Posts Tagged With: Dr. Michael Davidson

Day 759: We go on

This post may go on for a while, since there was a lot going on yesterday.

The first thing I needed to do yesterday — after going on about tests in this blog post — was to go on into work.

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As you can see, we are going on — in Boston, Massachusetts USA —  despite quite the blizzard.

Penny the Pen …


goes on adventures with me these days. That chair is where my patients usually sit as we go on, in therapy sessions,  about many important issues. Yesterday, the hospital-based primary care practice where I go on practicing individual and group psychotherapy was closed down, due to all the snow that had gone on the day before.

We go on with the support of competent, caring people, don’t you think? Where I work, one of those people is Chris.


Chris is one of those people who cares so much that she’ll go on into work even when the practice is closed. In that photo, you can see her hands going on about their business, as I went on taking that photo in her office.

Soon after I took that photo, I told Chris I had to go on to a scheduled cardiac test at Children’s Hospital, across the street.

I’ll go on, briefly now,  about that scheduled cardiac CT scan. My doctors — who I tend to go on about in this blog (like here, here, and here) — prefer to go on solid data about my very unusual heart, as we make some difficult decisions about heart surgery. The cardiac CT scan, going on at hospitals near me, should help with that (especially for a heart like mine, which goes on despite a backwards design).

Here are some photos of me going on to the cardiac CT scan at Children’s Hospital, yesterday:

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It takes courage for me to go on through those doors, since scary and painful things were going on around me in that hospital, when I was growing up.

We go on healing, throughout our lives, from painful experiences when we were younger. For me, returning to old places, in a new way, helps, as does taking photos as I go on:

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Kind and competent people helped me go on through that unfamiliar test, yesterday.


Melissa and I are going on, there, about a new device that helps her find a good-enough vein for the CT scan. Because Melissa did not believe that she was photogenic (even though I went on about how untrue that was), I used Penny as a stunt double for her:


Melissa and Del (not pictured) got the needle and the IV to go on through my vein like it was supposed to.


Shall we go on, in this story, to the cardiac CT scan room?

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We Bostonians — whether we’re adults, children, patients, or treaters — do go on about the Red Sox.

I shall go on, now, and  introduce you to Kara


… who is standing next to her portrait in the CT scan room’s giant mural.  Kara’s story about that mural reminded me that we go on, despite tragedies in our lives. The mural was designed by a man whose sister had died young, and he used her huge vinyl record collection to create the images on the wall.

Kara showed me how one co-worker, because of where she’s located in the mural, gets teased about having a split personality:


I could go on and on about the kindness of Kara and Melissa, who took care of me with heated blankets during the CT scan procedure and ginger ale and snacks after it was all over:


That was my first ginger ale in about 50 years! When I was a kid at Children’s Hospital, ginger ale was the only drink they had going on there, and I haven’t been able to stomach it since … until I decided to try it again, yesterday.

We go on, when we try things with a new perspective. That ginger ale tasted delicious.

After the cardiac CT scan, I had to go on to more tests at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, nearby.

I passed by this room, at Children’s Hospital


dedicated to the cardiologist who helped my parents and me go on, when I was born with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries.

Before I go on too long about my Day of Tests yesterday,  here’s a photo I quickly snapped of the Pulmonary Functioning Test (PFT) Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital:


After that test, I went down to the lobby of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and saw this:


A memorial — created by his co-workers — to Michael J. Davidson, the cardiac surgeon who was shot and killed last week.



We go on, as best we can.


I then went on home, as Pat Metheny’s “We Go On” played in my headphones.

(“We Go On” is going on at YouTube, here and now.)

As usual, music I love helped me go on, and I saw all this:

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Many thanks to Chris, Melissa, Del, Kara, Dr. Nadas, Dr. Michael Davidson, Pat Metheny, and all the kind people who have helped me go on in my life — including you, for visiting me here today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 752: Too much?

