An Open Letter to My Lungs


Whaaaat? Whyyy? For two months now, you’re trying really hard to jump right out of my chest! Stop the coughing already. Enough.

Haven’t I treated you well my whole life?  I never smoked cigarettes. Yes, yes, I did marry a smoker, but he tossed the pack in the fireplace when we had our first baby two years later — didn’t want to set a bad example. So, I’ve lived smoke-free for decades.

And, I did bring you into this world in the high Rocky Mountains where the air was so clear you could count the craters on the moon at night. I worked hard all year round, so you got plenty of oxygen circulating through every little alveoli regularly.

After that, you got to breathe in ocean air! Come on — Pacific coast ocean breezes! It was never 25 below zero; it was always moist and just the right temperature.

We did spend those years in the humid, tree-covered East Coast. I know that the pollen count was a bit much sometimes. But, again — I exercised you, I kept you out of the city smog as much as possible — we lived in the woods!

So, why am I being treated so poorly this winter? You’ve been here in the desert for over a decade without complaint until now. What is causing the persistent heaving, hacking, panting that you’ve been involved with since Thanksgiving?

I’m over it! Give me a hint of what I can do, please. Winter is on the wane. Knock it off already! Summer is coming and I need to be able to breathe freely so I can swim with the grandchildren. I want my breath back!

Published in Group Writing
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There are 6 comments.

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  1. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA

    CG, I hope you’ve been to the doctor for your cough.

    I had a long lingering cough once (4 months) and a strong narcotic cough medicine that knocked me out for about a weekend, followed by several weeks with an asthma inhaler worked to heal my lungs from the chronic cough and irritation. It was a freak thing for an adult to have croup. I never even finished all the doses in the inhaler. It has never come back.

    Get better. Soon.

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Yes – head to the doc and get some strong meds – my sister in law got pneumonia a few weeks ago and my mother in law the flu – both had the flu and pneumonia shot – this winter don’t mess around – this flu season is scary – drink lots of hot chicken soup broth and hot peppermint tea – and rest – God bless!

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member

    I know the feeling. The in is easy, the out is harder and makes funny sounds.

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under January’s theme of “An Open Letter…” In February, we plan to keep warm by telling stories of summer and heat with the theme, “We Need a Little Summer.” If you would like to put another log on the fire and join us, our schedule and sign-up sheet is right here.

    • #3
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Have you tried a humidifier at night? I had a nagging sore throat and dry cough for months last winter in the desert — finally bought a humidifier for the bedroom, stopped waking up, and started feeling better. I deny age might have anything to do with membranes drying out. Stopped running the humidifier after a month of no symptoms and haven’t needed to pull it out of the closet since.

    • #4
  5. PHCheese Inactive

    I was having some problems and went to a  Pulmonologist . Seems at the age of 70 I came up with  asthma brought on by the gerd. I now use a oncea day inhaler that has me breathing easy again. Suggest you consult one.

    • #5
  6. Trink Coolidge

    I’m late to this.  How are you doing?

    • #6
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