Posts Tagged With: preparing for heart surgery

Day 1358: In the clouds

Usually, when I fly in the clouds, I take a photo, because the beauty of those clouds puts me in the clouds. Yesterday, when my boyfriend Michael and I flew from Boston to Minneapolis, I did not capture any clouds, because Michael (who usually stays home with the cats when I travel) had the best view of the clouds from the window seat.

After we descended through the clouds and landed in Minneapolis, we caught a ground shuttle to  Rochester, Minnesota. I noticed a beautiful woman with clouds of pure white hair sitting behind me in the shuttle and I said, “Excuse me for being nosy, but where are you going?’  When she (whose name was Anne)  replied, “The Mayo Clinic,” I shared that I was going there for open heart surgery and a valve replacement. Even though I felt cloudy before we spoke, I was in the clouds when Anne told me:

  1. She had a valve replacement at the Mayo almost exactly six years ago.
  2. Her surgeon was Dr. Dearani, who will be my surgeon, too.
  3. Her experience was very positive.
  4. Dr. Dearani and his team were “the best.”
  5. When she woke up from the surgery, she thought “I was in the clouds, because I was on top of so many pillows.”

Since I’ve been especially dreading the moment after I wake up from heart surgery because those moments were so hellish when I was a kid, I was in the clouds that Anne’s memory was so heavenly.

Anne and I were both in the clouds when we agreed that our meeting yesterday was most likely arranged by certain beings in the clouds.

I am still in the clouds as I’m writing today’s blog post, which is not where I expected to be two days before heart surgery. I hope you are in the clouds when you see my photos from before and after I was in the clouds yesterday.

 

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Which photos put you in the clouds ?

I was in the clouds when I read, yesterday, that the Mayo  Clinic provides hospitalized patients with massage, guided meditation, and music after surgery.  Maybe I’ll experience something like this when I’m in the clouds:

I hope you know I’m in the clouds whenever you comment.

Thanks to all who helped put me in the clouds to create this post and to you — of course! — for traveling through the clouds to be here, now.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 61 Comments

Day 1356: Important

Yesterday, while I was waiting for an important appointment at an important Boston hospital, I saw this important book:

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After I saw that important book, I saw my important cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem, who thought it important to tell me about two important people fainting when observing open heart surgery. It’s probably important for me to share now that I’m having important open heart surgery in four days at the important Mayo Clinic in important Rochester, Minnesota. That surgery is so important to me that I asked for an important hug from the important Dr. Salem yesterday for the first time in our important 34-year doctor/patient relationship. I also told Dr. Salem that I’m so important to his important colleague and fellow cardiologist Dr. Mark Estes that Dr. Estes had promised to importantly greet me with his important medical team at Boston’s important airport when I return in two weeks from my important surgery.

Then I went back to my important job at another important Boston hospital, where many important people wished me well.

Here are more of my important shots from yesterday:

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It’s important to note that those last two important shots include important lyrics from the important musical, Hamilton. Here‘s the important Hamilton number “(I Am Not Throwing Away) My Shot.”

Another important fact in today’s important post: last night I gave myself my first important injection of twice-daily anti-coagulant before my important surgery …

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… and then I threw away my shot.

What’s important, here and now, to you?

Gratitude is important to me, so ….

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

Day 1355: My heart soars

My soon-to-be-repaired heart soars at all the good wishes,  beautiful thoughts, and love I’ve been receiving here in the blogosphere and in the northern hemisphere.

My heart soared yesterday when somebody at work gave me a heart-felt, soaring present.

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Like that heart-soaring girl,  I’ll soon be soaring through the air. In two days, I’ll be soaring with my boyfriend Michael to Minnesota for a new valve, which should make my heart soar even better.

What makes your heart soar?

My heart soars  at the memory of this music from Peter Pan.

When I was a kid, my very unusual heart soared whenever Peter Pan soared into my living room.

Whenever comments soar into my blog, my heart soars.

Thanks from my  soon-to-be-sore-and-then-healing heart  to all who helped me create this post  and to you — of course! — for soaring here today.

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1354: See the love in everything

Yesterday, after facilitating a therapy group I loved at work, I went to see my lovely Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, George.  I love EMDR, because it has helped me reduce my anxiety about very unlovely experiences I had in the hospital when I was a child.

Because I’m having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic next Wednesday, I loved the opportunity  to work with George in reducing my anxiety about that.  George and I tried  several lovely images to use when I’m going into surgery on September 21, including floating on the top of lovely water or being held by loving hands.   I love that I came up with this idea at the end of the session: I said to George, “I shall just see the love in everything.” George loved that, too.

