For most of yesterday and most of my time awake in bed last night, my heart missed about one beat out of every fifteen. I know this because I was feeling my own pulse with my thumb for amplification - something you would not do if feeling someone else's - every time I felt the flutter beneath my ribs.
I finally got to sleep around 4.00 am, and when I awoke, the palpitations - if that is what you call this irregularity - had stopped. So far they haven't returned.
Of course, lying in bed contemplating the demise of your mother who died - aged 71 - following the third massive heart-attack, doesn't help the regularity of your heart-beat, and I daresay that the combination of four different types of toxic and volatile solvents (acetone, cellulose thinners, white spirit and styrene) that I inhaled yesterday whilst re-polishing the bell sign didn't either, even though I was outdoors when I used them. Smoking and drinking - I have been told - doesn't help either, and I quite often don't manage to hit the five a day that we are encouraged to eat.
At least stress does not play a large part in my working life.
As I lay there last night waiting for the thing to stop altogether, I realised that the main cause of my slight panic was for H.I. and the effect my suddenly leaving would have on her. I tried to imagine how she would cope without me, but couldn't get very far with it. Maybe that sounds egocentric, but it really isn't. I have often morbidly thought that I would like to go before her, because I'm not sure how I would cope without her, but that really is selfish.
Anyway, today is a bright new morning, and I am getting the glamourous assistant in to carry on re-polishing the bell, as he's about 20 years younger than me. I think I just poisoned myself yesterday.
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