Posts Tagged With: living with cctga

Day 1417: Tough

The tough title of this post is inspired by the first photo I was tough enough to take yesterday, while I was doing some tough exercises at cardiac rehab:

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Based on my understanding  of (1) the word “tough” and (2) the staff at cardiac rehab, I assume they meant  I am “strong and resilient” rather than “difficult.”

If you want me to provide citations for those two definitions of ‘tough,” one word:

Tough!

The last few months have been tough for me, as I’ve undergone several  tough cardiac-related surgeries and suffered other tough slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Apparently, I’m tough enough to take it,  because here I am, writing this tough post today.

Now, some of my tough readers probably want to know how tough my day was yesterday, since I mentioned in yesterday’s tough post that I’d be seeing lots of tough doctors and getting some tough tests at my tough hospital.

I hope it won’t be too tough for you to tough it out through several other tough photos from yesterday, first.

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For those of you tough enough to make it through all those tough images, here’s my news from my tough day:

The news is good.  My tough doctors told me that all the tests show that I am exactly where I should be, after all the tough things I’ve been through.  As a matter of fact, my tough doctor, Mark Estes (not pictured), said this to me:

We’re going to keep you going until your 90s.

While recent events have shown lots of tough people that it is VERY tough to make accurate predictions, that was not tough for me to hear.

It’s tough for me to decide which tough music to include for this tough post, so I will leave that to my tough readers.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The tough writer of this tough blog does need to get going, but not until I express thanks to all, with three more tough photos:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1405: Belongings

I’m so glad I belong to this belogging  community!

Yesterday, after I underwent additional surgery to stem the beleeding of my latest incision, I took this photo at a hospital where I belong:

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Later, when I got back to the home where I belong, I found one of my belongings soaking in the sink:

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Believe me, many of my belongings became beloodied from  bedeviling  beleeding after Wednesday’s surgery (which belonged in the category of “I Can’t Believe They Recalled the Medical Device Which Belonged in my Body.“)  My beloved boyfriend, Michael, with whom I belong, washed  all my beloodied belongings last night.

It won’t be long before I post the rest of my photos from yesterday, taken at places where I belong:

 

I be longing, now,  for you to let your manners speak for you.  That is, just ask or otherwise express any belonging thoughts or feelings in a comment, which belongs below.

What music belongs here?

 

 

Thanks to all who help me know I belong, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1402: Yikes!

I knew that “Yikes!” would be today’s post title when I looked at my favorite watch yesterday.

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Here are just some of my reasons for saying “Yikes!” right now:

  • I have to go in to Boston for more surgery today, exactly six weeks after my open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  • The reason I need today’s surgery is that my Implantable Cardiac Device, which I received in May 2015, caused two deaths because of early battery depletion.
  • I had to stop eating and drinking last night at midnight, and I am  not reporting for surgery until 11:30 AM.
  • The weather is going to be unseasonably warm and beautiful today, but I will be otherwise occupied.
  • The United States presidential election, less than a week away.
  • The Chicago Cubs might win the World Series tonight.
  • If I feel up to it, I hope to sing at an Open Mic Friday night.
  • Because of its latest update, my iPhone no longer recognizes my thumbprint but has lots of new features which I haven’t had time to learn.

Speaking of my “improved” iPhone, here are all the other photos I took yesterday.  Do any of them make you go “Yikes!”?

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Yikes!  The words “warming” and “naturally” in that last photo, above,  are reminding me of my first therapy session since my open heart surgery.  Yesterday, my therapist George and I came up with a soothing ritual to help me prepare for today’s surgery —  to place both my hands over my heart, to warm and naturally soothe my still painful chest cavity.

What is making you say “Yikes!” today, in your world?

Yikes!  If I actually am able to sing at an Open Mic night in two days, will I remember all these lyrics?

Yikes!  Joni Mitchell sounds great there.

Yikes!  Look at the time!  I have to get ready for my surgery.

Yikes!  I get so cranky when I can’t eat or drink when I want to!

Yikes!  I hope you leave a comment.

Yikes! I almost forgot to thank all those who helped me create this post and you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Day 1398: Out of Order

Yesterday, at cardiac rehab, I saw this sign on one of the exercise machines:

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Here are my out-of-order thoughts about “Out of Order”:

  • In the past, out-of-order machines have made me feel uneasy and unsafe, because I’ve been relying on cardiac pacemakers to keep me alive since I was 10 years old.
  • My current  pacemaker is being recalled by its manufacturer, which has placed my plans to return to work next week after my September 21 open heart surgery out of order.
  • My Boston cardiologists have ordered an operation next week to replace my current pacemaker, because other out-of-order pacemakers like it have already killed two people.
  • I am trying to get my thoughts and feelings in order about all this by writing in this blog, talking to friends, and consulting with experts.
  • I shall now show you all my other photos from yesterday, out of order:

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Would I be out of order if I chose this Duncan Sheik song out of all the tunes titled “Out of Order”?

I am not ordering you to leave a comment about this “Out of Order” post, but if you do, that would probably help me put my thoughts and feelings more in order.

Usually I end every blog post with gratitude for all who helped me in the creative process and for all  my readers — of course! — but, instead, here’s another out of order photo (thanks to Mary Ann, a friend from high school):

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Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 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 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 1316: Clarity

When life is confusing, I am often looking for clarity. And to be clear, I often find life confusing.

Is there clarity in the photos I took yesterday?

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When I’m asking if my photos have clarity, I’m not wondering about how focused they are.  Instead, I’m wondering if my photos communicate clearly what I was trying to capture around me.

For more clarity here and now, I shall clearly tell you that

  1. I am looking forward to reading about Alexander Hamilton, especially when I am recovering from heart surgery in September.
  2. My cat Oscar likes to bite my feet in the morning.
  3. I saw my son Aaron (who has red hair and a beard) perform in his last ever Arlington Children’s Theater production yesterday, which was the musical Anything Goes.
  4. Arlington Children’s Theater, at the end of their summer production, does a special honoring of all the seniors who are leaving.
  5. Aaron is a senior, leaving for the University of Edinburgh in September.
  6. When my boyfriend Michael saw one of the photos I took yesterday, he made a sarcastic comment about Aaron cleaning his room.
  7. I took one photo yesterday with the intent of sharing a particular song from Anything Goes.

For more clarity, here’s that one photo …

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… and here‘s the song:

Be like the bluebird, please, and leave something behind here.

For even more clarity, thanks to all who clearly helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for whatever clarity you can bring.

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

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