Dearest Lungs of Mine,
You suck. I mean, you are not properly sucking. What I really mean is, you suck at sucking right now. What have I done to deserve this mutiny?
Not even 10 months ago, you broke down and I was laid out for 2 straight weeks as infectious fluid crackled and gurgled inside you. You made me miss my spring break vacation time, but also 4 days of work. Do you have any idea what it’s like for a teacher to miss 4 days of school? Creating sub plans for 4 days in a row, with a different sub each day, not knowing what kind of carnage she’ll return to…that’s a special kind of torture.
Were you harboring bitterness about the newly acquired diagnosis of asthma? Because believe me, I was mad enough for both of us. I know we’re 40 now, but that does NOT give you permission to slack off and cop and attitude. You are in the best shape of your life right now, probably even better than when you were pushing air into a saxophone while I was marching at 130 beats per minute around a football field at 17 years old. Oh wait, you gave me some pneumonia then, too. Cruel bastard.
So now here we are, again, you and I. Back with the fluid and a coughing and the sore ribs and ahem, leaky bladder (don’t try to blame my children for that one). You have been giving me trouble again, starting not long after the marathon. Were you mad that I made you work like a dog for almost 5 hours on the first sub-freezing run of the season? Are you upset that we work in the germ-apalooza that is an elementary classroom? You can’t even let me get a laugh in or read a funny book to my students without sending me into a giant convulsing fit. Not nice.
I admit, some of those factors are difficult to handle for two paper-like tissue air pumpers. But we’ve been through tough times, you and me. You’ve been put through the ringer before. How about inhaling tons of secondhand smoke before you were even an adult? What about helping me birth two babies? Or even, sadly, playing the “fainting game” in 8th grade? You came through those times with flying colors!
I’ve tried to take care of you. Becoming a runner 4 years ago was with the intent of helping all of my essential organs. Lately, we’ve been spinning and running (mostly indoors) for a month now. Dare I say we even enjoyed a brisk 8 mile run two weeks ago. We’ve got the NYC Half Marathon to get ready for! But just when we were able to give asthma a kick in the pants with a new regimen of meds, you went and got yourself knocked up with a doozie of a chest bug which has now taken up residence in my right lung. You just couldn’t resist, could you?
Have I not paying enough attention to you? Have I not been treating you well? I’ve been under a bit of stress lately. You’re right, maybe I should get more sleep. Maybe you’ve been keeping me up at night because I’VE been keeping YOU up at night. I just can’t get my head to stop sometimes. Cancer…guns…cranky people…pick your poison. Any and all can keep my brain going for hours. I can’t help it.
Maybe I should baby you a bit more and stick to mostly treadmill in the winter (I know I need more “mental toughness” practice). Maybe we should send more time in the steamroom at the gym. But you know, I’m busy. Really busy. With life and mothering and running and teaching and Downton Abbeying and whatnot. We’ve got to get on with it!
So, what do you say? Are you willing to give me a break? Pull yourself up by the diaphragm and, as they say, just get over yourself? I hope so. Because I need you. Race or no race, I’ve taken you for granted in the past but I swear I won’t ever do it again. I love you, Lungs. I’m sorry for all of the names I’ve called you. Please, love me back. Soon.