Here’s a question I heard in a therapy group at work, yesterday morning:


This question was asked and answered, in many different ways, by people feeling

  • vulnerable,
  • self-critical, and
  • overwhelmed.

Was that


For me,  it was neither too much nor too little. I was honored to witness all of them, as they spoke, wrote, and shared about “too much.”

Often, in group therapy and elsewhere, people wonder: “Am I


They ask, in many different ways: “Are my feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, demands, desires, responsibilities, tears, fears, hopes, burdens, reactions, laughter, anger, worries,  disappointments, expectations


What do you think?

Yesterday, after work, I met with my primary cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, for two hours, for the second time in two months.

Was that


Did we talk


Whenever I talk to Dr. Salem, it seems like the right amount.

Did we decide


Not really. In the course of that long conversation, Dr. Salem and I discussed many scenarios and possibilities, including

  • the possibility of my having heart surgery soon after I return from California, in less than two months,
  • the distinct possibility that will help me feel better and live longer,
  • the distinct possibility of that heart surgery — valve replacement — making my heart worse,
  • the distinct possibility that if we do nothing for too long, my heart will deteriorate to the point where that surgery will not fix things, and I will need to wait for a heart transplant,
  • doing and deciding nothing until we get the results of the kashmillion* tests I’ll be undergoing in the next couple of weeks, and
  • Dr. Salem starting a blog about me.

I don’t think Dr. Salem was serious about that last possibility. When he said, “I’m going to start a blog about YOU,” as he left the exam room yesterday, to page one of the kashmillion* cardiologists I’ve been seeing lately, that sounded more like a threat than a promise.

Isn’t Dr. Salem


And I mean that with just the right amount of affection and respect.

In all that I dealt with yesterday, was there anything that seemed


One thing that seemed too much to comprehend and bear: When I arrived for my appointment with Dr. Salem yesterday, he was on the phone making plans to attend and participate in the memorial service for Dr. Michael J. Davidson.



I found those images here, left in loving memory of the cardiac surgeon who was shot and killed at a nearby Boston hospital, two days ago.

For you, is there anything in this post that is


I hope you know that any thoughts, feelings, or questions you express in a comment will NOT be too much, for me.

As I try to comprehend all that is happening around me, what helps me are

  • music,
  • community, and
  • humor.

So, when I woke up this morning, I thought about an old skit from Saturday Night Live. Let’s see if I can find it, anywhere …

I guess that was too much for me to expect, that I could show you the “Nuclear Plant Retiree” skit with Ed Asner, from Season 10 of Saturday Night Live.

If I try to describe that skit to you, would that be


In that SNL skit,  a nuclear power plant expert, played by Ed Asner, is retiring. At his goodbye party,  he says to his co-workers:

No matter what happens, you just need to remember one thing: You can never put too much water in the nuclear core.

Everybody nods and bids him farewell.

Some time after he’s gone, something goes horribly wrong at the reactor. As people are panicking, some people are convinced he meant “Don’t put any water in there!” and others think he meant, “Put as much water in as you can!”

The last shot in that skit: Ed Asner sitting on a tropical beach with a nuclear cloud in the background.

Isn’t language — and all the possibilities of human beings misunderstanding each other —


What music would be — not too much, not too little — just enough for this post?

As it is, this is the music I was listening to yesterday, as I was dealing with all there was:

If there’s too little of Pat Metheny playing “As It Is” in this post for you, you can find it here, on YouTube.

Would some other photos I took yesterday be


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My boyfriend Michael thinks it’s too much when people leave up Christmas lights this late in January. Since I enjoy color and light when it’s cold and dark, I think it’s just right.

Too much thanks to Dr. Salem, to the late Dr. Michael  Davidson, to my bf Michael, to Saturday Night Live, to Pat Metheny,  and to everybody everywhere who has ever helped me and others deal with too much and too little (including you).

* Kashmillion is too much.

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

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