Dear Heart of Mine, Part 1
I heard your cry during my daily walk and made an appointment with my doctor to help interpret your message.
He told me to stop walking on my favorite hills and to rest when you shouted out to me. He didn’t ask you anything and decided not to perform the standard ECG test because it would be difficult to translate.
Over the next few weeks you continued to shout out to me.
I responded as instructed by the doctor until I could no longer walk without your interruptions. I reported your odd utterances to friends hoping for some insights. Everyone advised I visit a doctor &/or contact the emergency response system – 911.
The concept of calling 911 every time you spoke felt extreme to me and expensive ($1,000 +/ call). You always quieted after a few minutes anyway.
I was not ignoring you. I didn’t know it was you.
I began searching for a new doctor – one that would listen to you. There are only a few medical practices in my community open to new patients. I eventually received an appointment four weeks in the future.
While waiting for my appointment, I stopped walking and reduced my physical activities. You were quiet and I was pain free.
I also researched the emergency care facilities in my community. I learned that Urgent Care centers did not treat chest pain and hospital emergency rooms (ER) are the destination of choice.
They have the most experience in interpreting the heart’s language. I arranged for a neighbor to drive me to the ER, if needed.
Prepared, I focused on waiting to meet my new doctor.
One evening after dinner you began protesting in a new language that felt a lot like I had eaten too much. I took some antacids and lay down to sleep.
You woke me at 2 AM screaming. My body felt hot, sweaty and nauseated. Did I have the flu?
In response to my attentiveness, my chest felt a stabbing pain that moved down both arms and up my neck.
I finally heard you and knew what to do. It was time to visit the ER.