Women’s Health Week Revisited – Heart Health – Connecting the Dots by D.G. Kaye


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Welcome to the women’s health week revisited and I am so pleased that author D.G. Kaye accepted my invitation to guest post last year. She shared her story about a health issue that could have gone unnoticed at great risk to her life. Thankfully she is now fully recovered and definitely firing on all cylinders.

Connecting the Dots by D.G. Kaye.

It was the tiniest of dots; not much bigger than the size of a pinhead. Most people wouldn’t even have paid it any mind. But I am not most people.

As a girl who has experienced her fair share of health concerns, I made a pact with myself to practice a healthier lifestyle and to become more in-tuned with my body. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a hypochondriac, but because I have been challenged with cervical cancer, glaucoma, and a near fatal diagnosis of Crohn’s disease at the age of forty, my instincts instruct me to pay close attention to any suspicious “red flags” that capture my attention.

I am blessed to have a most wonderful Naturopath who has guided my health for the last decade and he has given me quality living with my Crohn’s. I was also blessed with an angel; my Dermatologist.

I became fascinated by a tiny red dot on my right forearm. Months had gone by and I was puzzled as to why it was still there, so I kept mental note of it every time I glanced it. I just found it strange that this tiny red, transparent speck had taken up residence on my arm and wouldn’t go away. It never hurt, nor itched; it was just there.

I followed my intuition and decided to take action. Ironically, this wasn’t the first call to action. I had previously shown it to my husband’s Dermatologist two months prior, and he offered to burn it off. He was a very old gentleman, and I had mentioned to my husband that I thought this doctor was ready for retirement, as he didn’t see very well. He never used a microscope and seemed always too eager to burn things off. I didn’t feel at peace with the issue so I wanted to seek a second opinion.

I made an appointment with a new Dermatologist who came highly recommended in August 2005. I had to wait until January of the following year to see him. When January rolled around, I went to the appointment and I was told that the doctor I was to see was off sick and that I would be passed over to one of his associates; Dr. Allen (name changed.)

When I met Dr. Allen, I sensed her compassion immediately. She made me feel comfortable with her warm smile and her soft-spoken manner. She informed me that she was going to cut out the dot and send it to pathology; her standard procedure. Dr. Allen stated that she didn’t believe it was anything serious, but as a precaution she wanted to have it analyzed. I was satisfied that I had somebody competent now looking after me. Dr. Allen informed me the results would take about two weeks. Two weeks later, I went back to see her for the results.

The doctor informed me that my results came back negative but that she’d also like to send me for an echo-doppler cardiogram for precaution. She explained that sometimes the reason this type of spot appears is that it may be related to a heart issue. She added that it was a long shot but she would feel better just ruling it out. I looked at her in disbelief as she handed me the referral form but I never questioned her thoroughness. Dr. Allen told me she would call me with the results. I left and went on with my day, not really giving the matter another thought.

The following week I went for the test. The lab technician was friendly and he explained what he’d be doing, to put me at ease. The scan lasted about an hour and through that time, him, and I chatted as though we were old chums. I watched the screen and I was fascinated to see my heart beat with my every breath.

When the test was nearing an hour, the technician suddenly became very quiet. I looked up at the screen and noticed as I breathed; it appeared as though this tonsil-like-looking ball was flicking up and down. Now, I’m no doctor, but I was curious as to what the tonsil-looking thing was that seemed to be suspended from my heart. I suspiciously asked the technician what I was looking at. And then my whole world rocked.

It turned out that I had a rare Myxoma tumour hanging off my valve.

Dr. Allen expressed her sympathy about her suspicion; even though it was a long shot. I thanked her for potentially saving my life. She was so compassionate and she offered to get me in to see one of the biggest heart surgeons at St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto.

Within that week, I had gone to meet my soon to be heart surgeon. He was a strappingly handsome man in his early forties. He was also quite curious as to who had sent me for the echo test without a symptom. He explained to me that this tumour was hanging off my valve and if left undetected, it would have eventually dropped off into my lung and embolized, causing sudden death within six months. He also told me that these tumours are asymptomatic, and aren’t generally detected until autopsy; silent killers.

The situation was all so much for me to bear but the one constant that kept me optimistic, was knowing that those tumours were never usually detected and God must have wanted me to live. There were too many coincidences in the finding that wouldn’t allow me to believe anything less than I would survive.

