day forty-five: the ol' ticker

Five years ago my blood changed. It became more impatient as it raced through the miles of tubes in my body.

I was out shopping with my mom, who was visiting for Thanksgiving, when I felt nausea, pain, and an incredibly loud banging-in-my-ears heartbeat. I was at the doctor's office in an hour running on a treadmill with ten electrodes stuck to me, only to be told I flat-lined on a few of the readings.

Prepare for probable angioplasty in the morning. Keep these nitroglycerin pills near your bed.

No blockages. No cholesterol problems. No heart attack. Metabolic, they said. Like faulty wiring, they hinted.

It has been a blessing to be more aware of my heart. For 40 years I knew it was in there, but I didn't think about it much. Now a day doesn't pass that I don't stop here and there and feel it. I measure it. Monitor it. Not always with my little cuff I have at home, but with my surrounding body. I say to it, Relax. Breathe. Everything will be ok.

And this has helped me to be more aware of my own mortality. I hold things in there. I love with it. I fill it up.

I heart my heart.

9 comments

Melanie J | October 3, 2009 at 4:39 AM

I think one of the bad things about the heart is that we don't really pay attention to being heart healthy until there's already a big problem. Otherwise, we think it's pumping along just fine when it's not.

And I realize this was intended to be a more figurative post, but I had a nasty triglyceride result from a physical last year and it made me glad to find that out at 33 so I don't go on abusing my poor heart for more years and I can do something about it now. Thanks for the reminder.

Erin | October 3, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Thanks for the reminder. It has been interesting feeling how my heart works as I work out now (considering the fact that I haven't exercised in years). It's great!

Juliana | October 3, 2009 at 8:38 AM

As you know... I know just how you feel :)

Lara | October 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

I agree with Melanie.

It's just one more reason for me to get with the program and start being more healthy.

Connie | October 3, 2009 at 11:19 AM

It's good to be aware of what we have in our heart, whether it be love or blood. No matter what, it needs a good workout.

Kimberly | October 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM

What a gift you have for taking what some would call a trial or a tragedy and seeing it as a blessing!

Heidi Ashworth | October 6, 2009 at 7:35 AM

What a scary experience!

charrette | October 6, 2009 at 11:45 PM

Oh, I remember when that happened. So scary! I think my blood has done the opposite. Instead of speeding up, it's gone sluggish. My doctor told me it's like sludge.

I'm going to try to love my heart a bit too, and see if I can keep it from flat-lining before I'm ready to stop.

Eowyn | October 8, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Awesome post! Thanks for reminding me to fill mine up with goodness!