Broken heart syndrome

January 28, 2008

At the emergency room, they called the pain “stress cardiomyopathy.” Through the morphine haze, the syllables split nonsensically, so she requested clarification.

“You have no sign of coronary artery disease, but you just lost your husband,” said the doctor. “We call this Broken Heart Syndrome.”

The place in her chest, hot as the center void of a volcanic crater, made sense to her then. She settled back into the arms of the pain.

“We can give you something to make you more comfortable,” the doctor said. “But all that heals this is time.”

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