That Was An Unpleasant Reminder

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Of late both our horses have been lame. It is for one reason or the other. Gypsy is geriatric, Beaumont is a mystery to be solved tomorrow by some fancy x-rays.

Anyhow, in the midst of all this lameness, being in my 30s and waiting out winter I have found myself in what has become  foreign territory: I am out of shape.

This became mightily clear today while I was riding a pony belonging to a friend. This little pony was feeling her oats and was taking a lot of riding. I found myself quite out of puff just to keep up with her. It was fun, but when I asked her to halt I knew I was out of breath.  I was suddenly seized by panic. My lungs wanted to explode. It was the same panic I got so good at weathering pre-transplant. All of a sudden I was ripping open my jacket and vest so I could try to take big deep breaths to catch my breath, which I did  shortly, though it felt like it took forever (we’re talking seconds).

Taming this frisky horse made me out of breath and it scared me. Not only did it throw my muscle memory back to a time when I was using oxygen, but my emotions got thrown back, and my mind went even crazier: and you know when you panic you feel even more breathless. I thought, “This feels awful. What if I were to reject? — I’d have to feel that way again, and maybe I wouldn’t qualify for a second lung transplant!” Yes, those were the frightening thoughts I was trying like mad to dampen while I sat catching my breath. Oh boy. I had this impulse to just roll up in a ball and give up: to stop riding the pony, to go back to the barn. But no, I’ll never get fit if I give up. So I told myself “you WILL catch your breath, relax”, gave myself a few good moments to chill out, reminded myself how soft I’m getting and got back to work.

In reflection, how on EARTH did I ever cope with that feeling all the time? How did I patiently resolve myself to it? I am so grateful a donor was found. Please folks, if you haven’t already, consider willing your organs on to someone for whom every breath is an effort. Take a deep breath, do some cardio, and carry on.

  1. Thanks Ann!

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