      synonyms: in the same way as, in the same manner as, in the manner of, in a similar way to More
    • in a way appropriate to.
      “students were angry at being treated like children”
    • such as one might expect from; characteristic of.
      “just like you to put a damper on people’s enjoyment”
      synonyms: characteristic of, typical of, in character with More
    • used in questions to ask about the characteristics or nature of someone or something.
      “What is it like to be a tuna fisherman?”
  2. used to draw attention to the nature of an action or event.
    “I apologize for coming over unannounced like this”
  3. such as; for example.
    “the cautionary vision of works like Animal Farm and 1984
    synonyms: such as, for example, for instance; More


conjunction: like
  1. in the same way that; as.
    “people who change countries like they change clothes”
  2. as though; as if.
    “I felt like I’d been kicked by a camel”
noun: like; plural noun: like
used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another.
  1. “the quotations could be arranged to put like with like
adjective: like(of a person or thing) having similar qualities or characteristics to another person or thing.
  1. “I responded in like manner”
    synonyms: similar, much the same, comparablecorresponding, resembling, alike,analogousparallelequivalentcognaterelatedkindredMore
    antonyms: dissimilar
      (of a portrait or other image) having a faithful resemblance to the original.
      ““Who painted the dog’s picture? It’s very like.””
adverb: like  informal
  1. used in speech as a meaningless filler or to signify the speaker’s uncertainty about an expression just used.
    “there was this funny smell—sort of dusty like”
  2. informal
    used to convey a person’s reported attitude or feelings in the form of direct speech (whether or not representing an actual quotation).
    “so she comes into the room and she’s like “Where is everybody?””
  3. archaic
    in the manner of.
    “like as a ship with dreadful storm long tossed”
Middle English: from Old Norse líkr ; related to alike.
I don’t know whether you liked reading that whole, long definition, but I like so many things about it, especially the wide range of humanity shown in the examples. There are people, there, who
  1. own several suits,
  2. scream really loudly,
  3.  demand respect from others no matter what their age,
  4.  use You-Statements1(“just like you to …”),
  5. are curious and inquisitive about others’ professions,
  6.  apologize for their actions,
  7.  act spontaneously,
  8. live in many different countries,
  9.  have strong emotional reactions,
  10. are artists,
  11. are sensitive to smells,
  12.  express themselves very informally without any apparent self-consciousness,  and
  13.  fish for tuna.

While I have varied reactions to all those people, I also liked, in the definition:

  • the appearance of the camel
  • and the dog.

Would anybody like to see what Google has for the second definition of the word “like”?


verb: like; 3rd person present: likes; past tense: liked; past participle: liked; gerund or present participle: liking
  1. find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory.
    “I like all Angela Carter’s stories”
    synonyms: be fond of, be attached to, have a soft spot for, have a liking for, have regard for, think well of, admirerespectesteemMore

    antonyms: hate
    • indicate one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website) by activating a particular icon or link.
      “more than 15,000 Facebook users had liked his page by Monday morning”
  2. wish for; want.
    “would you like a cup of coffee?”
    synonyms: choosepleasewishwant, see fit, think fit, care to, will More

    • used as a polite formula.
      “we would like to apologize for the late running of this service”
    • feel reluctant to do something.
      “I don’t like leaving her on her own too long”
    • choose to have (something); prefer.
      “how do you like your coffee?”
      synonyms: choosepleasewishwant, see fit, think fit, care to, will More

    • feel about or regard (something).
      “how would you like it if it happened to you?”
      synonyms: feel about, regard, think about, consider More

noun: like; plural noun: likes
  1. the things one likes or prefers.
    “a wide variety of likes, dislikes, tastes, and income levels”
    • an instance of indicating one’s liking or approval of a web page or posting on a social media website.
      “pages that rank well are likely to receive high numbers of likes because they are highly visible in the search engines”
Old English līcian ‘be pleasing,’ of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lijken .


Now I’m thinking this:    I really haven’t liked previous formatting surprises in my posts, when I’ve included large blocks of quotes, like I have here.  I hope inserting these definitions of “like” hasn’t made extra busy-work for me, which I don’t like, either.

I like lists, so here’s a couple I hope you like.

#1:  Things I don’t like:

  • Busy work which seems unnecessary and illogical to me.
  • Unexpected formatting (and other) changes to things I’ve written.
  • Lack of respect or consideration for somebody else’s feelings.
  • Credit not being given, where it is due.
  • The way hunger interferes with my thinking process, especially when I’m trying to write.

Like, I’d like a breakfast break, now.

#2:  Things I like:

  • Raindrops on roses
  • Whiskers on kittens
  • Bright copper kettles
  • Warm woolen mittens
  • Bright paper packages tied up with string

Wait!  That’s somebody else’s list. I don’t like using other people’s ideas like that, so let’s start again.  I like:

  • Flowers of all types, in any weather.



  • Cats, no matter what age.


  • Tea kettles, no matter what their luster or material.


  • Mittens and gloves, to keep me warm when it’s cold.



  • Gifts, wrapped AND opened.

Laura's gift

That last photo shows a gift I received last week from my intern at work,  Laura, who recently graduated. Laura wrote, in her card:

Laura's card

Which reminds me of these things I like, very much:

  • People who are funny.
  • People who are kind.

Speaking of people who are funny, I would like to mention, at this point, a comedian2  who told a joke I liked, many years ago:

Have you noticed how some people use the word “like” all the time, as a kind of verbal space filler? I really don’t want to see any doctor who’s going to say to me, “You have, like, cancer.”

Speaking of people who are funny and kind (like my intern), here’s somebody I met again, yesterday:


That’s Yvette (also known as Eva), who has appeared previously (without a picture) in this blog, when I was hospitalized last October. For details about how incredibly kind, helpful, and supportive she was — when she did my echocardiogram then — see this post (which includes a comment from her).

Yesterday, she was even more kind, helpful, and supportive, which I liked, very much.   At the end of my cardiac stress test, we told each other, when we said “goodbye,” how much we liked each other.

After the stress test, I got the results of my sleep study from last March.  The doctor told me I have mild sleep apnea, and we decided I should return for another over-night stay, to see if and how a CPAP machine might be helpful.  When we were scheduling the test, yesterday, I asked, “Who’s on that night?”

They told me that Lori …


… who worked with me then, was one of three people who’d be there.  I said, “I love Lori!”

So, I’ll be seeing here again, like, soon.

Thanks to Julie Andrews, Laura, the comedian who told the “like” joke,2  Yvette, Lori, people everywhere who are funny and/or kind, anybody with likes and/or dislikes, and thanks to you — of course! — for reading today.

1 I-Statements have been shown to be more effectively, interpersonally, than You-Statements. Personally, I like being effective.

2 I do like giving (and receiving) credit, but I don’t remember the name or anything else about this comedian. If anybody recognizes who this is, like, let me know.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 35 Comments

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