Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 41

the map says later it connects to the old logging inhale breath. Sometimes I put my hands on my road and then to Jean’s Trail, leading to Patterson head, fingers clasped together because latching Creek. I missed Jean’s Trail the other day – walked them and pressing down on my head created right by it. I want to see the waterfalls on Jean’s more energy to suck in the next breath. As I grew Trail close up. older, I avoided placing my hands on my head, afraid to tip my mother off about how bad the The trails are clearly marked, the map says. The attack was. But if I forgot to hide my distress, or light blue rectangle in the key on the right side if she saw other signs, she would call Dr. O’Neill of the map tells me light blue means Anselm’s from our phone on the kitchen wall. First, she Trail. On a nearby tree, a small sign with a light apologized, and then she answered his questions, blue mark matches the map. I veer left. This spot listening to suggestions he offered based on what offers a bit of plateau, affording me the chance to she told him we had in the cupboard. Purple and stabilize my breathing. golden liquid medicines sat on the top shelf, along with an envelope or two, one with Pen-G tablets, It is not just the noise of breathing that bothers the other with Prednisone. Years later, Marax me. My chest burns. My lungs, I guess. Because tablets would replace the liquid. Then theophylline I am out of shape. Or because the cancer is tablets, theophylline enemas. progressing? For a long and harrowing attack, she woke my We played cards sometimes, my mother and I, father to drive me out into the night air, which during my childhood asthma attacks in the middle we thought helped with the breathing. If he drove of the night. After I woke from a dream – always me into Pontiac, we meandered through the a detailed dream urging me to wake, a ruse neighborhoods bordering the hospitals, looping designed by my brain to propel my body into repeatedly down certain streets, our leisurely pace a sitting position so that I could breathe in the a sham, because really, he remained close to those real, non-dream world – I would creep past the hospital entrances in case my breathing worsened, bathroom door, slightly ajar with light spilling out propelling us both into the light and warmth onto the kitchen linoleum, the light kept on mostly of the busy Emergency Departments for an for my benefit. I went through the living room and injection of adrenaline, Celestone, Depo-Medrol, to my parents’ bedroom door, also ajar. Mom, I Sus-phrine, the same injection I would receive if I would whisper. Mom. could hold on until we reached the doctor’s office the next day. That’s all I needed to say. She rose, arching her shoulders to waken her body, and came to the Sometimes watching me meant making honey, living room, where I waited for her. Turned on the lemon, and whiskey toddies, or, if we had no light. And stayed up the rest of the night to watch whiskey, just honey and lemon, so the hot liquid me breathe. could break up the phlegm in my chest. But often, as I sipped on my honey and lemon, Watching me breathe meant making decisions my mother rubbed my back and shoulders, which about whether to call the doctor in the middle of were always hunched down with the effort of the night or take me into his office in the morning. breathing. Or pounded between my shoulder She watched the skin covering the trachea at my blades, another strategy to break up the phlegm. throat. With bad attacks, the skin would grow If the breathing started to ease, sometimes on its tauter at my trachea as I sucked for air on the own or sometimes because I’d had some of the 41