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Saturday, March 8, 2014

You can't always protect the vulnerable

We all work hard to protect what is vulnerable. In my case it was always my heart.

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.

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