April did not go as I’d hoped. Not that my hopes were great, in fact I thought they were fairly modest; keep working on the new book, keep pitching the finished one, oh, and for National Poetry Month, write three new haiku and one limerick a day. And things seemed to be chugging right along until
That’s how I described it, how it felt. There was thing in my chest that happened one day that felt like my heart taking a gulp. No pain, but it was accompanied by some light-headedness, some difficulty focusing. But just that once and then nothing.
Until the next day. A climb down and up the back stairs to the basement was cause for a few more gulps. And then again when I took my midday walk around the reservoir. And as I was taking my pulse I felt it, a moment where I had no pulse, and then the gulp, and then I had a pulse again.
And I freaked out.
Naturally, I went to the doctor’s office right then and had an EKG which showed nothing, because my heart behaved itself for the machine, but immediately after it was switched off it did it again. The decision was made for me to wear a Holter monitor, a portable EKG that you wear for 24 hours. It took four days before they could see me to be rigged up to the Holter, and by then things had mostly settled down. During the time I was wired up and connected to a device about the size of a pager circa 1992 I don’t think I had a single heart gulp. A little light-headedness, but even since then that’s abated.
I found it pretty hard to focus and write haiku or limericks during that time, and it took me a few days before I stopped beating myself up over missing an artificially imposed schedule.
It’s been nearly a week and the results from the Holter haven’t come, but past experience has shown that the only news that comes quickly is bad. My physician said that these sorts of things do happen but most people don’t notice them, suggesting that somehow I might be overly sensitive to occasional benign arrhythmia. What a thing. Some people are sensitive to heat or cold or changes in the weather, I apparently can feel my internal organs more acutely than most.
Until I hear otherwise – and I really won’t be satisfied until I can get a definitive answer about what happened, which is probably unrealistic – I’m going to take this as a sign to get and stay healthy and refocus my energy on the writing.
I try another poetry challenge next year. I trust by then this will just have been little more than a blip along the way. May. New month, new goals: keep writing…