fear-or-faithSome say “fear is the absence of faith.” And if we accept that as true, one might also conclude that the inverse would be just as true, and faith would be the absence of fear.

Yet there are others who say “Faith is not the absence of fear, but the presence of courage.”

I’ve been muddling all this fear and faith and courage stuff over and over a great deal lately—a very direct result of my… uh… let’s call them “as yet unclarified heart issues.”

Today I will undergo both a “stress test” and an ultrasound, or ECG, or whatever they want to call the scanning of my chest to take a firsthand look at that miraculous organ residing there.055b48abdd67fdb1f663c275eb968516

And although I’ve done enough research to know the tests are relatively painless and will be done in less than an hour in a clinic designed just for cardio patients, I’m scared spitless by the “what ifs” that have predominated my every thought since these tests were scheduled five weeks ago.

In other words, I’m afraid of what they will find.

My atrial fibrillation, which is the top part of the heart doing the jitterbug while the bottom is doing a waltz, was diagnosed in early December, although I knew, absolutely knew, that I probably had some degree of A-fib for seven or eight months. I even told my primary care doctor about it in May, but she dismissed it as a likely side-effect of the stress of losing my long-time partner and best friend.

0ef22f4736a3ff71be3cdaeb7e9d0da1Ironically, he died of congestive heart failure, and now I’m wondering if that’s what they’re ultimately going to conclude when they take a look inside me later today. Of course, I won’t know for sure what they find for another nine days, when I return to the clinic for the results.

Meanwhile, my “faith,” if you want to call it that, is on very thin ice, and my “fear” is totally out of control. So I’ll dig down deep and see if I can come up with the courage to do, as my friend Alex used to say, “the next right indicated thing,” which in this case is show up for the tests.

It’s all I need to do today. That and try my best not to jump to any premature conclusions.

Yeah, good luck with that.