Heart/wrecked

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Like a ship that runs aground because of low tide or unseen rocks or fog or navigational errors, our beautiful heart can be damaged when blood flow is restricted or when it flows unregulated.

Heart/wrecked.

I grew up hearing the term, “Stress kills.”

I was never quite sure what that meant, but then I did when it happened to me.

After a seemingly nonstop barrage of a personal stressful situation–like a ship hitting the rocks over and over again–it all finally took an undeniable toll on my physical health.

One of my favorite places to live is in the state of Denial, but I’ve been forced to temporarily move to a new town called Reality. Hopefully, I’ll just visit there for a bit until I can come home again.

After experiencing some intermittent and strangely terrifying heart pains, I went to the doc who took my blood pressure and was concerned about the results. It was super high. I had always had enviably LOW blood pressure since I exercise regularly, am vegan and never smoked, so this raised concerns.

Over the course of a couple weeks, my BP was checked daily and it stayed consistently high; dangerously high, which only made me more anxious and more stressed, and at one of the office visits, I started hyperventilating and had a panic attack. (Super embarrassing for the doc and absolutely mortifying for me.)

This led to an order for an Echocardiogram along with all the other heart-focused tests. The echo was done at a local hospital–a definite trigger. No one wants to go to a hospital at any time, but especially during Covid. It seemed like I was being admitted, with a wrist band and lots of little stickers, and I was devastated.

I almost bolted out of the front door at that point, but I persevered. I can share with you that it’s a scary time when you have to figure out why you don’t feel great. I’ve been a medical advocate for several loved ones, but it’s radically more difficult when you have to care for yourself. Poor me.

The technician was amazing, especially considering I tormented her with a million questions. I know enough about medical stuff to see that she was concentrating on a certain area of my heart. I really appreciated her patience with me and her detailed explanations during the hour-long ordeal.

The results showed a dilated aortic root valve and regurgitation of the mitral valve.

Risk Adjustment Coding Academy- Coding Focus

What this means is that the accumulation of stress and panic attacks and PTSD that I’ve endured during the last four years manifested medically and physically and caused structural damage to my heart.

Mitral valve regurgitation - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

“Severe physical or emotional stress increases blood pressure to the point where the tensile limit of the aortic tissue is overwhelmed, causing the rupture.”

“Over time, certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, can cause your heart to work harder, gradually enlarging your heart’s left ventricle.”

“Mitral valve regurgitation can cause complications such as atrial fibrillation, in which the atria of the heart don’t contract well. This leads to increased risk of stroke. Also, elevated blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary artery hypertension).”

Hypertension makes the blood push harder against the valve and causes it to dilate, enlarge, and that’s pretty much the same scenario for the mitral valve, which seems to be the cause of the intermittent chest pain.

I’ll need to be monitored regularly because if I can’t control the stress/blood pressure and the valves stretch to a dangerous size, the only solution is surgical intervention–or death.

Reducing stress and hypertension can possibly keep the valves from enlarging any further, but the damage is done–nothing will make them reduce in size back to normal, except surgery.

Let me tell you that it’s true. Stress kills.

Now I’m off to change course, take some magnesium, eat more beets, meditate, calm down and regulate my breathing so that I don’t have a stroke or an aneurysm.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Heart/wrecked.

Shipwrecked.

Art/Creativity/Imagination

I cropped out five-year-old Angel Boy 2.0 because his parents don’t really like his photo on social media but I was so impressed with his creativity that I thought it would be perfect for a #WordlessWednesday submission,

I’m enchanted by the way his brain organized these colorful squares, but it was completely his own design and placement although his dad helped him with the glue gun.

Dandy Lion

I used to think that was how it was actually spelled and that the humble and sturdy dandelion certainly was a very “Dandy” Lion.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thoughts of my Angel Boy sneak up on me around Mother’s Day. I especially cherished the bouquets of dandelions and other wildflowers (or weeds) he’d gather for me. Could there be anything more lovely than knowing my angel wanted to gift his mom with what his mind and heart considered to be treasures? I don’t think so.

The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves, so I wasn’t totally wrong!

The hardy little dandelion is the only flower that represents the three celestial bodies: sun, moon, and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon, and the seeds resemble stars.The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening. Every part of the dandelion has value: root, leaves, flower. It can be used for food, medicine, and dye for coloring. Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant. Seeds can be carried as far as five miles from their origin.

I’m nodding my head. It’s fitting that the dandelion represents celestial bodies as my Angel Boy is still and always has been my sun and moon and stars.

Close your eyes, blow the seeds from the puffball, and make a wish. BELIEVE.
_________________________________________________________________

Simply stated by Walt Whitman/Leaves of Grass:

The First Dandelion

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close
emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics,
had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass—
innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful
face.

Who Am I?

Although I could probably ruminate for a few hours to ponder that existential question; light a candle and meditate with a mantra, I’m not. Instead, I’m wondering is what and who is THIS?

