Shortness of Breath

For more than two decades I was in the dark as to what was causing so much pain in the upper abdomen near the lower rib cage. The modern medicine man (allopathy doctors) ran tons of lab tests on me and ended up with the same diagnosis no matter which discipline they practised.
At the age of 13, the gastroenterologist hospitalized me for two and a half days, kept me on an empty stomach with just water to drink, inserted saline water into my bloodstream and ran several non-sensible tests all the time.

New doctor, same results

The cardiologist got some chest related tests done and blamed all the previous doctors I had seen till then for not taking my pain seriously. He was worried about my heart and lungs. But when the test results came out, he told me there’s nothing wrong with me. The same outcome came from the gastroenterologist. A few other doctors, among them a couple of general physicians, said the same thing — everything is fine, don’t worry, enjoy life!

Then, at the age of 25, a gastroenterologist from CMC hospital, Vellore, India diagnosed it as a hiatus hernia. This didn’t help me at all. All his medicines didn’t make any difference.

Finding my own relief

What has started helping me from last week onwards is my focus on deep breathing all the time. But then, when my focus shifts to some tasks requiring a lot of attention, my breath shortens and stops many times and after a few minutes, all hell breaks loose.

I breathe deeply intentionally when I am relaxed as I can return my focus to my breath every few seconds. Otherwise, the ache starts. (My neuro therapist from Neurotherapy Nirogalaya told me it’s because of brain fog which is triggered by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). According to him, the root cause of my two dozen symptoms is IBS. My intestines are unable to absorb nutrients properly from the food I eat, leading to an acidic environment in my body.)

Focusing on deep breathing

If I shift my focus away from breathing deeply when I need to focus a lot on a task, I suffer within a few minutes, sometimes seconds. Now, what do I do? Well, my mother tells me to focus on my breath. She gave me the idea of putting a reminder on my smartphone. I installed an interval timer app and used it to breathe deeply every fifteen seconds when I am involved in a task requiring high concentration. In this way, I force myself to shift focus away from the task at hand every few seconds. Now, you tell me — what choice do I have? What’s the alternative?

(I wrote this during the month of July, 2022.)

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