Love is a pain in the… heart. It starts with pretending that you like their taste in music and movies – yeah, Bon Jovi do rock and Dirty Dancing is amazing – and before you know it you’re devoting all your spare time to the sacred quest of finding just the right curtains and cushions to go with the carpet. Love makes you a house-guest in your own life.
Since the UK has the highest divorce rate in Europe, maybe it’s time we put a restraining order on love. One cannot help wonder if there may be more cost-effective ways to get your heart going? More stimulating encounters than an over-priced meal and an underwhelming cuddle? Well, you could always plump for a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit or run a few marathons.
Alternatively, beside a TENS machine or pain induced exercise, one could take inspiration from more extreme heart-pumping examples…
A Shock to the Heart? You Give Love a Bad Name
Many of us have grown up with medical dramas such as Casualty, ER or Grey’s Anatomy. Advanced medical equipment, like the defibrillator, is commonplace in these settings. Indeed, nowadays home defibrillators and automated external defibrillators are increasingly available.
Nonetheless, there are certain environments where easy access to the necessary machines is not always available. For example, during the Vietnam War the Third Medical Battalion did not have any defibrillators. Therefore, Dr. Jack Hagan was forced to improvise. His solution was to connect kitchen knives to a DC power cord and a generator. With these primitive tools he was able to save the life of a marine.
Amongst the jungle wildlife – the tiger, orang-utan and gazelle – TENS machines find high octane equivalence that can keep a man’s heart from going to pieces.
Cough, Splutter, Heave and Honk
Cough CPR recommends that if you suspect you are suffering from a heart attack and you are on your own or a long way from medical care, then coughing repeatedly and vigorously until help arrives will keep you from falling unconscious and thereby increase your chances of survival.
Self-CPR started life as an Internet myth. Many doctors countered that it could only be beneficial under supervision and with specific heart conditions. The medical community continues to recommend aspirin as the most effective way to dissolve blood clots while you wait for professional attention. However, in 2003 a formal study from Poland claimed that Cough CPR was indeed effective for saving lives.
The jury is still out. But it seems likely that cough CPR is most useful for giving your heart a scare rather than a thrill.
Hook Yourself up to a Car Battery
It has fast become something of a movie cliché to have the hero in cardiac jeopardy bravely hook himself up to a car battery in order to get his heart going again. In recent years this has been a feature of such films as the lunatic Jason Statham actioner Crank (2006) as well as the blockbusting Iron Man (2008). One of the earlier instances of such heart jolting was in the 1993 Jackie Chan caper Crime Story in which the fragile wife of a Hong Kong tycoon is revived by kidnappers who, brushing aside her copies of Vogue and Elle, create a TENS machine substitute which is engineered with significantly higher voltage than would be used for therapeutic purposes.
The electrified character in this Jackie Chan feature was based on Nina Wang, Asia’s richest woman. Popularly known as “Little Sweetie” – due to her fondness for pigtails and garish mini-skirts right through into her old age – Wang was the wife of Chinachem magnate Teddy Wang. Her husband was kidnapped twice – once in 1983 and again in 1990. The second time, his body was never recovered and he was declared dead in 1999. Wang’s will stated that he had left his fortune and the control of his businesses to his wife. Surprisingly the Chinese will contained a short sentence in English: “one life, one love”. In due course, the will was contested by his elderly father in 2002 and 2004. Nina Wang was found guilty of having forged the will and ordered to hand over her money to her late husband’s father. However, these decisions were finally over-turned in 2005 and Wang was exonerated. The accusations took their toll on her health and this time a car battery couldn’t revive her heart. She died in 2007. Forbes ranked her as the 35th richest person in the world. With an estimated fortune of $4.2 billion she was richer than Oprah Winfrey and the Queen of England.
The Perfect Addition to Your Wedding List: a Syringe to the Heart
Many movie-goers will remember the shocking scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994) when John Travolta gives an OD’ing Uma Thurman a shot of adrenaline to the heart. In fact, at the New York Film Festival premiere of the film, this scene induced one audience member to have a seizure!
However, casualty doctors have been quick to dampen enthusiasm for this dramatic mode of cardiac resurrection. Professional doctors insist that there is no recommended procedure which requires stabbing a syringe into someone’s breast bone. It seems that the surest way to deliver adrenaline to the heart is simply to inject it into a vein…but that’s as boring as buying matching cushions and curtains!
Emily Starr is a blogger who suggests that love or marathon running are not the most appropriate or the easiest ways to overcome pain. Instead,she recommends using an Elle tens machine to stimulate your nerves and soothe your sore areas.
Featured image source: inspirationaldaily.wordpress.com