Posts Tagged With: Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries

Day 2327: Why? Why?

Why oh why am I writing a fourth blog post about Why?  Why am I linking to the previous three posts (here, here, and here)?

Why did I write “Why?” on two different white boards at work yesterday?

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Why do white boards consistently get more difficult to erase?

Why were people in therapy yesterday asking so many WHY? questions, including:

Why is there so much traffic?

Why did it take me four times as long as usual to get here today?

Why do people back their cars into spaces in parking lots?

Why do people do what they do?

Why do I deliberately act like a mischievous child?

Why am I in so much pain?

Why am I in therapy?

Why aren’t other people in therapy?

Why did I take the rest of these pictures?

 

Why is it taking so much longer for me to access and transfer my photos? Why does that happen periodically?  Why does it bother me less each time it happens?

Why am I still having trouble writing that letter from the President for my professional organization’s newsletter?  Why did I start fresh yesterday with a new topic?  Why did Michael say he thought my first, abandoned topic  (the rejuvenation of Spring) was better? Why am I going to finish the second topic and then write another letter with the first topic if I have time? Why am I using the quote “If you want something to get done, give it to the busiest person” in my letter?

Why did I ask all the questions I did in this podcast (starting at 19 minutes and again at 28:34)?

 

Why did Michael not want to listen to that podcast last night? Probably for the same reason he doesn’t usually read this blog.   Why did I think I could find the post that explains that by searching on “Why Michael doesn’t read this blog”?

Why would you leave a comment today?

Why would I thank all those who help me write these posts and also YOU?  Why do you think?

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Categories: health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1732: Got a second?

Got a second? I’d like to tell you about yesterday’s appointment with my cardiologist, Dr. Salem (who is second to none).  While I was waiting several seconds in the exam room for Dr. Salem, I took a second to snap this:


Got a second to hear about my conversation with Dr. Salem?  Dr. Salem said he couldn’t be more pleased about how my heart is beating every second, as I begin my second year after my heart valve replacement surgery last September.   I seconded that opinion.

Got a second to look at some more split-second photos?

Got a second to listen to “A Good Thing Going” from Merrily We Roll Along, which I’ll be seeing for a second time this weekend?

If you’ve got a second, keep a good thing going by leaving a comment below.

I’ve always got a second to thank all who help me create these posts. Second, I want to thank YOU for being so supportive, every second.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 1701: Very unusual hearts

My very unusual heart was happy to connect, yesterday, with two people who also have very unusual hearts.

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Andrena, Vicki, and I have congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (cctga). That’s a very unusual heart condition and it’s very unusual when three of us can share a heart-to–heart-to-heart talk.

My very unusual heart overflowed with gratitude  as we shared what was in our hearts.  Then, my very unusual heart spent another unusual day in the heart of their very unusually beautiful and busy city of Edinburgh.

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For Andrena, Vicki, and me, living with very unusual hearts is business as usual. Because we’re in this together, we are not afraid.

This very unusual heart loves jazz, so last night I  attended ” Jazz at the Movies” …

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… at the Edinburgh Jazz Bar …

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… and heard this very unusual song.

 

Do you think that everybody wants to be a cat?  I hope you express what’s in your very unusual heart in a comment, below.

Thanks,  from the bottom of this very unusual heart, to all the very unusual hearts and very unusual cats that helped me create this very unusual post and — as usual! — to you, for reading it.

 

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

Day 1700: What are the odds?

What are the odds that

  • somebody obsessed with odds and odd things  has never published a post with this title before?
  • The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally would reach its 1700th consecutive day of blogging?
  • three women with the extraordinarily rare heart condition of Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries (cctga) would all be in Edinburgh at the same time, to meet for breakfast later today?
  • those same three women met for the first time at the same exact place two years ago?
  • this blogger, who likes to refer to her old posts, would include a link to that prior meeting here?
  • my son, after attending several Fringe Festivals in Edinburgh with his mother, would apply to the University of Edinburgh and get admitted to a 5-year program in Mathematics where they probably discuss probability and odds?
  • I actually had no worries yesterday after publishing a post with that name?
  • we would return to Forsyth’s Tea Room yesterday to revisit with the lovely Christina, who figured prominently in this post from two years ago?
  • if you visit that post from two years ago you’ll see other people we encountered again yesterday at the 2017 Festival Fringe, including the very talented Durham Revue?
  • Scottish coins looks so odd to us that we might confuse it with chocolate coins, which Christina gave to us yesterday?
  • there would be so many beautiful days in Edinburgh during this time of the year?
  • somebody taking  Coumadin/Warfarin would be able to control her Vitamin K consumption while she’s traveling by eating the exact right amount of spinach every day?
  • people would be able to keep track of time well enough to make it to all their scheduled shows at a festival like the Fringe?
  • a comic genius like Neal Portenza (a/k/a Joshua Ladgrove) would have dinner with two of his biggest fans from the USA?
  • readers will actually respond to any of these questions in the comment section below?
  • this exact series of photos would make it to this post today?

