Posts Tagged With: INR

Day 3342: Herding cats

A manager I know at work sometimes refers to her job as “herding cats.”

Here’s what I find online about herding cats:

Managing people can be like herding cats. Managing thoughts, which can go everywhere — into the future, into the past, miles away from where we actually are, and often to the worst-case scenario — can be like herding cats. People and thoughts are entities which are inherently uncontrollable.

Speaking of entities which are inherently uncontrollable, there’s cats. Yesterday, I didn’t close the front door correctly after we got home after food shopping amongst many unherded people. When the door came open later, our cat Joan (who used to live unherded on the streets of Tennessee with her sisters and lots of kittens) got out. My husband Michael, who was on the phone, noticed the door was open and his unherded thoughts went to disaster (a cat has escaped and is GONE!) but Joan, unherded, walked back in. When Joan jumped up on the sofa next to me, my unherded thoughts tried to figure out why she felt so cold.

We’re all very relieved that Joan didn’t take off — unherded and unheard from again — for warm Tennessee.

Now I’m going to herd my images for today into some sort of order.

I assume that someone on Twitter is going to herd those days into a single celebration, like “I’m going to go to the dentist wearing a dress after getting cavities from eating frozen food, oreo cookies, and white chocolate cheesecake, and getting a medal for finishing all those.”

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “herding cats.”

Now I’ve got to go herd my blood-testing equipment into line and check my INR. Feel free to herd any thoughts and feelings you have about this post into a comment, below.

Thanks to all those who help me herd so many things into this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 3338: Chores

It’s no chore for me to blog every day and here’s a definition of “chore.”

My husband, Michael (who does almost all the chores around here) and I sometimes discuss what chores we dread. He dreads the chore of taking out the garbage and I dread the chores of being on call at work, doing our taxes, and testing my blood every other week because I take the anticoagulant Coumadin. We both dread the chore of taking either of our cats to the vet.

Last night, I asked this question on Twitter:

I phrased the question that way because a few people have let me know that they find my Twitter questions a chore. I look forward to reading all the answers to that question, which will be no chore at all.

My niece Julie McGrath has said this about chores: “Try changing I HAVE to do this to I GET to do this!” Using Julie’s advice, I’ll say this: I get to check my blood INR today!

I also get to share all these quotes about chores with you, plus other random images.

Today I get to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, which is no chore at all.

If it’s no chore, please leave a comment below.

Now I get to express my thanks to all who get to do chores and who read my blog, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3306: Chillax

Because I can’t seem to break my habit of worrying about (1) possible catastrophes, (2) not responding quickly enough to everyone, and (3) inexplicably high numbers for my weight and my INR, I am telling myself (and anyone else who needs to hear it) to chillax.

If you don’t know what “chillax” means, chillax. Here’s a definition.

These days, I can dance to my favorite tune or chillax, but I can’t have friends over because of Omicron.

Yesterday, in a remote Coping and Healing therapy group, we helped each other chillax by consciously letting go of fears and accepting our own worth.

I recently committed to doing another remote Open Mic on Friday and doing a presentation about my groups in February, so I need to chillax about both of those. I have a tendency to get nervous about performances, even though I’ve done so many before, so (say it along with me, please) …

Chillax.

After I get up every precious morning, I chillax by creating this blog. Do any of my images for today help you chillax?

I don’t know what “World Quark Day” is, but I’m going to chillax about that. Also, I’ve been eating way too much popcorn lately, which might explain the weight gain, so instead of eating popcorn on National Popcorn Day, I’m going to chillax.

Joan chillaxes by fetching her favorite toy.

What helps you chillax?

Ending each daily blog post with gratitude helps me chillax, so thanks to everyone who is visiting here now, including YOU.

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

Day 3296: Numbers

I’ve written numbers of blog posts about numbers during the last 3,296 days, although I am not sure what that exact number is.

I was thinking about numbers today because of the rising numbers of COVID cases worldwide. Because the Omicron variant is so highly contagious, those numbers seem very scary.

I was also thinking of numbers today because every other Sunday I need to check my INR numbers. I check those numbers every other week because I have a mechanical heart valve, so I need to take a number of anti-coagulant pills every day.

The INR numbers, for me, are supposed to be between 2.5 – 3.5. (The INR number for a typical person is supposed to be 1.) If the numbers are too low, my mechanical heart valve might clog and need to be replaced. If the numbers are too high, I might bruise and even bleed internally.

