Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"You breathe too"

“This crud in my lungs reminds me of your love, when I breathe in and out, You breathe too. And I hear it resonating through the chambers of my chest, shaking out my heart and my soul. And I wonder why you even let it happen, but when I breathe, you breathe too…” – Peter, Peter, Peter, by Innocent Smith

Kevan came last week to visit, and I'm so glad he did. And I'll tell you why in a minute...

My week contained three doctor visits, plus a new diagnosis and a long-term medication. Dr. Israbian was the respiratory doctor who took care of me and in a way saved my life when I was in the hospital, and he wanted to see me on Monday. So Pam and I went together early in the morning for x-rays and a chat with him. X-rays were clear and reported good things, but when he said "Deep breath in!" I was surprised and discouraged to hear a long slow wheeze. I cleared my throat and tried again, but had the same result. I'm glad he didn't ask me to try a third time, because I was just trying not to sob at that moment. I have breathed so clearly since I left the hospital! Why on earth did my stupid lungs decide today to act like this? A few strategic questions followed, and then the conclusion: "I'm going to go ahead and tell you that you have asthma." *sigh* Another diagnosis to add to the list, another star add to my collection. He wrote a prescription for a nebulizer treatment that he wants me to use daily. Then he scheduled me to come back in three days for a breathing test. And he wanted to assign me a neurologist to see regularly. And asked me to come back in four months.

So the reason I didn't plummet into a self-pity funk is that Kevan was here, and when he's around life takes on a sort of magical charm. The week danced by in hues of joy and bliss and fun. Just eating together, bashing around Fort Wayne, telling stories, playing music, and singing...

The test wasn't such a big deal. Fifteen minutes of, "Just breathe normally, nice and easy, in and out, aaaand deep breath in, now... blast it out - push push push push, keep going keep going, aaaand, suck it back in! Gooood. Now, with Albuterol!" It was just so the doctor would have a baseline to refer to.

It was really special to me to get to share my life here with Kevan. At Computer Cafe, he helped a Burmese teenager write an essay on "why the human body is a miracle." At Youth Night, he researched Japanese philosophers and high fived one of our most troubled teens. He joined our "mailing team" and sealed 400 envelopes and Pastor Meng Pu prayed with him. The morning he left, I could see that expression on his face and his friend Hayden's face - they get it, what we do here and why we do it, and they love it.

I got home from the test, and two hours later this neurology department called me to set up an appointment. I told them "the sooner, the better," and the secretary took me literally and suggested 10:00 the next day. I was surprised at how soon they could see me, but figured I might as well get it over it. As a general rule I don't like neurologists and avoid them when I can. So next day, I went to the neurologist office and met the nicest, most soft-spoken, gentle doctor I've ever been to. He did his check-up, with his reflex hammer thingy in his belt like a pistol, and invited me to come back any time I had questions or concerns... I kind of want to take him up on it, just go visit and have a cup of tea with him. I'm scheduled to see him again in six months.

Kevan was gone before my last appointment, but he wrote a new song and the lyrics stuck in my head the past few days. Some of the lyrics are at the top of this entry, and they've been a comfort and encouragement to me. It's good to know I have a kindred spirit in Kevan, that he truly understands what I am dealing with in a way few other people do. But it's even better to be reminded that God understands me better than anyone. He knows my heart, my mind, my soul, and my lungs. And when I breathe - whether it's clear, rattly, or wheezy, He breathes too.

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