Posts Tagged With: living with congenital heart condition

Day 1732: Got a second?

Got a second? I’d like to tell you about yesterday’s appointment with my cardiologist, Dr. Salem (who is second to none).  While I was waiting several seconds in the exam room for Dr. Salem, I took a second to snap this:


Got a second to hear about my conversation with Dr. Salem?  Dr. Salem said he couldn’t be more pleased about how my heart is beating every second, as I begin my second year after my heart valve replacement surgery last September.   I seconded that opinion.

Got a second to look at some more split-second photos?

Got a second to listen to “A Good Thing Going” from Merrily We Roll Along, which I’ll be seeing for a second time this weekend?

If you’ve got a second, keep a good thing going by leaving a comment below.

I’ve always got a second to thank all who help me create these posts. Second, I want to thank YOU for being so supportive, every second.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 1547: Every beat of my heart

Ever since I got a mechanical heart valve on September 21, 2016, I can hear and feel the beat of my heart.  That’s why I appreciated every beat of this heart-felt message:

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I know, with every beat of my heart, that sharing your thoughts and feelings with a group can be good for your heart and soul. So, yesterday, I  posted this on the Facebook page of the Zipper Sisters (a private group for women born with heart conditions):

To my sisters with a mechanical heart valve: Can you hear and/or feel the valve (like I do)? What’s that like for you?

All the different hearts that answered my questions helped my heart and my soul feel heard, connected, supported, and quieter.

As my heart was beating yesterday, I noticed and captured every image in today’s post.

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Because every beat of my heart values honesty and authenticity, I confess that I did not take those last two photos — I found them here and here.

Every beat of my heart loves this performance by Gladys Knight & the Pips:

 

Every beat of my heart feels gratitude for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1335: Haste ye back

As my son Aaron and I were leaving Scotland yesterday, I saw this sign:

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Aaron will be hasting himself back to Scotland in two weeks to attend the University of Edinburgh for a five-year bachelors/masters program in mathematics, assuming his student visa is hasted back to him soon enough.

We hasted ourselves back to Boston, Massachusetts, USA last night, after a hasty stop-over at the Dublin airport.

Haste ye back to looking at my other hastily snapped photos from yesterday:

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I shall now haste me back to YouTube, to find some music for this post.

 

Next month, I’ll be hasting me back to a hospital for some open heart surgery on September 21.  I’ll be hasting me back to this daily blog after that, as soon as I can.

Haste ye back to this conversation I had recently with an EMDR therapist named George:

Me:  After my valve-replacement surgery, I’ll  have to keep avoiding sodium AND I’ll need to closely monitor the greens I eat. I wonder what my diet will be?

George:  Donuts.

Haste ye back to the comments sections of this post and I’ll haste me back to respond in kind.

Hasty thanks to all who helped me create today’s haste-ye-back post and to you — of course!  — no matter how quickly and where you are going today.

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

Day 1291: Inexplicable

Rather than have “inexplicable” be inexplicable, here’s a definition:

in·ex·pli·ca·ble
ˌinekˈsplikəb(ə)l/
adjective
unable to be explained or accounted for.
“for some inexplicable reason her mind went completely blank”
synonyms: unaccountable, unexplainable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, impenetrable, insoluble

For some inexplicable reason, my mind never seems to go completely blank.

Yesterday morning, I inexplicably said to a team of doctors that came to my hospital room:

People seem to find my getting pneumonia inexplicable. What should I say to somebody who asks, “How did you pick this up?”

The head resident inexplicably smiled, paused, and then responded.

Tell them, “I got it from you.”

That response is inexplicable, unless you realize that he was kidding.

Yesterday, I inexplicably had an almost completely positive day at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center, where I’ve been hospitalized since Sunday, as follows:

  • they got me off I.V. antibiotics and onto oral ones,
  • I stopped wearing any sort of oxygen support,
  • I did many laps around the hospital unit, and
  • several of the doctors mentioned the possibility that I might be going home today.

My happiness at the end of the day is probably not inexplicable.

Then,  one of the nurses woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that my oxygen levels had inexplicably gone down while I was sleeping. No matter what position I got into, the oxygen levels remained inexplicably insufficient.  As I am writing this inexplicable post, I am back on oxygen support.

Will this inexplicable drop in my oxygen levels affect my chances of going home today?

Your inexplicable guess is as good as mine.

Are any of my photos from yesterday inexplicable?

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If any of those images are inexplicable, let me know and I shall explain.

Are my two musical choices for this post (found here and here on YouTube) inexplicable?

 

 

Honestly, if there are no comments on this post, I shall find that inexplicable.

Explicable thanks to all who helped me create this inexplicable post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1158: Help is on the way

Here’s a sign I encountered yesterday at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center, when I was on the way to see my helpful cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem.

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Even though that light wasn’t flashing,  help was on the way for me, including this opinion from Dr. Salem:

I think you’re doing really well.

While that and other help from Dr. Salem was on its way, I didn’t take any photos of him, which cannot be helped. If you want to go out of your way to see pictures of Dr. Salem, there’s help in some previous posts (including here, here, and here).

Earlier in the day,  during my therapy group, help was on the way for several participants who have trouble accepting good news and compliments.  People helped each other get beyond barriers to taking in the positive. As always, it was helpful to flash reminders to each other that negatives stick more easily than positives, as we go on our way.

If you want to see more photos from yesterday, help is on the way!

Did this flashing post give you any help on the way?

Helpful thanks — to Dr. Salem, to people who heal in groups, and to you (of course!) — are on the way, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 969: Hooks

Yesterday, while I was walking to work, I was hooked by the title and by the music of a Sting song, “Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint.”

