Friday, December 2, 2011

My Good and Bad Heart

As I write this, I am sitting contentedly in a hotel room just off the Plaza in Kansas City. Almost every December for the last 20 years, Lou has attended The Heart, a continuing medical education conference here, and I tag along to Christmas shop. One of the recommendations from past conferences was the benefit of a Cardioscan, a test that "detects the calcified plaque in the coronary arteries." Or, in everyday speech, it's a test to see if the blood vessels in your heart are already showing that plaque has begun to build up on their walls, thereby increasing the likelihood that you might have a heart attack some day.

Lou and I both have some negative family history in this area. His dad had bypass surgery in 1989, and both my parents had bypass surgery - my dad in January 1987; my mom in August 1987, and again in 1998. So our radar is up in this area.

Lou had a cardioscan done last year and passed with flying colors. No calcified plaque. This year was my turn. I wasn't really apprehensive, but I wasn't expecting to pass with flying colors. I am not as careful with my diet and exercise regimen as Lou is.

The scan is as easy as described on their website. After it, you sit in the waiting room, waiting for the Exercise Physiologist to call you back to discuss the results. When they called me back, two white coat clad ladies escorted me to an office. I was thinking that this couldn't be good - they were so quiet and serious, and there were two of them. As it turned out, a seasoned physiologist was mentoring a novice one through discussing results with a client. The novice did well, especially when she showed me this.

Ahhh.. all tenseness left my body when I saw those results and I sent Lou the same picture, which prompted the following texts.

We like emoticons

I left that office feeling good. As I was walking back to the hotel and thinking about my "clean" physical heart, and thanking God for it, He reminded me of some truths about my real heart - the one that will last forever.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jer. 17:9

So, so true. And a downer. But if you don't know the truth - even the hard, ugly truth - you can't ever get free from that hard and ugly.

But no sooner had I remembered that, God reminded me that he has given me a new heart.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ez. 36:26

I spent the rest of that walk thinking about both my hearts. I laughed at myself for thinking that a clean bill of health at this point on my physical heart guarantees, in any way, long life. (Is that my real goal, anyway? And am I in control of that anyway?) I found myself praying to God as I walked. I thanked him for saving this heart and asked him to please keep working on it, to make it  beautiful and  pure before him, for his glory and my joy.

Yesterday was filled with hearty, good news. I rejoiced in that as I bustled about KC Christmas shopping and enjoying my favorite Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor, Peanut Butter and Chocolate. But I rejoice more in the good news about the work that's already done and the work that's being done on my real heart inside the real me.


  1. After you found out your physical heart was OK, did you have one scoop or two?

  2. Haha! I purposely put that ice cream mention in there to see if anyone would say anything about it! I should have celebrated with 2, but I only had 1. :)