Does anyone know? I’m not sure it’s albino but I have never seen an alligator lizard this color. I can’t find any information at all. He comes out every day from a spot near the veggie garden and hangs out for a bit.

Most of my other alligator lizards look more like this:

Totally different, right? Even the scales look different. Maybe I discovered a new species or maybe it’s an odd, aberrant mutation. I sent this photo to the local herpetological society to see if they can identify my new friend.

If you have an idea, let me know!

UPDATE: Mystery solved! San Diego Herp Society got back to me right away with this great website and information that pretty much explains the odd coloration. Apparently it’s a variation of a Great Basin Fence Lizard. If you scroll down the page, they talk about Rusty-Orange Variations.

http://www.californiaherps.com/lizards/pages/s.o.longipes.html?fbclid=IwAR35ItZm3k6mLudiGD0b8ZOZ9b_16js0U-fGIvNFu2vinK4cggMxBchtfQ8

Happy World Wide Naked Gardening Day!

That’s today, May1, and that’s also a definite hard NO from me, whether it’s “world wide” or “worldwide”!

I’m out in the garden, fully dressed, thank you very much. However, if YOU choose to celebrate sans clothing, please wear sunscreen and DO NOT send pics.

Say Hello to My New Garden Visitor

Welcome, friend!

I hope to see your babies one day, too!

Are you thinking about Pepé Le Pew? I’m thinking this is another beneficial creature that enjoys a stroll around the garden along with the coyotes and bunnies and possums and raccoons. I don’t include rats or ground squirrels in that group ‘cos I really really don’t like them!

Another Day, Another Sunset

Walked the beach last night and the sunset was spectacular. No Green Flash though, and no whales or dolphins either, but it was the first warm evening with a hint of the summer to come.

The beach was crowded with happy people emanating positive thoughts and cheery greetings because it appears that we are collectively anticipating the rise out of darkness.

I had a fun chat with an adorable high school boy who had come out of the water after the sun went down. I told him how I used to pick up my son at the beach and he would be the only one still out in the water after dark. If you listen closely, I bet you could hear faint echoes of my voice yelling at him, “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOWWWW!” I sent the young man on his way with the admonishment to stay safe ‘cos moms worry.

Another day, another sunset. Mother Nature is magnificent.

(So I walked into the men’s restroom)

Let’s back up a bit.

I had to drive to the big city which meant I had to go to a place where they had a parking structure.

Immediately, those are two things that cause me a great deal of anxiety and panic–traffic and bad distracted drivers, along with the terror of driving into and maneuvering my car in a tiny space inside a gigantic parking garage with a low ceiling.

I hate them.

That’s always been a stress trigger for me. How will I remember where I parked? (I’ve gotten lost before.) How do I get to where I need to go from the parking garage? What if there’s an earthquake? What if I forget how to back up? What if all the horrible things I’m afraid of happen all at the same time?

There’s a word to describe the fear of parking garages: Tingchechekuphobia. It’s a neurotic phobia, I know, but I suffer from it. I don’t know who created that word and I don’t even know how to pronounce it, but it is what it is.

At this point, since I had to drive around and around and around to find a bunch of open parking spaces, I was pretty much completely dizzy, disoriented, and confused, because that’s what happens to me in tall buildings and parking structures.

Luckily for me, there was a very kind man who had parked a couple cars away and when I asked for his help because I didn’t know where to go, he must have felt my fear and walked with me to the right building. Like Blanche DuBois, I have always been able to depend upon the kindness of strangers, referring to A Streetcar Named Desire, of course.

I also hate elevators but couldn’t find the stairs so I took the elevator and when I found my destination, I needed to go to the restroom and the secretary pointed into the hallway.

Without thinking, I entered the first door.

OOOPS.

I hadn’t paid enough attention to the little graphic on the door because I had entered the MEN’S ROOM (!!!) although I wasn’t immediately sure because for a split second I thought perhaps I had been away from the world for so long that there were now all genders restrooms and this was the way it was in 2021.

However, seeing the man standing at the urinal convinced me I was in the WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME. (Teehee)

I did what I normally do in life and turned it into a self-deprecating joke…”Well, I seem to have made a mistake. My bad!”

I turned around, walked out, located the PROPER restroom with the girlinatriangledress graphic, used the facilities while I laughed to myself, and re-entered my destination.

Most people would probably not use that embarrassing situation as the icebreaker in a conversation, but I’m not most people…

“I just walked into the men’s room by mistake. I guess that’s why I don’t come into the big city very often.”

We all laughed and totally diffused what could have been a forever humiliating experience and THANK GOODNESS I didn’t see the man who had been at the urinal, but that wasn’t my first time in a men’s room.

Nope. Not my first rodeo, as they say.

When I was twelve-years-old in Detroit, I spent the summer going to the JCC almost every day because there was some sort of pre-teen activities program a lot of my friends attended. On one certain day there was obviously not enough adult supervision because a few of the guys dared me to go into the boy’s bathroom.

