Posts Tagged With: heart valve surgery

Day 1379: My boyfriend, Michael

My boyfriend, Michael, took over this daily blog three weeks ago when I underwent open heart surgery.

My boyfriend, Michael, DOUBLED my readership, temporarily, with the two posts he wrote on September 21 and September 22.

My boyfriend, Michael, made me laugh so hard  after I got my new heart valve at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on September 21, that it HURT.

My boyfriend, Michael, is already sick of telling certain stories about our trip to Minnesota, so I guess I should start telling them, here and now:

Story #1:

Immediately after my open heart surgery on September 21, I woke up eager to communicate, but  I had a breathing tube down my throat preventing me from talking, so Michael and the ICU nurse, Gene, got me a pad and paper.  Gene and Michael had trouble reading what I was writing, which frustrated me.  The first thing I wrote was, “Am I okay?” Michael replied, “It went great!”  I wrote back, “Would you tell me if it didn’t?” Michael said, “I don’t know how to answer that question, baby.” Then, Gene took over trying to decipher what I was writing on the pad of paper. As  I laboriously wrote out “I dreamed  of Michael”, Gene said to Michael, “Hey!  Your name is Michael, right? I guess she dreamed of you!”  I disgustedly shook my head and completed the sentence: “I dreamed of Michael BRECKER” (the jazz saxophonist whose music my cardiac surgeon played during my heart valve replacement surgery).

Story #2:

Because Michael is so charming and engaging, he connected and chatted with all my ICU nurses, which I enjoyed,  but it also annoyed me when I wanted their attention. Also, some of the topics Michael and my ICU nurses were discussing bothered me, because I was feeling so vulnerable.  For example,  my third ICU nurse, named Jason, was a beekeeper, so  Jason and Michael had a discussion about bees. I eventually interrupted them and  said, “Hey! It’s upsetting me to hear you talk about bees.  Don’t you know that the bees are DYING?”  In the meantime, a doctor had come in to examine me and  discuss my progress, and she concluded,  in a thick Slavic accent: “Okay.   We will continue monitoring her hemoglobin,  give her more medication for her nausea, start Coumadin through her IV, and don’t talk about the bees.”

My boyfriend, Michael, tells those two stories much better than I do.

My boyfriend, Michael, who is an excellent cook, used his phone yesterday to communicate with my 18-year-old son, Aaron, to teach him how to make his first quesadillas at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.







My boyfriend, Michael, was happy to get back from Minnesota, two weeks ago, to see our two cats, Oscar and Harley.



My boyfriend, Michael, really likes the group Joy Division, who never sound particularly joyful to me.


My boyfriend, Michael, isn’t going to express his gratitude to all those who helped his girlfriend create this post and to all those who are reading it, but I will!



Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 97 Comments

Day 1355: My heart soars

My soon-to-be-repaired heart soars at all the good wishes,  beautiful thoughts, and love I’ve been receiving here in the blogosphere and in the northern hemisphere.

My heart soared yesterday when somebody at work gave me a heart-felt, soaring present.









Like that heart-soaring girl,  I’ll soon be soaring through the air. In two days, I’ll be soaring with my boyfriend Michael to Minnesota for a new valve, which should make my heart soar even better.

What makes your heart soar?

My heart soars  at the memory of this music from Peter Pan.

When I was a kid, my very unusual heart soared whenever Peter Pan soared into my living room.

Whenever comments soar into my blog, my heart soars.

Thanks from my  soon-to-be-sore-and-then-healing heart  to all who helped me create this post  and to you — of course! — for soaring here today.

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

Day 1247: Find your place

As I was finding my place in Newton, Massachusetts, USA yesterday, I found a place with this sign:


I found a place for that image on my iPhone and now I’ve found a place for it, here.

Over the next few months I’ll be finding my place in many places, including

  • the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington, Massachusetts, to sing at another Open Mic,
  • Simmons College in Boston, for an intensive 3-day conference on group therapy,
  • New York City, with another attempt to try out for The Voice,
  • Springfield, Massachusetts to see comedian Louis C.K.,
  • Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend the Festival Fringe and also get my son settled for his first year of university, and
  • the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for heart valve replacement surgery.

What helps me find a place, wherever I go?

  • Love.
  • Faith.
  • Hope.
  • Charity.
  • Creativity.
  • Openness to new experiences.
  • Learning.
  • Using all my senses.
  • Support from others.
  • Self Care.
  • Confidence.
  • Music.
  • Being in the moment.
  • Letting go.
  • Breathing.
  • Self expression.
  • Bravery.
  • Balance.
  • Preparation.
  • Spontaneity.
  • Humor.
  • Curiosity.
  • Skill.
  • Character.
  • Safety.
  • Home.
  • The right clothes for the weather.
  • Blogging.
  • Awareness of what’s around me.
  • My GPS system, Waze.

What helps you find your place?

I shall now find a place for the other photos I took yesterday. I hope you find your place through each one.























Now that you’ve found your place at the end of today’s photos, I’m finding a place for some music I made yesterday.

I found a place in my day yesterday to make up new lyrics for “So What?” by Miles Davis. In case you can’t find your place through those lyrics, here they are:

I’m gonna have an operation.

So what?

A finer chance I’ve never had.

So what?

They’re gonna do it at the Mayo.

So what?

I’m gonna get a brand new valve.

So what?

I’m gonna have an operation.

So what?

A shiny new mechanical valve.

So what?

They’re gonna do it at the Mayo.

So what?

A finer chance I’ve never had.

So what?

I’m gonna have an operation.

So what?

I’m kind of scared and kind of nervous.

So what?

They’re gonna give me a new valve.

So what?

I can’t wait for it to happen.

So what?

A finer chance I’ve never had.

So what?

I am finding my place, now, to point out that my voice found its place all the way up to high G while I was finding my place at the keyboard, sitting down.

Please find your place for comments, below.

I’ve now found my place for gratitude to all those who helped me create this post and to you — of course!  — for finding your place here.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 27 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?























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

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