Posts Tagged With: COVID-19

Day 2779: Staggering

Our 18-year-old cat, Oscar, who has cancer, has been staggering, sometimes, when he walks. Otherwise, his appetite is good and he does not seem to be in pain. He continues to be a staggeringly sweet kitty who wants to be close to his family.

It is staggering to me ….

  • What world leaders will do to hold onto power,
  • The increase of coronavirus cases in the United States,
  • That the U.S. President discourages testing and social distancing despite the recommendations of his own staff,
  • How people can ignore facts and science because of fear, anger, and denial,
  • How pernicious white male rage can be,
  • How some people are valued over others,
  • How kind, perceptive, and thoughtful my 22-year old son is,
  • That my son Aaron thinks that people should have the option of euthanasia and animals should be allowed to die naturally,
  • How long the line and wait was yesterday for Aaron to be tested for COVID-19,
  • How quickly we got the good test results,
  • How beautiful the South Shore of Boston is,
  • How everything my husband Michael cooks is so delicious, and
  • How great it is when the whole family is in the house.

Do you see anything staggering in my photos from yesterday ?

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It is staggering to me that somebody posted a negative comment at the end of this article in the Deseret News starring yours truly.

https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/indepth/2020/5/31/21264377/coronavirus-anthony-fauci-socks-quarantine-pandemic-covid-19-tees-tshirts-masks-etsy

It is staggering to me that

  • Jennifer Graham, the awesome writer of that article, found me through this blog and
  • the article links to this performance of my original song “Left the House Before I Felt Ready”!

My viewer numbers on YouTube are still less than staggering even after the publication of that story. However, I will keep staggering along in my pursuit of fame and fortune.

In the meantime, I am staggeringly grateful to all who follow me here, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2731: Nature

Since my nature is to observe nature (including human nature), it’s natural that I would write posts with nature in the title. However, this is only my fifth post out of two thousand seven hundred and thirty-one to use the word “nature” (see the other ones here, herehere, and here) and the first one where “nature” stands alone.

Is it your nature to guess why I chose the title “nature”after looking at my photos from yesterday?

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Is it your nature to choose your favorite photos of all of those?  My nature is that it’s sometimes difficult to choose, but this one — with its gentleness, kindness, love, and self control  —  appeals most to my nature:

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When I wasn’t out & about observing human nature & nature, I watched the beautiful Chinese animated film Big Fish & Begonia, which is about nature, human nature, and the call of the ocean.

It is my nature to include the official trailer for Big Fish & Begonia:

 

It is also my nature to collect hearts & thank you’s, so here is the natural end to today’s post:

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2718: Where all the monsters are

Looking back at yesterday’s Daily Bitch Calendar, I see where all the monsters are.

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I don’t know if I agree with the Daily Bitch Calendar that all the monsters are in back of me, since I see monsters elsewhere.

When we look back at my other images from yesterday, are there monsters there?

 

Therapists EVERYWHERE must deal with the monsters within their patients and themselves.

Here‘s “Calling All the Monsters” with China Anne McClain from A.N.T. Farm:

 

Where do you think all the monsters are?

Looking back again, I thought the coronavirus monster might be at CVS when I snapped this photo yesterday:

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2714: Bitching Days

As we’ve all been bitching about during this bitching pandemic,  it’s been difficult to know what bitching day it is, because one bitching day merges into another one.

Therefore,  I was bitching thrilled when the Daily Bitch Calendar arrived at my home yesterday.

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I’ve been missing that bitching calendar from work, every bitching day.

Can you bitching believe what that bitching calendar was bitching about the last day I was in my bitching office?

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On February 28, I was bitching to my husband Michael that I didn’t want to leave him and go to bitching New York City for a bitching week-long conference with hundreds of other bitches from all over the bitching world, what with all the bitching news about the bitching coronavirus pandemic.

Well, we’re all bitching about the bitching pandemic together now.

I shared yesterday’s Daily Bitch calendar page with both my bitching  Thursday therapy groups.

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That is bitching hilarious, because people in groups often bitch about their families.

Here are many other bitching days from The Daily Bitch Calendar:

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I wish we all had an adult role model to look up to, every bitching day.

This daily bitch …

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… is a nice segue to all my other photos from my bitching day yesterday.

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Honestly, what has Harley got to bitch about?

Here‘s a cat video from some bitching days in 2020:

 

I look forward to your bitching comments, every bitching day!

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2707: Outlets

It’s challenging to find outlets for our feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, and wishes when the coronavirus is out there, not letting us live our normal and familiar  lives.