I took that dare and entered the boy’s bathroom. Apparently it was bad timing because the program director happened to be in there and I was subsequently asked not to return to the JCC for the rest of the summer.

When I told my parents why I was persona non grata, they simply looked at me and said, “Oh, Rosebud. We’re disappointed in you.” And when I explained it wasn’t my fault; it was a dare, I got that tired old cliche…”If someone dared you to jump off a bridge, would you do that, too?”

However, I believe I detected a glimmer of a repressed chuckle behind their serious demeanor.

Although today’s excitement wasn’t due to a dare, I was able to successfully navigate my way back to my car and drive around and around and around to finally find the exit and return to sky and daylight where I could finally take a breath, but the stress had taken its toll, and there’s only one remedy that always works for me: retail therapy!

I haven’t been to our mall in more than a year, so I decided to see what it was like now as the pandemic is easing up a bit; what stores were open, masked of course. I had a thoroughly pleasant time. It was just what the doctor ordered to soothe my fraught nerves as I leisurely strolled from shop to shop.

I treated myself to a few bits of frothy intimate apparel at Victoria’s Secret. Here’s the bag, but you can’t see what’s inside. Instead, you’ll have to use your imagination.

Have you ever found yourself in a similarly mortifying situation? How did you handle it?

April’s Full Pink Moon

I love all phases of the moon but I especially search for the full moon no matter where I am, whether it’s in the desert or the mountains or at the beach or even if it’s at my house–mama moon always makes her presence known and felt.

Tonight’s moon after the clouds is so bright!

Phlox 'Star of Heaven', Moss Phlox – Dancing Oaks Nursery and Gardens

I know it’s not really pink but that’s only a slight disappointment. Tonight’s full moon is also a super moon which means that the moon is full while also in perigee, or closest approach to Earth.

It’s actually referred to as a Pink Moon because Moss Phlox are in full bloom during this season.

I found this awesome YouTube video with all of the healing sounds and frequencies and thought I’d share it so everyone has plenty of time to dedicate to this experience.

It starts at 14hz and moves to 12.5hz at 4.20 minutes; 6.35 minutes it moves to 7.83hz
(Schumann Resonance) for 12 minutes, then drops to 0.5hz until the end. There is an underlying base frequency of 432hz which is enhanced within the music as well. The music has an underlying frequency of 285Hz.

I hope you enjoy this. I like to use headphones but it’s not 100% necessary. Don’t forget to charge your crystals!

Chatting with Angel Girl

For a long time, I’ve only FaceTimed with Angel Boy 2.0, but lately this titian-haired Angel Girl grabs the phone from him and runs away with it.

“Me Grandma, MEEEE Grandma!”

An explosion of epic proportions ensued until there was a conversation about sharing Grandma. That was an agreed upon solution to end the dilemma. I also simply hung up, and that was effective, too.

This time, it was Angel Girl 2.0 who called…

Daddy prompts her…

“Tell Grandma what your favorite animal is, Char!”

“Chimpanzee! Chimpanzee! Chimpanzeeeeee!”

Always the supportive Grandma, I reply, “That’s awesome, Char! That’s a very difficult but fun word to say.

Hey, Char, what’s your favorite COLOR?”

Chimpanzee! Chimpanzee! Chimpanzeeeeee!”

(Hmmm, seems like we went from genius IQ of 200+ to a normally bright twenty-month-old in a split second.)

Show Grandma, show Grandma!”

Says Mom, “She wants to show you a green ball.”

“I like your green ball. What color is the ball, Char?”

“CHIMPANZEEEEE”

OK, I definitely see where this is going.

What’s TeeTee doing?

I hear him…“My turn! I want Grandma SHARE GRANDMA! MY TURN!”

“Grammy? Show me the transformer again. When are you sending it?”

“First, tell me what did you eat for dinner, T?”

“PIZZA!”

“Was it a kale pizza?”

“NO, Grandma (laughing), you always ask me that.”

“Grammy, look at Char. She wants you to see her jump.”

“JUMPING!”

“Me show Grandma JUMP!”

“That is such a great jump, Char! I’m so proud of you!”

Then T says, “I’m going to jump over you, Char. DON’T MOVE.”

Oh no, this could be a disaster. But it wasn’t. It was a successful jump, but no more of that, I said.

“Where did you go today, Char?”

“CHIMPANZEEE!!!”

I knew they had gone to the park and the beach, but chimpanzee is clearly a favorite new word so there was no way I could disagree with THAT.

This call lasted for about thirty minutes while I was passed back and forth.

Finally, Mom said, “Say goodbye to Grandma, it’s bath time!”

And then from AB 2.0, “I’m going to hit the red button now, Grandma!”

And they’re gone, taking the sun and moon and stars and my heart with them.

The Rainbow Kids

Moose in Grand Tetons

What a beautiful boy! He was almost completely camouflaged, resting in the cool grass, enjoying a late afternoon snack. Those antlers are magnificent, aren’t they?

I could have stayed there for hours, watching him in silence, but I had to go. He didn’t seem too concerned and kept eating and eating.