• Barbara Elsborg

Don't break my heart!

How many times have you read – her or his heart was breaking? Or—He broke her heart. Or he broke his heart. Doctors have identified a condition that mimics a heart attack, most often suffered by post-menopausal women who’ve lost a loved one. But any emotional trauma – grief, anger, anxiety—can trigger a massive surge of adrenaline that overwhelms the heart. It freezes the left ventricle, reducing its ability to contract and pump blood, and causes symptoms similar to an actual heart attack. It’s been called a concussion of the heart and it’s rare. Only 1-2% of people diagnosed with a heart problem have this, but it accounts for 6% of women’s heart attacks. The good news is lasting damage is rare and the heart recovers.

Bit of a morbid topic, but I wanted to write about what a fantastic organ the heart is. It pumps (if you’re lucky) without problem for your entire life. Day after day, week after week, year after year. If only we could invent motors that worked for so long! While I can’t imagine an artificial brain being produced in my lifetime, I do believe that scientists will manage to build a long-lasting heart.

Technology advances in leaps and bounds and is catching up with science fiction. Humans will have bodies that are built to last, skin that doesn’t age, muscles that never tire, and a heart that never wears out. When they fathom out a way to control adrenaline surges, then we won’t even have a concussion of the heart, but I suspect writers will still be using the expressions – he broke her heart. He broke his heart.

Don’t do that today. Today make someone’s heart sing by telling them you love them. Then remember to do that the day after and the day after that for as long as your heart keeps beating.


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