Thursday, August 09, 2012

Remembering to Breathe

It's been a day fueled by adrenaline.

Add caption
I awoke around 3am when I heard Chloe gasping for breath.  The last few days, she has had a hard time breathing after a coughing fit.  When she first described it to me, I thought she was being dramatic and trying to get out of her most-hated sports camp.  Then I saw it in action for the first time yesterday afternoon.  Gulping may be a better descriptor, as if she were in the pool drowning.  It was really terrifying, but it passed quickly. 

Hearing it again at 3am I ran to her room to see that she was okay.  Again, she was gulping as though drowning.  With my hand in hers, she calmed down, her breath returned and she fell asleep immediately.  The second her head hit the pillow, I felt lightheaded.  I went to sit down and fell the rest of the way to the floor as my vision went dark.  Apparently moms need to breathe, too.

Her doctor is unconcerned.  She's been swabbed for whooping cough, but the symptoms don't match up.  He thinks it may be a stress response to the coughing.

Dead Ducks.
I missed my morning jog, but swore to myself that I'd still get out there today, and I did.  Jogging along the lakefront, I saw five ducks trapped in a floating pile of pollution.  Four were clearly dead.  The fifth was struggling to lift its head from the water, but couldn't keep it up for more than a second before dipping beneath the surface.  Tourists were taking photos and laughing at the dying duck.  I ran to the nearest water taxi to borrow a pole.  The young workers looked to each other, smirking at the kooky lady wanting to save the ducks.  Yet, they wanted to save them as well.  Two young men came with me, chuckling and joking about coming to the rescue.  By the time we got there, the last duck had already died.  The laughing stopped.  It's really sad to see a bunch of dead ducks all mixed up with a bunch of pollution.  They returned to their boat much more somber.

I was really angry and ran the length of the harbor to where the Park District runs the tender service.  By the way, I never run that far.  I'm not really conditioned that well, but in the moment, I felt very strong and purposeful.  Instead of bitching to the employees, I calmly explained the pollution and the trapped, dying, dead ducks.  One young man explained that there is a disease going around that is killing the ducks.  As they're dying, they get pushed, along with the surface garbage, to the edges of the harbor.  The water was too choppy today to clean it up.  He promised they would take care of it as soon as it was safe. 

That didn't make me feel any better, but his explanation was so much better than that it is the cause of the garbage that is bringing them down.  Letting my breath return to normal, I felt very tired and walked slowly the rest of the way home. 

Post Run.
 Breathe.  Momma, breathe.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, thank you. This post took my breath away... and reminded me to breathe, all at the same time.