After surveying all the preceding test results and x-rays and conducting some of his own, this astute physician did not deem my lungs to be so terribly damaged as to necessitate full time assistance of an oxygen apparatus to help me breathe. Though he conceded that one lung has sustained scarring, the other appeared to be quite healthy.
My hernia, on the other hand, was somewhat large and was leaning on the weaker lung, possibly hampering normal function. The physician suggested that the acid reflux caused by the hernia could further be damaging the lung. After conferring with a surgeon and anesthesiologist and assessing the risks, Dr. Kenneth Prager felt that repair of the hernia would be a worthwhile undertaking.
Baruch Hashem the procedure went smoothly and before long I detected an appreciable improvement in my oxygen intake. A follow up visit to Dr. Prager bore this out and I soon found myself breathing on my own without the aid of an external oxygen tank. Hodu L’Hashem!
I have no doubt I was meant to suffer my ordeal, yet we must all do our hishtadlus (exert effort) in seeking appropriate care — even to the point of not settling for the diagnosis of one professional. Seeking a second opinion is a perfectly acceptable practice, endorsed by the most acclaimed of physicians. I have absolutely no grievance against the first specialist I visited and am grateful to Hashem for guiding me to the right shaliach.
Where there’s life, there’s hope. But hope is contingent on prayer and perseverance. Thank you for all of your prayers!
Never take breathing for granted!
Thank you for thinking of us and for your uplifting and heartening message. Did you know that according to the Zohar Shavuos is mesugal for a refuah for the lungs? The five sections of the lung (right lung has three, left has two) correspond to chamisha chumshei Torah (the five Books of Moses). Being mekabel (accepting upon oneself) the Torah on Shavuos directs a positive energy towards healing of the lungs.
May all our ills be cured in the zechus of our observance of G-d’s commandments. Chag Sameach!