The Gift Horse’s Mouth

mr-ed

(The famous Mr. Ed, of course.)

Last Wednesday I thought my heart had become a walking time bomb.

I don’t mean in a metaphysical or romantic sense (though I have considered it that way in years past). I mean the fact that I woke up with it out of whack and it persisted that way for hour after hour.

A little background: I’ve had occasional heart arrhythmias for ten years or so. The cardiologists determined that these weren’t inherent in my heart itself. Rather they were triggered by a couple or more of several factors at work at any given time: being borderline hypothyroid, stress, caffeine consumption, and being too sedentary when I let my exercise regimens slide. They weren’t concerned about it, and neither was I once I got used to the weird flip-flopping feelings. As it is, 95% of the time I can “reset” my heartbeat by coughing, and the rest of the time things will skew back to normal on their own within one to five minutes.

Last week, though, the arrhythmias woke me up at 7:15 am (super-early for me considering that I work from afternoon to early morning), kept me awake, and continued on and off – mostly on – through morning, afternoon, into the evening. Coughing usually didn’t work, and when it did, only for a short while. Resting and reclining didn’t work.

By afternoon, waiting for the cause to be determined, I felt like my heart was a ticking time bomb. I was hypervigilant – and hypersensitive – to any possible additional symptoms. Was that twinge in my left arm just a muscle? Is my back hurting from sitting so long or something else? Is the chest ache from my heart, or stressing out about my heart, or something else? 

The spiritual bent of this story: Along with the physical self-care, I decided to work in a metaphysical bent too. I’ve never let a good scare or crisis get in the way of experimentation and exploration when the opportunity availed itself, after all. I decided to try something out of Jane Roberts’ Seth books, where Seth discusses suggesting that your dreaming self give you a heads up about something that may be wrong with your body.

So what did I dream? I have no idea. I don’t remember a thing from that night.

But what I do know is that when I woke up the next morning (relieved about waking up, for all that), not only were the arrhythmias gone, and not only did I feel better, I felt physically better than I have in recent memory – and with an inexplicable feeling of excited anticipation. The best way I can think to describe the anticipation is that it matched what I felt when I was a kid around, say, a week before Christmas.

On top of that, there was a huge new cake of optimism. Like no matter what else is going on around me, things will be ultimately be OK. I’ve been more optimistic since resuming my spiritual explorations than I had for years previous anyway, but this is different – like an assurance rather than a hope.

Apparently the all-day flip-flopping was caused by a gastric issue combined with hypothyroidism and being under my exercise minimum, exacerbated by the constant stress of the arrhythmias themselves. The gastric part going away would explain the feeling better than recent memory. Waking up in itself the next morning was certainly a big relief, as I said. But where did the utter excitement and added layers of optimism come from?

I don’t tend to look gift horses in the mouth, but I would really like to know the answer to that – not the least reason being that it’s a wonderful feeling, and I wouldn’t mind having the ability to replicate it.

Perhaps something did come to me in a dream that affected me regardless of my not remembering it consciously. Maybe it’s the underlying feeling that, having fretted about the possibility of dying of a heart attack at any second, this is the equivalent of knowing I’ve been given a second chance. Heck, for that matter, maybe there was some subtle physical issue dogging me under the radar, and its disappearance made such a big difference that I couldn’t help but be excited afterwards.

This is not me complaining, by the way. Excited anticipation and the extra doses of optimism are a novelty these days. Answer or no, I plan to enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.

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