And after 30 years of what was quite likely an average dose of heartbreak, I finally learned something profound about my heart.
I woke up from a period of unconsciousness. Literally this time. Okay maybe spiritually too. On my living room floor, wondering why I would have chosen to sleep there. My last memory was of reaching for the thermostat. Did it somehow electrocute me? No that couldn't be right.
A couple of days later during a visit to the doctor for a raging headache the pieces started to come together. Had I fallen recently?
Well there was that time a few days ago I woke up on the living room floor...
A CT scan revealed a concussion. I guess I fell pretty hard. A "routine" cardio check revealed an electrical issue in my heart known as complete AV block. My heart was stopping completely for 25 or 30 times each day.
I think back to being 10 and 20 and 30 and complaining of severe dizzy spells. All of those doctors for all of those years thought it was normal for a girl/woman to be dizzy sometimes. But I had finally found someone who was more curious, more caring.
Because I lived in relatively affluent Connecticut, just next door to Yale, I had only to wait three days for a brand new piece of equipment, a pacemaker, to keep my heart beating in a regular rhythm. A week after that my colleagues at work were asking if there was a remote control they could use to turn down my energy. Who knew I had been operating on empty batteries for most of my life?
The wonder of technology, medicine and one very good doctor brought me a new lease on life. Thanks to all of you.