Nibbling at edges
A dropped heartbeat
Here . . . . . now there
Random holes of silence
Never to be filled
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