Posts Tagged With: open heart surgery

Day 2317: Signs of spring

I’m often looking for signs, including signs of the advent of spring (my favorite season).

The “sign” post I  just linked to in that signature opening paragraph — Day 1319: Subtle signs — has subtle signs that I wrote that blog post shortly before two major life signposts: my open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Since the 2016 election, I’ve noticed signs that I — and the United States — have somehow changed.  I see signs of that in every blog post I’ve written since then.  Of course, everything changes and everything changes us, although this saying

The more things change, the more they stay the same

is a sign that perhaps I should change my mind about that, also.

Here are some other signs on my mind:

  • The tears in my eyes, as I write this, are signs of some unresolved grief about past events.
  • Older people often look for the signs of dementia in themselves and others.
  • When I procrastinate doing something — like writing a Letter from the President for a newsletter — that’s a sign that I need more information or need to resolve some fear about the outcome.
  • We tend to look for signs, in the present, that replicate our experiences as children, sometimes ignoring richer, more diverse signs of a wider range of possibilities.
  • I am making a concerted effort to be open to signs that conflict with my expectations.
  • I’ve dealt with signs that I’m catastrophizing more than most people by writing a song about that (included in yesterday’s blog post, here).
  • I went looking for actual signs of spring, yesterday.

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Signs of spring remind me that I’ll be seeing Pat Metheny in concert this spring. Here‘s “Spring Ain’t Here” by the Pat Metheny Group.

 

I’ll be looking for signs of your reactions to this post in the comments section, below.

No matter what the season, you’ll always find signs of my gratitude — for those who help me write this daily blog and for readers like YOU — at the end of every post.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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 1725: Just Right

On the eighth day of my long blogging journey, I wrote a post titled “Too ____, too ____, or just right? (Thanks a lot, Goldilocks.)” Today, on the first anniversary of my open heart surgery AND the first day of the Jewish New Year, it’s just right to share this photo:

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Yesterday, it was just right to discuss ‘Just Right” at a just-right therapy group.  It’s just right that I  share what I wrote about “Just Right” in that group.

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It’s just right for me to show you my other photos from yesterday.

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Are any of those photos just right for you?

My friend Dave, whom I met at just right Berklee School of Music in 1969 and whom I just recently reconnected with, has just right musical taste. He recommended I just listen to Jacob Collier, who is a just amazing singer, musician, arranger, etc.  I think this song is just right for today’s post.

It would be just right if you left a comment, below.

Just right thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being just right, exactly how you are.

 

 

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

Day 1529: Compassion will make you beautiful

I hope you have compassion for the beautiful teabag I encountered yesterday morning:

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Do you believe that compassion will make you beautiful?  Do you see beautiful compassion in any of my other photos from yesterday?

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That is the beautifully compassionate Dr. Deeb Salem. When I asked him yesterday how he thought I was doing, his compassionate  reply was, “I think you’re doing great.” Isn’t that beautiful?

Here‘s a beautiful and compassionate song.

Thanks to all the beautiful people who helped me create today’s post and to all my beautiful readers — of course! — for having the compassion to visit me, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1508: A quiet home

Yesterday, I returned to the quiet home of my EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist George after a long, disquieting absence. George and I talked quietly about how difficult it’s been for me to find a quiet home after the multiple traumas of open heart surgery, my pacemaker getting recalled, complications with the pacemaker replacement surgery, all the noise around the U.S. election, the loudness of my mechanical heart valve at night, and the fear and discomfort I’ve been experiencing internally and externally. During my quiet time with George, I realized I could create a quiet home wherever I am, by focusing on whatever helps quiet my mind and my soul.

Soon after that quieting session, I saw this:

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I’d love a quiet home, too.  How about you?

Can you see any quiet homes in my other photos from yesterday?

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While I was looking through windows of hope for quiet homes yesterday, I quietly heard this quiet music from Hamilton:

 

Thanks to all who helped me create  this quiet home today and to you — of course! — wherever your quiet homes are.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 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 1486: You don’t want to do that

I don’t want to do overgeneralization (or any other cognitive distortion), but most people don’t want others to tell them what they do want or don’t want to do.

