Posts Tagged With: mechanical heart valve

Day 1826: Be nervous but don’t be afraid.

I’m nervous but I won’t be afraid of pointing out that this is my second blog post in a row where I’m telling my readers how to be. Yesterday, I quoted the sign “Be Visible” and today I’m quoting this, by graphic designer and artist Sam Lee.

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On this last day of 2017, I’m doing my best to be nervous but not afraid of 2018.

Be nervous but don’t be afraid of today’s other photos.

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A Zen cat I know (my son Aaron) recently told me: “Don’t be afraid of using more words in your posts, instead of relying so much on your photos.”  Every morning, I nervously resolve to write more words here but, somehow, my photos seem to say so much.   For example, I am nervous but not afraid of

  • IDs,
  • traffic,
  • running,
  • being extraordinary,
  • being chicken,
  • unlikely friendships, and
  • cats peeing on things.

For five years, this daily blog has helped me be nervous but not afraid of many challenges of life, including getting a mechanical heart valve

and moving to a new home by the sea.

Be nervous but don’t be afraid of expressing your thoughts and feelings in a comment, if you choose.

As usual, I’m nervous but not afraid of expressing how grateful I am to all those who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1552: Health

Despite this daily blog’s focus on health, I’ve written only one previous post with the word “health” or “healthy”  in the title.

I think it’s time for a healthy focus on health.

health

noun

1. the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor:
good health; poor health.
2. soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment:
to have one’s health; to lose one’s health.
3. a polite or complimentary wish for a person’s health, happiness, etc., especially as a toast:
We drank a health to our guest of honor.

Yesterday, I focused on my health by

  • spending time with people who are good for my health,
  • getting my blood INR checked at a hospital, so I can maintain my health with my mechanical heart valve,
  • talking to people who are helping me realize my dream of improving my health by moving near the water,
  • listening to the Stephen Sondheim musical Passion, about a woman who is in love and in very poor health, and
  • eating well.

Do you see health in any of my photos from yesterday?

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Trust, compassion, and forgiveness are very good for the health. Music and love are, too, so here‘s “Loving You” from Passion.

Comments are also good for my health, because I love hearing from you.

Here’s to the health of all who helped me create today’s healthy post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 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 1542: Exclamation points!

At one point yesterday morning, I exclaimed, “There’s the topic for my next blog post! Exclamation points!”

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Exclamation points are valuable!

I now exclaim that I saw exclamation points at many points throughout the day!

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I shall now exclaim all these points!

  • I love my work!
  • When things suck, it’s important to remember that you don’t suck!
  • I love Egyptian Licorice Yogi tea!
  • Fear of commitment and fear of failure are very common human fears!
  • I often write helpful phrases up on my white board!
  • I love ice cream!
  • I’ve stopped eating kale because it has so much vitamin K, it screws up my INR blood levels!
  • I don’t miss kale!
  • I love spring!
  • Spring is here!
  • Today is going to be very cold in Boston!
  • The cold doesn’t bother me when I know it’s going to end soon!
  • I’m not going to have chips and dips on National Chip and Dip day because I’ll be working late leading a therapy group!
  • Yesterday, somebody said to me, “We all say the same thing about you — Ann is a great group leader!”
  • I love compliments!
  • It helps to exclaim positive points because we tend to forget them!
  • I love the Beatles!
  • Help!

I hope you exclaim some points in a comment!

Thanks to all  who helped me create this post and to you — of course!

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

Day 1513: What’s in your heart?

What’s in your heart as you’re reading this?

What’s in my heart as I’m writing this?

  • Love.
  • Hope.
  • Fear.
  • Acceptance.
  • Anticipation.
  • Curiosity.
  • Blood.
  • Muscle.
  • A mechanical valve.
  • Wires from a 1966 cardiac pacemaker.
  • Wires from a 1987 cardiac pacemaker.
  • Arteries.
  • Veins.
  • Everything I experienced yesterday, including this big heart in the heart of Belmont, Massachusetts:

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  • Music (which is on the left in that big heart).

  • Groove.
  • Delight.
  • Fun.
  • Mysteries.
  • Wisdom.

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  • Completeness.
  • The results of decades of eating all sorts of food.

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  • Appreciation for all who helped me create this post and for you — of course!

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

Day 1502: Opening the heart

I’m going to  open my heart to you, here and now, and tell you about a dream I had last night. In that dream, my open-hearted cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, told me that my new mechanical valve (which I got during open heart surgery in September) wasn’t working correctly and that they were going to have open up my heart again to fix it.

I wonder if that dream about reopening my heart was triggered by this image I saw yesterday morning, at the beginning of a blizzard here in Boston?

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When I saw that opening-the-heart image yesterday morning on my way to work,  it opened my heart in a good way. My heart opened up with appreciation for all those things that are key to opening my heart to love and to new possibilities. And when I  opened my heart (and my iPhone camera) to other images during the day, I continued to think about that first open-hearted image.

As you open your heart to my other photos, do you see any keys to opening the heart in them?

