Change of Seasons with One Lung
By Savannah Herrmann | April 11, 2022
It’s technically spring here in Michigan, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. We are currently in this transition period - one day it will be 60 degrees and sunny and then the next day it will be 20 degrees and snowing. We Midwesterners are ready for warmer weather after almost 6 months of colder temperatures. The fluctuation in temperatures has always affected my breathing - I used to suffer from asthma (which was most likely my tumor) in high school and I remember it was hard for me to adjust to the change of seasons. I really didn’t expect to have difficulty adapting to the change of seasons after my left lung removal, but every fall and spring I have to slow down and adjust.
This change is one of many I truly didn’t expect as part of the recovery process. It’s also something that most people don’t understand which can make it harder. Although it can be frustrating, it’s okay to slow down and ask for help. I’m definitely a go-go-go person and I’m always thinking about the next thing, but when I’m out of breath walking from my car to the building I work in, I know I need to listen to my body and slow down.
This transition has become easier over the years. I remember the first year was SO hard - I was very frustrated and annoyed that I felt out of breath from walking a short distance. After a couple weeks, I would adapt and things would get a little easier. But as soon as the weather started to change from fall to winter or spring to summer, things got a little harder again. I would go through all of the emotions again - frustrated, angry, defeated, etc. However, it’s been five-and-a-half years since my surgery, and things are much better. I know what to expect now and I remind myself to slow down. Slowing down doesn’t mean you aren’t as strong or that you are weak. Slowing down means you're allowing yourself to listen and nourish your body. I still practice this every day - one breath at a time.
I know the warmer months in Michigan will bring another transition period, but I’m ready for it! I’m going to take things day by day and listen to my body. I’m thankful to be able to move my body every day, even if some days are harder than others.
I hope this blog post serves as a reminder to take time to slow down!