In 2003 my heart went into "arrhythmia" it was an accelerated, irregular heartbeat.  I wasn't alone at the time, yet I drove myself to the hospital.  I think the best way to describe this was there was a lack of commitment in the room - my room.  
A lack of commitment to humanity (basically).  So despite the fact that I had someone with me, when my heart went haywire....I was alone. 
Duly noted. 
I walked into the hospital ER and told the nearest doctor that my heart was beating very fast and irregular.  I was met with people who were committed (fortunately!) I was immediately put in a hospital bed in the ER and hooked up to the right kind of machinery. 
They stood by me.
As I was laying there, I witnessed an argument between the nurse and doctor on the amount of whatever drug they needed to administer to slow down my heart rate.  The nurse was more conservative and she stood her me....she seemed committed.  The doctor argued for the larger  amount and ultimately won. 
The nurse, not happy, then left the room.  The doctor stayed to the right of my bed and munched on a green apple as he watched my heart rate on the monitor. 
The drugs entered my system through an IV and I felt immediately better.....heart rate coming down, slower and slower, breathing normal....this felt good.  Ahhhhh.
At some point it dipped past a point that even I thought...hmmmm...this seems too sllloooooooowwwww and I  started to "white" out. 
I didn't black out - I was completely aware of everything around me.  It was a very beautiful soft white all around me.  At that point,  all I could think of were two people:  Allie and Sophie.
"I can't leave" and then I had grayed out images of my own childhoodmixedwithmychildren'schildhoodimagesandIfelt
They were being cheated. 
There....I was back.
The next scene was a combination of being out of my body and looking down, yet
simultaneously being completely present feeling a hit to my chest.  I kid you not.....just like in the movies!!
I opened my eyes and (quite honestly) things felt a bit surreal.  My chest stung because I had just been hit with a man's fist
 in the middle of  my heart and to the left of my bed on the floor was an apple rolling around. 
I laid there for a bit.  It was just me, the doctor and the apple.
Then at some point I asked him if he had hit me in the chest and he admitted doing so.  
The apple was still rolling and I was thinking..the nurse was right. 
My mother's father (my grandfather) died of an enlarged heart.  To me that sounds so are so giving, kind and full of love that your heart is so's too large and pfffttttt!  then you die. 
She's often spoken about his "rattled breathing" and how difficult it was to watch a young man die in her house.  I think he was 40.
My mother has had several surgeries on her own heart - you know, the usual type of surgeries. -blocked arteries..... 
I (personally) know that my heart is healthy.  I don't believe in the whole prior history theory - just because someone else in my family has "this or that" that I am going to.   I choose my own history and whether or not I want to have heart disease or anything else for that matter.    
I don't have heart disease, but I do  have heart "issues".  Those that can be best described as "heartbreak" from a very early time.....father dying at 8...blah, blah, blah.  There is a term for this... Takotsubo cardiomyopathy" - broken heart syndrome. 
To back up, I was going through a divorce when my heart did this.  I was devastated by the divorce - shocked, surprised, angry and mad.  So my initial "heart issue" was a divorce issue, a failure/rejection type of issue.  The fact that I hadn't surrounded myself with friends that weren't committed enough to get me to the hospital saddened (or compounded this) even more. 
I learned very recently that when my dad died my mother burned everything he wore.  Shoes, ties.... everything.  My 85 year old mother said, "I couldn't bear the thought of anyone else wearing his clothing so I took out to the back, put it in a barrel and burned it all."   The image of this is extremely sad to me.  Also...I so would have worn this tie if I could!
I was 8 when he died and I took care of my mother during her grief stricken period.  I learned to make a really good cup of coffee and a sandwich that could sustain her for another day.  She used to say "it tastes so much better when you make it."
My mother, at 38 was heartbroken - she had Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and she needed to be taken care of.  I know, I ended that sentence with a preposition,
but isn't your husband being killed in an automobile accident at 36 kind of like ending a life with a preposition?
At 8, I became a very sensitive, care taking child.  I experienced a woman's pain of losing her husband and at the same time I was a child experiencing a very similar pain.
My mother often speaks of regret about my childhood.  She says she placed too much responsibility on me. Yet, I never, ever felt like taking care of my mom during some of her darkest days, making some meals or a pot of coffee or watching after my younger siblings ever, ever felt like too much. 
I was needed.
It felt like I was in the place I was supposed to be at the very right moment.  I got a real sense of making a valuable contribution to my family at a very early age. 
It's Thanksgiving today. 
I am supposed to feel grateful and thankful at this time of year. 
The month of November is always the hardest time of year for me. 

 am grateful.
I am grateful for the ability to contribute and care for those left behind and
my heart beats a little bit stronger because of these experiences.


No comments:

Post a Comment