Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

My heart is broken. Literally, it doesn’t work.
At least not until last Thursday when I went into the hospital for a procedure meant to cure the old ticker.
Here’s how it went: I’m lying on the table, cold white stickers all over my body to monitor my heart rate and other things. 
“You’ll be awake during the procedure,” the nurse informs me. “You knew that, right?”
Dr. Marvelous injects the area of entry, numbing the region until it feels like ice. 
“Cold, then a flush of heat,” he says. “Now, the pressure.”
Suddenly, there is a wire in my groin, inching past my intestines on its way up to my broken heart. Above me is a futuristic TV screen the length of a football field, displaying the surreal imagery. I avert my eyes for a second but can’t look away from the long, hot wire bobbing around my insides like a fishing lure atop a sunlit lake.
“Is that my heart?” I ask the nurse. 
“I can feel it,” I tell her. “I can feel the catheter.”
“Just try to relax,” she says.
But I can’t relax. I close my eyes to avoid the image of my beating heart, but I can still feel the wire beneath my skin, poking at my heart like a fork. 
I keep crying to the nurse, telling her that I can’t breathe, but there’s nothing they can do; I have to be awake for the procedure to work. Still, I know they wish that I would shut the hell up. 
At what feels like a distance away, the doctor is directing his wires through my body. Another doctor is in the “control booth,” overseeing each wire’s every move. 
“Is everything okay?” I ask faintly. 
“Yes,” the doctor manages. 
“I still can’t breathe!”
“We’ll give you some more medication,” the nurse whispers.
“Thank God.”
Soon I drift off into happy-frosting-cupcake land, my brain a silky glaze of chocolate ganache. 
“We need to approach the central conduction center,” Dr. Marvelous announces. But I can barely hear him, for my brain is happily busy licking the bowl. 


  1. WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!? Did you have an angiogram?
    Why were you awake for this? What were they looking for....oh my...was your mother there?
    This better not be a fiction piece..or I will find you
    email me how you are.....I care
    was it at NW?
    oh my goodness.....take care of yourself

    1. Suz! It's called an's meant to cure my SVT (racing heart rate) episodes that have become more frequent. In order to find this extra nerve pathway that causes the SVT, they have to trigger an episode, and for that to happen, I have to be awake! Crazy, right? I was at Rush--totally state of the art--love my doctors. Adam was by my side the whole time :-)

  2. so
    my husband has afib.....controlled through meds...
    This sounds scarier.....Rush...oh good.....
    did they find that nerve? Did they blast it?
    Adam...good job....How's he doing
    must have scared him ..right?
    Now you have to post.....I'll be waiting

  3. Both daughters are having babies!
    And I'm getting older
    Oh I'm beginning to love gatsby
    How's the mfa student doing
    And how is your ticker