Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Heart Starter

I was jolted from sleep this morning by a particularly graphic sequence in a dream. My unconscious mind had obviously been inspired by a number of things in my waking life right now:

  • Over at Sterne, Tim has recounted a harrowing turn of events that saw him rushed to hospital and diagnosed with Pericardia, an inflammation of the pericardium, which is the lining of the heart.

  • As I was reading Tim’s post, I recalled an episode of Anatomy, ‘Circulation’, that I’ve only just watched having recorded it a couple of weeks ago. The program showed the live dissection of a recently deceased human body in order to reveal the pulmonary-thoracic organs and so examine how they worked to circulate blood and oxygen around the body. I believe there was even some discussion amongst the hosts about diseases of the linings of the lungs and heart, especially in relation to how their effects made the dissection more difficult (Sorry, Tim!).
  • Both Anatomy and Tim’s plight conjured up thoughts of my sister, who is a nurse in a coronary intensive care unit.

In the dream, I’m travelling in a bus with my sister. Somehow I’ve managed to extract my own heart, and I’m trying to separate the pericardium from the main organ. I’m sitting upright and using my teeth to bite through the lining. I think I’ve managed it, so I turn to my sister and ask if she’ll put my heart back in my body. She looks at the heart and notices that I’ve been a bit exuberant in my auto-surgical procedure; I’ve also bitten off two chunks of flesh from my heart. V is unperturbed. She pats the pieces of heart into place and then proceeds to return my heart to my chest, with her bare hands, via my mouth and throat.

At that point I had a brief sense that the procedure had been successful, and then I woke up, my breath trapped in my throat and my heart feeling especially heavy.

I got up and made a banana smoothie that I’ve been having for breakfast occasionally, lately. I have called my recipe the Heart Smoothie, because it contains ingredients that are good for lowering cholesterol.

As I was drinking the Heart Smoothie, I recalled my mother telling everyone recently that her blood cholesterol had been measured at 7.2. That was when I realised that instead of having anxious, heart-bothering dreams, I should probably just go and get my blood cholesterol checked.

The Banana Heart Smoothie

200ml light Soy Milk
100ml ‘Heart Active’ Yoplait Vanilla Yoghurt*
1 Banana
1 tbsp Oat Bran

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

*This is the only possible use for this yoghurt. Do not eat it plain under any circumstances. Unless you’re trying to throw up. It’s truly disgusting without all the other ingredients to mask its taste and texture.

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