Take heart!

I had an echo-cardiogram earlier this week. It is like an ultrasound of the heart.  I like those 8 am appointments downtown – you get to park at the front door and you don’t have to go looking for change for the meter. I haven’t had any calls this week so I guess all is normal. Psa 139:13-16  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

It was quite an interesting experience. I didn’t get to SEE anything but I was able to listen to each of the four valves opening and closing, opening and closing. The blood flow is controlled by these four valves. Each opens to force the blood through when the chambers contract and then the valve snaps shut to prevent blood flowing back when the chamber relaxes relax. I know sounds confusing – but quite amazing. The heartbeat sound comes from the opening and closing of these valves.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  
I was awestruck. The swooshing sound of the blood rushing through was followed by a quick THUD. swoosh THUD, swoosh THUD, swoosh THUD, swoosh THUD. It was so loud and so strong. Each valve was unique in it’s own particular swoosh and the intensity of the THUD. The aortic valve had the highest pitch, because the blood is under the most pressure here and it also had the biggist THUD. And I mean THUD

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

The THUD was so strong it shocked me at first. My first thought was, wow, when does it get tired out and need a rest? Hmmm, when you die. Hopefully not for about 80 to 90 years if nothing else interferes. The heart begins the swoosh THUD at about 6 weeks gestation and it just keeps going and going and going. It speeds up when more oxygen is needed and slows down when less is needed. What an amazing muscle! It is opening and closing these four valves right now and it is squeezing blood through my body at an amazing speed and at the perfect pressure.

In under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body. And over the course of a day, about 100,000 heart beats shuttle 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts. That’s a hefty job for a fist-sized muscle. Yes – just the size of your fist. And it rarely messes up. It needs 10% of that oxygen for itself. So it needs a good supply of blood. Unlike all the other muscles in your body, it NEVER rests. If it does, you are in big trouble.  

The heart will beat approximately 2.7 billion times in a lifetime.








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