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.



5 Responses to Chordae Tendineae

  • Pauline says:

    Hang in there. It’s probably nothing, and even if it’s something, it’s treatable. Let me know if you need anything and let me know when you hear.

  • Kim says:

    I love the mantra and I am sending all the good energy I can muster to your Dad.

    It’ll work, don’t be afraid to say it out loud, I think that always makes me feel better, and when Lew was smaller I could say anything in front of him and since he could not reply, it always made me feel better to have said my peace out loud. give it a try.

    You’ll all be in my thoughts and I’ll keep checking here for an update.

    take care of you, too.

  • Juli says:

    Add me to the chorus of well-wishers.

  • becky says:

    Thanks, P-funk and Kim.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  • Kate says:

    This entry nearly made me cry, my dear. Hang in there.

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