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Today, I’ll be opening my heart to patients on the first Friday I’ve worked since my Open Heart surgery in September. But first, I have to open my heart to cardiac rehab at 7:30 AM.

Do I have time to open our hearts to an Opening-the-Heart song?

As usual, I end every post by opening my heart with gratitude to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for opening your heart to me, today.

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

Day 1489: When we wake up in the middle of the night

When you wake up in the middle of the night, what do you do?

When I wake up in the middle of the night, I

  • think about the past,
  • worry about the future,
  • go to the bathroom,
  • try to get back to sleep,
  • listen to the sound of my new mechanical heart valve,
  • tell myself that I am safe enough in the moment,
  • answer outstanding comments on my blog,
  • compose a new blog post,
  • try to compose myself,
  • look at my latest photos:

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  • remember things I forgot to do (like put a worry doll under my pillow),
  • listen to music,

  • and feel gratitude for all that I have, including my amazing readers!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 1464: Why I should be afraid

Whenever I look at the news, I encounter people telling me why I should be afraid.

Should I be afraid of that?

These days, I am more afraid than usual because of the political situation in the U.S. and because I can hear and feel my brand new mechanical heart valve working when I’m trying to sleep.

Should I be afraid of those things?

I don’t know if I should be afraid of anything. As I tell people in therapy, shoulds are unhelpful cognitive distortions and shoulds about emotions can be particularly toxic. When I’m having  any emotion, including fear, I try to let the emotion move through me, rather than judging it with shoulds. 

I guess I’m recommending that we feel fear without being afraid of it.

I should also say that most things I’ve been afraid of in the past have simply not come true. If they have come true, fear has neither helped me nor prevented me from facing them.

Should I be afraid that I have not adequately addressed today’s topic of Why I Should be Afraid?

Should we be afraid of any of my photos from yesterday?

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Should I be afraid of being late for work if I don’t find a suitable song on YouTube very soon?

 

Should I worry or be afraid about getting comments today?

I should, without being afraid, thank all those who helped me create today’s post and also you — of course! — for being here, now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 1456: Guess What’s Inside

Guess what’s inside this post!

Photos that I took yesterday, of course,  on Christmas/Chanukah  Day.

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Guess what my boyfriend Michael’s wonderful relative, Sharon, said  when she gave me that very good gift.

I am giving you that tree of encouragement because of your heart operation,  all you’ve gone through this year, and because of the way people on your blog support and encourage you.

What’s inside Sharon is beautiful.

Guess what’s inside the rest of this post!

More photos.   Can you guess what’s inside each of them?

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Guess what’s inside YouTube?  My choice for today’s music.

 

Guess what’s inside my heart, here and now.   Besides a new mechanical valve, there’s  gratitude for all who helped me create what’s inside this post and for every one of you!

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

Day 1408: The News

Have you noticed that even when we say “enough,” The News doesn’t stop?

Here’s the latest news:  After I posted The News in yesterday’s new blog post, I went to cardiac rehab and told them the news that I was feeling  worse and more out of breath after getting a new Implantable Cardiac Device last week. (That device was replaced because of the news from the manufacturer that two people have died already from prematurely depleting batteries, which has  been in the news.)  When I exercised on the treadmill at cardiac rehab yesterday, the news was that my heart was not speeding up  correctly, the way it has been  between the time of my open heart surgery in September and my getting the new ICD last week.

How did I react to that news?  I had a complete meltdown, because the news has just been coming and coming at me for the past few months.

Then, I got into my relatively new car and drove to the hospital to deliver the news to my cardiologists.  It’s probably not headline news that I was crying and upset.  My worst fear was that I would hear this news:  Your new device won’t work as well as the old one and your only hope is to get ANOTHER new device.   That would have been too much news for me.

However, the news I got at the hospital was this: In more unexpected news, the pocket that holds my new device is filled with fluid, which means the new device can’t make my heart with its new mechanical heart valve speed up appropriately in response to new exercise. The news included this:  after that fluid is absorbed, the new device SHOULD act the way it was supposed to.

While that news was  “good,”  I don’t think it was news to my medical team that I had some new skepticism about “shoulds.”  Also, the new ICD won’t work correctly until the new and painful swelling and fluid go away, so I need to stay out of work for two more weeks. That might not be great news for my patients.

What’s the news, where you are?

More news: I’ll probably be watching the news tonight, because today is the United States Presidential election.

When I posted my news on Facebook last night, I included this:

I am just doing this to distract everybody from the election. You’re welcome.

What’s the photographic news from my not-so-new iPhone?

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More news! We bought a new-to-us vegetable on Sunday, which Michael cooked in a new dish last night. It wouldn’t be news to me if one of my readers knew what that vegetable was (even though Michael and I didn’t).  I’ll tell you this news: Michael said the vegetable looked like fractals, and the Wikipedia page about that vegetable said the same thing!

What helps you deal with the news?  For me, it’s the power of love (also a song by Huey Lewis and The News):

 

The news would be good for me if you leave a new comment, below.

My final news is that I have new gratitude for all those who helped me create this new post and for you (and I hope that’s not news to you!).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

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