The heart

Removing her shirt, she picked up the gown and inserted her arms in the sleeves. Grateful for having done her daily exercises, her range of motion is mostly returned.

She lays on the table as instructed and awaits the return of the technician with the kind eyes. When she enters, the technician lays a blanket over her patient’s legs, warming them quickly with the heat from the blanket.

The technician squeezes Vaseline onto the wand and she braces for the cold chill on her skin as the wand works it’s magic across her chest.  The chill never comes, her nerves not yet renewed.

As the technician moves the wand slowly through the Vaseline, the screen comes to life with movement.  Glancing up, she sees gray matter moving about the screen.  Flashes of blue the color of rain and red like an overripe apple appear sporatically, showing the current of the blood that flows through her veins.  The technician lightly presses a button and suddenly she hears the steady “whoosh, ah, whoosh, ah” that gives her life.

Timing the beats, the technician clicks back and the room is silent again.  She stares up at the movement again, focusing on the valve that opens and closes in a continuous rhythm, letting in and out the rush of blood with each pump.  She asks the nurse if the expanders block her view and the technician smiles, moving her wand to show the expander under her skin. A large oval, the expander shows nothing but grainy blackness on the screen.

Moving the wand down, the technician pushes under her ribcage to gain a view of the bottom of her heart.  She pushes the same button as before and once again the “whoosh, ah, whoosh, ah” fills the room; the wet sound seems loud and powerful in the quiet.  The technician clicks a few more buttons and the echo is over.  She comments on how strong the heart looks and advises that it will be compared to the previous echo, then smiles and leaves the room.

Dressing quickly, she is left in awe of what she saw. Though it was not her first view of her heart, she is mesmerized by the sheer power and ability that it has.  Responsible for ensuring that all of her organs have the blood and oxygen that they need, the heart has one of the hardest jobs and yet it never complains to her. It continues to pump solidly despite the chemicals it is doused in every 3 weeks. “Whoosh, ah, whoosh, ah” it continues steadily, day and night.

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