Yesterday, my outlets included

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My outlets also include music and dancing, and Michael and I recently danced to this old R.E.M. tune:

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
R.E.M.
Looking at your watch a third time
Waiting in the station for the bus
Going to a place that’s far
So far away and if that’s not enough
Going where nobody says hello
They don’t talk to anybody they don’t know
You’ll wind up in some factory
That’s full time filth and nowhere left to go
Walk home to an empty house
Sit around all by yourself
I know it might sound strange but I believe
You’ll be coming back before too long
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
Don’t go back to Rockville
And waste another year
At night I drink myself to sleep and pretend
I don’t care if you’re not here with me
‘Cause it’s so much easier to handle
All my problems if I’m too far out to sea
But something better happen soon
Or it’s gonna be too late to bring you back

When people have an outlet to express themselves (like my Coping and Healing Groups), they’re saying it feels too late to bring ourselves back to where we were before the pandemic and that we might all be wasting another year waiting for this to be over.

How can any year be wasted if we meet each moment fully and as a friend?

What are your outlets, my friends?

Here’s another daily outlet for me: gratitude.

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Categories: gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2706: Urgent

Despite my dealing with many urgent situations over the last two thousand, seven hundred and six days (but who’s urgently counting?), I’ve never published a blog post with the title “Urgent” before.

Well, there’s no time like the present and these can seem like urgent times, although “urgent” is not an adjective I’ve heard about these times we’re living through together. I HAVE heard people describe these times as

  • challenging,
  • uncertain,
  • difficult,
  • strange,
  • weird,
  • anxious,
  • upsetting,
  • frightening,
  • scary,
  • terrifying,
  • troubling,
  • painful,
  • confusing,
  • unexpected,
  • unprecedented,
  • stressful,
  • crazy,
  • crazy-making, and
  • surreal.

Yesterday, during these challenging, uncertain, difficult, strange, etc. times, we brought our cat Oscar back to the Urgent Care Veterinary Center for a blood pressure test and to get medication. His situation didn’t seem urgent enough for an ultrasound of his digestive tract yesterday. However, if he ever throws up dried blood again,  we’ll urgently schedule that test as soon as possible.

Anything urgent in my pictures from yesterday?

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People in my Coping and Healing group yesterday talked about many topics — urgent and otherwise —  including the anniversary tribute to Prince , which I had missed. So, after our trip to the Veterinary Urgent Care Center, Michael, Oscar, and I watched “Let’s Go Crazy: Grammy Prince Tribute” On Demand last night, including this performance posted on YouTube by BoDerekSmith:

Here’s an urgent performance of “Baby I’m A Star” by the original, one-and-only Prince.

What feels urgent to me, during times like these, is finding and sharing moments of joy with others.

It’s not urgent that you express your thoughts and feelings about this “Urgent” post in a comment; however, it’s definitely appreciated. Urgent and emergent thanks to all who help me create these blog posts, including YOU!

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Categories: gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2697: PTSD

People who regularly read this blog might know that PTSD can stand for

During this age of anxiety, PTSD can also stand for

Plague Times Stress Disorder

Pandemic Terror Stress Disorder

Almost everyone I know has some form of PTSD, including me.

Here‘s something that’s been helping people deal with PTSD: Some Good News with John Krasinski:

I don’t know if this is a sign of PTSD, but I can’t make it through any episode of that wonderful show without crying.

Here are my latest PTSDs (Photos That Somebody Deserves):

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What are your thoughts and feelings about PTSD, my Perceptive, Terrific, Super, and Dear readers?

Presently, Thanks Seem Deserved.

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Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2696: The Age of Anxiety

Yesterday, during what felt like an age of anxiety on Easter 2020 at a Boston Whole Foods Market,  I noticed this magazine in a check-out line:

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I’m pretty sure that magazine came out before COVID-19 anxiety, which is aging all of us. During any age of anxiety, it helps to know that you are not alone, as that magazine cover reminds us.

Do you see evidence of the age of anxiety in the other images I captured yesterday?

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I’ve been experiencing an age of anxiety because my INR has not been within range for TWO MONTHS (partly because of my having COVID-19 and taking antibiotics for suspected pneumonia), until yesterday.

I celebrated my INR being in range with …

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… chocolate bunnies (on sale)!

Here‘s a post I wrote, during a different age, about how to reduce anxiety (which can multiply as quickly as bunnies).

Do any of my photos, above, reduce your anxiety?  This is my favorite anxiety-reducing photo from today’s post:

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That neighborhood cat seems to be doing okay during this age of anxiety.

Here is The Age of Anxiety (Symphony #2) written by Leonard Bernstein in 1949, inspired by the 1947 W.H. Auden poem The Age of Anxiety:

There have been many ages of anxiety throughout our evolutionary transitions. How are you getting through this one?

As always, I’m getting through this age of anxiety with gratitude.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2695: What’s the title of today’s post?

Almost exactly six hundred days and posts ago (but who’s counting during these strange times?), I created and published a post with the same title as today’s.

 

Today’s post COULD be titled Day 2695: Stay Wicked Fah Apart.

