Posts Tagged With: living with a heart condition

Day 2487: The difference between good and great

What’s the difference between good and great? Here’s one difference:

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A great co-worker and mom showed me that great card yesterday.  Another great co-worker and mom showed me more great pages of The Daily Bitch Calendar:

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Last week, when I did my first Coping and Healing group for staff,  I was basically a cucumber with anxiety, but the group was still good.  Today, when I’m doing my fourth group for staff,

  • I’m less anxious and
  • I’m very happy that the feedback about the group has been so great.

The managers at work think the groups are so great that they want me to do more and also train other good therapists to do them.

Great!

Do you see the difference between good and great in my other photos from yesterday?

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Every two weeks, I need to perform an INR test and test my blood because of my heart issues.  The results are always good and usually great!

There are a lot of videos on YouTube titled “The Difference Between Good and Great, including one by The Angry Therapist (which is a great name) and also this one by William King Hollis:

 

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I listened to this great tune by the great Jacob Collier a good many times:

 

How would you define the difference between good and great?

Great thanks to all those who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being so great.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2480: Different

Although I’ve published many different posts, including Day 2394: A little bit different, Day 1930: Lucky to be different, Day 1835: Different ways to say things, Day 1762: Different parts, Day 1726: Different perspectives, Day 972: Intentionally Different, Day 689: Different stylesDay 690: Different styles (continued)and Day 453: Different languages (and dances)this post is different from all the other ones, just as each one of us is different from everybody else.

When I give a 5-minute talk at my college reunion on September 21, I’m going to stress how different I am, with this beginning:

Everybody our age remembers where they were and what they were doing on November 22, 1963. I’m different from the rest of you.  I have no memories of that day, because I was having heart surgery to receive my first cardiac pacemaker.

Every time I rewrite that opening, it’s different, but the meaning remains the same.

This post is different because it has only three photos.

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Today is going to be different because

  • I’ll be facilitating a different version of my Coping and Healing groups for staff at the Primary Care Practice of the major Boston hospital where I work and
  • each day is different from what we expect.

Last night, I asked my boyfriend Michael — who is different from everybody else —  if he thought that staff group would go okay today.  He said (in different words), “Why should this be different from every other time you’ve done this before?”

Here’s “Dare to be Different” by Donovan (with a slideshow of different photos created by passage2truth):

 

As always, I care about your different thoughts and feelings about this post.

There are many different ways to express gratitude to those who help me create this blog and to those who read it, and here are some of them:

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2419: Keep doing what you’re doing

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“Keep doing what you’re doing” is

  • something I’ve written on my white board and on prescription pads at work,
  • often a validating, supportive, and encouraging phrase,
  • a non-judgmental acceptance of habitual behavior, and
  • a new title for this blog.

Because WordPress and my laptop keep doing what they’re doing,

  • I can’t save a post while I’m writing it and
  • only some of my photos are loading today.

Keep doing what you’re doing, including smiling,

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scanning,

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welcoming,

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watching,

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noticing signs,

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celebrating,

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avoiding danger,

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and focusing on what’s important to you.

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I keep doing groups and I keep doing rhymes.  Yesterday, I wrote this rhyme in a group focusing on “the unexpected.”

The unexpected

Needs to  be respected

And not neglected

And definitely accepted.

People keep listening to this podcast interview about my heart keeping on:

https://tinyurl.com/y43gqqvf

I keep sharing what I’m sharing in this blog, including this song by Anita Wilson:

Keep doing what you’re doing and if that includes commenting on this blog, thank you!

I keep expressing gratitude every day for the help I receive from others, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2411: Who you are, who you aren’t.

Who I am is a group therapist and “who you are, who you aren’t” came up in a therapy group yesterday.

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Who I am is somebody who likes clarity, so “who you are, who you aren’t” is on the second-to-bottom line in that group-generated topic list, above.

Who I am NOT is somebody with great handwriting.

Who I am is also a human being who …

  •  wears socks with information about who I am,

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  •  appreciates the kindness in others,

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  •  notices sensitivity, acceptance, and emotions,

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  •  tries to take a breath when feeling attacked,

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  • thinks there are three great questions to ask oneself before responding to others,

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  • usually validates others before moving on to next steps,

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  • loves living near the ocean,

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  • appreciates great home cooking,

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  • has an unusual heart,

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  • and shares, on this blog and elsewhere, information about living with a very unusual heart.

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Who I am NOT is somebody who has been interviewed for a podcast before, but I will be that person after tonight.

Here‘s the Who with “Who Are You.”

 

If who you are is somebody who comments on blogs, please share any thoughts and feelings about “who you are, who you aren’t” below.

Who I am is a person who feels and expresses gratitude for those who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU (no matter who you are or aren’t).

