The Power of a Sneeze: Keeping up with Change

You just can’t appreciate the power of a sneeze until you have an open appendectomy.

One week after my appendectomy, I sneezed. Nothing puts your life in context like the possibility of guts going from inside to outside at 103.6 miles per hour.

Well, that, or a vicodin-induced dream that you’re a Twitter page.  Hmm.

In any case, all this made me realize that simple, every-day things that you take for granted can become damn-near fatal (or at least excruciatingly painful) under slightly different circumstances.

I know that sounds all new-agey and probably isn’t new advice by any means, but how often are each of us put in a situation where, under normal circumstances we’d do just fine – but on this particular day, with this particular set of circumstances, we fall flat on our faces?

The day after I had my surgery, they brought in a torture device known as aVolumetric Exerciser.  Lying in a hospital bed, everyone tends to breathe pretty shallow – particularly in surgeries affecting the abdomen; shallow breathing means low oxygen saturaiton levels, which means reduced healing and immune response.  The point of the Volumetric Exerciser is for the patient to breathe in slowly and surely, trying to reach a “goal number” with the power and duration of their inhalation.  Mine was 3500, which was surprisingly difficult to hit.  I’ve tried now that I’m healthy and I easily top 4500.

The point of this story? Well, you don’t just use the Volumetric Exerciser once.  You use it over and over again, each day, a few times in an hour.

I think you can see where I’m going with this. When you hit a rough patch – say, for example, one of your internal organs desperately wants to part ways with you – and things that you are used to doing (breathing, sneezing, walking like a human) suddenly aren’t as easy or fun to do anymore… it’s up to you to overcome those obstacles.

The only way to do it is to set yourself a goal and practice – a little each day, a little each hour, whenever, however, and how ever often you can spare or make the time.  Aim for your goal or more each time you practice.  Little by little, you’ll learn how to breathe, sneeze, walk like a human, sell a new product, program in a new language, or learn to speak Klingon.

Maybe it’s not the most original advice ever, but 6″ wounds seem to make me whimsical.

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