Friday, August 22, 2008

When Breathing is a Competitive Sport

In August 2007, while athletes worldwide prepared for the 2008 Olympics, I was engaged in a little personal competition at the City of Hope.

In order to qualify for the Auto Stem Cell Transplant, I had to prove, among other things, that my lungs were in good shape. So off I went for pulmonary testing. The technician clamped a clothes pin on my nose so that I was forced to breathe through my mouth. Then I got to curl my lips around a hose and follow a breathing obstacle course. ("Now inhale. Now blow out all the air. Keep going.") The results are calibrated and analyzed by computer so that the patient receives immediate feedback.

Last year, I was the pulmonary equivalent of Michael Phelps, going for gold in all eight breathing events.

Yesterday, I took the test again. I had to drop out of one of the breathing events because it was too exhausting. And I didn't make the team in any other category. My lungs suck.

But not to worry. My favorite Olympic stories star the "comeback kid," and I'm sure to be one of them.


Paula L. Johnson said...

Your lungs suck, and your nose blows!

Let's hope that cold dealie doesn't get any worst. If it does, I'm thinking you'll need MORE ONION RINGS from Fredo's.

I enjoyed our lunch today, in spite of the surveillance team (Betty and Brownie).

Mrs. Duck said...

Hi Susan,

The Ducks are in Jasper right now, and we have no Internet in our room. (How is that possible in this day and age?) So this will be short. We are all thinking of you and hoping that your fighting spirit soon vanquishes this mysterious, nasty lurker that is eluding identification.We love you. Catch you later -