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22

Nov

Rubber Heart Replicas

Learned more about the heart today than I ever wanted to know.

The heart.

As in the organ.

Through illustrations and rubber replicas, a doctor explained to my mom that a bundle of nerves in her heart’s left chamber isn’t functional. But that the bundle in the right chamber compensates by rerouting the electrical impulses. The electricity does a longer lap than it was meant to, but, in a word: she’ll be fine. And just to be sure, she’ll be on a heart monitor for the next month.

I sit here, looking at pictures of her heart and hearing about how resilient and creative and determined the heart is to keep beating.

I have to stop myself from asking the cardiologist questions unrelated to my mother.

Questions like how could an EKG miss a massive blockage in a 40-year-old man on the verge of a heart attack?

Or how did my 88-year-old grandparents each survive the same heart attack that killed my husband?

Or could his life have been saved if I’d taken him to the clinic that morning? Or, as my grandfather said after a few drinks this weekend, if you’d given him an aspirin.

I do not ask the questions because the answers don’t matter. The answers can’t change the outcome.

I leave the cardiologist’s office with my mom, smiling at her good fortune.

And reeling from the perfect storm of bad luck and genes and high cholesterol that apparently was my late husband’s heart.

  1. wanderlustandtethers said: Something similar happened to a family friend; he was 38. Gave his daughters a bath, dressed them, told his wife to take over because he wanted to lie down. She got the girls in bed and he was gone. Mind-boggling. Glad your mother will be okay.
  2. librarianpirate said: Don’t blame yourself. <3