How to Rip Your Own Heart Out in Three Easy Steps

Okay, I do admit that the title is entirely misleading and wholly inaccurate, but it got you wondering…  Didn’t it?  I have apparently developed tachycardia, a condition where the heart races and beats like a jackhammer plugged into a nuclear reactor.  It is not fatal in itself, though it may lead to heart attack or stroke which are definitely in the fatal category.  Yesterday I did two things about that little heart condition, one which hopefully helped, and another which definitely hurt.  So, let me tell you a fairy tale.

Magnolia No kidding.  It is a fairy tale about novel writing, feeling like a murderer, and cardiologists.

Step one… I went to the cardiologist in Plano, Texas.  I have had a heart monitor taped to my chest for three weeks.  I have to push the record button three or four times every night.  The tachycardia is a night-stalker, hitting me while I’m asleep.  Then it shakes me awake, makes me sweat and fret and try to decide if I need to go to the emergency room or not.  I lie awake worrying just long enough that when I awake in the morning I am a sleepless, colorless zombie that feels the need to stay in bed all day, but can’t for fear the heart problem will attack again at any moment.  The heart monitor itself likes to complain and make a nasty beeping noise to irritate my sleep-deprived brain, and the places where the electrodes are taped to my chest are so itchy from three weeks of sticky plastic thingies stuck to them that I want to claw my own skin off.

At the cardiologists office, I had a sonogram done.  They used sound waves to map out what my beating heart looked like and how the blood was flowing through it in daylight.  The objective was to make certain that there were no holes or lumps or discarded candy wrappers in there that would require surgery.  So I got probed with a hot sonogram beeper offset with cold contact gel, and wouldn’t you know it… I didn’t even get to take the heart monitor off for the procedure.  No rest for wicked, itchy chests.  But on the up side, I did not at any point notice the technician shaking her head sadly or calling for an ambulance.  There were no immediate negative results to the testing.  So now I get to fight tachycardia some more without knowing anything more about my condition until the doctor explains on December 30th.

Step Two…  I am using my down time to continue writing my NaNoWriMo novel, The Magical Miss Morgan, which I didn’t finish in November.  It is a story about a sixth grade English teacher based on personal experience, when I taught sixth graders myself and was a woman… wait, that can’t be right.  Is it possible that tachycardia effects the brain after a while?  The novel has a number of characters who are fairies.  Willowleaf(I did say this was based on real life experiences, didn’t I?)  The fairies get involved with an irate parent, trying to help the teacher who has befriended them, and I am at the critical part of the plot where a crisis point is reached and a murder is about to take place.  (The usual for parent-teacher conferences.)  Anyway the conflict comes to a boil, and though the murder is prevented, a fairy is killed in the prevention of it.  And it isn’t just any fairy.  It is my favorite among all the foofy little buggers.  I wrote that part on Monday and edit it into permanence yesterday.

Step Three…  I spent half an hour crying my eyes out.  I know it is not normal to be so affected by the unexpected death of a beloved character, but I can blame it on the tachycardia.  It kept me awake so much, and I am such a sleep-deprived zombie-writer that it is possible that I dreamed the whole thing.  I may discover when I reread it for a fourth time that the fairy character didn’t die after all.  Except… no, wait… that’s not what it says.  I need to finish this up now so that I can go on another half-hour crying jag.  I have no one to blame except myself.  And I can’t even write the character back to life (though I may try) because the scene is just too good the way it is.  Oh, well… hopefully soon the cardiologist can give me a magic pill to make everything all better.

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Filed under artwork, humor, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney

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