It all happened so quickly. Within the next two weeks, I was scheduled for open-heart surgery.

I got an eye opening view of an operating room as the nurse wheeled me in on a gurney; still fully conscious. I stared at the heart-lung machine that would be sustaining my life, while the good surgeon would hold my heart in his hands.

When I next opened my eyes, the room was very dark and quiet. I thought I felt an angel over my shoulder. I tried to speak with an almost inaudible voice as my lips felt glued together. The nurse sitting behind my shoulder said, “Welcome back Deborah.” I was in and out of consciousness for the rest of the night, but I was alive and I had survived.

©: D.G. Kaye

About D.G. Kaye.

D.G. Kaye Author

D.G. Kaye is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

At a young age, D.G. began keeping journals to take notes about her turbulent childhood while growing up as an emotionally neglected child. Tormented with guilt, as she grew older, D.G. was conflicted with the question of whether or not she was to remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, in debt to her narcissistic mother for giving birth to her. Her first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about her journey to seek solace from living with guilt.

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D.G.’s writing relates to her experiences in life, and she shares her lessons and ideas she acquired along the way. Kaye’s second book, Meno-What? A memoir, it was written based on her passage through menopause. In that book, she shares her humor and wisdom on what women can expect at that time, adding some of her helpful hints for relief.

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D.G.’s book, Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. She talks about how and why the issues evolve, how she recognized her own issues, and how she overcame her insecurities.

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Also a witty writer with great comedic timing, D.G treated those amongst us who are shopaholics and lousy suitcase packers; to her entertaining experiences travelling the globe maximising both the space in her bags and her charm on entering customs. Have Bags Will Travel

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Kaye writes for the woman of all ages. Her writing is easily relatable and her insights about the complexities of being a woman are expressed in her writing.

Read the reviews and BUY the books: www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

Quotes:

“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Links to buy D.G. Kaye’s books and connect.

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7390618.D_G_Kaye

Social Media
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/pokercubster
Blog – http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Facebook –   http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google   –   http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies

Thank you for dropping in. I know some of you may have read this post last year but it holds a very important message and it would be great if you would re-share on your own networks..

The Sunday Show – A funny thing happened to author D.G. Kaye


My guest today is Canadian memoir and nonfiction author and blogger D.G. Kaye (D.G.). It is clear that D.G delights both the women she writes for and I suspect the men who sneak a peek with her down to earth and often humorous look at life. There is also a serious side that comes across in D.G’s books and in her blog posts that strips back the layers that are formed in relationships. Those that are good for us and those that are harmful. I will take a closer look at her writing later in the introduction.

D.G was born and raised in Toronto where she still lives and writes about her own life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. She began keeping a journal as she lived through a turbulent childhood which was lacking in emotional support from her narcissistic mother. This challenging start in life was the inspiration for her first book Conflicted Hearts.

Her second book also charts one of the most challenging times in a woman’s life. Those of us who have enjoyed that ‘time of life’ as it is often referred to seldom see the funny side in the hormonally driven changes in our body. However, D.G manages in Meno-What? A Memoir, to not only share her observations and wisdom about this natural phase in our lives, but to bring humour and tips for survival!

Her third and latest book was featured in the Five Star Treatment, Words We Carry, focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. Most of us tend to have our own unique way of putting ourselves down and D.G talks about how and why we do this and how she recognised and overcame her own issues.

Apart from her books, she has also written articles about life, her opinions on people and events as well as contributing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine. She is very interested in natural health care and remedies prompted by her own health issues and that of her family.

One of the very positive aspects of D.G’s writing is that it always leaves you feeling inspired and motivated to be more pro-active with your life in both health and relationship issues.

Here are a couple of quotes that sum up this attitude to life.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return; wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

And her favourite saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. She loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker hence her Twitter handle!

The Author

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About the book

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

What a great find! December 19, 2013 By Karen B Format:Kindle Edition

Yesterday I happened to come across this book and I am so glad that I did. It made me laugh, it made me sad, it made me angry but most of all, it made me cheer for D.G. Kaye! She writes with candor and insight, passion and heart. It is an easy comfortable read, much like having a conversation and I couldn’t put the book down until the conversation was over. You can feel the little girl’s worry and confusion, the teenager’s guilt and angst, the sadness and the searching of the young woman and finally the strength of the adult. Ms. Kaye writes about the affects her mother’s actions has had on her entire life and the decisions she has made but she is never mean spirited about it and it makes you love her more.

