Tuning the Heart

So, today I went to Jefferson for my one year post op check up.

Typically, the stress involved in getting me there was about enough to give me a heart attack. I had to drop Lorna at Hainesport Recreation as early as possible (8.53 a.m.) then drop Becky at Gymnastics ridiculously early, armed with iPod and DS (9.10 for an 11 a.m. practice,) then drive into Philly, attempting to beat my GPS predicted journey time by about 5 minutes to make my 10 a.m. appointment.

Of course, roadworks on I-95 meant I arrived around 15 minutes late. Nevertheless, I sat in the waiting room for almost twenty minutes (rating 14×14 sonnets–better pickings in the final two batches for this issue) before I was called back for my bubble ultrasound.

The echo tech was a German guy called Heinz, with whom I immediately struck up a “Europeans vs Yanks” type rapport. A bubble ultrasound is an almost embarrassingly intimate affair, requiring the subject (me) to be naked from the waist up while the tech presses the ultrasound scope to various points around the ribcage (read: above and below the breasts.) Like most of the staff in the Cardiac Institute, Heinz was not used to having to do this with a woman who potentially still made his sonar blip, but he dealt with the situation with admirable aplomb. As for my part, it helped that he was, like most of the Jefferson Staff, pretty damn cute. I also learned a new word: I am, apparently, “echogenic.”

The good news is that the hole is completely closed. No bubbles are crossing the former PFO site whatsoever. Dr. Savage was very pleased, and wants me to try weaning myself off the beta-blockers, and phasing down to a Baby Aspirin (81 mg vs 325 mg–hopefully this will reduce the ridiculous bruising I have suffered over the last 18 months!)

Also in good news while I’m at it, Rattle took “Crash,” the poem about the motorbike which hit the back of the van in March. Yesterday, the careless driving trial against the motorcyclist, at which I am a witness for the prosecution, was postponed for the umpty-fifth time.

And I wrote a sonnet today! First poem since the day after my fortieth birthday, when I wrote “Midriff Crisis”, a triolet about the potential navel piercing a good girlfriend gave me as a gift. I got the piercing a week ago, and the poem was accepted for publication today.

Sometimes, life has a pleasing symmetry…

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