I love reporting to you that after the session, I saw the love in everything and everybody.  I love that next week I shall also see the love in:

  • the lovely Deb, who will drive us to the airport in her lovely Honda Fit,
  • the security personnel at the airport,
  • the plane that takes my boyfriend Michael and me to Minneapolis,
  • the shuttle that transports us to Rochester,
  • the hotel where we’ll be staying across the street from the hospital before my admission,
  • all the staff at the Mayo Clinic,
  • all the tests they’ll give me,
  • the needles and other things they’ll poke me with,
  • the questions they’ll ask me,
  • the operating room,
  • the hands of my surgeon,
  • the cardiac care unit,
  • the machines I’ll be attached to,
  • the medications they’ll give me,
  • the tubes going in and out of my body,  and
  • everything and everybody else during my recovery.

Do you see the love in everything I photographed yesterday?

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I see the love in those cats named Stormcloud and Peaches, who are being adopted together by some lovely family today.

I see the love in this lovely tune, which my late father sang with love to my late mother at an anniversary celebration.

I will see the love in everything you leave in a comment.

I see the love in all who helped me create this post and in you, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1353: Practice kind listening and kind speaking.

What kind of tea bag would tell you  to practice kind listening and kind speaking?

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A kind and practical one.

I try to practice kind listening and kind speaking in my job as a group and individual therapist.  I think kind speaking is the finest kind and so is kind listening, although I wonder if people can tell I’m listening kindly.

Yesterday, I announced at a team meeting at work that this is my last week before my six-week medical leave, and people there listened and spoke kindly, which made me cry.  That reminds me of a post I wrote my first year of blogging, very soon after the Boston Marathon bombing, called Kindness can make me cry, even harder. If you like reading that kind of post, please be kind enough to click on the link in the previous sentence.

During a day of kind listening and kind speaking, I took these kinds of photos:

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Because my friend Deb was kind enough to give me a ticket, we both listened to and performed all kinds of amazing tunes at a Hamilton sing-along last night.  Here and here are two kind versions of my favorite kind of song to sing from Hamilton.

Gotta run for more kind listening and kind speaking at work today. If you are kind enough to speak your mind in a comment, I shall practice kind listening.

For all the kind people who helped me create today’s  post and for you and your kindness in visiting my blog today, here’s another kind of photo:

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

Day 1352: Forget it!

I forgot my phone at work last night, so if you expected to see any photos from yesterday, forget it!

I tend to forget:

  • my phone,
  • umbrellas,
  • numbers,
  • song lyrics,
  • people’s names,
  • dates,
  • details about movies I’ve only seen once,
  • grudges, and
  • I forget what else.

Stress often increases forgetfulness.  I’m forgetting more than usual this week. If you want me to explain why that is, forget it!   I’d rather focus on what I wish I could forget, which includes:

  • past hurts,
  • past disappointments,
  • past illnesses,
  • past surgeries,
  • cruelty, and
  • politics, if only for a moment.

But forget it! I can’t control what I forget and what I remember. Right now, I remember talking to my friend Megan yesterday about the ups and downs of life and how we wished we could remember to ride them, like surfers riding waves.

I’m sure there are recent photos I’ve forgotten to include in this blog.

Here’s one!

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I forget why I took that.  Actually, I think I took it accidentally.

If you want me to come up with a reason for why that photo is a good match for today’s blog, forget it!  I have to leave early because I forgot to get an inspection sticker for my car, and if a cop stops me about having an expired sticker, forget it!

I wonder if there’s anything titled “Forget It” on YouTube?

Forget it!  There’s too many Forget Its on YouTube!  Here’s the first “Forget It” I found:

Here‘s a song I’ll never forget and which I heard yesterday on my way to work:

If you want me to explain why “Love is the Answer” by Todd Rundgren is unforgettable, forget it!

If you leave a comment, I won’t forget it. And I can’t forget to thank all who helped me create today’s post or you — of course! — for remembering to visit, here and now.

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

Day 1351: Things We Love

Yesterday, I saw this sign, which I love:

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Throughout the day, I took other photos of things I love.

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Here‘s another thing I love:

Because we who love classical music believe it heals the body, soul, and mind, I’m going to request that classical music be playing during my recovery from open heart surgery, next week.

Here’s another thing we bloggers love: comments!

I hope gratitude is a thing you love, because I’m feeling it, now, for you.

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

Day 1347: Please Take Notice

Please take notice of this notice I noticed yesterday:

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Please, take a moment to notice that notice.  What do you notice about it?

Please take notice  that I was near Boston’s much noticed  Fenway Park  when I noticed that.