It is a book that makes you think, reflect, understand and most of all it is a book that shows you that with the right attitude and beliefs, you can forgive and move forward. I loved it!

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“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

5.0 out of 5.0 by Kindle Customer

D.G. Kaye uses all her feelings of empathy, compassion, and honesty to reveal the power of WORDS that hurt, destroy, and demean. Words that in most cases have been forced upon us, and we never forget their poignant sting or understand the devastating effects they have on our lives and our relationships. You create the reality that has been engrained in your mind whether it’s wrong, unfair, or just plain mean, spiteful, and filled with envy and jealousy. WE ARE THE “WORDS WE CARRY” THROUGH LIFE! Isn’t it time to delve back to the source to first recognize and then change your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth?

WORDS start piling up at a very young age…long before we understand why such labels are placed upon us by inconsiderate, angry people, usually our families, who lash out at everyone around them in an attempt to make themselves feel better. Who gets hurt? Just about everyone, including themselves. But the delicate psyche of a child, who is born seeking only love and acceptance, is so susceptible to ridicule, negativity, verbal abuse, and degradation. It is rarely a child’s fault that they are bullied, laughed at, used between adults as weapons in grownup games, or called names that stick like glue.

Ms Kaye reaches back to her personal, traumatic early years to release the WORDS that practically destroyed a beautiful, giving, loving personality. In her easy, flowing writing style, where you feel like you’re communing with your best friend…sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes comedic, always strong and resourceful…you get the best she has to give to show how you too can rescript the WORDS that keep you downtrodden and afraid to ask for and receive what you deserve out of life.

Thank you D.G. for this heartfelt, soul-searching book to set us all free from the “Words We Carry” that only inflict pain and suffering. YOU TOO CAN FIGHT BACK AND WIN!

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Meno-What? A Memoir
D.G. adds a touch of humor to a tale about a not-so-humorous time. While bidding farewell to her dearly departing estrogen, D.G. struggles to tame her raging hormones of fire, relentless dryness, flooding and droughts and other unflattering symptoms.
Join D.G. on her meno-journey to slay the dragons of menopause as she tries to hold on to her sanity, memory, hair, and so much more!

Loved it!!! July 21, 2014 By Annie Edmonds Format:Kindle Edition

Let me tell you that this beautiful woman has a way with words. And she will make you laugh as she describes what it’s like to go through menopause. Anyone that can make you laugh while going through menopause is alright in my book.

D.G Kaye writes about trying to keep her sanity while her hormones are raging. This is something most women can relate too. There’s memory loss, hot flashes, dry spells, and even the dreaded hair loss. She writes all this and so much more in a fun and informative way. This book is filled with lots of love and even more laughter.

D.G. tells you how to take life as it comes and she pulls no punches. She’s a Canuck from Canada that writes from the heart. If you know someone who’s just had a hysterectomy buy this book. In fact every woman reaching that menopause age needs a copy..

The Blogger

D.G writes about life and part of our life cycle is of course death. As we get older we begin to lose those close to us and grief is a very natural part of our existence. It becomes tragic when of course those that we lose are young and vital members of our family. Whatever the circumstances we all have our own way of dealing with the grief and D.G covers this particular issue very sympathetically but also in her usual practical manner.

http://dgkayewriter.com/waiting-stolen-hours/

You will also find excellent articles on divorce, anxiety, changes in our perception of the world including how we become less fearless with age and experience. I recommend that you head over and find out more for yourself.

Now time to meet D.G (Debby) in person and talk a little more in depth about some of her life experiences and also her writing.

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Thank you Debby for joining us today and perhaps we could start with the increasingly documented personality trait labelled Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is only recently that this disorder has become better known as more and more people realise that at some point in their lives they have been subjected to its negative impact. Perhaps you could describe the sort of behaviour that a narcissist would exhibit?

Hello Sally and readers of this wonderful blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to this new series to share my stories here with so many other talented artists and writers.

A narcissist, in laymen’s terms, sees him/herself as the center of existence. They feel as though their appearance and/or words trump everyone else’s. In my mother’s case, she had created a false persona that she had convinced her own self that she was superior. It was her mission to be the most beautiful one in a room, and craved attention so that focus had to be on her at all times.

