Posts Tagged With: living with CHD

Day 2417: Roadmap for a respectful culture

Hello, my respectful readers!

Yesterday, I noticed this big roadmap on the office wall of our Senior Director of Social Work and Patient/Family Engagement at the hospital:

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Respectfully, I realize that parts of that important roadmap are difficult to read.  I hope this helps:

Version 2

In case it doesn’t, I respectfully submit this list of behaviors promoting a respectful culture:

  • Intentionally engaging and including all constituents by participation and information sharing
  • Spending time with people
  • Introducing new employees via walkabouts through the department
  • Saying thank you
  • Asking questions
  • Listening more, talking less
  • Paraphrasing to check understanding
  • Coming up with at least 3 possible rationales for an action
  • Making eye contact
  • Saying “hi” to everyone
  • Helping those who are lost
  • Smiling
  • Show gratitude frequently
  • Asking for and accepting help when needed
  • Asking for feedback across, down, up

Yesterday, I met our neighbor Will Isenberg,  who is offering a roadmap for a respectful culture …

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I’m voting for Will on September 10 because I believe his roadmap will lead to a more respectful culture.

Today, I will be respectfully appearing on the podcast Heart to Heart with Anna, in which Anna Jaworski and I will be intentionally engaging and including all listeners by participation and information sharing about my very unusual heart. I don’t yet have a specific roadmap to my episode, but I’ll insert that link later today.

Here’s the link to the podcast. The first airing will be noon USA Eastern time.

And this link lets you listen at your convenience.

I respectfully submit all my other photos from yesterday, wondering which offer a roadmap for a respectful culture:

What music comes to mind when you think of a roadmap to a respectful culture?

This is what comes up on YouTube:

This shows up, too:

Now I’m asking for feedback across, down, up, with a respectful roadmap to the comments section, below.

Since gratitude is such an important part of a roadmap to a respectful culture, thanks to all who helped me create this blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2412: Special Operations

Yesterday, on a special day, I noticed “Special Operations” on a parked  police motorcycle.

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I thought, “I’m going to be interviewed for a special podcast tonight about my special heart and several special operations, including open heart surgery.”  As I was taking that special photo for today’s “Special Operations” blog post,  I heard somebody speaking to me and that turned out to be special operations officer Hicks:

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I explained to Officer Hicks, “I took that photo because I’ve had many special operations on my heart.”  He said something special, like “Those special operations must have gone well because you look pretty good considering you’ve had all those special operations.”   He also said he didn’t think he was handsome enough to be in a blog, which I thought was especially modest.

Officer Hicks and many other special operations officers were in Boston yesterday, in preparation for the special Boston 4th of July celebration today. Minutes after I photographed special operations officer Hicks, I noticed something special on my car.

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I thought, “What?!?! It’s true that I just spent a long time getting a special teeth cleaning and also talking to my special dentist Dr. Del Castillo, who is doing so well after having the special operation of a double lung transplant, but I don’t think that took over two hours!”  I looked more closely and saw this special reason for that ticket:

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Since when do they give out special tickets for being over 1 ft from the curb, especially since only the back of my car barely met that special criteria?

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I know that special operations officer Hicks is not somebody who gives out tickets and —  in case he thinks that I’m looking for special treatment —  I already did an online special operation last night to pay it.

Do you see any special operations in my other special photos from yesterday?

As you can see from those photos, I did a special operation of pre-medicating before my dental cleaning and did a special operation  when I got home — trying out a new cat carrier on Oscar, our cat-in-a-bag.

After my special boyfriend Michael and I walked around our special neighborhood last night (and saw some unexpectedly special fireworks and a special beach bonfire), we danced to this special 4th of July song:

Now, I’m going to request that you do the special operation of making a comment, below.

Happy July 4th to everybody who performs the special operation of reading this blog, including YOU!

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It took me several special operations to upload my photos today. I hope you don’t have to perform any special operations to see them!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 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 934: Feelers

Yesterday, I found out that Kerri,


a nurse I’ve happily known for years, is leaving Boston for sunny Florida next month. As we were bidding each other a fond “adieu,” I said to her

I always have my feelers out for kind, wonderful people, and from the moment I met you in the Emergency Room all those years ago, I recognized how amazing you were.

Feeling the need, just now,  to looked up “feelers” in the dictionary, I found this:

An animal organ such as antenna or palp that is used for testing things by touch or for searching for food.

I don’t know about you, but my definition-seeking feelers have never previously  touched on  “palp,” before today.

And, my blog-creating feelers would change

searching for food

to

searching for nourishment

… but otherwise, I feel that definition is fine, for the feeling purposes of this post.

Speaking of feelings, I told Kerri I was glad for her but sad for me and other feeling, Boston-based people who know her.

As you might have felt before, I often have my feelers out for images that strike my feeling fancy, as I feel my way through a day. Here’s what my photographic feelers found yesterday:
  

  
  
  


  

  
  
  
  




  

What do your feelers tell you about those photos?

