Chest Pain

heart beat red

Settling into the hotel room, I anticipated traveling to Indianapolis the next day with my son through snow and ice. So maybe it was anxiety.  By 4:45, the pain in my chest was intense enough for me to check the time. It felt heavier and tighter than my usual acid reflux. My right arm didn’t feel right, but then I’d just driven five hours.

I kept thinking about the articles I’d read lately, about how heart attacks can feel like indigestion, especially in women. And that women often overlook the signs and shouldn’t.

I waited an hour and tried to relax. I stopped watching the Weather Channel. I tried to check the weather on my computer, but that didn’t help, so I put on a relaxing you tube video and used my breathing techniques. I prayed for clarification.

After an hour, the tight heaviness still sat in my chest. My face felt tingly. But it was the mild tingling in the hinges of my jaw that worried me most. Hadn’t I read about jaw pain being a sign. But that could be low blood sugar. Or that herbal supplement I took without enough food on my stomach.

I was 5 hours from home. If I called my husband he would tell me to call 911. That’s what you’re supposed to do. But I still wasn’t sure. The pain wasn’t that bad.

My son was just getting off work. I called him and asked how far the hospital was.  He said it wasn’t far, about a mile. I told him what I was feeling and that I wanted him to drive me to the hospital.

In the ER, they did a 30 second EKG, checked my BP and hooked me up to a heart monitor. They gave me a chest X ray, put in an IV in case they needed to give me something quick, and drew blood. After about twenty minutes my symptoms started to ease off. I felt guilty and embarrassed for taking ER time. I made sure to thank them for each task and service they did on my behalf. Since I hadn’t eaten dinner, I ordered a pizza at around 9PM and got my doctor and nurses to share it with me to ease my embarrassment.

My doctor was the nicest doctor I’ve ever met. His voice and demeanor were gentle and caring. He spent a lot of time explaining why we needed to do two blood tests three hours apart and about how blood tests can detect a heart attack happened even when a person had mild symptoms. He said his wife had a heart attack recently with mild symptoms and it was the second blood test that revealed the markers. He said that for women, physical weakness alone could be the only symptom.

The good doctor came back a little before midnight. The EKG was normal. Both blood tests were normal. He showed me the X Ray because he likes showing people their X rays and explaining stuff. The X Ray was normal. I could be discharged.

Now, the whole thing seems surreal, liked I dreamed it. I know I’m going to get a whopper of  bill, even with a little help from my insurance. I’m trying to forgive myself for incurring these expenses and inconveniencing people. I know I’m not supposed to think that way, but it’s been my default for so long. Here are the better thoughts I’m cultivating to help me know this was NOT a waste of anybody’s time.

  1. It’s not like I do this all the time. I’ve probably gone to the ER maybe three times in my 62 years. One time I had a miscarriage. Another time, I got 8 stitches. It’s been years since I’ve been to the ER. (Why do I feel the need to justify this, anyway?)
  2. Compassion. After an hour of chest pain plus my jaw tingling, I was afraid. Truly afraid. So I have compassion for that fear.
  3. Gratitude that I’m okay and safe, that the test results were normal and my lungs were clear,  and that I can be here writing about it.
  4. My life is valuable. I am valuable to family and friends. I am valuable to me. I have more to create, more to do. More to learn. More to love.
  5.  I’m worth it. No matter how big the bill is, a trip to the ER is not extravagant if I have unusual chest pain. The same goes for you. We are all worth it.


heart beat



Don’t Forget Your Brain

“Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.”

You can get in a lot of trouble following your heart around without your brain. I lost my brain for a year during the rebound from hell. Thank God, I found it before it was too late. Now, when I lose my brain, it’s only for a few minutes at a time. My heart reminds me to go find it.

One-Liner Wednesday is the brain-child of Linda G. Hill at


Rules/Guidelines for One-Liner Wednesday are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

One-Liner Wednesday: Keeping Christmas

“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.”

                                                                                         Charles Dickens

angel-gloriaOne-liner Wednesday is kept alive by Linda G. Hill, author of All Good Stories. You can find her by clicking this link:

Here are the One-liner guidelines:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!



Letting Go of Resentment, Making Room for Love



“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Carrie Fisher


It was easier to be angry

For the pretend power.

I would harden my heart

And never be hurt again.

Funny thing is,

I did get hurt again.

Anger covered up the pain

I kept trying to push away.

Anger grew and solidified

Into a boulder of resentment

So slippery, nothing could stick to it.

So big, no one could get passed it.

Not even me.

Until, I started to find me again,

And I started to like me again.

And then, I started to love me again.

And I prayed

For the willingness

To consider

That thing I couldn’t bring myself to say.

The F word.

Not just for those who hurt me,

But for me, too.

And willingness came

And blew away the dust and debris

Allowing the wind and the rain and the sun

To flow into the cracks

And work magic.

With time,

The boulder began to break apart

Opening a path for love

To make room

For something so much better.


The Essence of Your Dreams

Lorrie’s words sing to us: Listen to your heart. Honor your truth. Follow the essence of your dreams. Celebrate even the smallest steps.

Lorrie Bowden


“In fertile soil

may the essence of your dreams

grow into magnificent blossoms.”

~ Blessitude

Listen.  Listen to your heart.

To the place inside that is yearning.

Is there a dream not realized…

Something that won’t go away?

Listen.  Listen to the longing.

Honor the truth

And make a plan.

Your destiny awaits.

I’m really beginning to realize that each and every one of us comes into this world to play a part, or role, that is integral to the whole of the story.

I believe that deep down, in that place that no one else hears, there is a voice that speaks to us and guides us to our destiny.

I also believe that we spend an awful lot of time edging that voice out with the thinking voice in our head.

Here’s to quieting the mind and allowing the essence of our dreams to speak in tones we…

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The other side

The other side

How to describe the way this reaches into my heart, into my past? It helps me love the emotionally wounded child who lived in my woman’s body 13 years ago. I know angels were trying to speak their wisdom to me back then, shaking their heads that it was so hard to get through to me. I am eternally grateful to them for keeping me safe as I returned to my senses. Grateful also to these “Falling Thoughts.”

The Falling Thoughts

That night was so sad and dark

I had no one to share and talk

I was walking in the street

My body froze, it was hard to move my feet

A homeless man was singing

Such a sweet song

And I was thinking

What have I done wrong?

My blood turned into hot tears

They were rolling from my thirsty eyes

My heart was melting

I was looking in the sky

An angel showed up and asked

Hey sweetheart why are you sad?

Did he hurt you again?

Did he cause you pain?

Why don’t you leave him and move on?

I looked and asked

How would you feel if you lost your wings?

The angel wiped off my tears

Gave me a big hug and said

“Can you hear the homeless man who is singing a song?”

Poor man has no place to stay

He might go hungry…

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Come Love with Me, he said

Michelle’s poem takes me back about 14 years to a wounded bird who had to learn this the hard way. Now, I know. I am worthy of deep, respectful love. I am blessed with the one who has earned the right to hold my heart well.

Tell Me About It


Come Love with Me, he said
But I can’t don’t you know
you have to hold my heart gently
and if you don’t I’ll go away
and you will miss my kiss
and my care, and all of me
will be no where to find
because I hide when my heart
if dropped like it means nothing
so for now I shall hold it myself
You haven’t earned the
right to hold it yet
I am a gift
my love is precious
Don’t forget it!

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