Everything she talked about was exaggerated to make sure she could captivate her audience with her stories of grandeur. Her wants and needs came first to anyone else’s, including her children’s. She’d go to any lengths to acquire whatever it was she seeked.

Now, some people like to tell lies and paint pretty pictures of themselves for attention, but a true narcissist, as in my mother’s case, actually believes her own stories because she lived in her own ego.

I learned through the years of studying her, that this was a disease, which commonly wasn’t recognized as such. In the last generation, I don’t believe it was prominently diagnosed.

Do we all have some elements of that behaviour and if so what triggers it becoming a full blown disorder?

I don’t believe we all have the elements of becoming a narcissist, but I do believe there can be circumstances or incidents one encounters in life that propel one to becoming narcissistic. I’m no licenced psychologist, but I have to believe it can also be linked to various (undiagnosed) mental disorders, such as depression, which becomes a catalyst to narcissism, used to overcome some troubling issues. I say this because I think that besides my mother’s strife to be the best in show, I sensed a sadness within her that she was trying to conceal, not just to everyone, but also to herself.

She medicated that inner sadness with booze, pills and gambling, intermittently. She came from a poor family, and in a Scarlett O’Hara sort of way, had used her beauty as a weapon to obtain materialistic things in life.

I don’t believe anyone is born a narcissist. I think that it is the situations one lives through, which have a propensity to steer them in that direction as a means to achieve a status to feel better about themselves; and no matter at who’s expense.

It is obvious, as in your case, that a child would feel powerless in that kind of relationship. But is also true that adults of narcissistic parents can still be under the influence of that negativity especially as the parents age. What would be your advice to someone facing that challenge?

I would have to say the statistics show that many adults are still held under the powers of a narcissistic parent. It’s a major feat to become freed from the power that parents hold over us, mainly from their use of guilt as a means to obtain what they demand.

I was petrified to say the word “no” to my mother, my whole life. I danced to her every whim, and there were plenty of them. Children’s psyches are delicate, and grow from what we know and are used to. If we’re obedient, and not defiant children being raised by a narcissist, the odds are we shall remain under their power for the rest of their lives unless we are lucky enough to take a stand to them. For me, it was always unsettling to be around my mother.

We have to find a way for ourselves to live comfortably and deal with that parent (in my case.) It is very unlikely that person will ever change because they don’t believe they are the one with the problem.

I complied with my mother’s demands all my life and it ate away at me like poison, I took her wraths and tantrums because I felt I had to obey. I was the child, no matter what age I was. It took me decades and barrels of courage to get over the feeling that she had entitlement to anything she demanded from me, as a daughter. With a lot of self-therapy and self-analysis, I tried to reason with her to no avail.

I had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t my job, or in my power to fix her. The sickness wouldn’t allow anything positive I had to offer her, register with her. In the end, it was my own self-sanity I had to save, and painfully after so much emotional torment, at 48 years old, I walked away,

Sometimes you have to learn when you can’t fix a broken soul who doesn’t think it needs repairing.

In the UK there are around 120,000 divorces a year which is one of the highest in the European Union. In the US I understand that is around the 2.5 million mark per year. Whatever the figure that is a huge number of men and women and of course millions of children who are faced with this life changing event. What do you believe are the key issues that partners find so difficult to overcome that leads to this very final dissolution of their relationship and family?

Many times people get married for the wrong reasons, varying from anything such as, for material gain, pregnancy, or just settling for a relationship in order not to be alone, just to name a few. Other times, it could be that people marry too young.

Experience shows us that as we grow older, our wants and likes change as we grow. Sometimes people drift into new directions, leaving a partner behind when they no longer share interests. Also, infidelity is a major cause of break-ups, and I believe the promiscuity begins when one isn’t receiving the shared interest, respect, attention or kindness from their partner. They crave acceptance and to be acknowledged or included as a partner in their marriage, and when they stop receiving, they become vulnerable when they meet someone who feeds that need.

What would be your advice to anyone in a relationship who is facing potentially serious issues about some of the communication points they should be discussing with their partners to help prevent a complete breakdown?

We have to communicate our thoughts and feelings to our partners. We have to open our ears and listen back when they express their feelings to us. We should be supporting their work and passions. This must become a two-way street of reciprocation.

