Posts Tagged With: living with a congenital heart condition

Day 2256: Heartbreak to Happiness

Yesterday, I went from heartbreak (about my wonderful, trusted, and long-time cardiologist Dr. Mark Estes leaving Boston) to happiness about the kindness, caring, commitment, and competency of my new cardiologist, Dr. Munther Homoud.

While I was waiting to see Dr. Homoud for the first time, I noticed all this:

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I’ve gone from heartbreak to happiness about my unusual congenital heart disorder many, many times during my almost sixty-six years on this planet.   At this point, after a miraculous and happy time when my heart reverted to a normal rhythm after my valve replacement surgery in 2016, my heart is back in atrial fibrillation for the rest of my life.  I have no heartbreak about that, only happiness because of my caring and committed team of cardiologists.

Do you see any paths from heartbreak to happiness in my other photos from yesterday?

 

 

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My boyfriend Michael (who makes my heart happy  with his nutritious, delicious, low-salt home-cooked meals) helps me go from heartbreak to happiness, every day.  Last night, after a  typical heartbreak-to-happiness-to-heartbreak-to-happiness day, we danced to this:

What helps you go from heartbreak to happiness? For me, gratitude always helps.

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Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2145: Come as you are

What does “come as you are” (which I saw in a magazine yesterday while waiting for an echocardiogram) mean to you?

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Here comes an online discussion of “Come as you are”:

Best Answer: Come as you are on a party invitation indicates that the host or hostess is having a very informal party and Dress is not important. Now, if you were thinking about going naked to the party you might want to determine if it would be the best option. Things to consider might be 1. do you look good naked,2. are you secure enough in your looks to go to a party naked,3. how much importance do you put on shock and surprise of the other guests. Generally, come as you are means, if you have on jeans and a Polo and deck shoes, or in the summer if you have on shorts, a tee shirt, and sandals, you will be in acceptable attire. It simply means what it says come as you are, no need to dress up.

Only hell mama ever raised · 1 decade ago

Come as yourself and don’t try to make any false characteristics about yourself.
♥Caribbean American Princess♥ · 1 decade ago

In my Coping and Healing groups, I often say at the end, “I’m grateful that everybody showed up exactly the way they showed up today.”  I hope that’s an invitation for people to come as they are.

It’s time for my other photos from yesterday to come as they are.

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As I’m creating this blog post as I am, this message keeps coming at me from WordPress:

A new editor is coming to level-up your layout.

I don’t know if I want a new editor coming to level-up my layout.   I’d prefer my blog posts to come as they are.

Here’s another entry from that online discussion about “Come as you are”:

it think that whoever has invited u listens to Nirvana, a lot…wear a Nirnana t-shirt or go naked.

Here comes Nirvana as they were, with “Come as You Are.”

 

If you’re coming here as you are from outside the USA, you may not be able to watch that video.

For the next two days, I’ll be coming as I am to a group therapy conference in New York. I assume I’ll come away from that experience as a better group therapist.

Here’s thanks coming from me to all those who helped me create this come-as-you-are post and — of course — to YOU, for coming as you are.

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

Day 1348: Receive with Joy

Yesterday, I received with joy the news that my son’s student visa should be received with joy at our home by 10:30 this morning.  The  University of Edinburgh in Scotland now gets to receive with joy my fabulous son, who is starting a five-year mathematics program there.

Please receive with joy today’s page from this joyful book:

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Please take notice that I notice more than one thing I am being given today and that I am receiving them all with joy:

  • Precious time with my only child before he leaves for school tomorrow.
  • A boyfriend who often says, “See Ann?  Everything is coming together!”
  • Work that I love.
  • Wonderful friends and family.
  • An extensive network of dedicated medical professionals.
  • A heart that has served me well for 63 years.
  • All my feelings.
  • The opportunity to share these other photos with you:

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What are you receiving with joy, right now?