My numbers are usually pretty steady, but sometimes they are a little too high or low. There are very few numbers that have been really scary. But I still get nervous whenever I’m waiting a number of seconds for my home testing machine to give me those numbers every other Sunday.

Here is the number I got this morning:

That is outside the ideal numbers of 2.5 – 3.5, but not by much. My anticoagulant nurse, Veronica, will call my cell phone number tomorrow and, I assume, tell me to eat higher numbers of spinach leaves this week and/or reduce the numbers of pills I take.

Do you see numbers in my other images for today?

Out of those numbers of National Days, I’ll be celebrating National Sunday Supper Day at home with my husband Michael and my son Aaron.

Here’s “Numbers” by Kraftwerk.

Over the years, I’ve taken countless numbers of photos, just so I can end these blog posts with thanks to YOU.

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3024: Pro (and con)-crastination

These days, many people in therapy are talking about procrastination.

Without procrastination, I’ll tell you why: People feel guilt and shame about not getting more done during the coronavirus pandemic when “I had so much more time on my hands!”

I wish people would stop procrastinating letting go of guilt and shame about procrastination. Procrastination is NOT a sin. Procrastination occurs when you

  • have to do something you dislike doing,
  • are focusing on the prospect of failure,
  • don’t have the information or resources you need to complete the task, and/or
  • are not at your best and think you would do a better job if you waited until you felt better.

When you consider that, it’s amazing any of us are getting ANYTHING done.

I’m now procrastinating sharing something I just realized. I not only procrastinate, I also do the opposite of procrastination, which I’m calling concrastination.

What is concrastination? It’s the need to do something immediately, without putting it off to a better time. I concrastinate the following:

  • responding to emails, texts, and phone calls,
  • meeting people’s expressed needs,
  • trying to solve perceived problems,
  • exploring new ideas,
  • expressing my feelings, and
  • creating blog posts after I wake up, even if it’s in the middle of the night.

Do you see procrastination or concrastination in any of today’s images?

Here is PROCRASTINATION – The Musical by AVbyte:

I’m concrastinating asking for comments, below, and expressing thanks to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU!

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

Day 2644: The rules

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been thinking about rules.  The rules keep changing, but certain rules are clear:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Connect with others remotely.

Here are the rules for somebody like me — who was almost definitely infected by the coronavirus but who could never get tested because of the scarcity of test kits — according to this email from my Primary Care Physician:

In terms of when you can end YOUR isolation (again, I am assuming you had COVID-19), according to the CDC (as of today – I just verified) you can leave your home once you have been fever-free without fever-reducing medication for 72 hours AND your cough has improved AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you are still fever-free after 72 hours (tomorrow? Thurs?) and your cough is improving, I think you can leave your home but if you are still coughing it would be best to wear a mask.

Because my rules include “first, do no harm”  I waited a couple of extra days and first ventured out of my home yesterday. My rules include staying away from people and using gloves whenever I touch anything. As I wrote to a friend this morning:

I shall do my best to continue flattening the curve while not getting flattened by all this.

The rules at this blog include sharing photos that rule:

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The rules for me, because I have a mechanical heart valve and take Warfarin daily, include my checking my INR at home.  Because my INR was so high yesterday (it’s supposed to be between 2.5 and 3.5), my medical team’s rules included my skipping a dose of Warfarin last night and eating more greens. New rules: We think the coronavirus and my taking antibiotics have probably disrupted my INR temporarily.  The rules of common sense tell us that this number will stabilize again soon.

The rules of this blog also include

  • inviting you to share your rules, thoughts, and feelings in a comment, below, and
  • expressing gratitude for all who help me figure out the rules, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2479: What I’m letting in

I’ve been letting in my readers on my process of writing a new original song with the title What’s Keeping Me Up Is What’s Going Down.”

I’m letting in additions to that song, like this:

What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.
I see no good reason to be wearing a grin.
Noises begin and reach a painful din.
What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

What I’m letting in, here and now, includes all these images from yesterday:

 

I’m letting in

  • the good news that my INR is a perfect 3.0,
  • the unusual structures of some hearts,
  • more love,
  • the challenges of being an adult,
  • hope,
  • pickleball paddles,
  • global warming,
  • my poor penmanship,
  • animals,
  • dirt cake, and
  • the reality that Michael mistakenly set the alarm for 8 PM, so I need to run to get to work on time.

