Posts Tagged With: college applications

Day 1186: Violent Agreement

You’re probably in violent agreement with me that one rarely sees the words “violent” and “agreement” linked together, as they are in today’s post title. You might violently agree that the words “violent” and “disagreement” are MUCH more commonly paired.

People who have have read this blog before could be in violent agreement about all this:

  1. I usually blog about things that have happened the day before.
  2. If I see or hear something that agrees with me (violently or otherwise), it appears in this blog.
  3. Since I started this daily blog, cardiologists have been in violent disagreement about my very unusual heart, including how it affects my health and my prognosis.

Yesterday, I wrote a  despairing (if not violent) email to my chief cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, with the subject heading “descending into confusion and anxiety (again).”

Hi Deeb,

I know that’s a dramatic subject heading, but there it is.

One heart specialist tells me I’m in class 2 heart failure, a week ago Friday.

That affects how I feel.

Another one insists that I need to have a surgical consult when I visit with her at the Mayo Clinic.

She is not available for me to ask her why.

Her very kind and nice scheduling person tells me that she was concerned by the data she saw in my records about my valve and believes a surgical consult is necessary.


And I remember you and I deciding that the odds were not good for a valve operation.

Why would I want to talk to a surgeon in Minnesota ? There is no friggin’ way I would have the surgery out there, away from my friends and family.

So my question is this: does it make sense for me to shlepp all the way to Minneapolis, especially if the likelihood is that they are going to suggest valve surgery, which people here have  already convinced me would be very dangerous?

I know that you are used to dealing with smart people who ask a lot of questions. Please answer as best you can.

I am seeing Dr. Laura Snydman today and I’m sure we will be discussing this also.


After I saw Dr. Laura Snydman yesterday  (whom people would agree, violently or otherwise, is AWESOME), I checked my email and saw this:


Give me a call.


When I called Dr. Deeb Salem and told him where I was, he invited me up to his office.

Then, Dr. Salem listened patiently as I expressed all the thoughts and feelings in my heart, about my heart.

When I was finished, he said:

I’m in violent agreement with you.

Which immediately made me feel less violent and much more agreeable.

Isn’t it amazing how validation and agreement can do that?

As I write this “Violent Agreement” post today, Dr. Salem and I are in violent agreement about the following:

  1. I will consult with adult congenital heart specialists at the Mayo Clinic in May.
  2. My sister will accompany me there.
  3. No matter what happens, that will be a valuable trip.
  4. Brown University and the University of Edinburgh would both be non-violently agreeable places for my son to attend college next year (if he gets into both of those, which we should find out today).

Here are some pictures I took yesterday, in the midst of much violent agreement:











Are you in violent or non-violent agreement  or disagreement about any of the above?

I hope you are in violent agreement with me that Dr. Salem deserves to be on my


and so do my readers, including you!

Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 994: Five adjectives

Yesterday, my wonderful, young, talented, kind, and intelligent son, Aaron, and I went for a long, interesting, meandering, delightful, and warm walk and had a delicious, nutritious,  mid-day, reasonable, and shared meal together.  I don’t have any colorful, observational, spontaneous, amateur, and stored photos of that long, interesting, meandering, delightful, and warm time we spent together, because I had left my large, modern, precious, annoying,  and cellular phone behind.

During this delicious, nutritious, mid-day, reasonable, and shared meal, my wonderful, young, talented, kind, and intelligent son and I had a memorable, discursive, funny, important, and educational conversation, which included this:

Me: Somebody at my high school reunion last night used the adjective “intense” about me.  I didn’t think I come across as intense. I think I’d prefer “deep.”  What do you think about those adjectives for me?

Aaron:  I wouldn’t use either of those to describe you.

Me:  Really?  What adjective would you use?

Aaron (thinking):

Me:  Resilient?

Aaron (smiling and still thinking):

Me: Will you ever answer this?

Aaron:  Probably not.

Me:  Maybe I’ll ask you that question on my deathbed. Maybe I’ll say, “Aaron, NOW will you give me an adjective?”  You know what you’d probably say,” Yes, now I will.  It’s ‘dying.'”

Aaron (smiling and thinking):

Me: You know what?  Maybe I should write a sketch about that for your new cable-access show.

Aaron: I was thinking the same thing.

Much later,  Aaron handed me this:


Here are more colorful, observational, spontaneous, amateur, and stored photos I took yesterday:

IMG_5048 IMG_5050 IMG_5052 IMG_5056 IMG_5058


Here‘s a recurring, favorite, beautiful, charming, and adorable song:

What adjectives might you use in an adorable, beautiful, delightful, exciting, and appreciated comment?

Authentic, hasty, meaningful, intense, and good thanks to Aaron, to my high school reunion classmates, to adjectives, to Mad Magazine, to the Waltham Massachusetts Market Basket, to  “A You’re Adorable”  and — of course! — to you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

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