 

 

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It could be also titled

  •  Day 2695: Social Distancing is Working
  • Day 2695: When will things return to normal and what will that look like?
  • Day 2695: With daffodils and magnolia trees in full bloom
  • Day 2695: The rites of spring
  • Day 2695: Clouded
  • Day 2695: A hard truth
  • Day 2695: No one really knows
  • Day 2695: Let’s keep playing!

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  • Day 2695: Let’s Go!
  • Day 2695: SLOW

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  • Day 2695: Caution

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  • Day 2695: Sheer Compassion

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Looking at all the photos I took yesterday, you might have your own ideas about what the title of today’s post could be.

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Here is music for one of the suggested titles, above.

 

The title of today’s post, of course, could also be Day 2695: Thanks!

 

Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2693: Some things can’t be undone

Last night, after spending many hours in online therapy groups joining with people who felt undone by the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw Bonnie Raitt on our TV …

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… performing the song “Undone,” with the line “Some things can’t be undone.”

Some things can’t be undone, like the USA’s initial reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, which will result in many more lives lost.

My other photos from yesterday can’t be undone.

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That salmon was perfectly done.

Some things can’t be undone, like my ordering this massager to undo the knots in my neck, shoulder, and back after working every day from home:

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Some things can’t be undone, like my having a pacemaker (see warning #7 above).

Some good things can’t be undone, like the incredible acts of bravery and kindness performed every day by health care workers, like Emergency Medicine Physician Halleh Akbarnia:

I have been an Emergency Medicine Physician for almost 20 years. I have worked through numerous disasters, and I’m used to the daily grind of heart attacks, gunshots, strokes, flu, traumas, and more. It’s par for the course in my field. Yet nothing has made me feel the way I do about my “job” as this pandemic has—that knot-in-the-pit–of-your-stomach sensation while heading into work, comforted only by the empathetic faces of my colleagues who are going through the same. I am grateful for their presence, knowing they are both literally and figuratively with me, that they understand and accept so profoundly the risks we take each day. I also hope that my friends and family forgive me for my lack of presence during this time—precisely when we need each other most—and that they realize that their words, their encouragement, and their small gestures that come my way daily are the fuel that gets me through each day. This is a story for all of us.

I met my patient, Mr. C., on my first real “pandemic” shift, when what we were seeing that day was what we had been preparing for. He was classic in his presentation, his X-ray findings, his low oxygen levels… we just knew. And he was the nicest man I had met in a long time. Gasping for breath, he kept asking if we needed anything, and that it would all be okay. He told us he was a teacher but that he was learning so much from us, and how much he respected what we were doing. The opposite could not be more true.

We had to decide how long we would try to let him work through this low oxygen state before needing to intubate him. His levels kept falling and despite all our best efforts it was time to put him on the ventilator. He told us he didn’t feel great about this, “but Doc, I trust you and am putting myself in your hands.” That uneasy feeling in my stomach grew even more in that moment. But he, with his teacher’s steady voice, kept me grounded, where I was supposed to be. I saw his eyes looking at me, seeing the kindness in them, even as we pushed the medications to put him to sleep. To say this was an “easy” intubation is an understatement. It was not. He nearly left us a few times during those first minutes, but he kept coming back. We fought hard to keep him with us. The patience and strength of my team that day, truly remarkable.

I handed him over to my friend and colleague, Dr. Beth Ginsburg, and her team in the ICU, and her calming voice reassured me that they had it from here. And then for the next twelve days, I waited and watched his progress, knowing the statistics, and how sick he was when he got to us. They did their magic, and just yesterday my new friend Mr. C was extubated. I decided to go “meet” him again.

Mr C. was in the COVID stepdown unit, recovering, without family. Nobody was allowed to visit him; even worse, his wife had been home alone in isolation for the past fourteen days, too. My heart broke thinking of how that must have been for her. I cautiously went into his room, donned in my PPE, and when he saw me, he stopped for a second. A moment of recognition.

I introduced myself. “I’m Dr. Akbarnia, Mr. C. I was the last person you saw in the ER. You told me you trusted us to get you to this side. Looks like you did just fine.” He started to cry. He said, “I remember your eyes.” And I started to cry. What he didn’t know is that, at that moment, I realized that we do what we do exactly for people like him, for moments like these. His strength, his kindness, his calming words to me meant everything. At that moment, my heart (which had been beating over 100 bpm since this pandemic began) finally slowed down.

I sat down and we talked. I told him that while he is here, we are his family. He will always have a place in my heart. And whether he knows it or not, he will be my silent warrior and guide as I take care of every patient, COVID or not. He will fuel me until the day I hang up my stethoscope.

(Picture and story posted with full permission from patient)

ETA: I was asked if this can be shared. Please do.

#covidsurvivor #hope #covid19 #advocatehealth #condell #frontliners #inthistogether #heartofaphysician

Image may contain: 2 people, beard and indoor

 

 

Some things can’t be undone, like my daily gratitude to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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