Ever since National Jewish Hospital diagnosed my case, mornings have been a nightmare for me. I don’t usually write about my personal medical problem, but I feel the time has come to explain some things.
I have what they call bronchiectasis. It is a condition in the bronchi and it is not curable. My life depends on my own determination to do certain things two times each day for thirty minutes each.
Whereas I used to love and honor mornings, now the regimen to save my life must begin as soon as I wake up at 6:30 a.m. I dress myself, make the bed, brush my teeth and hair, feed the cat, all before I eat off my delivered breakfast tray before 8 a.m.
I’m tired before my day begins, but it does begin with two different nebulizer treatments, and after that I clean the cat litter box before my trash is picked up, and that will be the end of me.
I sit back down in my chair, I begin my treatments. I must put on a tight vest and attach two air hoses to it so that it forces air in and out of my lungs and bronchial tubes for thirty minutes. By the time this is done, I am really worn out; and then comes the blowing out machine.
I have to take many medications three times a day beginning at 9 a.m. It’s now 11 a.m., and all the morning beauty I experienced every morning for years and years, I am too tired to see. And after supper I repeat the whole routine.
Now, I did not tell you my saga for pity. I’m not trying to tell you why I desperately need my daily morning blessings back.
One morning I just had finally had it. It is not my nature to set my day’s stage with fatigue and wonder whether all I was doing was giving me more time. I just flat had to recapture my joy at awakening. I had to reset the stage outside my windows to find a reason to want to get up, to want to hear my bird friends who sing for me; I want it all back, so here I go.
I’m going to recreate that precious waking up time for me as it used to be.
It is early. The sun is only a hint, just close enough around the corner to cast a quiet spell of light out my windows. The stillness of the leaves and grass slows my heartbeat as it is poised to gather enough light to begin a new dawn.
Everything seems to be in waiting for a new day, and I want, I need, to inhale the freshness, the happy anticipation of what will come next besides medical help.
I listen. The sounds of crickets, of frogs, of sleepy birds that serenade me at night all seem to change from a symphonic performance to a more urgent sound of solos. The hums become more distinct and I can identify each aria, even though I cannot see the divas.
I hear a train blow its mighty horn to announce its passing down the railway and then the clickity-clack of its wheels speeding over iron tracks with a rhythm. As I listen to this, I find my own rhythm beat of my heart trying to match it, beat by beat by beat.
There is magic in this dawn moment, when every tree, like every beat of my heart, outside my window stands in waiting for the sun to raise its head up as a signal and a brand new day full of brand new feelings, thoughts and events is here. I take my cue from the waiting to be very still, to be quiet, to gather strength.
I see rabbits skittering under the window to eat the birdseed that fell. A lone squirrel makes a leap to a feeder and catches the seed as it falls. They have already started their day and they exude happiness.
I am awake. I am anxious about a new day and those to come. I sit at the window in the semi-darkness. I want to feel connected to the quiet, the singing, even the steady clacking of railroad cars on their way to wherever.
I feel suddenly connected somehow because early mornings are about newness, a chance to start fresh. I am inhaling deeply and gathering strength from outside my window.