If you are hooked by that song, you can find it here on YouTube, which contains a lot of musical hooks.

Immediately after I was hooked by that tune, I was hooked by the sight of an actual hook in the sky:


  
When I got to work, I was hooked by my Wednesday morning therapy group, especially by their expressed relief and gratitude about my return from a two-week vacation.

I was also hooked by some anxiety, because:

  • I felt a little out of practice, facilitating a group, and
  • I had a 2 PM appointment with my wonderful dentist, Dr. Del Castillo, and — for the first time in years — I  would NOT be hooked up to an IV an hour before a dental procedure to receive endocarditis-preventing antibiotics.

Lest you be hooked by any concern about that, my doctors have decided that taking a single oral antibiotic is enough protection to prevent my heart from the dastardly hooks of endocarditis-causing bacteria (which have gotten their hooks onto my heart valve three times in the last 18 years).

As I am writing this hooky post, I’m being hooked by an unpleasant reaction to the oral antibiotic which is “off the hook, as the kids like to say” (which my boyfriend Michael likes to say). I shall be ringing my doctors’ phones off the hook, and  I won’t let them off the hook until we find an oral antibiotic with fewer yucky side effects.

I’m going to let you off the hook, now, and quit writing about my antibiotics. Instead, here are some other images that hooked me, yesterday:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Which one of those hook-y shots hooked you?

I am now going to unhook myself from writing this post and take some more probiotics. I wonder if one can get hooked on those?

Sky-hooks-and-tartan-paint thanks to Sting, everybody playing musical hooks in that video,  Michael, Dr. Luis Del Castillo (who is hooked on reading this blog), my therapy groups, PetSmart, Whole Foods Market,  probiotics, every single hook I encountered yesterday, and you — of course! — for getting hooked here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 772: Grapevines

Today’s word and topic, dear readers, is “Grapevines.” I know at least three definitions of the word “grapevine.” Let’s see what the on-line defining experts say.

1. a vine native to both Eurasia and North America, especially one bearing fruit (grapes) used for eating or winemaking. Numerous cultivars and hybrids have been developed for the winemaking industry.

I’ve never seen the word “cultivars” before, but maybe I’ll find out about that and other grapevine-related information when I visit Wine Country in California, very soon.

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When I grapevined over to Google Images and entered “Wine Country California,” I received the above sign of that grapevine-y image (found here).

Here’s the next definition of “grapevine”:

2. informal
used to refer to the circulation of rumors and unofficial information.
“I’d heard through the grapevine that the business was nearly settled”

Perhaps you’ve heard it through the grapevine — or through your own experience of my blog — that I like to include music I love in these posts. Yesterday, I heard it, through my headphones, THREE versions of a favorite song in a grapevine row, as I was walking and grapevining to my car after work.

Gladys Knights and the Pips are grapevining through “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” here on YouTube.

Yes I am also hearing this live performance of Marvin Gaye singing “I Heard it Through the Grapevine on YouTube:

Creedance Clearwater Revival also are hearing it through the grapevine (here on YouTube, with lyrics):

Whenever I hear Creedance’s version of “Grapevine,” this thought grapevines through my mind: What accent is assigned, when “heard” sounds like “hoid”?

Before you hear this through the grapevine, I’ll tell you that I also like Michael McDonald‘s version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” (here on YouTube):

You may have heard it through the grapevine — or just read it in this post — that I know a third definition of grapevine.

Can you guess what that is?

That third definition did NOT grapevine back to me in my first search online for grapevine defines.

When I grapevine over to Merriam-webster.com, I find these grapevine signs:

First Known Use of GRAPEVINE

circa 1736
Rhymes with GRAPEVINE

A-line, affine, airline, align, alkyne, alpine, assign, at sign, balkline, baseline, beeline, benign, bloodline, blue line, blush wine, bo…

The Merriam-Webster grapevine gives us the date of first usage and the beginning of an obviously long list of rhymes, but no sign or line of the fine wine of that third way to define.

One more grape from the vine of Merriam Webster:

Definition of GRAPEVINE

city N Texas NE of Fort Worth pop 46,334

I shall now grapevine more online defines until the defining stars align in a way that’s benign and in line with mine.

Arrghh!  I can’t find that definition for which I pine!  Although I did find these fine lines, at vocabulary.com:

In the Civil War, a grapevine telegraph was a gadget used for communicating. From there, people started talking about “the grapevine” as a source of information, especially gossip. If you heard from a friend of a friend that another friend is getting married, you heard it on the grapevine. If your cousin’s cousin told you about a family scandal, you heard it on the grapevine. The grapevine is unofficial and full of hearsay: what you hear might not be accurate.

Perhaps it’s unofficial, hearsay, and inaccurate that there is a third definition of “grapevine.” However, I shall not resign, but bee-line to this fine define at Wikipedia:

Grapevine (dance move)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Grapevine is a dance figure in partner dancing that shares a common appearance, with some variation, in ballroom, club, and folk dances. It includes side steps and steps across the support foot. The step is used, for example, in the Foxtrot, Polka, Electric Slide and Hustle as well as in Freestyle aerobics.

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One final grapevine sign: I have yet to hear — through the medical grapevine — anything defined about my heart’s (alleged) decline (while I feel fine enough to grapevine).

That won’t stop me from grapevining up the coast of California, starting in three fine days!

Thanks to grapevines, grapeviners, definers, all those who composed, sang, or played on any version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” the Fenway Park area of Boston, and to you — of course! — for grapevining your way here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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