It feels funny to write this now that there is no health scare and things are alright (read: there is no health scare and things are alright), but even though everything is fine now, the perspective shift has stayed with us. I can see it in the way Mike looks at me when I take a deep breath or in the way he kisses me goodnight, holding me closer to him and squeezing more than usual, an intensity to the "I love you so much" that was not there a week ago.
I started to feel dizzy at work last Thursday afternoon. I walked into the bannister and then rocked over to the other side of the hallway as if the 11th floor was the deck of a not so stable ship. Or a bouncy castle at a kid's birthday party. I laughed it off at first. But then it got worse. And then my heart started pounding. I've heard the expression before, but never felt it, but your heart actually pounds when it's beating too fast. I waited for it to go away but it was still with me on Friday morning and so I called in to work and went to the Urgent Care walk in place around the corner.
They gave me an EKG and after the results printed out the doctor who could use a lesson in bedside manner said, "you're not going to like this." He told me that the EKG showed that my heart was not registering the correct signal to pump, that I'd need a "pretty invasive" procedure to find out why the signaling was off. I felt some tears forming as he told me that he was going to fax the results to a cardiologist and then call Bellevue to see if they could take me that day. Out in the waiting room Mike could hear the nurses saying my name, talking to the cardiologist on the phone, and then about transferring me to the hospital. It was no more than ten minutes before the doctor realized that there was interference in the EKG and ordered a second one that would show that his initial assessment was wrong, just 24 hours until the rest of the doubts would be cleared by other test results, but that time was all we needed to feel the shift.
The second EKG showed that my heart rate was high, but not abnormal. So for the last week I've been rocking around the apartment on my imaginary ship but I am alright. It's just an inner ear thing, not a heart thing, and at some point it will go away and things will go back to normal. But I think the perspective will stay with us for a while. The reminder to be thankful for being healthy, to be grateful we have each other, to mean the things we say. I'm sure that soon enough we'll slip back into the ways of forgetting, of taking for granted, of snippy come backs and rolled eyes, but I hope it stays a while. The perspective that is. I'd happily give back the rest of it.