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  • When I was 32 I used to jog
    to stay fit.
    But, I started having problems.
    I learned
    I had a rare condition
    with endometriosis in my
    right lung.
    So holes would spontaneously open in my right lung.
    My lung would partially
    collapse, slowly, like a tire tube that sprung a leak.

    A collapsed lung is very painful.

    I saw a specialist
    but didn't have insurance
    so was discouraged to have
    surgery. So,
    I figured I had to live with it.
    At my worst, I would
    take a day off and lay on my right
    side to decrease the pain.
    No pain medicine could help.
    Lack of movement
    and lying perfectly still helped.
    I came to know...the lung
    would reinflate,
    on its on, and the holes
    would close in a few days.

    I lived this way for ten years.
    By this time
    I had insurance and a doctor.
    I had told my doctor but
    he didn't pursue it -
    not sure he believed me.
    From a medical perspective - this
    was crazy.
    A collapsing lung
    for ten years? Yah, right.

    One day I had to meet one of my social work clients at the courthouse.
    I was late and literally running.

    The pain was excruciating ....

    but I pushed through to help my
    client. It's amazing
    how denial
    can get you through things.

    Later, I called
    my doctor to see if I could get
    something for a migraine.
    And, ....."Oh, by the way, my
    lung is collapsed."
    "What? Come in for an X-ray."

    The xray tech freaked out.

    My lung was
    half the size
    it should be and filled with
    blood and water.
    I tried to reassure the tech,
    "I have lived through this for
    ten years, my lung will reinflate, I just need to rest."
    The tech looks at me like I am absolutely crazy, ....
    "What?!! Oh, no, no, no!"

    I was sent back to my doctor,
    then the hospital.

    Apparently,
    there was a procedure that could be done to stop this insane cycle.
    But first they had to cut
    a hole in my side, stick a tube in my lung to drain fluid, and
    reinflate the lung. So...
    This was done.

    Later, while recooperating,
    I thought about
    soldiers sticking a spear
    in the side of Jesus' body
    and out came blood and water. Not that I'm comparing
    myself to Jesus, I'm not!
    But I did have a knife in my side,
    with blood and water coming out.
    The proof of the weakness of the flesh. And I did suffer
    for 10 years.

    I guess I figured I was
    supposed to. Strength is revealed in weakness.
    It humbles you and
    reminds you that you're not invincible.

    I had the procedure to fix my lung and almost died,
    (but that's another story).
    I have other afflictions now to
    remind me
    of my weaknesses. The
    human condition. Thanks Eve.

    But one thing I learned to value
    is my breath.
    It is a basic element of life.
    Breathe in,
    breathe out,
    breathe in,
    breathe out,
    relax,
    value life - because you have it.
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