My feelers are telling me that other  feelers might assume — from those feeling photos — that I have cancer. I do not. I have a cardiac condition that necessitates my getting antibiotics before I visit my dentist, and I get those antibiotics in a cancer infusion center, where my fine-feeling-friend Kerri works (until August).

Also, there were many things my feelers encountered yesterday that did NOT make it to this post and — as usual — I’m hoping I didn’t hurt any feelings.

Here‘s what my musical feelers have brought back from YouTube:

Bernadette Peters is singing “I Feel You, Johanna” from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sweeney Todd.
Also, my feelers found this:

“I Peel You, Banana” by Robert Adams.

Feeling thanks to Kerri, the Infusion Center at Tufts Medical Center, Cam Neely, Dr. Del Castillo, Dr. Gonzalez and Michel (not pictured) at Beacon Hill Dental Associates, everybody at my high school reunion planning meeting last night (not pictured), Bernadette Peters, Stephen Sondheim, Robert Adams, and you — of course! — for bringing your feelers here, today.

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

Day 918: Tangled up

Yesterday morning, these earphones …

… got tangled up, and it took me a while to untangle them before I left for work.

Immediately, some music got tangled up in my head.

Then, those same earphones got Tangled Up in Blue (and other colors):


Next, I got tangled up in traffic,


  
… tangled up in some confusion,


  

… tangled up in love for my friends and co-workers Jan and Mary,

… and tangled up in many found objects  (some of which were blue):




  
  


      
  
  
  
  
  




Before I get too tangled up in today’s post, I want to untangle these things:

  • The  beautiful, untangled necklace was worn by Linda, one of my favorite people at the hospital-based Primary Care Practice where we work.
  • Mary, a clinical social worker like me, told me a few weeks ago, “I’ve been doing this experiment where I look for a specific color in my surroundings, and it’s amazing how everything with that color then pops out at me!”
  • I’m not sure whether my recent cardiac surgery is helping me feel significantly better, but I’m sure I’ll untangle that and other heart-related issues when I see my chief cardiologist, Dr. Salem, eight days from now.
  • As much as I admire the incredible accomplishments of Bob Dylan, I am  tangled up in surprise that I don’t love his music and lyrics more than I do.

What are you tangled up in, right now?

Tangled-up thanks to Mary, Jan, Linda, Bob Dylan, Dr. Salem, my earphones, cats, bunnies, and  everything blue (and non-blue)  I got tangled up in yesterday. Also, special thanks to you — of course! — for untangling yourself enough to visit here, today.

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

Day 911: Does that ring a bell?

Does the expression “ring a bell” ring a bell for you?

Here’s the definition, from Google:

1. informal

 revive a distant recollection; sound familiar. 

“the name Woodall rings a bell”

For me, the name Woodall does NOT ring a bell. Does that name ring a bell for you?

Here are some things that have been ringing bells for me lately, but differently than they’ve rung in the past:

  • Technology and machines have been misbehaving. For example, my WordPress phone application froze this morning, so I deleted it (despite the daunting  message “If you delete WordPress you will delete all data”) and then reinstalled it — feeling almost no fear  about that.
  • I’ve been summoned to a meeting today at work that’s supposed to be very important, with somebody I don’t know, with no explanation about who, why, or what I am expected to do, and I am feeling almost no fear about that.
  • As I’m writing this, I’m aware of my newly implanted large  cardiac device that’s causing me some physical discomfort, and I am feeling almost no fear about that.
  • I’ve been asked to give a training presentation about my “Coping and Healing” therapy groups in August, and I am feeling almost no fear about that.
  • I am realizing that I may conceivably hurt somebody’s feelings or offend somebody at some point  (an inevitable occurrence in human interactions), but I am feeling almost no fear about that.

Is this post ringing any bells for you, so far?

I thought of the  title for today’s post yesterday, when I was walking and listening to music that rings bells for me.

Does that ring any bells?

Here’s the tune — which used to be my phone ring tone — that rang that bell for me, yesterday:

Booker T & the MGs are ringing bells and playing lots of instruments  on  “Green Onions,” here at YouTube.

Typing “Booker T & the MGs” just now rang this bell for me:  Talking to WordPresser Mark Bialczak, a few weekends ago, about spelling the names of bands accurately.

Perhaps these photos I took yesterday will ring some bells:


  
  
  
  
  
  

If you leave a comment about this post, that will definitely ring my bell.

Bell-ringing thanks to all people, pets, food, and places that helped me write today’s post and special thanks to you — of course! — for whatever bells are ringing, here and now.

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

Day 909: I Heart Accuracy

Two days ago, somebody came to therapy wearing this t-shirt:


I ❤  accuracy,  but I would never wear that t-shirt. To be accurate, my heart (because of my congenital heart condition) does not look like that.

To be accurate, I ❤ many things, including:

  • Accuracy
  • My heart
  • Other people’s hearts
  • My son, Aaron
  • My boyfriend, Michael
  • Blogging
  • My readers
  • Spontaneity
  • Walking
  • My work, as a psychotherapist 
  • My friend Jeanette, whom I met at Film School in Boston in the 1980s and who lives too far away (in Philadelphia), which I do not <3.

