In a few days, my husband and I will board an Air Canada jet, crossing the Pacific, international borders and time zones as we travel to Okinawa, Japan, where my younger daughter and her family live. Thanks to my adventuresome daughters, I've visited many more foreign countries than I might have otherwise. Despite this, living … Continue reading March 30, 2019: In the Kingdom of the Ill
One is the loneliest number One is the loneliest number One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do..." ("One," sung by Three Dog Night, lyrics by Harry Nilsson, 1968) If you passed me on the street, you wouldn't know that my heart no longer functions properly, unable to pump blood through my body as … Continue reading February 25, 2019: The Loneliness of Heart Failure
i am running into a new year and the old years blow back like a wind ... it will be hard to let go of what i said to myself about myself when i was sixteen and twenty-six and thirty-six... (From: The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010, Young & Miller, Eds., 2012) I recalled … Continue reading January 8, 2019: Flourish: Living a Full Life with Heart Failure
Perhaps it has something to do with the season--the holidays and the year drawing to a close have a predictable impact on my thoughts and mood. There are memories of holidays past, of people and places I've loved, of family who are no longer in my life, and with them, feelings of nostalgia. It's a … Continue reading December 16, 2018: When Heart Failure is Too Much With Me
If a man die, it is because death has first possessed his imagination. (William Carlos Williams, poet & physician) I've been thinking about hope lately. It dominates the conversation my husband and I have been having since his cancer diagnosis and surgery, intensified now by the possibility of his participation in a clinical trial of … Continue reading November 26, 2018: Finding Hope in Heart Failure
Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.--Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor, 1978 Poetry and medicine share a long history, dating back to the Greek god Apollo, who was responsible for healing and … Continue reading November 4, 2018: Medicine & Metaphors: Communicating Illness
This past August, when I first began writing this blog, I invited readers similarly diagnosed to write about their experience with heart failure--and other serious heart conditions. Whether my attempts to express this experience have motivated anyone to write, I have no idea, but I am hopeful that some of you who follow this blog … Continue reading October 22, 2018: If You Don’t Tell Your Story, Who Will?