I’m letting in “I’m Letting in the Sunshine” by Piney Gir:

What are you letting in?  I hope you have room to let in my gratitude to you and to  all who help me create these posts.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1940: It’s all coming together

Even though this blog has been coming together daily for several years,  I’ve never before quoted something my boyfriend Michael says all the time.  Whenever I express relief or another positive reaction to some development, minor or major, Michael says, “It’s all coming together.”

I think Michael says that so often because

  • things seem to fall apart as often as they come together,
  • we discuss many falling-apart and coming-together developments, and
  • he wants to help me keep it together.

For example, yesterday I left the refrigerator door open when I left early in the morning, the refrigerator heated up to the extent that Michael had to throw away lots of food, I left my Fitbit at home, many people were falling apart at work, and whenever I looked at the news, it seemed like the whole world was falling apart. However, when I did a blood test last night and found my INR was in range (during a period where it’s often been out of range), Michael immediately declared, “It’s all coming together.”  It all came together for me and I said, “That’s the title of my blog post tomorrow.”

All my photos that weren’t loading to this site are now coming together, including several photos of ducks coming together.

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It’s all coming together for me to share #8 on this top 30 list of awesome rock.

It’s all right now and it’s all coming together for me to express my thanks to all who help me write these posts and — of course! — to YOU, for coming together to this blog.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1923: Accepting all feelings

653 days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post titled “Accepting all feelings” wherein I described feelings I was having about open heart surgery.  Yesterday morning, I had many feelings when I kept screwing up my  INR blood test because I was rushing to get to Physical Therapy for my injured shoulder. After my INR home monitor had rejected my THIRD attempt to test a blood sample,  I had so many bad feelings that I lost it.

As I was F-bombing my way around our home, I woke up Michael, who heard this exchange.

Me: F — all of this!  I can’t stand it any more!

Oscar:  Meow!

Me: F— you, Oscar!

Michael thought I had finally lost it because of my feelings about Oscar. And I do have feelings when Oscar sleeps on my injured shoulder, walks and sits on my laptop when I’m trying to blog (like now), gives me love bites (like now), and almost trips me every day when I’m going down the stairs and trying to get out of the house on time. However, I accept that Oscar does these things because he wants to be close to me, which is usually a good feeling.

After I made it to Physical Therapy on time, got help from people at work in capturing an adequate blood sample, and discovered that my INR reading was okay,  it was easier to accept my feelings because they were better.

Soon after that, I facilitated a therapy group where people talked about lots of feelings. I suggested that people work on accepting all feelings by writing down their feelings and illustrating them.

I accept all feelings about my photos from yesterday.

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Here’s what I found on YouTube about “accepting all feelings.”

Watching the ocean definitely helps me accept all feelings.

I hope you accept all my feelings of gratitude, here and now.

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

Day 1769: Perfect

Because I talk to people about letting go of the need to be perfect, I’m not surprised that I’ve written only one other post titled “Perfect.”

Because human beings are not perfect, I’m not surprised that my perfect temperature in that July 2016 post was temporary and between two hospitalizations.

Yesterday, I had a perfect INR of 3.1.

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I confess that I am NOT being perfect in preventing falls, because I

  • am not wearing my glasses while I’m typing this post,
  • do not keep my home perfectly clutter free,
  • am often walking and talking,
  • have texted while walking, and
  • do not bring my list of medicines to doctor visits.

I DO try not to get distracted.  However, I’m distracted enough by that list that I’m going to get my glasses.

I think my new glasses are perfect.

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That’s probably temporary, too.

Let’s see if there are any perfect quotes about “Perfect.”

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. — Alice Walker

Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror. — Rabindranath Tagore

Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward. — Drew Houston

An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person’s main task in life — becoming a better person. — Leo Tolstoy

I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man. — Alexander Hamilton

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. — Winston Churchill

Tell me I’m clever,

Tell me I’m kind,

Tell me I’m talented,

Tell me I’m cute,

Tell me I’m sensitive,

Grateful and wise,

Tell me I’m perfect —

But tell me the truth. — Shel Silverstein

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle. — Walt Whitman

Are any of these photos perfect?

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While taking most of those photos yesterday, I was listening to Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish That I Could Come Back as a Flower,” which was perfect.

Any comments from you would be perfect.

Perfect thanks to all who helped me create today’s imperfect post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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