Give your heart a break

There is a song out right now and it is catchy as crap. It’s called “Give your heart a break” and it is by – gasp – Demi Lovato.

Darn these catchy pop songs.

The opening lyric of the chorus goes: “Don’t wanna break your heart, wanna give your heart a break.”

Ugh. My heart could use a break, because it is broken and it hurts like all get-out.

Losing a baby is heartbreaking. Losing Hudson broke my heart. I honestly and truthfully wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy. I was talking about this with a friend the other day, and we decided that the only person who deserves this kind of a loss is Hitler.

Hitler can lose a baby. That’d be fine.

Going through this experience has increased the depth of my feeling capacity. I can feel our loss like a knife to the soul. But I can also feel hope and joy like an ethereal high.

I’m feeling everything so much harder now.

But back to heartbreak.

I decide that I need to know the science behind heartbreak, because this sadness actually hurts my heart. There must be a scientific reason that when we are so sad, it is a clenching and aching in the heart-vicinity. What IS that?

So I Googled: “the reason your heart hurts when you’re sad”.

My first result was this: The theory (from a true Internet professional, I’m sure) that your nerves in your heart and stomach are stronger than those anywhere else, thus strong emotions manifest themselves in the chest.

Meh. I’m not buying it, Internet “expert”.

But then: Yahoo Answers with something called “broken heart syndrome“.

And after that: A Science 2.0 post about the “Science behind Heartbreak.” Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, commonly known as “Broken Heart Syndrome.”

Image Credit: New England Journal of Medicine


Holy crap. There’s the science I was looking for. Buried in a Google search but there, nonetheless.

Basically, broken heart syndrome is a “sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium, producing something similar to a heart attack.” Ouch.

Here’s more, from “The Science of a Broken Heart.

“Our hypothesis is that massive amounts of these stress hormones can go right to the heart and produce a stunning of the heart muscle that causes this temporary dysfunction resembling a heart attack,” Wittstein said. “It doesn’t kill the heart muscle like a typical heart attack, but it renders it helpless.”

Catch that? The heart is rendered helpless.

It’s not just song lyrics and folklore that makes me feel like my heart is literally breaking. It’s scientific fact.

We’ve experienced a stunning of the heart muscle. Not quite a heart kill-shot, but a temporary helplessness.

So my heart is broken, temporarily or permanently, it doesn’t matter. It’s like an emotional heart attack. And what do heart attack survivors do?

They change their diet, they change their habits, they change their lifestyle. They take deeper breaths. They hug harder. They listen to their doctor. Their heart will never be the same, and they accept that.

But most of all, they survive.


3 thoughts on “Give your heart a break

  1. Michelle says:

    Damn right you survive! Look at you guys! Amazing. Not only do you survive, but you never forget and you always move forward.
    This weekend, I went to my friends house who lost her son at age 8. The two younger siblings harvest pumpkins and allow their friends and family to come get them. There is a donation bucket in honor of their brother. And when all is said and done, they go to the Ronald McDonald house where they stayed — they deliver the check, visit other patients and feel a little closer to Cooper on those days.
    I barely know you…but geesh I love your spirit. And we all carry a lil’ piece of Hudson with us. She is a great reminder to live each day to the fullest, listen more carefully and love a little harder.

  2. Marian Reiber says:

    Thanks for doing the research. A whole big family of heart attach survivors. Love you

  3. Momma sue says:

    Wow babes that is awesome-who knew-and it makes sense-I’m sure sometimes it feels like a kill-shot would be more humane!

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