The chordae tendineae, or heart strings, are cord-like tendons that connect the papillary muscles to the tricuspid valve and the mitral valve in the heart. Despite how hokey it sounds, it appears as though one can literally have their heart strings pulled.
My father is in the ER today, after experiencing chest pains since Sunday (he too, is a health care professional, and what did I say about them? OH YEAH, they are always the last to seek medical care).
My mother, who for all of her faults, is as non-alarmist as myself, is pretty certain that this is a panic attack.
The doctors in the ER are, of course, alerted to rush anyone who is experiencing “chest pain” or “shortness of breath” (hilariously abreviated SOB), so I am certain he is currently recieving a battery of tests that will provide some concrete evidence either way.
When I was a small child, I lived in perpetual fear of murderers. Convinced that they would want to sneak in to my bedroom late at night and kill me (for what, I don’t know. My banana clip? My awesome Hypercolor tee-shirt? My insanely large set of headbands? Who knows), I would slip to and from the bathroom like I was being chased, throw my bedroom door closed, hurl myself up onto my bed (it’s one of those enormous antique beds), pull up the covers and start chanting my mantra “It’s never been anything before. It’s never been anything before. It will be all right. It will be all right.”
Thankfully, as I’ve grown, I no longer am terrified of being murdered (but my fears are equally absurd), but it appears that old habits do, indeed, die hard. As I sit here and watch my son, who is named after my father, I am softly whispering to myself “It’s never been anything before. It’ll be okay. It’s never been anything before. It’ll be okay.”
And I can only hope that just as it worked when I was a child, it’ll work again today.