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2248: Bad news

Yesterday, when I was avoiding the bad news on the 24-hour news and weather channels, I found this as I was going through old mail:

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When I opened that envelope, I found two letters bearing bad news about medical issues I was dealing with in 2016. (If you want  details about that bad news, see Day 1407: Enough and Day 1408: The News.) 

Then, Michael, who was having fun fun fun shoveling the bad ice and snow, came inside and looked like he had bad news.  Sure enough, he said,   “I scratched your car while I was cleaning it off. You’re going to be mad. It’s bad.”

I did immediately get mad, because the bad news is that Michael has done that before, with my previous car.  Eight years ago, he used a shovel and scratched the paint on the roof of  my beloved grey Mazda. This time, he used a scraper and scratched the yellow paint on the hood of  my adorable Honda Fit.  I immediately delivered this news, “Never try to remove ice from the body of the car! You don’t need to!  Just clean off the glass!”  I think this is news to Michael because he doesn’t drive and has never owned a  car.

Then, I looked at the scratches and even though they were new and bad, the good news is that I quickly stopped being mad. That’s because of all this good news:

  • scratches can be repaired,
  • Michael has a great ratio for  removing ice and snow from my car without scratching it  — he’s only scratched the car two out of a kashmillion times, to use the new word/number Michael made up a kashmillion years ago,
  • the scratches make  my car and me look tougher,
  • you can’t see the scratches if you’re far enough away, and
  • Michael was neither scratched nor otherwise physically damaged while working so hard on the very bad ice and snow outside.

Then, Michael and I watched some bad news for people who hate the New England Patriots and also this new skit from Saturday Night Live:

What news do you see in my other new photos?

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Lately, I’ve been dealing with bad news –including how COLD it is around here —  by dancing with Michael.  Here‘s what we danced to last night:

Here‘s more news from Stevie Wonder, in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

Please feel free to share any news in a comment, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create this “bad news” post and — of course! — to YOU, no matter what your news is, here and now.

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

Day 2211: Hanging on for dear life

If you hang on until the end of this blog post, you’ll see the photo that inspired today’s post title.

I like the title “Hanging on for dear life” because I’ve been hanging on for almost sixty-six years and life is very dear to me.    I also like that title, here and now, because life can sometimes seem precarious, especially with global warming reports, the current political situation, the stresses inherent during the holiday (and exam) season, interpersonal conflicts, and a fire alarm going off during a group therapy session.

Hang on, dear readers!  Here are all my photos from yesterday:

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Work, blogging, and important relationships keep me hanging on.

What keeps you hanging on?

Thanks to all who keep me hanging on, including you!

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2195: What’s allowed

Because I often think about what’s allowed in this world, I just searched WordPress for any previous posts I might have written on this subject, because that’s allowed.

I can now allow, aloud, that I was surprised that the only post WordPress allowed in that “What’s allowed” search was Day 717: Interrupting.  Four years ago, I allowed myself to write that looooong post (which features, doctors, cows, and lots of interrupting) when I was dealing with some very confusing medical issues.  Writing about those medical issues daily and receiving helpful and supportive feedback from my readers allowed me to navigate through them.  Thank goodness all that was allowed.

So, what allowed WordPress to find a connection between “What’s Allowed” and “Interrupting” today?   I am allowing myself to speculate that interrupting, according to WordPress, is something that’s allowed. Therefore, I’m allowing myself to interrupt this post to share my photos from yesterday.

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According to those photos, it’s allowed to

  • get irritated with technology (and other things),
  • dress animals in outfits,
  • be welcoming,
  • gobble until you wobble,
  • use cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia,
  • make it all work,
  • spend four days in Fenway, and
  • appreciate Prince

… but it’s NOT allowed to go into stores with animals and bare feet (although maybe bare other things are allowed).

Sharing music is allowed, so here’s Prince with I Would Die 4 U.

While I wouldn’t exactly die 4 u to comment, I hope u know that all your thoughts and feelings about what’s allowed are allowed in the comments section, below.

Gratitude is always allowed here, so thanks to all who allowed me to create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1858: Falling

Ever since I’ve been on anticoagulant medication  (for most of the time I’ve been writing this blog), I’ve been afraid of falling, so I take great care not to fall.

Yesterday, despite my efforts not to fall, I felt myself falling on my walk to work.  I tried not to fall, but you can’t fight city hall and sometimes you can’t fight a fall.

As I was falling and I saw the cold, hard sidewalk rushing up to meet me, I thought,

  • Ooops!
  • I didn’t expect this.
  • I hope I won’t bruise too much.
  • I’m probably going to feel this for a while.
  • I bet this looks interesting to other people.

