The official blog of the Lung Institute.
My dear friends,
Today, I’ve come to share my story. It is not a great story; it may not even matter. But it is my story. And for that, I have to give it to you. I was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease about twelve years ago. You’ve all heard of COPD, right? It rips air from its victims leaving them struggling for oxygen. I was terrified—all of the fears associated with smoking were coming true for me. I couldn’t imagine life without air, and I couldn’t imagine air with COPD. I remember sitting in that doctor’s office with tears streaming down my face. I started panicking and screeching; begging somebody to make this all go away—begging God to make this all go away. I swore I would do anything. Lucy, my wife, looked at me confused. She could see my anxiety rising. Like a tsunami of panic, tears welled over my eye sockets and drowned my cheeks. I began to wallow in self-pity and assumed the position that nothing really mattered. Then, just when I thought it could not get any worse, Lucy, my sweet wife, smacked me across the face. She didn’t even blink. Just a quick blow to the cheek and it was over.
“Why did you do that?” I gaped.
“Because you needed it.” I needed it? I did not need that. I needed comfort. I needed her to feel sorry for me. I needed help. And then she said everything I really needed to hear—her words still ring through my mind these twelve years later:
“Walter, this is not it. Your life is not over. It just changing a little bit—a slight shift to the left. You can get through this just like anything else. Remember when we found out I couldn’t have children? We made it through. Remember when the adoption fell through? We made it again. Remember when we lost everything in the tornado? We made it once more. Do you know how we made it all these years? We didn’t give up. We didn’t lose hope. And you won’t give up, and you won’t lose hope this time either. We vowed to stand by each other through everything, and yes, that sometimes means smacking you across the face when you need it. So, are you done?”
In awe, I cried a little more, but this time, it wasn’t in pity or fear. This time, the crying was in thanks. For everything I had done and everything I will do, I was crying. That day, I vowed to never throw a personal pity party again. I would always look for the silver lining, and I would try to see the glass half full. That day, I vowed to use the power of positive thinking every single day. And twelve years later, I can say that it worked.
While I am not cured, I am also not sick. Thanks to Lucy, optimism and the Lung Institute, I am still going strong twelve years later. The power of positivity doesn’t lie in the ability to say three good things about yourself after you say something negative; no, the power of positivity lies in the opportunity to keep looking for new options. If I had given up that cold winter day twelve years ago, I never would have found the Lung Institute, I never would’ve gotten stem cell therapy, and most importantly, I never would have been alive today. So, to Lucy, thank you for reminding me that life doesn’t end with lung disease; it just shifts.
When I was diagnosed with lung disease, there weren’t plenty of options out there, but now, I can say with ease that the ability to breathe easier is now within reach. The Lung Institute offers revolutionary stem cell therapy. For more information, contact them or call at (800) 729-3065.
*Disclaimer: Lucy and Walter are fictional characters.