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July 08, 2008

Monitoring My Heart, Recalibrating My Mind

3 I was doing some thinking tonight as I vacuumed up the rattan shards on the carpet under the four-inch hole our two new puppies chewed in our coffee table.  (Go ahead and mock.  No, really.  You can't say anything my friends have not already said, especially if you stay away from words like "jackass.")  It was different than the quiet contemplation I enjoyed yesterday (and this morning and this afternoon) while cleaning up the almost supernaturally recurrent pyramid of poop on the hardwood floor next to our comfy green reading chair.  It also was unlike the more introspective, spiritual musings that romped through my mind as I drove to our vet to drop off some highly unstable samples for yet another round of tests for a harmless but pesky canine digestive parasite.

No, tonight I was thinking about the fact that tomorrow morning I will go to my doctor's office where a nurse will attach a heart monitor to me that will record my heartbeats for 24 hours.

It's not a big deal.  I had a physical last week and all the readings, levels and measurements came back within their normal ranges.  I am, of course, very thankful for this, just as I am humbly thankful that I have been healthy all my life and have not had the significant challenges to well-being that many, many people deal with on a daily basis.  It's just that for the past six weeks or so, my heart has been "surging" or "fluttering." It's hard to describe, but it's like having someone hit your body's gas pedal unexpectedly, or the slightly disorienting sensation of almost missing the last step of a flight of stairs.

I love my doctor and one of the reasons I love him is his excess of caution.  The Holter monitor (that's what it's called) falls into that category.  To my children, however, the phrase "excess of caution" will smell a lot like the stuff we keep discovering next to the green chair.  They are not going to buy it.  No way.

Even after nine years of motherhood, I am still recalibrating myself...learning again and again that things don't happen simply to me anymore.  I process the events in my life and I then must re-process them through the eyes and ears of my children.  Little eyes that read my face better than I sometimes would like.  Little ears that won't settle for reassurance that's wrapped in a wry, self-depracating aside.  The tricks I use on myself don't work on my children, dang it.

And, as much as I know in my (ahem) heart that wearing the Holter monitor is indeed just an excess of caution, tomorrow I will reassure my children as much and as sincerely as I can.  And we will see "Kung Fu Panda."  And when we get home, we will go directly to examine the hardwood floor next to the comfy green reading chair...and we will not be disappointed.

This is an original post to Los Angeles Moms Blog.


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