Yesterday, I spent 1 hour walking, while my son was at his keyboard  lesson in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Then, I spent 5  hours with Jeanette.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I ❤ these photos:


I ❤ Spy Pond.


I ❤ signs.

I ❤ green and shadows.

I ❤ several things about that picture. 

 I ❤ that paw print and “Run!”

I ❤ loving couples.


I ❤ celebrating pride (at 11:30 or any time). 

I ❤ “Turn Around.”

I ❤ “Still movin? That’s right you are!”

I ❤ the 4th of July and how my late father used to ask people this question:

Does England have a 4th of July?

I ❤ people taking naps, although I usually don’t take them.

I ❤ Jeanette.

I ❤ Jeanette’s smile.



I ❤ those t-shirts, but I didn’t ❤ them enough to buy them.


I ❤ the way Jeanette and I riffed about the big-headed bird on that moving van.

I ❤ Jeanette,  at our home.

I ❤ Jeanette and our cat Oscar.

I ❤ Aaron, Michael, Oscar, and Jeanette (l. to r.)

I ❤  Oscar and Aaron.

To repeat, I ❤  Accuracy.

What do you <3? I would ❤ it if you’d let us know.

I ❤ that Neil Young is singing “Heart of Gold” on YouTube.

I do NOT ❤ how WordPress keeps leaving off parts of this post, as I’m trying to publish it.

I ❤ thanking Jeanette, Aaron, Michael, Oscar, my late father, Arlington, Belmont, people who show their hearts, Neil Young, and you — of course! — no matter what you <3. 

Categories: friendship, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 827: Stumped

Is anybody stumped about how I manage to blog here day after day, season after season, through sickness and health?

I’m not stumped about that, but I am stumped about why there is so much snow still around, during the second week of April in my hometown city of Boston.  After months and months, this finally reappeared, yesterday morning:

That’s the stump of our tree, out back.

Have I been stumped by any thing else, recently? I am quite easily stumped, it seems.

Why has it taken me so many years to figure out how to make fried matzo that’s almost as good as my mother’s?

Why are there only three players on my 2015 Boston Red Sox, when I could have sworn they need nine players on the field, this Opening Day?

I’ve also been stumped about why I’ve been seeing Coca-Cola everywhere, lately:

If I hadn’t told you what kind of truck that was, would you have been stumped by that photo?

I am stumped by this new Kids Concourse at Fenway Park. If my sister Ellen reads this post, she’ll probably un-stump me, since she knows all the latest about baseball, the Red Sox, and Fenway.

I am stumped by what that bench is doing at that construction site.

People can really stump themselves with unhelpful negative thoughts. In case you are stumped by that last photo, yesterday at work I invited somebody to transform the thought

I’m not doing enough

to

I want to do more.

Are you stumped by why I thought that was so important?

I wonder if anybody at the hospital cafeteria yesterday was stumped by matzo balls. Are you? I was personally stumped because the soup, at first, was matzo-ball-less.

Don’t be stumped by the matzo-ball-less appearance of that soup. The matzo balls were there, but they were sinkers, not floaters. Are you stumped by the concept of floating vs. sinking matzo balls? If so, don’t stay stumped — ask for help, below.

Speaking of sinking, when I told my friend Jan yesterday that I’ll be  having surgery next month for synching my heart ventricles, she looked stumped for a second. She thought I’d said “sinking” instead of “synching.”  Because she’s a nurse, she realized her mistake immediately.

In case you’re stumped by what might be sustaining me, right now, while I’m creating this stumped post, here it is:

I’m stumped by why I and others don’t eat more apples, rather than junk food. Apples are so yummy. Are you stumped by that photo, in any way?

Speaking of food … 

That was dinner last night, served by my boyfriend, Michael. Is anybody stumped by why I let him do all of our cooking (except for an occasional fried matzo, by me)?

In case you’re stumped by how to move forward, here’s one answer I saw on a wall last night:

As I was taking one step at a time yesterday  on my walk to work, I was stumped by how the universe put the PERFECT music into my earphones.

Are  you stumped by what that music might be? I would expect you would be stumped, at this point, so allow me to answer that particular stumper.

It was the full version of “Gotta Dance/Broadway Melody” — from my favorite movie musical Singin’ in the Rain — which lasted every step of my way, until I reached the hospital.

I am stumped in my attempts to share that full version with you now, but here’s part of it from YouTube, with the stumpingly amazing Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse:

I wonder if anybody, yesterday, was stumped by how  happy I looked, walking towards work on a Monday morning!

Stumping and stomping good thanks to Gene Kelly, to Cyd Charisse, to my family, to Jan, to people who do their best to let go of thoughts that might stump them in their attempts to heal and grow, to matzo in all its various manifestations, to synching and sinking hearts, to Fenway Park and Red Sox fans everywhere,  and to you — of course! — for stumping your way over here, today.

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

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