Posts Tagged With: living with chronic medical conditions

Day 1196: Bunches of things happening all at once

In recent  bunches of days,  bunches of people in my life  have expressed bunches of empathy and sympathy about ..


It happens that bunches of people have expressed bunches of empathy and sympathy to me in bunches of ways, including:

  • “You have a lot on your plate!”
  • “You have a lot going on.”
  • “Your only child is leaving for college soon and you’ve got all this medical stuff to deal with, not to mention a high-stress job.”
  • “No matter what’s going on with you, you never stop.”
  • “You do more than any other 63-year-old I know.”

For me, it’s difficult NOT to have


For example, yesterday was definitely a day with


These bunches of things included:

  • getting a cool new case for my iPhone, which will prevent me from dropping it with bunches of thing happening all at once,
  • having bunches of delicious brunch food with my son,
  • stumbling across Open Studios in Newton,
  • purchasing some fabulous earrings and a necklace made by Deborah Rochman of DLR designs,
  • visiting “The Villa” in Newton, which was filled with artwork and color,
  • having bunches of awesome conversations with my son Aaron and my boyfriend Michael,
  • going to the Burlington Mall, which always has bunches of things happening all at once (including that “Bunches of things happening all at once” sign),
  • consulting with bunches of geniuses at The Genius Bar at the Apple Store, and
  • getting bunches of storage space freed up on my computer!!!!

Now, for some photographic proof of







I’m wondering if I’ll get bunches of comments about those


If I do, I’ve got bunches of storage space on my computer.

Bunches of thanks to all who helped me create this post and bunches of gratitude to you — of course!  — for reading, even though you might have


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

Day 1018: More positions

Four day ago, I wrote a post called “Positions” in which I took a negative position about being positioned next to medical machines at night. As I positioned in that post, my negative position about medical machines is positioned by (1) past experiences  when I was a child positioned next to cardiac monitors in the hospital and (2) recent experiences positioned next to CPAP and BiPAP machines for sleep apnea.

If you position your cursor to read that previous “Positions” post, you’ll discover the position that my being positioned in a side position is a good-enough treatment for my positional sleep apnea. WordPress reader Maureen was kind and helpful enough to position a comment after that post,  suggesting that I position a side-positioning  pillow next to me.

Because I respect my readers’ positions, I ordered and received one of those pillows yesterday. I’m glad I’m in a position, through this blog, to thank Maureen for her help in positioning me for a better night’s sleep.

Thanks, Maureen!

Yesterday, Chris  — who has been positioned before in posts including this one and this one (and who is usually positioned in the Bay Area of California ) — got into this position very close to where I hold a position as a group therapist:


Now, you might position an assumption that I asked Chris to take that position, in order to position today’s post. Actually, Chris assumed that side-plank position (also known as the yoga Vasisthasana position) on his own.  He took that position spontaneously as I positioned him in front of some chrysanthemums to take that photo.   Chris takes the position that mums position themselves everywhere in New England during the fall, so we both wanted to position Chris with mums in the picture.

While I was in the position of teacher and Chris was in the position of student when we first met at Boston University in the 1980s, I am now in a position to learn from Chris. Yesterday, he taught me  that “asana” means “position” (or “how you sit”) in yoga.

Also, both Chris and I positioned a pun as a possible caption to that photo of him, positioned above. What caption might you position there?  I’ll position our pun, later, in a comment positioned below this post.

After I saw Chris, I positioned myself, several times, to take more photos. During the afternoon, the Pat Metheny tune “Afternoon” (which has already been positioned in this previous post) positioned itself in my earphones.


IMG_5948 IMG_5949IMG_5950 IMG_5951 IMG_5952 IMG_5953 IMG_5954 IMG_5955 IMG_5956IMG_5957

After I took that last photo (which shows a position I share with William James), I positioned myself in a room with my EMDR therapist, George, to discuss repositioning my present reactions to old and difficult experiences (especially those I had when positioned in the hospital as a little girl). EMDR  (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy uses  lights to position your eyes, with a machine like this:


While we didn’t use that eye-positioning machine in yesterday’s EMDR session,  here’s an important position George and I discussed:

Sometimes it’s difficult for people  (especially women)  to be in a position to connect with their personal power. I am positioning myself — through therapy, this blog, and the work that I do — to discover, own, develop, and position what power I have.

