Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Heart Health

Nibbling at edges

Nibbling at edges
A dropped heartbeat
Here . . . . . now there
Random holes of silence
Never to be filled
Gone forever
Eluding my grasp
Silently stealing life
That once seemed
Steady and sure

Several days ago I decided to wear my heart monitor. I was curious. How often and how long are these episodes of atrial fibrillation? Lucy Pacemaker takes care of the slow beats. I don’t even know when she’s doing it because I’m usually asleep.

So what’s up with those fast-beating AFib episodes? Sometimes I can tell when my heart misses beats, but not usually. Often I feel weak, especially in my legs and when I reach to get something from a high shelf. My energy level plummets, and I feel off-balance.

For three days I wore my heart monitor from the time I got up until I went to bed. Nothing. Just wonderfully steady, strong beats. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was thrilled and full of energy.

Yesterday morning things went haywire. I saw it on my heart monitor, and felt it in my body. Weak and discouraged doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.

After some tears of frustration, I decided my heart could use some comfort. I also pared down my schedule to three things: make (and enjoy!) a simple lentil soup, play the piano, and exercise indoors.

After half an hour on my semi-recumbent bike, plus walking around the house while listening to the radio, it happened. My heart suddenly settled down, more than 8 hours after the fibrillation began.

Yesterday evening I jotted down the poem at the top. An acknowledgment that I’m dying in more ways than one—and that there’s life in me, though it’s not what I expected.

As for you, dear Reader, here’s a Reader-friendly article about AFib, and how to tell, without a monitor, whether your heartbeats are steady: Stanford University Scope Blog.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 March 2019
Image found at Stanford University’s Scope Blog

Visions | #7


Thou preparest a table before me…. Psalm 23:5, Quilted artwork by Lee Porter

Glow in bright light
Dancing into my heart’s eye

It’s time to take me into the operating room. I smile at D and get his gorgeous smile back. Ready.

A tall burly man Read the rest of this entry »

Fasting | #6

Hospital patient gets TLC.

My greatest anxiety the morning of my procedure wasn’t whether I’d make it through the procedure. It was whether I’d make it to the operating room….

plus no liquids
equals no picnic today!

I’m still in the prep room. I’ve survived a failed attempt Read the rest of this entry »

Music | #3

Van Cliburn performing in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory during the First Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1958

Van Cliburn performing in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory during the First Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1958

I’m out with D, my temporary chauffeur, for a quick trip to *Raider Joe’s, aka Trader Joe’s. On our way home, heavenly music begins pouring out of the car radio. When I get into the house I turn on the radio to listen to the entire piece….

Music from heaven
Washes over my soul and body
Soothing beauty from angelic fingers

It’s Van Cliburn playing Tchaikowsky’s Piano Concerto #1. Read the rest of this entry »

Curtains | #2

Curtains closing, 1280px-Radio_City_Music_Hall_Stage_Curtain_1

It’s Wednesday morning, about 7:15am. I’ve just walked into the prep room where I’m shown to my bed. I see several other beds in this busy room, each with so-called privacy curtains.

Curtains close around Act One
I’m alone with my heart and one large plastic bag
The beginning of Act Two

Read the rest of this entry »

I Love Lucy!

Very short post today, dear  friends, with one purpose: to introduce you to Lucy, my new pacemaker! I’ve given this very deep thought in the last several days, and concluded that a pacemaker isn’t just another gadget. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Heart, and a P.S. for My Readers

Tuning the Heart of the Longwood Organ

Tuning the heart of the Longwood Organ. Note grand piano ‘pipe’ in the back!

Counting down–
Tired body and mind
on alert

what I do not know
to happen Read the rest of this entry »

Lighter than air | Update

Lighter Than Air Photo

Right now I feel lighter than air! This morning I met with an electro-physiologist for a second opinion about my heart. He was direct, personable and clear.

When I left his office, I felt my stress and anxiety begin to lift. My next step will be Read the rest of this entry »

A tough old hen

tough old hens

The sun is shining! I’m alive and getting clear about what to do and what not to do to help my one and only heart. Here’s a quick update just for you!

First, the good news. Read the rest of this entry »

Revisiting Sabbath Sloth


Today I couldn’t help noticing that three people viewed my June 2015 post on Sabbath Sloth. That made me happy! So I checked it out, admired the sinfully relaxed sloth, and was struck by several things. Read the rest of this entry »

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