Takotsubo: The Three of Swords
Ruchica Chandnani (2022)
oil and acrylic paint on canvas
This painting, utilizing oil and acrylic paints, was made in the midst of studying for my ongoing classes and boards. There have been a couple diseases that have stuck with me throughout my studies. This disease is a deep-sea themed illustration of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, more commonly known as “broken heart syndrome.” Unlike the many maladies of the heart, this one’s rarer and the pathophysiology behind it is not well understood. What we do know is that there is sudden weakening of the left ventricle due to high catecholamine levels from a physical, mental, or emotional stressor. These include events like the death of a loved one or divorce, hence the “broken” heart aspect of the illness. Takotsubo itself means “octopus trap” in Japanese, hence why the left ventricle here has a vase with a tiny mollusk in it. While there are no actual swords in the picture, I titled my piece the Three of Swords because Tarot normally uses that card to refer to rejection, betrayal, and heartbreak. The description fits perfectly with the syndrome, so I tried to represent this instead with the three tentacles in the depths of the sea, grabbing for the broken heart.