Posts Tagged With: living with a congenital heart condition

Day 3095: It’s never what you expect

My husband Michael, who exceeds my expectations, often says “It’s never what you expect.”

It’s never what you expect on Twitter.

It’s never what you expect, and based on that last tweet, you wouldn’t expect that one of my most important posts of the last eight-and-a-half years (and I never expected I would blog for more than a year) is titled “Very Unique.”

Is it never what you expect when I share my photos from the day before?

It’s never what you expect, and I expected to see a photo of the amazing meal Michael prepared last night — delicious vegetarian meat loaf with mushroom sauce, couscous, and vegetables — but apparently I fucked that up.

Here’s what I find when I search YouTube for “it’s never what you expect”:

If you were expecting some music here today, it’s never what you expect.

When I taught at Boston University over thirty years ago, I never expected that one of my students from back then would ask to have lunch with me today. Just a few months ago, I never expected that I would be dining out in a restaurant again.

It’s never what you expect and who knows what comments I’ll find when I check back later?

It’s never what you expect and how do people expect me to end my posts?

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

Day 3078: It’s No Lie

It’s no lie that I am

  • going to meet up with blogger Mark Bialczak, his dear wife Karen, and his sweet dog Ellie B. on Cape Cod today,
  • looking forward to the weekend,
  • keeping this blog going for the 3078th day in a row,
  • wanting you to understand that my impressive blogging streak does include making sure that my then-boyfriend, now-husband Michael wrote three entries after my open heart/valve replacement surgery in 2016, and
  • terrible at lying.

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It’s no lie that it helps to know that you are not alone — that’s why I love being a group therapist (and that’s no lie either).

It’s no lie that my coping strategies, as we all deal with the pandemic and politics, include blogging, singing, dancing, walking, talking, eating, and tweeting.

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It’s no lie that I’m no expert on lots of things, including Brazilians.

It’s no lie that Mark Bialczak and I both love Steely Dan and it’s no lie that I was singing and dancing to this in my neighborhood yesterday:

It’s no lie that I end each blog post with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me blog every day, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 3043: Whatever doesn’t kill me

Who said “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?

It didn’t kill me to discover that it was Friedrich Nietzsche.

It didn’t kill me to finally spell “Friedrich Nietzsche” right in that previous paragraph.

Here are others things that didn’t kill me:

  • being born with a rare heart condition,
  • spending lots of time in the hospital when I was kid,
  • ridiculous hospital rules which prevented my parents from staying with me,
  • a few awful nurses and doctors,
  • medicine that made me sick,
  • many surgeries,
  • relying on cardiac pacemakers since age 10,
  • the assassinations during the 60’s,
  • bullies at school,
  • mean or incompetent teachers,
  • bad leaders,
  • bad weather,
  • bad food,
  • choking on a piece of hard candy I accidentally swallowed while laughing,
  • car accidents,
  • scary plane trips,
  • scary movies,
  • scary people, including a rapist,
  • jobs that didn’t fit my skills or interests,
  • walking across a frozen river,
  • my mistakes,
  • other people’s mistakes,
  • traveling by myself,
  • not being able to swim,
  • three bouts of endocarditis because of a leaky heart valve,
  • valve replacement surgery,
  • public speaking,
  • public singing,
  • mountains,
  • valleys,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • PTSD,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • rejection,
  • disrespect,
  • sexism,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • ageism,
  • COVID-19, and
  • everything and everybody else I’ve encountered in my long life, including what you see in today’s images.

The Daily Bitch Calendar kills me (in a good way).

Here’s Finger Eleven with “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me”:

It doesn’t kill me to express gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3011: What would you like to clear from your system?

Yesterday, on Twitter and Facebook, I got this out of my system:

Responses included

  • worrying,
  • anxiety,
  • guilt,
  • perfectionism,
  • panicking,
  • urgency,
  • uncertainty,
  • repression,
  • resentment,
  • too much busyness, and
  • my own prejudices.

Every day, I clear those from my system by blogging first thing in the morning.

Now I’m going to clear images from my iPhone system by sharing them with you.

Decades ago, when I was dealing with upsetting medical news about my very unusual heart, I went to a percussion class and cleared fear, anger, resentment, panicking, uncertainty, and worry from my system by wildly drumming along to “The Dancer” by Stanley Clarke.

If you want to clear unexpressed thoughts or feelings from your system, you can do so in the comments section, below.

As always, I’ve got a lot of gratitude in my system.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2951: I got nothing

For the first time since I started blogging eight years ago, I feel like I got nothing today.

Maybe I feel like I got nothing because I’m

  • tired,
  • overwhelmed,
  • sick of bullies, injustice, and conspiracy theories,
  • done with the coronavirus (even though the coronavirus is not done with us), and
  • having some reactions to my first vaccine, including soreness and fever.

I may feel like I got nothing but I got these images to share with you:

Even when I feel like I got nothing, I got a lot.

Darius Rucker performed “I Got Nothing” at the White House seven years ago, and that’s something.

Even if you feel like you got nothing, consider leaving something in the comments section, below.

I got nothing but gratitude for all who help me blog every day, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2773: Will to live

Will to live, according to Wikipedia, is

a concept developed by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, Will being an irrational “blind incessant impulse without knowledge” that drives instinctive behaviors, causing an endless insatiable striving in human existence, which Nature could not exist without.l

In the 2000 Year Old Man, Mel Brooks seems to answer one of Carl Reiner‘s questions about his incredible longevity with “will to live.”  When Carl Reiner presses further, the 2000 year old man says, “What?  No!  I mean my great doctor, Will Talive.  Dr. William Talive!”

Tomorrow, I’m going to see my great doctor, Dr. Deeb Salem, who will continue to help me live into my later years with my very rare congenital heart condition. It seems that both Dr. Salem (who is older than I am) and I have tremendous will to live.

Now, as I live, I will reveal the inspiration for today’s post:

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Yesterday, Michael and I wondered if our late kitty Oscar would still be alive today if we hadn’t given him a “peaceful passing” two weeks ago, because Oscar had such an amazing will to live.

Will you see the will to live in my other photos from yesterday?

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One of my readers — puella33 — had the will and the talent to transform one of my previous photographs into this wonderful painting:

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I’m so glad that beautiful painting will live in this blog.

Here is “The Will to Live” by Ben Harper:

Here are the opening lyrics of “The Will to Live” by Ben Harper:

I met a girl whose heart
Was on the right hand side
And upon the left
An angel did reside
They told her mother
That she never would survive
But she kept the rhythm
And is still alive.

I hope you will have the will to leave a comment.

As long as I have the will to live, I will express gratitude for everything, including YOU!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2220: 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

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