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Sunday, June 04, 2006

The other heart of Tateru

I'm sitting here, having emerged from the cold darkness; no longer blue. Putting together my thoughts - which are admittedly a little tangled. A little disclosure. Maybe a lot of one. Hamlet wrote about my heart. The insubstantial one that changes the world. I'm talking about the fleshy pump that measures out my mortal minutes.

I have neurocardiogenic syncope. A rare form of it.

What is a heart attack? A heart attack is a damaging and specialised form of a cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrests I have. Heart attacks I don't.

[Here comes the darkness again]. More soon.

And we're back. Okay. Not so bad that time. Didn't turn blue.

Where was I?

Cardiac arrests.

No, they're not actually damaging. The great communal effort that is the human body tolerates a great deal of foolishness. A heart attack is a whole different thing.

Still, an arrest is deucedly inconvenient. Ghastly, even. The symptoms are all the same as a heart attack. When the lights go out, it's just like dying of a heart attack, each and every time.The only consolation is that you know you will live to see another. And another. And another.

That was my 41st. The little aftershock there doesn't count.

The first time it happened to me was about 6 years ago this month. I was alone, on an unlit stretch of road. Only a few minutes from home. I'd thought that was it. And frankly? You don't die afraid. You die angry. Cheated. Never let someone die alone. I mean that. It's an awful and terrible thing.

I could add up the symptoms like anyone else, and they added up to heart attack. It was only after (and waking up again after that first time, was the single most surprising thing that has ever happened to me) that the hospital determined that what I had had was not a heart attack. The protein that indicates heart damage was not in my blood. No harm done to Tat's fleshy pump.

It took a month and two more before anyone figured out what it was. They don't last all that long. I'm usually back on my feet again within 20 minutes or so, if the people around me follow my slurred instructions, and actually let me do it. If they don't - well - the folks at the ER at the hospital are pretty sick of the sight of me. I'm a lot of paperwork to no good purpose and a waste of time and money, because someone couldn't resist calling an ambulance.

In six years, then, I've had 41. Coasting oxygen deprivation into the dark night, time after time. Not afraid. Not angry. Just...bloody annoyed. It's only after that I feel fear. Fear of the next time. The ghastly...horrible sensations...not something you look forward to.

Not quite sure where I'm going with this. Just letting the feeling and warmth return, in the predawn. Knowing that a whole bunch of you will be listening once I hit the publish button here.

I also know it's not what you expected to see here. I'd say I was sorry about that, but I'm not. It's a part of my life now, and will continue to be one. Insofar as that is the case, it's a part of yours, too.

Might log in and just idle in busy mode for a bit. See what's what. It's that, or back to bed, and the sun's rising, and I've got little desire to visit the dark places in my head again, quite so soon.

Time for a little sunshine.

Good morning.


  1. ****hugs**** to you my dear sweet friend.
    There's not much I can do. Wish I could make it go away for you.
    ***hugs*** some more

  2. Not fair. Sorry you have to endure that :(


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