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What are the odds that I would include this odd video here?

What are the odds that I would end this post with thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and YOU, for reading?  Pretty good.

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

Day 1506: Hearts

Because today is Valentine’s Day, you’re likely to see hearts all around you.

Because I blog about my heart and others’ hearts, you’re likely to see hearts here on any day.

Here’s the first photo I took yesterday, at cardiac rehab.

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I told Carla (who had drawn that heart with heart), “Carla!  My heart doesn’t look like that!”  She agreed, heartily.

Do you see hearts in my other photos from yesterday?

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Here‘s a song with heart (which my heart found on Youtube by searching on “heart kalimba“)

Thanks — from the bottom of my unusual heart — to Ruth Akello, Béla Fleck, Carla, Michael, Oscar, Amber,  and everyone else I love who helped me create this heart-filled post and to  you — of course! — for bringing your heart here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1476: I haven’t been the same since …

When people get into therapy, they often say, “I haven’t been the same since …” and they name some life-changing event.

Personally, I haven’t been the same since …

  • my first heart surgery at age 10,
  • I got my first cat,
  • I got my first car,
  • I rode a bicycle for the first time,
  • my heart valve replacement surgery last September,
  • my son was born,
  • my son went away to school in Scotland,
  • my son returned home for Christmas,
  • my son went back to school yesterday,
  • I took my first disco dance lesson,
  • I met my husband,
  • my divorce,
  • my cardiac pacemaker was recalled in 1975,
  • my cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator was recalled two weeks after my valve replacement surgery in September,
  • President John F. Kennedy was killed,
  • Bobby Kennedy was killed,
  • Martin Luther King was killed,
  • John Lennon was killed,
  • I went away to college,
  • I was attacked by a rapist outside my apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
  • I first got into therapy,
  • I went to film school,
  • I became a therapist,
  • Barack Obama was elected President of the United States,
  • Donald Trump was elected President of the United States,
  • I met my boyfriend Michael,
  • I first saw Gene Kelly dance,
  • I heard my first pun,
  • I made my first pun,
  • I attended Berklee School of Music for a summer program when I was in high school,
  • I worked on the recruitment tape for Berklee College of Music in the 1990s,
  • I did stand-up comedy at an Open Mic,
  • my son performed stand-up comedy at an Open Mic,
  • I had my first cup of cocoa with marshmallows,
  • my father died,
  • my mother-in-law died,
  • my mother died,
  • my father-in-law died on Friday,
  • I encountered Mexican food for the first time,
  • I had my first black raspberry ice cream cone,
  • I saw my first palm tree,
  • I started blogging,
  • I got my first comment on this blog,
  • I bought my first personal computer during the 1980s,
  • I wrote computer manuals in the 1970s,
  • I slept out under the stars in Monument Valley,
  • I went cross country by bus,
  • I attended the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
  • I heard Pat Metheny play guitar,
  • I sang in front of people,
  • I met every person who is important to me,
  • I saw my first Stephen Sondheim musical,
  • I first heard the band Steely Dan over the sound system at a Cambridge store, playing this song

  • and countless other events.

I haven’t been the same since all those things happened and yet I’m still the same person.

I haven’t been the same since I took all these photos:

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Give the happiness of a comment and I will end up happy.

I haven’t been the same since I first learned to express gratitude, so many thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being changed and yet the same, every moment.

 

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1331: Tasks

I love my daily tasks of (1) taking photos for this blog and  (2) creating a new post here on WordPress.

Yesterday morning, I captured this image in Edinburgh, Scotland  …

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… and took this picture shortly before I went to sleep at night:

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Between those two tasks, I

  1. had breakfast with my son Aaron and Vicki, a wonderful Scottish woman who has the daily task of living with the same kind of unusual heart  I have (and who appeared in my blog a year ago),
  2. was relieved, thanks to Vicki, of any tasking worries about (a) my son starting University in Edinburgh next month and (b) my having open heart surgery soon after that,
  3. swapped horror stories with Vicki about doctors and other medical people we’ve both encountered  who have  failed miserably in their basic tasks of providing expertise and empathy,
  4. met with somebody  at the University of Edinburgh about all the tasks we need to accomplish when we return home to the USA in order for  Aaron to get his student visa in time to start his freshman student tasks on September 11, and
  5. enjoyed the continuation of our current task of attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

You now have the task of looking at my other photos from yesterday.

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Was there anything you especially enjoyed about that task? Anything you found particularly tasking (or taxing)?   If you have questions or comments about any of those photos, I will fulfill my daily task of answering them before I blog again tomorrow morning.

