Uphill Starts
Emma Oulton

It took a near death experience for me to really experiencing my life.

It all started two weeks before Christmas.

I have Interstitial Lung Disease, which means I have scar tissue on my lungs and don’t get enough air pumped to them. I was coughing, wheezing, and generally felt like garbage.

My parents took me to the hospital and I had to be put on oxygen, as well as inhalers. We were told it was a flare up of my disease, and that I would be fine.

I was not fine that night though. My respiratory rates kept dropping and the oxygen had to keep being turned up. Inhalers were being pumped into me every 15 minutes.

I couldn’t sleep, so I prayed. ‘God, just let me stay awake. I want to live!’

Over and over I said that prayer. Finally, in the morning, I stabilized.

(I was told later by my doctor that if I had gone home that night, I would have died in my sleep.)

I still have Interstitial Lung Disease. But despite the toll it can take, I’m trying to live my life differently.

I had a lot of time to think in that hospital bed and since then. When I thought about my life, I thought about all I wasn’t doing. Not writing out of fear. Not trying new things because others might think less of me. Not spending more time with the people I love. Now, I do all that stuff.

Fear was holding me back, and I get a second chance to face it.

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