I am receiving this music with joy:

 

Please receive with joy my heartfelt thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course!  — for receiving it.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1344: Reckless Abandon

With reckless abandon, I here and now decide what the title of today’s post will be, based on this sign I saw yesterday:

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With reckless abandon, I shall now reveal that:

  1. I hope to embrace the stressful events of the next few weeks with reckless abandon.
  2. These stressful events include waiting for the delivery of a student visa (which I hope hasn’t been recklessly abandoned in some government building in NYC), my son starting a five-year program at the University of Edinburgh, and my having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  3. Yesterday I recklessly abandoned all attempts to prepare myself for the upcoming events and instead spent the day with my fabulous Philadelphia-based friend Jeanette (who abandoned Boston to move to Washington D.C. sixteen years ago, but I I still miss her every day).
  4. Jeanette, who courageously abandons any fear of speaking her mind, recklessly told my boyfriend Michael yesterday that he has to teach my son Aaron how to cook two easy meals this week.
  5. Michael recklessly promised Jeanette that he would.
  6. I am recklessly going to include photos of Jeanette and other people I’ve recklessly mentioned  in this post, so don’t abandon me yet!

Are you ready for the reckless abandon of my other photos from yesterday, as I recklessly abandon any intention of further explaining them?

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Which of those photos say “reckless abandon” to you?

With reckless abandon, this Frightsome Fleshlumpeater will now share the reckless abandon of Roald Dahl, Gene Wilder, and pure imagination:

 

I hope you show some reckless abandon by leaving a comment, below.

Before I recklessly abandon you all until tomorrow morning’s blog post, I’d like to express gratitude to those who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — with reckless abandon.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1338: She who hesitates is ____

How would you fill in the blank in today’s title?

She who hesitates is:

  • lost?
  • wise?
  • scared?
  • uncertain?
  • thoughtful?
  • dumb?
  • human?

Do not hesitate to choose a different ending for the sentence “She who hesitates is ____,” based on your own experience with hesitation.

I chose that title today for three reasons. I shall not hesitate to share those reasons with you, here and now.

Reason #1. Last night, despite my hesitation to worry about anything (since worry doesn’t do any good), I was worrying that I might have hesitated too long to have my leaky heart valve replaced at the Mayo Clinic next month.  Cardiologists have not hesitated to tell me that if  I hesitate too long and my heart loses too much  function and resiliency, the heart valve replacement will not help. And I hesitate to admit that I believe that my heart has deteriorated in function over the last few months.

Whenever I have concerns about my heart, I do not hesitate to contact my long-time and trusted cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem.  Here’s the email I did not hesitate to write  him before I started writing this post:

Hi Deeb,

I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. I thought I would give you a preview of what I’ll be bringing in to the meeting.
My main topic is going to be my concern that I might have waited too long for the valve surgery. This concern is based on the fact that I just have not been feeling or looking as well lately and particularly that I need the Lasix every once in a while, so I’m obviously having more issues with heart failure.  I’m assuming my BNP will be higher if we test it tomorrow.  I’m also wondering whether I should inform Dr. Warnes about these developments.
I keep thinking about the moment during my consultation with Dr. Warnes in May, when she told me I needed to get a mechanical valve, NOW.  When I asked for an extension until September so I could spend time with my son in Edinburgh before he started college, she paused and thought and said that was okay.  I wonder now whether it was.  I guess I’ll find out, soon enough.
As usual, it helps me to get my thoughts down.  I am sure we’ll have an interesting discussion of this and other topics tomorrow.
All the best,
Ann

Reason #2. Today’s title gives me the opportunity to share a joke I made up several decades ago, which I did not hesitate to deliver to live audiences during my two open-mic stand-up comedy appearances in the 1980s:

I’m sure you’ve all heard of “Light” beer, which has less calories and alcohol than regular beer.  I’ve invented a new product —  “Fat Beer.”  It has four times the calories and alcohol content as regular beer.  I’ve even got a marketing slogan for it: “He who has a taste is sloshed.”

Reason #3. As usual, I shall not hesitate to use whatever  blog post title I’ve chosen as an excuse to share whatever photos I did not hesitate to take the day before.

Let’s not hesitate to look at those five photos, shall we?

