For a couple of years I have authored and maintained a blog called Muse Medicine at http://nursewriter.com dealing with various medical topics of interest to writers of fiction – everything from plagues to broken bones and breastfeeding babies graced the pages of that old site. I loved the work, and comments came in regularly from my small group of readers. Win-win.
And then, on September 4, 2009, my heart broke. Literally. I developed a very rare, debilitating heart condition which forced me to withdraw from most of the things I loved before. Blogging was the tip of the ice berg. I quit posting. I quit my job as NICU (newborn baby) nurse. I quit attending college classes. I withdrew from people. For a while, I even quit writing. When your heart rate is 170 because you slowly walked 8 feet to the bathroom, there isn’t much fuel left in the tank.
It’s been almost six months now. They tried me on numerous medications, none of which seemed to help and several of which seemed to make things worse. We talked about surgery. The prospect of living the rest of my life with a pacemaker, and having another surgery every few months didn’t exactly appeal.
I don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Never did drugs. My cholesterol is 125. It wasn’t fair.
But it was my life. Still is. I didn’t have the surgery. The meds still don’t work all that well, but I’m coping. Thanks to my husband and our son, both of whom have struggled right along with me as I suddenly went from over-scheduled super-woman and thriving, to short-tempered and incapable of facing the slightest exertion or emotional upheaval.
I’m no longer working as a nurse. No longer taking college courses to further my degree. No longer bustling everyday. But in January I still made my personal goal of submitting my completed novel, Code of the Hunter, to agents. And in February, one of them requested to read the full.
And here I am today. I’m writing everyday. I’m a little less cranky and a little more stable than I was a few months ago. I’m a completely different person than I was on September 3, but maybe that’s ok. I’ve always lived in the moment, and perhaps this moment isn’t anything like I was expecting it to be six months ago, but it’s not so bad, really. I spend more time with my husband and my son. I spend more time in silence, just me and the words.
Having a broken heart closed doors for me that will probably never re-open. It also taught me a lot about myself and about the people I have in my life. It taught me to value what I had, and what I still have.
It’s likely that there will still be Muse Medicine questions here, for medical realism in fiction. It’s likely that there will be writing stuff and family stuff and broken heart stuff. My life is smaller now, but it is still enjoyable. It’s still mine. I invite you to share a little piece of it here.