I have a question to start with.

Have you ever tried Contemplative Prayer?

I am going to take a short side journey.

Last year, well November 14, 2018, my 69th birthday, by the way, my heart stopped on the ER table.

They blasted me with 360 joules. One joule is like 5 people hitting you in the chest, right above your heart, with all their strength, all at the same time.

I got PTSD so bad, I had no idea what was going on. All I knew is that I lost my mind and couldn’t find it again. That lasted for over 6 months until my psychiatrist put me on Cymbalta and Clonazepam.

I had taken Clonazepam before for my restless legs.

The combination was a Godsend. My mind cleared up within a week.

On November 15th they inserted a defibrillator to restart my heart if it went into funny rhythms.

It worked fine for about 1/2 year. Then the fun began.

Getting zapped with 80 joules sometimes back to back with the second zap being stronger than the first. Damn, that was not treat.

Especially for the time that the Ventricular Tachycardia lasted for over 1 and 1/2 hours. That is a story unto itself.

After 3 months of that, I said enough.

A doctor did an ablation. But he could only do the left side.

It was the beginning of January when he suggested taking the old one out and putting in one that ‘paced’ the heart rather than shocked it. Where was that to start with? Oh, I know, I have cellulitis and there was a concern that an infection would get to the heart.

In order to do the right side, I had to have a scan in the machine that rumbles and whizzes and all that. Not to mention that it was a very, very tight fit. The first time I only lasted 20 minutes.

He said that’s all I need is twenty minutes to get the information I need. They deleted all the other data, I made the twenty minutes and he threw me on his table.

I woke up and he said, “I couldn’t make your heart go into VT”. It took me a while to figure out what he was saying.

I had a massive shit-eating grin on my face when he said he was able to take something out of my heart (scar tissue I assume) and I wouldn’t need the defibrillator anymore!

Life is really fine, except that I don’t have cartlidge in my knees, my feet suffer greatly from neuropathy, and my fingers are starting to go also.

But hey, no more zaps, jolts and trips to the ER. My hospital bill was over $100,000 last year not including $2,000 a trip in the ambulance (I didn’t count how many of those there were. In January it was well over $90,000 with at least 3 ambulance rides.

I don’t know if you are familiar with Duluth MN but I can assure you that the roads, even the freeway is really, really bumpy. When your chest is on fire a ride of several miles takes forever.

But, all is good to go. Now it is just fighting the Veterans Administration for poisoning me with Agent Orange and PCBs and whatever else they could think of.

But back to the question.

Many years ago, I was diligent in following Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina.

I even wrote a few posts about it in my publication “Centering Yourself”.

When I was suffering from PTSD I had a counselor that encouraged me to try Mindfulness. The VA even has an app for smartphones using Mindfulness.

It just made me more agitated.

My solace is in Contemplative Prayer. I am way out of practice which is the same with Mindfulness.

If you don’t practice it you lose it.

Anyway, I just thought you might appreciate a comparison.

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