What position might you take about any position taken in this post?  I hope you know where you can position a comment.

I can’t position enough thanks here for Maureen, Chris, George, Pat Metheny, and all the other people — including you! — who position themselves along my personal journey of discovery and growth.

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

Day 847: Diversions

This past weekend was filled with diversions, as my divertingly long-time friend Barbara and I diverted ourselves from stress, worry, and anxiety in lovely New Hampshire.

Here’s one among many diversions I saw, yesterday, in downtown Portsmouth NH:

Puzzles and games can be pleasant and helpful diversions. Are you puzzled by that or any of the other diversions I was game enough to capture yesterday? 




The diversions of this past weekend were very welcome ones, especially since I can’t really divert myself from the knowledge that I’m having surgery a week from today.

Here’s a welcome diversion, though: most of my fears about next Monday’s surgery have been diverted by:

  • my trusted cardiologists, who are never diverted away from great care,
  • the non-invasive and low-risk nature of the surgery compared with heart valve surgery, which has been diverting me for about six months,
  • diverting my eyes and thoughts in new directions with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy,
  • the diversionary tactic of ignoring negative, unhelpful people, and
  • diverting my attention towards things I love.

Things I love include music, so here’s one of the best diversions I know: a most diverting tune about somebody desperately seeking diversions.

“Lush Life” — written by the divertingly talented Billy Strayhorn and performed by the divertingly epic combination of singer Johnny Hartman and saxophonist John Coltrane — provides amazing diversions on YouTube.

If you are diverted enough by the diversions in this post to offer diversions of your own in a comment, that would be most pleasantly diverting.

Diverting thanks to Barbara, New Hampshire, Portsmouth, people who live with and support others with chronic medical conditions, cardiologists Dr. Deeb Salem and Dr. Mark Estes, EMDR, Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Hartman, John Coltrane, all lives lush and non-lush, and you — of course! — for joining my diversions, here and now.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 760: Is it me?

Somebody said this in my office yesterday, during a therapy session:


In that question, I heard all this:

  • Am I to blame?
  • Am I the only one?
  • Am I not seeing things clearly?
  • Am I strange?

How might YOU hear, ask, or answer that question …


Today, I’m feeling sick and running a fever.


It’s definitely me, Ann Koplow, running fevers between 99 and 101 F, since I got home from work last night.

Last year, I wrote  this post about running a fever, which turned out to be pneumonia, which kept me out of work for over a month.


I don’t like to stay out of work that long, because I love what I do as an individual and group therapist.

My doctors and I have a plan that I should get tested whenever I run a fever, to prevent the possibility of endocarditis — an inflammation of the heart I’ve had three time before.

You might be thinking now:


Shouldn’t Ann go get tested? Like NOW?”

Never fear; I have emailed my doctors to see what they advise.

I have a preference to NOT go into the hospital to see doctors any time soon, especially since my birthday is three days away.


I don’t think that’s just me. Who would want to be in the hospital on their birthday?

I don’t know if you notice, but I tend to catastrophize worst case scenarios. “I have a fever! Oh NO! It’s something AWFUL! I’m going to be in the hospital ON MY BIRTHDAY!!”


Actually, catastrophizing and quickly going to worst case scenarios is NOT just me. I witness people doing that all the time, in individual and group therapy.


It’s me, again, letting you know that I heard back from Dr. Salem, my incredibly speedy and wonderful cardiologist, telling me that I should go in to the hospital today and get tested for flu and endocarditis.


I don’t think it’s just me who would have this reaction: I don’t want to go out in the cold and soon-to-be-snowy conditions, here in the Northeastern USA. However, I will. I’m a very good patient (I’ve had lots of practice) and I completely trust my doctors.

One more


… before I end this post.  Am I alone in thinking all these photos are interesting and beautiful, in their own way?

Image1 (2) Image1 (3) Image1 (4) Image1 (6) Image1 (7)

Many thanks to Dr. Salem and to everybody who has ever thought or said, “Is it me?”

Is it you?

Categories: personal growth, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , | 52 Comments

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