After my Father died suddenly, my Mother’s health began a steady decline. This is not unusual for people who lose their long-time life and love companions. After a heart attack, her cardiologist recommended a cardiac stent to prevent further attacks. During this procedure, we discovered another problem. My mother had a condition called Broken Heart Syndrome, and yes it has a fancy medical name, but that name now escapes me.
The cardiologist showed me the images of my mother’s heart: one chamber appeared to balloon outward, unable to contract and push the blood out as it had done for years and years. It was as if this chamber of her heart was paralyzed, unable to cope with its job and the expectations of the body. This syndrome can occur after a shock that results in unrelenting grief or extreme emotions, trauma to the body or illnesses like Covid-19. It is a temporary condition, but it can lead to other serious medical conditions.
Although there are some medications to treat this syndrome, the best treatment for Broken Heart Syndrome is loving care. If you can simply care for your loved one, make them feel safe and keep them connected to those that love them long enough, their heart will respond, and they will get better. Isn’t that amazing? The heart simply needs time to regain its rhythm. Some days I wonder, is this muscle that beats in our chest actually more than a muscle, and can simple love spark its beat? Is it truly love that mends our broken hearts?
Thanks for this!
Thank you, Lisa, for a loving story.
Wow, Lisa, what can amazing story about your mom. It did seem as if my heart breaks each time I lose someone very close to me, but I never knew there was a real medical condition called broken heart syndrome. I believe love can heal many things, and it makes sense that the heart would be one of them. Thank you for sharing this story. You are such a good writer.
I truly believe this. The will to carry on alone is doable, but the lost love and camaraderie can feel like an amputation. No matter how deep or sweet memories are, they cannot fill the void. The absence has a power all its own. Even though it has no dimensions or physical mass, it can cast shadows on life left behind.
It’s incredible how 2 hearts can intertwine, forever.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.