A coworker told us yesterday about her uncle, who was in the hospital awaiting lungs for a double lung transplant. Today, she announced that they’d found lungs and were about to do the surgery. Here are the things I thought between then and now:
- Smoking sucks.
- I want to be a crazy person who goes around and hugs every smoker and tells him or her that it’s going to be okay, and that she or he can quit. I want to say to these people that even though I will never understand the urge to stick a burning roll of paper into your mouth and pollute your lungs with tar, I do understand how sometimes you feel like you can’t stop yourself from doing something harmful. And then I want to rock them in my arms while they cry from the relief that an insane stranger cares about them enough to make them look honestly at what they’re doing and encourage them to find help in the form of something stronger than a crazy person.
- I want to be an even crazier person for the people I love who smoke. If I had the power to control human beings, I would go to these people and force them to stop smoking for good, using whatever means I had at my disposal as a person capable of altering people’s behaviors, and even if they consequently hated me for it, it would be worth it.
- A double lung transplant. Medicine is amazing.
- A double lung transplant. The human body is amazing.
- If you can take out a person’s damaged lungs–this is an organ required for breathing, for life, remember–and replace them with healthy ones, and that person can go from feeling like he’s drowning with every breath to recognizing the comfort of sucking in sweet air…maybe even things that seem beyond repair aren’t, not really, in the end.