Posts Tagged With: Mayo Clinic

Day 2095: Giving emotions words

When I search my previous posts for “Giving emotions words” the only thing that pops up is Day 1530: Obscure Sorrows.

I think it’s helpful to give emotions words, and so do other people.

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In a therapy group yesterday, we talked about the importance of giving emotions words. Then, we gave words to triggers.

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As usual, I stole some words — including “knuckleheads” —  from other people in the group.

Do any of my other photos today give emotions words?

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Last night, I watched many people give emotions words in Ken Burns’s latest documentary The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope and Science.

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It gave me emotions to see my heart surgeon, Dr. Joseph Dearani, and the piano I played while I was at the Mayo before getting my new artificial heart valve.  Here‘s me, giving emotions words back in 2016:

I’m giving gratitude words, as usual, at the end of my post. Thanks to all who helped me give words today and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1837: SAD

What is your first association with SAD?

My first association with SAD these days is that it’s a negative and judgmental way to end a tweet. SAD.

My second association, these days, is Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is

a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy.

Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

I’m happy to quote the Mayo Clinic, above, about SAD.  I’m sad to report that many people I know are currently dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I may have some SADness, too, because I struggle to keep my mood and motivation steady during this time of year.

The steps I take to keep my mood and motivation steady include

  • sharing my thoughts and feelings,
  • helping others,
  • eating healthy and comforting food,

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  • avoiding snow and ice,

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  • being inspired by others,

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  • seeking light wherever I can find it,

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At least, Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” reminds me that summer is on the way.

Yesterday, in my therapy group, people talked about making gratitude lists to help themselves feel less sad.  My gratitude list includes all those who helped me create this SAD post and — of course! — YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1379: My boyfriend, Michael

My boyfriend, Michael, took over this daily blog three weeks ago when I underwent open heart surgery.

My boyfriend, Michael, DOUBLED my readership, temporarily, with the two posts he wrote on September 21 and September 22.

My boyfriend, Michael, made me laugh so hard  after I got my new heart valve at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on September 21, that it HURT.

My boyfriend, Michael, is already sick of telling certain stories about our trip to Minnesota, so I guess I should start telling them, here and now:

Story #1:

Immediately after my open heart surgery on September 21, I woke up eager to communicate, but  I had a breathing tube down my throat preventing me from talking, so Michael and the ICU nurse, Gene, got me a pad and paper.  Gene and Michael had trouble reading what I was writing, which frustrated me.  The first thing I wrote was, “Am I okay?” Michael replied, “It went great!”  I wrote back, “Would you tell me if it didn’t?” Michael said, “I don’t know how to answer that question, baby.” Then, Gene took over trying to decipher what I was writing on the pad of paper. As  I laboriously wrote out “I dreamed  of Michael”, Gene said to Michael, “Hey!  Your name is Michael, right? I guess she dreamed of you!”  I disgustedly shook my head and completed the sentence: “I dreamed of Michael BRECKER” (the jazz saxophonist whose music my cardiac surgeon played during my heart valve replacement surgery).

Story #2:

Because Michael is so charming and engaging, he connected and chatted with all my ICU nurses, which I enjoyed,  but it also annoyed me when I wanted their attention. Also, some of the topics Michael and my ICU nurses were discussing bothered me, because I was feeling so vulnerable.  For example,  my third ICU nurse, named Jason, was a beekeeper, so  Jason and Michael had a discussion about bees. I eventually interrupted them and  said, “Hey! It’s upsetting me to hear you talk about bees.  Don’t you know that the bees are DYING?”  In the meantime, a doctor had come in to examine me and  discuss my progress, and she concluded,  in a thick Slavic accent: “Okay.   We will continue monitoring her hemoglobin,  give her more medication for her nausea, start Coumadin through her IV, and don’t talk about the bees.”

My boyfriend, Michael, tells those two stories much better than I do.

My boyfriend, Michael, who is an excellent cook, used his phone yesterday to communicate with my 18-year-old son, Aaron, to teach him how to make his first quesadillas at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

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My boyfriend, Michael, was happy to get back from Minnesota, two weeks ago, to see our two cats, Oscar and Harley.

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My boyfriend, Michael, really likes the group Joy Division, who never sound particularly joyful to me.

 

My boyfriend, Michael, isn’t going to express his gratitude to all those who helped his girlfriend create this post and to all those who are reading it, but I will!

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 78 Comments

Day 1366: Did you even have heart surgery?

Yesterday, the doctors and nurses at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota kept asking me variants of today’s blog title:

Did you even have heart surgery?

I’m surprised they had to ask, because we’ve been planning this valve-replacement surgery for me since last May, and you would think the amazing staff at such an esteemed institution would know whether a patient actually had a scheduled  procedure, as I did on Wednesday.

Maybe they were asking whether I had really had heart surgery because:

  • my surgeon, Dr. Joseph Dearani, decided to discharge me considerably sooner than expected, last night,
  • my boyfriend Michael and I are flying back to our hometown of Boston today,
  • my very unusual heart was pumping even better than anybody had even dreamed it could, so soon after the trauma of open heart surgery, and/or
  • I look so friggin’ good.

I will answer the question in today’s title as follows:

Did you even have heart surgery?

Yes! And I am so grateful. 

Do these look like photos taken by somebody who had major heart surgery less than a week ago?





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This person who had heart surgery and her caring caregiver, Michael, will be flying over the territories shown in that last photo. If we hit any air turbulence, I’m sure I’ll know I had heart surgery, even if nobody else can tell.

