Posted by: Jim E | March 21, 2016

“My Heart was Aflutter and My Brain was Mush”

We get a magazine called Reminisce…it is all about the past…when we were growing up and even when my folks were growing up…I love to read about history of all kinds, so this magazine is fun for me to read when it comes to our house…it is written by readers, meaning they send in their stories, the magazine is made up of their experiences..surprisingly, it’s pretty good…I was reading an article, in the Feb/Mar 2016 issue, called “Nearest & Dearest, stories of our loved ones”…this was about first date, first kiss, etc…like many of us, the stories of first dates were disastrous…embarrassment and the like…Reminisce magazine

In one of the stories, this guy was planning to kiss the girl at the end of their first date…he was 16, he washed and shined his Dad’s 51 Plymouth…”and after a little dab of Brylcreem and a liberal splash of Old Spice, I was all I could be”… and about half way through the story it had this sentence, “By the time I got to the curb in front of her house, my heart was aflutter and my brain was mush.” (it explains my title some)…he blurted out, “May I have a good-night kiss?”…”As our lips met, the Plymouth leaped the curb and shuddered to a stop halfway on the boulevard.”…”I had forgotten to turn off the engine, and in the passion of the moment, I had taken my foot off the clutch.”…his girl, Peggy asked, “Is it safe to get out now?”…she giggled and she was gone…thus goes most of the planned moments of our lives…

So my post is only a little bit about how this all started…what prompted this post was the part of the sentence “My Heart was Aflutter”…I read this article just before I went into the hospital on March 3…and it wasn’t until I got out the next day on March 4, sometime during that time this sentence kept coming back to me…I was diagnosed with A-flutter…it is a problem with the rhythm of the heart being out of wack…so one part of the heart is racing while the other part is out of rhythm…so lots of pumping, with not much blood being pumped…low blood pressure because of that…very high heart rate…not much blood going to the lungs, short of breath…and not a good thing…

So fooled you, this is not about a romantic heart, but a real heart, my heart…let me tell Baptist Health Center, Little Rock, ARyou of my experience…I was a bit short of breath for a couple of days…finally I decided that breathing deeper was not helping…and nothing I was or was not doing was helping…so off we went to the hospital…nothing like a heart problem to get immediate attention in ER…we walked in, after I drove to the hospital…but I did use the valet service, so we walked right in…told the woman at the desk what the problem was…after checking whether I had insurance or not…two people came through the doors and escorted me to the next step…they took my vitals and then an EKG…that was enough to know I was having some kind of problem…they took me to a room…and as I moved on the the bed about 10 very busy people attacked this patient…needle in my right arm, needle in my left arm…those sticky pads all over my chest, etc…they were busy beavers…another EKG…etc…

The ER doctor came in and introduced himself…asked me a few questions, then asked me who my doctor was…I told him my cardiologists name…he said, “Dr. Jones is right out in the ER.”…well, he was just in the ER…he went out and called him…back he came…we talked a bit and he told me what was wrong and what they were going to do to correct it and not let it happen again…no blockage, I had been in to see him in the fall…so I thought it was not that, no symptoms but shortness of breath, so it had to be something else…he explained that they would try to get it in rhythm with medication but if not they would have to shock it into normal rhythm…so they, by this time, had me on medication to do just that…and they were now going to move me to CCU (cardiac care unit) because they had to watch so closely…so off we went…I high-fived the triage nurse on the way by…he said, “good luck”…what great care so far…

On through the maze of hallways from ER to CCU at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock…when Judie and Jim hospital stay March 2016we got to CCU they put me in a great room, well, not really a room, you know the drill…it is open with only a curtain in the front…I could see the whole room…it was great, a panorama of everything…computers all around and I was stuck with needles, oxygen dealies to check my oxygen…heart beat, all kinds of tubes and checkers of all types (forgive the lack of medical terminology, I like mine better)…the nurses got used to me yelling out to Judie, “How’s my oxygen level?”…and “How’s my heart beat?”…(well, the truth be known, the nurses never got used to my yelling “How’s my oxygen level?” nor “How’s my heart beat?”)…there were people traipsing through to visit others…and my nurse came in the check once in a while…one time as she was looking at all the computer stuff…she said, “It just switched over. Right as I watched it. It just switched over.”…that’s good I said…yep, good…my doctor told me if it didn’t correct by the meds they would have to shock it back in rhythm…

Later the doctor came in…they were going to transfer me upstairs to a regular room and spend the night…most of the tubes came off…and when they came in to ask me if they could get me anything…I had the same request for them since I got there…”Pizza”…they denied it every time…what a place…

Let me shorten this by going to the next morning…I will skip the trips to the bathroom, collecting urine, and other such highlights…when the doctor came in the next morning at 6:00 and told me I could go home…I was ready right then, but he told me the nurses will let you know…he went over the happenings of the day before…he had someone shadowing him…so he was telling her about it…he said something like, “I just happened to be in ER when he (me) came in.”…I broke in somewhere in there and told him, “I’ve been reading a book by Eric Metaxas, called “Miracles, what they are, why they happen and how they can Miracles by Eric Metaxaschange your life”…you mentioned that you ‘happened to be in ER’, and most would say that, but I believe I will call it a miracle. You were there for a reason and I guess it was for me.”…”So I will always call it a miracle that you were there.”…he turned to me and said something to the effect, “I wouldn’t argue with that.”…

So that’s that…no longer is “My heart A- flutter’…though there is some controversy about “My brain being mush.”…



  1. You’re surely quite the writer Jim. Love your stuff…and happy to hear the experience turn out well. I actually have a chronic similar such condition that the doctors have puzzled over since college. Still here so hopefully will you be for a long long time. Keep it up!



    • Pete…ya, I always say…we do all the things to keep healthy and then the proverbial “Mack truck” comes along and…I must admit, it was a bit of surprise, no reason, doctors don’t really know why, but A-flutter and it’s cousin A-fib don’t necessarily have a “cause”…we are just blessed with it, I guess…I have always known about a “hitch in my giddy-up”, like you evidently do…my heartbeat told them something but nothing came up, so we just kept soldiering on…still don’t know if this is from that…but still “upright and breathing”, so all is good…have a good Easter season, have a good week…Jim E

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