Before you get on with your own daily tasks, I shall now give you an additional task: My son Aaron and I were discussing the insignia of University of Edinburgh, seen here in close-up:

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Your task is to identify the top part of that insignia, above the book.  Is it:

  1. A disco ball?
  2. A golf ball?
  3. A flower?
  4. All of the above?
  5. None of the above?

Thanks to all who helped me fulfill the task of creating this post and to you — of course! — for completing your task of reading it.

 

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

Day 1246: Focus

Often, when I focus on starting a post,  I like to focus on past times I’ve focused on a similar subject.

Here’s how I’ve previously focused on Focus:

Day 13: Focus on what you’re doing (rather than on what you’re not doing)

Day 249: If you are having trouble focusing

If you focus on the numbers in those posts, you might focus on the fact that I wrote both previous posts about “focus” in the first year of my several years of daily focused blogging.

I’m focusing on “Focus” today because I wrote this quote about focus last week:

There is nothing like imminent heart surgery to beautifully focus the mind.

I’m now wondering about the focus of the latest focused photos on my phone.

Let’s all focus on them together, shall we?

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What do you think about the focus in those photos?

What music am I going to focus on  in this focused post?

Ready to focus in on the next two paragraphs to find out?

When my sister Ellen and I drove to and from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota last week, we focused on the album of the musical Hamilton.

After Lin-Manual Miranda had focused on the idea of writing a hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton for about a year, he was able to present his first focused musical number at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009. Here‘s Lin-Manual Miranda and his piano accompanist Alex Lacamoire, wonderfully focused at that 2009 event.

If you’d like to focus any thoughts or feelings you have, here and now, in a comment below, please give it a shot.

Focused thanks to all those who helped me create this post about focus and to you — of course!  — for focusing enough to read it.

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

Day 1192: Today’s problem

For the last one thousand, one hundred, and ninety-one days, I’ve written one blog post every day.

Writing each post has not been a problem for me.  Indeed, every blog post has helped me face a problem, express it,  and move on.

What problem do I wish to face, express, and move on from, today?

Here are some problem choices:

  1. I left my phone at the office, again.
  2. There is snow and ice all around, on April 6.
  3. I’m on the anti-coagulant medicine Xarelto, which makes it dangerous if I slip and fall.
  4. The dental device I’m wearing to relieve my mild sleep apnea is problematically uncomfortable.
  5. I have to travel out to the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis in May to meet with some new doctors who might recommend major heart surgery.
  6. My heart is so unusual and weird that any operation has a  considerably higher risk.
  7. Our 11-year-old cat Oscar has been exhibiting some problem behaviors.
  8. Our other cat, Harley, continues to see me as a scary problem, even though I’m always kind and gentle with him.
  9. My only child, Aaron, is going very far away in the fall, to the University of Edinburgh.
  10. Both I and my laptop are having memory problems (which probably just have to do with age).

Hmmm.  No matter what problem I choose, writing that list of problems is already helping me feel better. I’m seeing each one as much less of a problem.

Why?

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That’s why.

Also, no matter what the problem is, comedy and humor always help. Tonight, I’ll be seeing Steve Martin and Martin Short  with my son Aaron, which should be no problem.

It’s also no problem for me to share some new photos with you:

Ooops!  I thought sharing those  new photos showing Oscar the cat (and his problems) would be no problem. However, I cannot share any new photos in this post because

  1. My Mac storage is full again (even though I thought I had re-solved that problem last night) and
  2. I left my phone at work.

Instead, here are videos of Martin Short and Steve Martin, dealing with some problems:

 

Because I know it’s a problem for people who receive these posts via email to see any videos I include, the links are here and here.

Any problems with today’s post? If you share them, you’ll halve them.

It’s no problem for me to thank Martin Short, Steve Martin, Conan O’Brien, and everybody else who helped me write today’s post. It’s also no problem for me to thank you — of course! — no matter what your problem is, here and now.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1181: What’s wrong with me?

Earlier this week, somebody in my office asked

What’s wrong with me?

I immediately replied, “Nothing.”

Throughout the therapy session, I said, “What was that question again?” And she repeated

What’s wrong with me?

And each time, I responded, “Nothing.”

By the end of the session, she was asking different, more helpful questions, including:

  • What’s right with me?
  • What are my options?
  • What can I change?
  • What are my needs?
  • What do I want?

All this week, I’ve been asking

What’s wrong with me?

And I’ve been answering myself like so:

My heart.

What’s wrong with that?  I mean, I do have a a heart with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (cctga).

However, it doesn’t help me, either, to ask

What’s wrong with me?

Does it ever help you to ask

What’s wrong with me?

What’s wrong with me assuming that it doesn’t help?

What’s wrong with these pictures I took yesterday?

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A better question is “What’s right with those pictures?”

What’s wrong with me asking for comments or thanking you for reading this, today?

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

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