Breathing Is Something Many Take for Granted

Reflections on the eleventh anniversary of my lung transplant

Sandi Parsons
Speaking Chronically

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A woman wearing nasal prongs, cuddling a dog
Photo Credit: Parsons Family Archives

The urge to answer the phone was strong.

I knew I had Buckley’s chance of making it in time, but I gave it a crack anyway. I turned off the BiPAP. I clipped the oxygen cord into my prongs. My morning cough arrived with an intensity that left me exhausted. My back ached, my head pounded, and my lungs tried valiantly to suck in just a little more air.

Still, the phone rang. No one leaves a phone ringing this long unless it’s important.

A few breaths later and I was ready to shuffle. The shrill tones of the house phone ended as I took my first step.

Plan B it was.

I shuffled slowly to the kitchen and unplugged my mobile from the charger. I sat, gathering my breath. It was 10 steps back to bed. I could do it. Reluctantly I stood and started, concentrating on one step at a time.

I sat on the edge of the bed, looking at my mobile. What I really wanted was to slip the BiPAP back on. Let the machine take over my breathing. But if I was right, if the first call was important, my mobile would ring any second.

As my hand hovered about the BiPAP, my mobile rang, and it was a phone call that changed my…

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Sandi Parsons
Speaking Chronically

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.