I don’t want to break confidentiality, so I won’t identify the person in therapy yesterday who expressed frustration with a family member who tells others what they want, don’t want, or otherwise experience.

I don’t want to brag, but two years ago I made a t-shirt that says, “The Expert on My Own Experience.” I don’t want to give that t-shirt away, but I think my therapy patient could use that t-shirt, especially when dealing with that opinionated family member.

I don’t want to be too negative about the near future, but I posted this on Facebook last night:

I survived open heart surgery, but how will my heart survive the next four years?

You don’t want to miss  all my photos from yesterday:

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You don’t want to pay $20,078.33 for heart surgery, especially when that charge is the result of somebody entering the wrong diagnostic code.

 

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You don’t want to live on Nathan Lane, because that would be uncomfortable for both of you.

You don’t want to watch Nathan Lane in Stephen Sondheim‘s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum?  Then don’t.

 

You don’t want to leave a comment for this post? That’s okay, too.

You don’t want to go too long without expressing gratitude, so I want to thank everyone who helped me create this post and you — of course! — for wanting to visit here, now.

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

Day 1485: Ask

Ask for what you want.

Ask for what you need.

Ask for help.

Ask questions.

Ask without fear.

Ask and ye shall receive.

I ask myself these questions, here and now:

  • Where do I want to live?
  • What will make me happy?
  • How can I achieve peace?
  • What can I do to make the world better?
  • How much time do I have?
  • What lyrics should I write to this song?

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This person who loves asks that you ask or answer questions in a comment below.

Finally, I ask that you accept my gratitude for all who helped me create this post and for YOU, no matter what you’re asking today.

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

Day 1482: Survival Mode

When I’m in Survival Mode, I’m concentrating on simply making it through an experience, to the exclusion of everything else.

Yesterday, I was in survival mode as I:

  •  went to the funeral of my wonderful father-in-law,
  • declared my intention to survive into my 90s, as he did,
  • hugged many people I love,
  • cried,
  • asked the rhetorical question, “Is this the worst day ever?”
  • told somebody I’d just met that my job was helping people be in the moment,
  • talked about the book Everything Happens for a Reason,
  • shocked somebody I hadn’t seen for years by telling him I recently survived open heart surgery,
  • got an INR blood test at Tufts Medical Center,
  • drove by  several properties with a view of water,
  • ate some delicious food,
  • drank tea,
  • listened to music,

  • said to my boyfriend Michael, “I survived the day! Maybe I’ll give thanks for surviving every day now, for the rest of my life,” and
  • took these pictures:

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What do you do when you’re in survival mode?

Survival-mode thanks to all who helped me survive writing this post and to you — of course! — for surviving everything that’s happened to you so far.

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

Day 1479: Open Up

I’m going to open up today’s blog with a photo I already opened up in yesterday’s post.

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If you open up that greeting card, “You are AWFUL” opens up into something much more positive. I now open up this post to guesses about what you’d see if you open up that card.  If you open up a comment below, I’ll open up with an answer.

I want to open up about several other issues:

  1. Later today I’ll be seeing my Primary Care Physician, whom I’ve been opening up to for many years.
  2. I’m going to open up to her that I might not be feeling well enough to open up my work schedule to a full 36 hours per week in February, as previously planned.
  3. I’m still  recovering from being opened up for a heart valve replacement last September.
  4. I’m glad that I was opened up under the Affordable Care Act, since I’ve had a pre-existing heart condition since I first opened up my eyes.
  5. My boyfriend opened up our toilet yesterday to replace a different kind of leaky valve.
  6. That opened up a can of worms, so I’ll be opening up my cell phone today to call a plumber.

It’s time to open up all the photos I took yesterday.

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I shall now open up YouTube to see if I can open up suitable music for this “Open Up” post.

Is there anything  you choose to open up about, here and now? As I discover in every therapy group I open up, opening up to other people helps our lives open up in many ways.

Finally, I’d like to open up my heart and show the gratitude within to all who helped me open up in this post and to you  — of course! — for opening up my blog, today.

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

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