After falling, I stayed down, checking myself.  I was glad I hadn’t hit my head or my Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD). I didn’t think I had broken anything. I couldn’t see any bruising.  People in cars rolled down their windows and asked, “Are you all right?” I replied, “I THINK so.”   A woman walking behind me asked if I was okay and she helped me get up off the sidewalk.   She said, “Did you slip on the ice?”  We looked around and didn’t see any ice.  I said, “I think I just caught my toe on something.”  Everybody else I told about falling yesterday asked, “Did you slip on the ice?”  I could have easily fallen into a white lie and said, “Yes,” but lying is not one of my fallings.

An hour before the falling, I had called to make an appointment to see a doctor about the ongoing pain around my ICD, so I had the relief of knowing I would see a doctor later that day.  And because I naturally fall into trying to look at the bright side, I thought, “Well, maybe the pain from this fall will distract me from the other pain.”

And it did.  As the morning went on, my falling resulted in increasing pain in my shoulder. It hurt to draw this on the whiteboard in my Wednesday morning group:

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Because many members of the group had many obligations and worries falling on them, I suggested that they draw a protective circle around themselves and write down the things that were bothering them outside the circle.  I invited them to include the realities of the present moment inside the circle with them.

Inside my circle, I wrote “warmth,” “safety,” and “pain” among other things.  Outside the circle, I wrote “falling,”” “hard sidewalks,” and “pain” among other things.

Since falling, I’ve seen a doctor and had an X-ray.  There are no breaks or dislocations. I’m using ice and Extra Strength Tylenol to ease the pains from my falling.

I’m falling into a prediction that I’ll be feeling pain on my birthday tomorrow but I’ll also be feeling joy for having the strength to get up, again, after falling.

Here’s a song I heard somebody singing at The Voice try-outs last Saturday:

 

While you listen to Alicia Keys singin’ “Fallin’,” here are more photos I took after falling:

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Gotta go ice my shoulder and go to work. Plan for the day: Avoid Falling.

As usual, I’m falling into gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 1787: Progress

I often tell people in therapy that it’s important to acknowledge and validate progress, especially their own.

Therefore, I’m going to acknowledge and validate progress in several areas.

Michael sent me the three photos he took for me on Saturday.

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I am having a pain-free reaction this year to November 22, the anniversary of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy and also my first heart surgery at age 10 (progressively blogged about here, here, here, here, and here).

For now, when I have my teeth cleaned (as I am today), I take only a single  pill of antibiotics instead of having an intravenous infusion  (progressively blogged about here and here).

Because I got my own INR monitor last week, I can test my blood levels at home instead of going into the hospital every few weeks to manage my anticoagulant medication.

There is progress in women feeling safer to speak up about sexual harassment.

I continue to progress in taking photos for this blog.

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I hope we can make progress towards peace.

Here’s “Progress” by Mutemath:

I shall now progress in giving thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1407: Enough

As if other people aren’t asking you enough questions these days, I have another one for you:

Do you ever feel like saying “Enough”?

This morning, when I woke up sore from my third surgical procedure in 45 days, facing one more day before the U.S. Presidential election, adjusting to another time change, looking at more than enough new emails in my inbox, having enough things to take care of today, not having enough energy on stairs, and recently receiving this mailing from the Mayo Clinic …

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… I said to myself, “Enough!”

If, at this point, you don’t have enough information about what I’ve been going through lately,  you could read some of my recent blog posts. But, honestly, I don’t know if you have enough time to do that.

Now, I know  I have enough things to be grateful for in my life, but sometimes I wonder whether we give ourselves enough time to just stop and say, “Enough!”

Have I written enough to make my point?

Because this post isn’t random enough, I want to tell you that I recently told my boyfriend Michael (who is more than enough for me) that if I ran for President of the United States, I thought this would be enough of a platform to get me elected:

  1.  Enough with the time/clock changes! We’re going to pick one and stay with it!
  2. Enough with advertising holidays before we’ve gone through the most recent one! For example, no Thanksgiving advertising until after Halloween, and no Christmas advertising until after Thanksgiving!

Do you think that platform would be enough to get me elected?  If not, I have more than enough other ideas (including ENOUGH WITH THE UNASKED-FOR UPDATES TO SOFTWARE FOR OUR DEVICES!)

Let’s see whether I have enough new photos on my iPhone (which, by the way, has a cracked screen because it’s taken enough abuse from me):

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Do you think there are enough cat photos on the internet?  And if I haven’t given you enough information about the photos above, Michael conducted another cooking lesson with my son Aaron (who’s far enough away in Edinburgh) via phone last night, making enough delicious vegetarian chili for us.

There’s enough music on YouTube, including these two songs (here and here):

I certainly spent enough time dancing to that first song in discos, decades ago.

As if this all weren’t enough, WordPress is having trouble saving this post. Will I have enough time to publish it successfully before I have to leave for cardiac rehab?

If you have enough to say about this “Enough!” post, I hope you know enough to comment, below.

And, yes, I do have enough gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s blog post and to you — of course! — for having enough time and energy to visit here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

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