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.
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
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.