The correct answer for someone with chronic illness is, of course, b) It gets pitch black.
Over and over again as I was dealing with the symptomatic realities of heart issues — anxiety, depression, arrhythmias, angina, loss of hope — well-meaning friends and family members would try to reassure me that everything would be OK.
This was not reassuring.
We are talking about the central pump for the whole system, and I knew that if it went out the rest of the me went out too.
There is nothing like continually missed heartbeats, difficulty breathing, or a constricted feeling in the chest to convince the drunken monkey brain that the end is near, and obviously these people didn’t know what they were talking about.
If you have a friend or family member with a chronic, invisible or life-threatening illness, these are two helpful links about how to deal with them:
And from the most informative heart blog on the Web, here is a frightening listing of some things cardiologists — who should know better — have said to their patients:
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