Breathe again

Before I begin, I must thank everyone, old friends and new, for the kind words and prayers. It really means a lot to me.

I’m kinda ready to move on. I don’t want these pages to morph into the Pulmonary Chronicles, but I have to share one last story about living with a resected lung.

A big part of my recovery, in the near term anyway, is getting my mouth and my legs to get on board with the plan and cooperate as I build up my respiratory strength.

It’s a good thing I’m pretty used to and comfortable with laughing at myself, because climbing a flight of stairs and carrying on conversation have become quite comical these past couple of weeks.

Despite my full-figured proportions, I’ve always been able to hop and skip my way up a flight of stairs with the best of them, my breathing rate virtually unaffected. Now, not so much. My legs, loyally performing their duties, propel me up a few stairs and then it happens, my newly miniaturized right lung, sends a signal to the legs and the rest of the body to slow the f*ck down.

You guys know I’m a big Rocky fan, and lately, every time I have to climb a flight of stairs, I hear the strains of Bill Conti in my head, making me feel like the Stallion taking on the art museum, circa 1976.

Talking, although not as bad, still has its challenges. Fortunately I’ve never been what you would call a fast talker. But at work, where verbal communication is a big part of the gig, there are times when I have to go all type A and speak a little faster than I’d prefer. When I do, comedy ensues! Much like climbing stairs, if my mouth writes a check my lung can’t cash, I have to stop, sometimes in mid-sentence, to catch my breath. Of course, I’m making the best of it – leveraging the tool of the strategic pause –reminiscent of the dramatic device Paul Harvey was famous for (Paul Harvey? Yeah, I know, a reference only my fellow radio geeks and friends over 45 will get – sorry about that!).

As time goes by, I’ll eventually rehab my lung and get back into some form of decent shape. But in the meantime, I’ve found another thing for which to be thankful — that is the enduring ability to laugh at myself. It’s easy to say, but not always easy to do. Of course, I can’t laugh too hard because I’ll get out of breath.


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