Please take notice of what I notice, here and now:

  1. I notice the sounds of our cat Harley  eating our other cat Oscar’s special prescription diet.
  2. When my boyfriend Michael and I are away in Minnesota for my open heart surgery later this month, both cats (who will be staying home) will be eating Oscar’s special prescription diet, so we don’t need to worry about Oscar eating Harley’s regular food.
  3. My son’s student visa still has not arrived and I can’t help but notice he is scheduled to leave for the University of Edinburgh in two days.
  4. I am going to follow the advice of my sister Ellen and my downstairs neighbor Karen and call the office of  Senator Elizabeth Warren today hoping they’ll take notice of the visa issue.
  5. I ate a lot of foods yesterday — including kale, spinach, and ginger — that I notice will interact with Warfarin, which I’ll need to take after I get my new mechanical heart valve.
  6. My surgery is less than two weeks away.
  7. My sister Ellen and her spouse Linda gave me noticeably wonderful gifts yesterday, which you might notice in my other photos from yesterday:

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My co-workers are taking notice as I get ready for my “game day” of  September 21.  Some of them took notice yesterday that listening to music during recovery from surgery helps with healing. I’ve noticed that too. Please take notice that I’ll be listening to music you may have noticed I love, like this:

Please take notice of this: I’m noticing that “Tell Her You Saw Me” seems like a noticeably apt title and song for today’s post.

Please take notice that I would love to know whatever you notice about this post.

Please take notice of my gratitude to  all  who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for taking notice of my blog today.

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

Day 1307: Are you nervous?

As more people are finding out about my open heart surgery scheduled for September 21, they are asking me some variation of today’s title question:

Are you nervous?

It’s a good question. I’m not sure how to answer.

If I don’t know how to answer, it makes me less nervous to turn a question around. So I’ll ask you:

Are you nervous?

Are you nervous about

  • what’s going on around you?
  • what’s going on inside of you?
  • politics?
  • health care?
  • yourself?
  • other people?
  • the present?
  • the future?
  • the past?
  • your capabilities?
  • technology?
  • the environment?
  • the weather?
  • your possessions?
  • obligations?
  • money?
  • staying in shape?
  • aging?
  • your family?
  • pets?
  • food?
  • social interactions?
  • being alone?
  • travel?
  • cars?
  • public transportation?
  • friends?
  • strangers?
  • feelings?
  • thoughts?
  • change?
  • forgetting?
  • remembering?
  • judgment?
  • your living situation?
  • religion?
  • how other people see you?
  • pain?
  • death?
  • what happens after we die?
  • being nervous?
  • any of the pictures I took yesterday?

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Are you nervous about the music I might choose for this post?

Based on my photos, I’ve nervously chosen two tunes (here and here on YouTube).

 

Are you nervous about leaving comments?

Are you nervous that I’m going to forget to thank those who helped me create this post or  you for reading it?

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1263: Voices

Here’s what my voice wants to voice about “Voices” today:

  1. I’m trying out for The Voice in New York City this weekend.
  2. When I’m in New York, I shall hear the familiar voice of my son Aaron and also the new voice of a blogger whose voice I cherish on WordPress.
  3. 49 beautiful voices were silenced, too soon, by gunfire in Orlando last weekend.
  4. This week, I’ve heard many voices in therapy discussing the mass shooting in Orlando.
  5. Many voices joined together on the U.S. Senate floor yesterday, crying out against gun policies in my country.
  6. On September 21, I’m having open heart surgery in Minnesota, which will most likely interrupt my voice here on WordPress. However, my boyfriend Michael’s voice will continue my unbroken streak of what will then be over thirteen hundred consecutive daily blog voicings.
  7. Today,  there will be a phone call containing the voices of my long-time cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem and the Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Carole Warnes — both of whom hold my heart in their hands.
  8. Yesterday, I heard Dr. Salem’s voice say this at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center: “You’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a truck” after September’s valve replacement surgery — a voicing I appreciate much more than all the voices I’ve heard lately downplaying how invasive this operation actually is.
  9. Sometimes I’ve judged my own voice as too soft, too loud, not strong enough and not good enough. I feel more secure in my own voice, every day.
  10. Judgment squelches voices.
  11. I value authentic voices.

Yesterday, I heard many voices at two different hospitals, near Fenway Park,  and at a PetSmart.  Can you hear any of those voices in my photos?

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Do any of those voices resonate with you, here and now?

Here are some voices evoked by this post (on Youtube here and here):

WTF!  I hope I hear many of your voices in comments about my blogging voice today.

I shall now voice my gratitude towards all those who helped me bring together all the voices in this post and to you — of course! –for your valuable, authentic voice.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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