"How's your breathing these days?" It may seem strange, but this is a pretty typical catching-up question between my friend Anna and I when we hang out... just two little asthmatic chicks looking out for each other. When she asked me last week, I kind of frowned and had to think about it for a minute, trying to recall the last time I woke up congested and rattling, the last asthma attack, or the last major aspiration I've had during a meal.
But it's been a while.
In fact, digging through my purse the other day, I found my ProAir inhaler and realized I haven't used it in over a month... a month! For the past couple years, I've gotten used to needing a couple puffs at least once a week. The weather here has been nuts lately, too - dramatic warm/cold/dry/damp conditions that usually aggravate my lungs all the more. So this season of good health can't just be a fluke, can it?
For the past few days, I've found myself escaping the hectic buzz around me by just taking a slow and deep breath in, and enjoying the clarity, silence, and even strength of it... and then letting it all exhale, just to let another full dose of oxygen fill me again. It sounds crazy, I know, but I think my lungs are actually getting stronger. I think Spinraza is helping to rebuild my respiratory/pulmonary functions - a part of my system that has caused the greatest concern and fear in my life over the past 25 years.
About 20 months ago, Kevan introduced me to a new song by Switchfoot called "Live It Well." The opening lines are incredibly relevant and powerful, especially to kids like Kevan and I:
"Take the burden from my arms,
Take the anchors off my lungs,
Take me broken and make me one,
Take the silence and make it a song..."
We know what those burdens, that brokenness feels like, beyond the metaphorical... that invisible weight of gravity that holds down our arms, and the anchors that press on our lungs. Those lyrics became a deep and resilient prayer in my heart. Before a treatment called Spinraza was announced, a seed of hope grew in me... that somehow the Lord would lift these burdens so we could breathe deep and free, so we could move without restraint. And I think he is answering that prayer.
"Life is short, I want to live it well,
One life, one story to tell
Life is short, I want to live it well,
And You're the One I'm livin' for
Awaken, O my soul,
Every breath that you take is a miracle..."