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Because I never hesitate to share a tune by Stephen Sondheim, here‘s his brilliant exploration of hesitation in “Now, Later, Soon” from A Little Night Music:

 

Any hesitation about leaving a comment?

In closing,  I shall not hesitate to thank all who helped me create today’s post and you — of course! — for not hesitating to visit this blog, today.

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

Day 1337: Guess What?

Guess what?  I love to guess!  Do you?

Guess what I saw yesterday and forgot to include in this post when I published it an hour ago?

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Guess what this cat is lying on?

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A dog bed!

Guess what new kind of fruit I saw for the first time yesterday?

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A mini apple!

Guess what would be a good next line?

  1. “How do you like them apples?”
  2. “Does a mini apple a day keep only  short doctors away?”
  3. “Do mini apples come from Minneapolis?”
  4. [your guessed line here]

Guess what bread you use to make an American cheese sandwich?

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Guess what is the inside to this greeting card?

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Guess what?  I will reveal the answer to that question when I get a guess about the inside of that greeting card from one of you!

Guess what I was doing yesterday evening?

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You might not have guessed it from those photos, but I was food shopping yesterday evening with my boyfriend Michael at a new-to-us supermarket.

Guess what supermarket it was?

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Guess what I was thinking as I took these few photos after food shopping?

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Guess what I’m doing today?

I’m going back to work after a two-week vacation in Edinburgh with my son and I’m probably making plane reservations to Minneapolis for my September 21 heart surgery.

Guess what I’m worried about, right now?

I’m letting go of all worries.  Guess what you could do with worries, too?

Guess what music I’m going to include here?

Guess what I’ll do if you leave a comment below?

Guess what I like to express at the end of all of  my  daily blog posts?

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Categories: personal growth, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1321: I strongly recommend

In my life, I have encountered many strong recommendations.

These strong recommendations have included the following:

I strongly recommend you get a third litter box for your two cats.

I strongly recommend you bring Oscar to a cat eye specialist because when I look in his eyes, I can’t see the back of his eyes.

I strongly recommend you make an appointment with our cat ophthamologist before you go away on vacation, because she books up way in advance.

I strongly recommend you do not send in financial statements when applying for a student visa.

I strongly recommend you make an appointment for the one-day super priority visa service as soon as possible.

I strongly recommend you use a professional visa service company to help Aaron get his visa.

I strongly recommend  you don’t worry about Aaron getting a student visa in time to start his studies at University of Edinburgh in September.

I strongly recommend you bring your Lasix pills with you to Scotland, in case you eat food that has too much salt.

I strongly recommend that you wear a mask on the plane, since you recently had pneumonia.

I strongly recommend that you choose a more comfortable mask.

I strongly recommend you forget about work when you’re away on vacation.

I strongly recommend that you have heart valve replacement surgery as soon as possible, despite all the conflicting recommendations you’ve gotten from other doctors.

I strongly recommend that you notice that some of those recent strong recommendations contradict other strong recommendations.

I strongly recommend that when people make strong recommendations conflicting with other recommendations or with your own intuition and experience, that you get other recommendations until you feel comfortable.

I strongly recommend that you look at my photos from yesterday:

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I strongly recommend that if you want explanations for any of those photos, that you ask.

I strongly recommend that people listen to the musical Hamilton, because it is awesome.

 

I  also strongly recommend that everybody balance your needs with other people’s needs, putting your needs somewhat higher.

I strongly recommend that you leave a comment, but only if you feel comfortable.

I strongly recommend gratitude as a great way to end anything, including this post.  So thanks to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for reading  it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1317: Salt and Battery

Five hundred and sixty-nine days ago (but who’s counting?), I created the post Day 748: A Salt and BatteryI hope it doesn’t feel like assault and battery that I’m

  • using such a similar title today and
  •  recommending that you read that other post before you read this one.

Why “Salt and Battery” today?

This past Saturday, because we were assaulted and battered by torrential downpours and multiple-car-accident delays on our way to seeing comedian Louis C.K. in Springfield Massachusetts, I ended up eating the only food available at the concert venue, which was battered with lots of salt.  Eating too much salt battered me and my unusual heart in a way it never has before.

