Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Broken Heart?


Believe me, he looks like I feel today.

My heart episode last week may have one of two names, the Johns Hopkins version: Acute Stress Cardiomyopathy, and the popular press version, Broken Heart Syndrome (although I see Johns Hopkins has now gone tabloid as well). Frankly, I'd never heard of either. I see my cardiologist next Friday. He's always fun.

[UPDATE:] Neither name applies to my situation, just another rare case of hum-drum "vascular spasms."


Michael Reynolds said...

Have you written somewhere about the cause?

Internet Ronin said...

I really don't know, Michael. I have written here extensively about my mother's long hospitalization and exceedingly slow recovery from Guillain Barré Syndrome. And to some extent about my feelings of inadequacy as care-giver for my dad while she was in the hospital, rendered all the more by his unexpected death the morning after my mom returned home (all filed under Parents).

Although I probably haven't referenced my own continuing, and apparently permanent, disability here, I have done so elsewhere. Besides, as January will mark the twentieth anniversary of the onset of that, I think I came to terms with it long ago and doubt it was the cause of this specific episode.

I have made mention of plans to take my mom to Britain next year, and have been a tad obsessive in planning the details recently, but I can't imagine that the discovery that we can't afford to stay at Claridge's or Brown's whilst in London was heart-breaking (figuratively or literally). One would think that the fact that "we have a go" on the trip to the UK, whether my mom can walk on her own or not, underscores her progress (and her admirable determination).

In the end, my guess is it is probably due to regrets about my dad. As his world became more confined due to COPD as time went by, I realized some time ago that I had ended up becoming his best friend. (For almost thirteen years, we met at least once a week, usually every Wednesday, to fool around with the Model A's and drive them somewhere for lunch.) I realize now that he became my best friend in that process as well.

Michael Reynolds said...

Anything I can say in response to that would be a mere commonplace. Life has been beating on you more than your fair share.

Neverthless, despite this hammering, you reason and write clearly and intelligently. You give the impression -- reading between lines of blog and commentary -- of being a thoughtful, disciplined and moral man. So I doubt very much that your concern about your own performance is at all appropriate.

On the subject of profound loss I have nothing useful to say: haven't been there. Yet.

But I do know a little about being a father, so I can say that nothing would make me happier, or give me more of a sense of accomplishment, a sense of profound success as a father, than to have my son consider me a close friend and still want to be with me after he reaches adulthood.

On the subject of London? Be glad if you can afford a bunk at the YMCA. Damn, that town is expensive. I found the best thing was to pretend that a pound was a dollar. You go broke, but you don't go crazy.

Internet Ronin said...

Very kind words, Michael, thank you. Both my dad and I were lucky it turned out the way it did, and your son will count himself lucky should time and circumstances allow you two that same opportunity, I am sure.

As for London: Like you, I have discovered it makes life easier to just pretend a pound is a dollar. As it turns out, we are probably going to stay in Croydon for that part of the trip. There are two reasonably priced hotels ($100/night) within a 5 minute walk of East Croydon station and both receive far-above-average reviews on sites such as tripadvisor.com. From the station it's 20 minutes to central London and 15 minutes to Gatwick.

reader_iam said...

Hey, IR:

One thing's for sure, "BIG heart." It strikes me that there may be a connection.

Owe you an e-mail response, I know. Gettin' there, but probably will wait pending info.

Meanwhile, not so distracted that I'm not also keeping you in thoughts in prayers.

WR & all that,