Feeling Seen

How five words spoken during an EKG linked connection

2 min readMay 16, 2021


Photo by Jayne Schroeder

She apologized and thanked me for my patience, it was taking an unusual amount of time for the document to load. “You have so many orders in here.” she said, “It should only be a few more minutes.”

“Good grief, please take your time.” I said to myself, inside my exhausted head.

She returned to my side to finish attaching the rest of the twelve leads to the various stickers on my chest. So familiar, how could I almost have forgotten, the sheet of them she held in her left hand.

I remember now, stacks of them, I once practiced with on various GI Joe’s. My son had heart surgery to repair an Atrial Septal Aneurysm in 2010. I spent hours pre-teaching procedures with sheets of these stickers when tolerating that part of the cardiologist visit was like stepping continuously on nails.

She had no idea how much I really was enjoying the stillness and quiet of the room.

I could have closed my eyes and slept for an hour, or until I rolled over and the paper beneath me tore.

How hectic a life must really be if a pre-op visit feels calmer than your home.

Finally the waiting for a signature part was complete on the form within her computer.

“I’ll run it through the full cycle.” she announced. “Run it through 53.” I said inside my cluttered head full of worn-out cells. The thrill of a fifteen minute respite, this EKG retreat.

Caregiver breaks arrive in the oddest of places, learning to recognize them for what they are is a gift I give to myself.

“My niece has autism too” she said.

Five words that link a deeper understanding.

“It must really be a lot with a mood disorder and Down syndrome added to that.” Followed with numerous, what I label as, knowing exhales.

There’s not much to say when you know someone sees your hard.

The silence cushions the space, gives grace for the words I don’t need to tell.




Mother | Writer | Truth Teller | Survivor | Advocate | Linker | Martini Lover | Growing | Learning | Exhausted | Not Finished @see_jayne_write on IG