I have a pen and ink print that I drew this summer that is being sold at the butler art gallery. I really hated parting with it. This one has years of story to it. So here’s the story.
I have super ventricular tachycardia. It started when I was hitting puberty. My heart would flutter and race. I was short of breath and scared. We would go to the emergency room but by the time they got an ekg on me it had stopped. As I grew older nothing ever came of it. Until February 17, 2003.
I was post-partum with my first child. Almost immediately my heart began to race 200-300bpm. I was taken to the hospital and admitted with a new born baby at home. For days this continued. I was limited to what drugs they could use because I was adamant I was going to continue breast feeding my daughter. Finally after about 4 days of an extremly high heart rate, pumping milk, having it taken an hour back home for my daughter I knew I needed to get better. They started me on a drug called ameoderone. It was about 1am
My doctor was at home asleep in his bed. They started the IV and almost immediately my throat began to close. I tried telling my husband I loved him and thought I was dying. My husband at the time pulled the IV out of arm and got me back into bed. The nurses didn’t do much. I just remember him crying for me. I recovered from that and they decided to stop my heart. Not once but three times. That is the scariest feeling in the world. It feels as if time has stood still. They were hoping to break the rythm but no luck. Finally they brought in a specialist that worked on the electricity of the heart. We all have electricity circulating around are hearts on these things called nodes. I had an extra one. He studied my heart rythym to find where it was. Two days later they took me into the procedure. I was scared. Scared I might not be fixable. Scared I would wake up with a pacemaker at 21. But I didnt! I woke up to my mom setting in the room and felt good enough to move around. I couldn’t quite yet.
So I was sent home back to my baby and my family. No drugs everything 100% normal.
Fast forward twelve years and the symptoms began again. I was getting bounced around with cardiologist. Running the whole work up again. Every test was a reminder of 2003. Finally I got a referral for an oblation. I trusted the process better this time and wanted it over with. I had to wear a 30 day holter monitor and they saw the same thing that happened twelve years ago. I wasn’t stuck with my heart racing. It would just happen when I tied shoes, got out of bed, walked to the bathroom, anything. I was laid up in bed feeling my body fail me once again. I had the will to continue with daily routine but my body wouldn’t cooperate. I felt trapped.
While I was laid up in bed this summer, 2015. I feeling betrayed by my heart. This is when I drew my pen and ink work.
The lines are complicated and strange but very repetitious like a heart beat. I filled the bottom chambers with black ink. I felt hopeless and bound to a life of restrictions. I was broken and scared. This heart is what broken and scared look like to me.
I’m on medication now. I am still waiting to be seen for the follow up with the cardiologist, and am still a canidate for the cardiac oblation. Most days are good but the last week I have not been sleeping much less, drinking more coffee and as the job requires doing things that I shouldn’t be. Such to the point I had to lay in trailer today for two hours while I waited on my meds to kick in. I know God is in control. However the daily struggle of the the unknown possibilities is very uncertain.
Not all art has a story behind it like this one. This one is personal. I have made the print into tshirts and as I sell them I hear the people tell me of their stories, heart transplant, heart diseas, etc. They connect to the image as I have.
The art mirrors to them the same emotions that I face. It has touched them on a personal level. This is the power of art.