Did you even read this blog post today? Please let me know, in a comment below.

Categories: adult congenital heart, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 89 Comments

Day 1365: Intentional Rounding

As you are rounding your way past the beginning of my blog post today, what do you suppose is the intention of the phrase “Intentional Rounding”?

My intention is to round my way to showing you this sign I saw yesterday, after I was intentionally rounded out of the Intensive Care Unit four days after open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota:


As I intentionally rounded corridors  –slowly, but on my own two feet — around the cardiac units here, I intentionally rounded up these images on my iPhone camera:



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Be cause people here be cool, be kind, be nice, be appreciative, and be respectful, they might be intentionally rounding me out of the hospital soon, so that my boyfriend Michael and I can be intentionally rounding back to our home in Boston.

How about a round of intentional applause for that possibility?

Thanks so much for intentionally rounding yourself here, today!

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

Day 1246: Focus

Often, when I focus on starting a post,  I like to focus on past times I’ve focused on a similar subject.

Here’s how I’ve previously focused on Focus:

Day 13: Focus on what you’re doing (rather than on what you’re not doing)

Day 249: If you are having trouble focusing

If you focus on the numbers in those posts, you might focus on the fact that I wrote both previous posts about “focus” in the first year of my several years of daily focused blogging.

I’m focusing on “Focus” today because I wrote this quote about focus last week:

There is nothing like imminent heart surgery to beautifully focus the mind.

I’m now wondering about the focus of the latest focused photos on my phone.

Let’s all focus on them together, shall we?

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What do you think about the focus in those photos?

What music am I going to focus on  in this focused post?

Ready to focus in on the next two paragraphs to find out?

When my sister Ellen and I drove to and from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota last week, we focused on the album of the musical Hamilton.

After Lin-Manual Miranda had focused on the idea of writing a hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton for about a year, he was able to present his first focused musical number at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009. Here‘s Lin-Manual Miranda and his piano accompanist Alex Lacamoire, wonderfully focused at that 2009 event.

If you’d like to focus any thoughts or feelings you have, here and now, in a comment below, please give it a shot.

Focused thanks to all those who helped me create this post about focus and to you — of course!  — for focusing enough to read it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1241: How ’bout them apples?

How ’bout that title?  Do you know what it’s ’bout?

How ’bout a definition from the Urban Dictionary?

How bout them apples?

Rur. What do you think of that? (Often used to express admiration; bout is short for about.)

Tom: I got first prize! Mary: Well! How bout them apples? Joe got a job as a newspaper reporter. How do you like them apples?

How ’bout these apples?

IMG_2371 How ’bout that sign on the elevator of the hotel where my sister and I are staying in Rochester, Minnesota?

I’ve only got ’bout ten minutes this morning before I have to leave for ’bout eight hours of medical tests and doctor consults at the famous Mayo Clinic.

How ’bout that saying that an apple a day keeps them doctors away? Because I eat ’bout one pink lady apple per day, I’m ’bout to give up on that idea.

How ’bout them pictures I took yesterday?

 

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How ’bout them …

  • quotes from “Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death” by Irvin Yalom,
  • giant corn,
  • Minnesota sunsets, and
  •  other images.

How ’bout this post?

How ’bout a bout of thanks to my sister Ellen (for accompanying me on this bout of cardiac consultations) and another bout of thanks to every other helpful person ’bout me, including you (of course!).

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1184: You’re in

You’re in for a treat today, if urine the mood for stinky puns.

Are you in, pee-ple?

Yesterday morning, as I was minding my pees and q’s, I was  feeling  a little pissed, about my heart.

Then, I became much more pissed when I realized that our cat (whose name begins with O, not P), had urinated, peed, and pissed all over the bottom of our bedroom closet.

Of course, I had to de-urinate, de-pee, and de-piss the closet, pronto, even though I had an early appointment about my heart.

Does this  pissy post on my Facebook page sound pissed off?

Apparently, one of our cats tried to distract me from worrying about my heart by peeing everywhere in our closet. It worked.

After this pissy and pee-ved start to my morning, I met with Melanie at the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center.

Urine for some surprises, perhaps, when I tell you that:

  1. Melanie and I have worked together, through many pacemakers, for thirty years.
  2. I always feel less pissed after I talk with wonderful pee-ple like Melanie.
  3. Melanie showed me empeethy and understanding, as usual, which helped my heart feel much better.

Throughout the day, I felt pissy about these things:

  1. I could still imagine smelling that cat pee.
  2. Several pairs of my shoes are probably ruined because of urine, which is very pee-ving.
  3. I phoned  pee-ple at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and Dr. Warnes (who is the expert in pee-ple with my heart condition) is taking vacation the same week as my vacation in May, which is pee-ving, because now I’ll have to miss work to visit her.
  4. Dr. Warnes wants me to meet with a surgeon when I visit her in Minnesota, and surgeons are pee-ple who can piss me off.

Ready for some pissed photos from yesterday, pee-ple?

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That last pissy picture shows our own personal Urinetown — the back porch containing everything Oscar has recently peed on.

Because personally, puns do NOT peeve me, here’s the subject heading of an email I sent to my doctors about my mixed feelings re: traveling all the way to the Mayo Clinic about my pissy heart:

Hold the Mayo?

Here’s a punny clip from the very punny movie Airplane! about the Mayo Clinic:

Pissed off, peeple?

If urine the mood to mark this territory with a comment, I will not be pissed or peeved.

Many thanks to all people who pee, including those who helped me create this pissy and punny post and to those who are reading it, here and now.

Categories: health care, humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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