When the heart speaks, take good notes.--Joseph Campbell I admit it. Writing from a personal experience of heart failure is far more challenging than I imagined. I've tried to understand why, especially when I've found relative ease in writing a continuing blog about cancer. I've had long discussions with my husband, mulling over the differences … Continue reading September 24, 2018: Communicating the Experience of Illness
The heart is the locus of physical and spiritual being, and represents the "central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason" (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection. "The heart...represents the "central wisdom … Continue reading September 9, 2018: Searching for the Metaphors of Heart Failure
What you fear will not go away: it will take you into yourself and bless you and keep you. That's the world, and we all live there. (From: "For My Young Friends Who are Afraid," by William Stafford, In: Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems, 2014) It was the suddenness of it, the disbelief and shock, … Continue reading August 25, 2018: Fear
Most patients with chronic illness, like the rest of us, live quietly and unremarkably in the daily struggle of living. Our pains, like our joys, are small, interior, simple. There is no great moment to the illness or the life. Yet illness...sometimes brings a kind of passion and knowledge of the human condition, giving an … Continue reading The First Question: What Does it Mean to Live with Heart Failure?
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. -- William Wordsworth The Beginning. One toe in the water as I have begun plumbing the depths of my experience as a person living with heart failure. It's a journey I began, unwillingly and more or less privately, in 2008. I collapsed on the pavement while … Continue reading The Beginning: Writing the Heart