If we feel we are giving our all, and we aren’t being paid any mind or consideration for our own thoughts and feelings, this is a good sign we are not in a loving, supportive relationship. This would be the time to seek some outside therapy to salvage a relationship, before it becomes time to sever it.

Back to your writing. What is your next major project and where are you in the process?

I am currently in revisions with my next book (very late with them I might add), about essays on life incidents. In this book, I recall some stories of past years, when life was different, and often simpler. And, of course, there are stories about how the times have changed, and my opinions about how I feel about it.

I’m also writing the sequel to my first book, Conflicted Hearts. I left my first book open to a finish, as my mother was still living at the time of publication. Since that time, she has passed, and I’ve had a lot more realizations and interviews with family members, delving deeper into my mother’s issues, which I didn’t feel was fair to get into while she was alive. I’m hoping to have that book finished and published by summer of 2016.

Now time for the central theme of the Sunday Show interview.. ‘A funny thing happened to me..’

What are the Odds?

I title this situation with the phrase I’ve countlessly repeated many times throughout my life because I’ve often encountered situations in life where the odds were slim of things happening.

Sometimes it wasn’t always a good situation, but in this instance, I lucked out with favourable odds.

When I was twenty-five, I took a leave of absence from my then position as an executive assistant to the general manager of a downtown hotel chain. I had a fantasy that I wanted to fulfil of travelling through the Greek islands. Part of that trip I rented villa on the island of Mykonos for six weeks.

I travelled alone, as I was fiercely independent and had no trouble meeting people and forging friendships.

While I was waiting for three days in Athens for my booked passage over to Mykonos, I had befriended some interesting people staying at my same hotel. One of these people was a lovely Dutch boy, a few years younger than I, who was backpacking through Europe. Another couple I befriended were from Australia, also backpacking and taking on work around Europe to sustain their travels. They were at the same hotel at the same time as I was, all treating themselves to a few days in a nice hotel instead of the usual youth hostels.

When we all parted to go our separate ways, I had given them my address in Mykonos, and invited them to drop by if they were on the island in the coming weeks, and I offered them a room to rent in the villa for a nominal fee. I thought it would be nice for them, and it would also give me some extra pocket money.

Only a few days had gone by in Mykonos, and I had broken my foot getting off a high step on a bus while going into town for some provisions. Now, that situation alone is a story, which you will find in my book Conflicted Hearts, but nonetheless, my foot was broken, and I wasn’t going to another island to have it casted. I saw a doctor who wrapped it tightly in a tensor bandage, gave me crutches, and told me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. Walking on crutches on the broken cobblestone roads and struggling to get up the small mountain (and down) on the rickety path to the beach was a feat in itself.

 A few days had passed and as I struggled again to get to the beach, and find my rock where I elevated my foot, I laid down my things and began thinking that I should cut my vacation short because it was too hard for me to get around. I was sad and scared about my demise. Tears sprang from eyes in my feelings of defeat. And then moments later, I heard somebody shouting my name.

I was sure it was a call for someone else, as I had yet to make friends with anyone there, except for the jeweller in town who befriended me when I fell off the bus and helped me get to a doctor, then scared the crap out of me. (Again full story in my book.)

I quickly sat up to see where the far away voice was coming from, when I realized God had sent me an angel.

My little Dutch friend had come to visit. He stayed for two weeks. He was so kind and helpful. He prepared meals for me, took me to town and carried my things, and helped me up and down the hilly paths. We shared a great friendship for many years after through letters. And, of course, I never took a dime from him.

Could lightning strike twice? After my Dutch friend left, a mere one day later, the same miracle happened at the beach when my Aussie friends showed up looking for me. They stayed with me for two weeks.

Coincidence? Divine timing? Those who know me well know that I often preach that we meet people; sometimes for reasons, sometimes for a season.

Thank you so much Debby for providing such an important insight into one of the most corrosive relationships that we can find ourselves in and also the strategies that might help us overcome the challenges we face.   Love your story… Coincidence perhaps, but also down to how well liked you were by those you met that they wanted to see you again…

Buy Debby’s books and connect with her… Definitely a ‘must do’.

Links
Author page on – http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/pokercubster
Blog – http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google – http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
About Me – www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer

Thank you for stopping by and do please leave your comments and of course please feel free to share by reblogging or clicking on any of the social media buttons…

Next week John W. Howell author of My GRL… joining us from Texas.