I suffer from arrhythmia. As I type this my heart is doing some really weird things in my chest, and for me that’s normal. Left and right ventricles are confused, beating out of sync, slow missed beats, sequences of rapid beats. It’s not life threatening, but does impact on quality of life. Walking up the stairs is difficult, and strong physical exercise is too hard.
On Wednesday I am having a procedure done on my heart. It’s called ablation, and involves sending a device up from the groin area all the way up to the heart, and then making a small hole to get from one side to the other, and once there finding an area of electrical activity and burning it out to create scar tissue.
It takes about 3 hours. It’s done under local anaesthetic, with a bit of sedation to make me drowsy. Drowsy, but awake.
Everyone I have spoken to that has had this procedure has told me that it was not a big deal, and they are glad that they did it. I believe them, and despite being a bit nervous I am looking forward to this, to the hope that I attach to it. I want to get back to a normal live, back to my daily run and being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath.
There are of course risks, and to accept the fact that I need the operation means that I must accept the risks, and the possibility of things going wrong, of the life changing impact of things going wrong. It’s at times like this that I can understand why some people choose blind faith over a desire for cold hard proof. I am the kind of person that will definitely look a gift horse in the mouth, and cannot accept any hypothesis that is not falsifiable. The God hypothesis is not falsifiable, and so for me it is useless.
Still, we all need hope. If you get hope through faith, I am happy for you, I am happy that you have hope. My hope comes from another place, from a kind of fatalism, and a little bit from a buddhist idea, that it is the desire for things that makes us unhappy. I must accept that my future is unwritten, and it could be one of many, and I should not desire one future so much that an unfavourable outcome will leave me unhappy. I must accept the risks and whatever comes next in order to be calm and to be happy.