A newborn baby’s health is judged on the first few breaths they take

If there is something wrong, health professionals know what to make.

Of the baby struggling to breathe and deprived of air

Because watching them gasp for breath is more than most can bear

My life is different when I struggle to breathe.

When taking a breath causes my chest to heave

And fight for air surrounding me to enter my lungs.

Knowing that without it, my life is strung

Up between pipes and oxygen tanks, humidifiers and more

With each small gasp seeming a step closer to the door

Of death, when I am not ready to go.

So I practice shallow breathing to encourage the flow.

Of oxygen to my body that I need to survive

My lungs, struggling, barely able to keep me alive.

I pray on my knees to God to rescue me.

From the pain inside that, no one can see

Unlike a broken arm 

When people see the harm

They sympathise and wish you well.

But for people like me, it’s a silent hell.

“Just try,” I am told. 

While the tightness in my chest makes me fold

My body because I can’t sit up straight

The pain at times is just too great.

“I am fine,” I whisper when someone asks. 

Barely able to hear me through the mask.

I have to wear something that shields me from infections.

The pity in people’s eyes, reflections

Of what I sound like with every breath I take

Dying to live for my family’s sake

I look ok on the outside. 

Though most of the time, I try to hide

So family and friends would not worry so much.

And rush

To my aid when I battle for air.

Deep down, I know they care.

But it’s frightening to be with my mind.

When all kinds

Of thoughts go through my head before I sleep.

Always praying to God my soul to keep

Safe until the morning comes,

Giving me another moment with loved ones.

Breathing should be involuntary.

But contrary

I can’t with lungs that aren’t great anymore

And, more often than not, sore.

I wish to wake up in good health soon.

Wishing for the moon

Seems much easier to do for now

Cause a battle with breath is how

I live grateful to be alive.

For the chance to thrive

And make a difference in peoples’ minds.

So everyone can be happy and kind.

With every breath, I take my strength back.

That soon, my life can get on track.