As I recover from that and prepare for the inevitable assault and battery involved in open heart surgery, I am trying to soothe and protect my mind, body, and soul from the assault and battery of worry and stress.

Here are some worrying and stressful things that can feel like assault and battery to me:

  1. Dealing with bureaucracies.
  2. Financial issues.
  3. Disrespect.
  4. Ignorance.
  5. Discrimination.
  6. Rigidity.
  7. Cruelty.
  8. Illness.
  9. Hopelessness.
  10. Guilt.
  11. Shame.

What feels like assault and battery to you?

When you feel assaulted, salted, or battered, what helps?

My hope is that some of the photos I took yesterday might help you as much as they are helping me:

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Taking what you need — a very effective way to reduce assault, salt, and battery.

If you haven’t gotten all you need yet from this blog, here’s another antidote to assault and battery — some dancing salts on stage:

 

Thanks to my son Aaron (in the center of that battery of dancers) and everyone else who helped me create today’s salt-and-battery post. A special battery of thanks to you — of course! — for visiting this salty blogger, here and now.

 

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

Day 1315: Unbored

Do you get bored?  If so, what unbores you?

Lots of things unbore me, including visits to local book stores, where I saw this yesterday:

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Do you see that book “Unbored” on the shelf of the Arlington bookstore The Book Rack?

I took many more photos yesterday, as I was unbored by:

  • Arlington, Massachusetts, USA,
  • my son appearing in the Arlington Children’s Theater’s  production of the musical Anything Goes, and
  • Louis C.K. and three other comics making me, my son, and thousands of other people laugh at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Are you particularly unbored by any of my other photos from yesterday (presented in unbored chronological order)?

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Here are more things I’ve been unbored by in the past 24 hours:

  • learning that my favorite restaurant in Arlington, Massachusetts — The Madrona Tree — has lost its lease because of rent increases,
  • finding my favorite Arlington boutique — The Artful Heart — in a different location because of rent increases by the same landlord,
  • torrential rain storms on our drive to Springfield Massachusetts, causing multiple accidents which turned the 100-minute drive into a 160-minute drive,
  • the saltiest popcorn I’ve ever tasted, when I’m on a low salt diet,
  • ants swarming all over a pizza,
  • my laptop, during an iTunes update, telling me my phone needed to be restored to factory settings (which would mean losing everything stored on my phone),
  • my homepage totally changing because of software I downloaded in an attempt to get my iPhone  unstuck from update mode without losing all my data,
  • recovering my home page, and
  • recovering my iPhone without losing any data.

Here’s another unboring moment from last week:  a representative of my health insurance company told me that my September 21 surgery to mend my heart at the Mayo Clinic would not be covered because of “lack of medical necessity.” This unboring statement turned out to be untrue.

Sometime, I wish I was less unbored.

I hope you are unbored by this song, inspired by one of my unbored photos above:

I hope you are also unbored by my sincere thanks to all those who helped me created this post and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

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

Day 1314: We decide

We decide so many different things, every day.  How do we decide?

Today, I decide what to include in this post.

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You decide how you react to it.

I decide to show you these other photos from yesterday.

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Yesterday, I decided to show my readers this amulet my friend Jeanette decided to send to me:

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Later that day, I decided to sing two songs — “Sleepy Man” and “Mad World” — at the first-Friday-of-the-month Open Mic at the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA.

Because the 11-minute video I recorded of my performance last night (1) has no visuals, (2) includes silence before and between the numbers, (3) demonstrates my lack of proficiency with the guitar during the first song, (4) includes extraneous noises from the Kickstand kitchen staff, and (5) is much less than perfect, you decide whether I should include it in this post. (I also decide to share, here and now, that some audience members decided to tell me “You were wonderful”  “You have a strong and beautiful voice.” and “I love your voice. It made me smile.”) In case you have trouble deciding what to do, I decide to tell you I have no investment in the outcome.

I decide who to thank in these posts. I hereby decide to thank all those who helped me create this and you — of course! — for deciding to read it.


We’ve decided!

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

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