Heart to Heart: Echocardiogram – Gary Young MySpace Blog

Heart to Heart: Echocardiogram

There are moments in life, those moments when you get choked up with pride.  The first time I saw Leika swim, which happened to be the same moment when she discovered the concept of swimming.  I was like, “Go, Leika!  AquaDog!”  She climbed out of the water, the stick that I had thrown into the stream in her mouth, coughing up water.  Caught me off guard with a big ol’ shake.  Good times.

When Jenny nailed that softball at the batting cage.  After weeks of practice, pow!  You know what I mean?

When you see your kids protecting each other and you think to yourself, they’re going to be alright.  They’re going to look out for each other.

ECHOCARDIOGRAM
Today I got an echocardiogram, following up on the ER thing.  It’s a sonogram, a sonic picture, of your heart.  It’s a little uncomfortable at times because the technician has to press the little wand thingy pretty hard against your ribs and you have to lay in one position for longer than anyone normally would.  For the first part I was facing away from the machine.  But then…

The technician said in an accent and word choice of someone whose third or fourth language is English, “Okay.  This is the tricuspid valve.  Don’t be scared of its voice.  It’s normal.”

He would concentrate, move the wand around to get the right view.  I could hear him clicking the computer keys:  click click click-click CLICK.

“This is the mitral valve.  And here’s the aortic valve.”

I heard these rhythmic, liquid sounds.  Atonal Squishy beats.  The pitch of the valves was higher than I expected.  Not the deep, pulsing taiko drum sound I was expecting.  It was the higher pitched whoosh, ebb and flow of fluid through small valves and pathways.  At one angle of the wand, I could hear one sound.  Then he’d move the wand to another angle and I could hear the sound of the valves and chambers, the voices in counter melody, working together.  A little rumba section.  Boom chic-a squish chic-a boom chic-a-squish.  At one point it sounded like a hip hop rock beat.  I told myself I would remember what it sounded like so I could use it as a beat and make a song out of it but I can’t remember.

It hit me.  Wow wow wow.  I was hearing my heart.  My heart.  Singing.  I am music.

…BEFORE A FALL
The technician had me lay on my back and I could see the machine as he took images of my heart from a few inches below the sternum.  I could see it.  “There’s your liver.   There’s your diaphragm.  Now take a deep breath and hold it.”

He gave me a tour of my heart.  I said, “This is amazing.”

And I was so proud.  So proud of my little heart the way you’re proud of a child the first time they say something that makes them sound like a little person.

Then he played back one of the screens and all the different images of my heart from different angles were beating, and opening and closing, squeezing and relaxing and singing lub dub lub dub.  That’s my heart.  My god.  That little bio-mechanical pump works from before birth until it has reason to stop.  On average, 103,680 times a day.  37,843,300 (thirty seven million) times a year.  In seventy five years that’s 2,838,240,000 (not far from three billion) times.  Brilliant.

It’ll be about a week before I get a call with the results.  A cardiologist has to review the information.  Stupid waiting.

FORCED MARCH
That brings me to this:  I was looking online for personal trainers.  Trying to figure out what to do.  I could join a local club where personal training is free or I could try to get a personal trainer that will come here to my apartment (and to the fitness room).  Ideally, I’d have a friend nearby to kick my ass so I’d wake up early enough to work out every other morning.  For now, I may have to hire someone to play that role.

Any advice?

Currently listening :
Speak for Yourself
By Imogen Heap
Release date: By 01 November, 2005

12:42 PM – 2 Comments – 0 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove

Michelle Amador

Hey! I don’t like all this echocardiogram talk (i mean, i kindof do in the scientific musical sense – have you heard Bjork’s Homogenic? i think this will speak to the hearts and valves sounds 🙂 but i’m just saying I certainly don’t want to wait a week to find out what i already know – Gary’s heart is just fine thank you very much!…at least i hope so!!!

i’d say start out with the paid for person. That way there’s no excuse and it will be WAY less hard to flake out on. Plus you’ll get all the info you need just for you…then you could always switch to the free person.

love you gary!

Posted by Michelle Amador on Mar 4, 2008 6:35 PM
[Remove] [Reply to this]

Gary Young

Thank you Michelle. Thank you much.

Yeh, the personal touch would be effective. It’s pretty expensive but the one I saw online has a free first session.

You seem to be right. The echo-tech left a message this morning saying that the preliminary results are normal.

Take care of yourself. Play on.

Posted by Gary Young on Mar 4, 2008 10:13 PM

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