My heart fluttered like a trapped hummingbird all day yesterday, to the consternation of my secretary.
Nota bena: What’s wrong with my heart will not kill me. It’s called “SVT”, supra-ventricular tachycardia. The potentially fatal “VT”, ventricular tachycardia, would be a completely different story. SVT threatens quality of life, not life expectancy. But of course, my SVT manifests in a non-correctable way, so I pop a couple of heart pills each day and clutch my hand to my chest when the bird batters against me with its desperate wings.
Stumbling through yesterday with palpitations and pain in my chest sobered me. I’d wallowed in self-pity all weekend. Nothing brings one’s pity-party to a halt quite as chillingly as confronting a real problem. Nothing silences complaint like the worried eyes of one’s twenty-four-year-old secretary or a note from a bitterly angry opponent with the quiet news of her mother’s death, which came yesterday in the midst of an exchange about a discovery dispute on one of my cases.
The radio blares its ugly jarring news. I move around the house with a cup of re-warmed coffee, shuffling in my knit slippers. I turn sideways in front of the mirror, wondering if I’ve lost that extra ten pounds yet. The dog lumbers through the room and snuffles at the back door. And all the while the beating of my broken heart keeps time with the rhythm of my peculiar life.
It’s the seventeenth day of the thirty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.