She could faintly hear voices
“Ma’am? Can you hear me? You suffered a rare type of syndrome called broken heart syndrome. Squeeze my hand if you can”. Said the nurse. The unconscious woman lying on the bed had begun to come around; she could hear the faint voice of someone telling her to do something, but she just couldn’t decipher exactly who was speaking or what was being said. Getting a minimum response, he decided to go ahead and check her vital signs. “Everything looks and sounds normal”, he thought. “I will just go for my 30mins break and come back to check on her”.
He leaves the room
As he was walking towards the Male restroom, he met a colleague also going in the same direction. “My guy! How far with your bride nah, how she dey do” said his colleague jokingly. “Haha very funny, I don’t have a bride, but I do have a patient who was almost a bride. But yeah, she is doing okay, starting to come around.” Said The Nurse. As they were about to reach the entrance of the hospital’s restroom, the colleague made a turn left towards the haematology department while he went inside to go about his business.
She regains consciousness
As he entered his patient’s room, he got a shock of his life! The patient was sitting up in the bed and sobbing like a baby. He rushed towards her and tried his best to calm her down with soothing words.” There, there, you will be alright, just let it all out”. After she had calmed down, she asked the Nurse what day it was and how she got to the hospital. “You were brought here from the church when you had a minor myocardiac infarction due to the shock of the news you had received. It’s been only 12hours since then, so it’s still Saturday, 10:15pm. My apologies, I ought to have introduced myself when I came in, but the condition I met you wasn’t exactly ideal.
My name is ***, I will be your nurse for tonight”. With a ghost of smile on her face, she replied, ” I’m so sorry for that embarrassing episode, and thank you for being patient with me. The last thing I remember was receiving that heart stopping (literally) call from my good-for-nothing now ex-fiance,then feeling this awful sharp pain in my chest, like I was lanced through the ribs. I guess I must have passed out. When can I be discharged please? I’m feeling better now”.
He counsels her
“Yeah you should be discharged tomorrow morning, seeing as your attack was only temporary, but a psychotherapist will be recommended to you so you can process your emotions properly”. Said the nurse.”Oh no! I don’t need a shrink to psychoanalyze me just because my husband–sorry, my ex-fiance dumped my ass on our wedding day. I mean, I’m not the first woman this has happened to, won’t be the last either, so yeah, I’ll live. If you could just get me my things please; my purse, shoes and the wedding gown I had on. My stunning wedding gown…. She starts crying again”. ” Please don’t cry. I can’t begin to understand how you feel, but think of how your ex isn’t worthy of it. Should I get your family? They’ll be quite anxious to see you and their presence would reassure you”. ” I can’t face them yet, and I don’t want to be seen in this sorry state I am in”. She replied. The Nurse sat down and started ” I understand. Families can be overbearing sometimes. Just so you know, you will be alright.
The feel good hormones – Dopamine and Oxytocin
You see, Love is a very beautiful but tricky feeling. Love is just your hormones playing the eon-old trick on you so you continue another line of Homo sapiens i.e Humans. It is like an addictive drug which you were getting a steady dose of during the honeymoon phase of that relationship of yours. And as long as you were getting the love and attention from your partner, everyone stayed happy. Studies have shown that The hormones– dopamine and oxytocin; are the cupid that makes you feel that ‘over the heels’ emotional rush.
Then things go downhill and heartbreak happens, which brings about this state you are in right now. It is like a withdrawal stage, when your body is deprived of the feel good hormones; oxytocin and dopamine. But instead, ‘Cortisol’ a stress hormone is being released making you feel miserable and in some cases; actual physical pain.
The Broken Heart Syndrome
Your case was a special one which rarely occurs, it is called ‘ Takotsubo cardiomyopathy’ A.K.A The broken heart Syndrome. It is caused by acute emotional stress, making the left ventricle of the heart temporarily paralyzed, which brings about symptoms akin to heart-attack such as: shortness of breath, constricted chest, and loss of consciousness.
Fortunately, the broken heart syndrome is only a temporary condition that can alleviate by itself. You can also help the process by resting properly, do things that makes you happy don’t forget to eat well. The option of seeing a psychiatrist is also there. They will help to process your feelings and heal properly. Don’t brood over this unfortunate event so you don’t develop high blood pressure. Remember; When there is life, there is hope. Also, tough times do not last, tough people do”.
“Wow, that was so enlightening. Thanks nurse, you are quite the psychotherapist yourself”. She said, grinning.
“Well, don’t mention. It is part of my job description as a nurse to care for, educate, counsel, and advocate for my patient. I’m sure you want to see Your folks now, let me get them for you. And you are welcome.
Writer: Ademola Zulaikha
University of Ilorin, Kwara State, NIGERIA.