Pectoriloquy |


Genean Anne Granger, MA
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “My poem, “Pity Party”, reflects on how I'm viewed with my new accessories, a nasal cannula and portable oxygen. In 1999 I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and I've struggled with breathing issues my entire life. Post having pneumonia in April 2014 I have been oxygen dependent 24/7. I've never wanted to be defined by my illness and prior to being on oxygen I backpacked around the globe, performed in Community Theater, raised two children and worked full-time as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse.”

Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

Chest. 2016;149(3):884. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2015.08.005
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    I’m gonna’ tell you this world makes it
    hard to be different, to go around sporting
    a blue wheelchair sign. I dislike stares
    that don’t count me as normal. I wear a hose
    in my nose ‘cause my lungs really suck.

    Within each a snowstorm battles, while
    the body they live in weakens and wanes.
    I’m more than what’s not working
    inside me. I pull a can of oxygen behind me
    like a dead dog. Children point and whisper,

    “Mama, what’s wrong with that lady?” I hear
    the Calliope, the Carousel’s awhirl. I’m star
    of the Big Top. A Un-circus experience, I’m
    a Geek in the making. It doesn’t matter that I
    wear lipstick, take care with my clothes.

    It doesn’t count that I smile and I’m pleasant,
    unlike many who walk in my world. More often
    than not I’m disregarded, seen but invisible,
    not someone of worth. It doesn’t matter that I’m
    educated or that I’ve traveled the world. What

    lugging groceries, tipping my oxygen into a cart.
    I see pity in their faces, but their pity’s the last thing
    I’m funny and smart. I’ve been desired, wedded

    and bedded. Now, I’m seen as damaged,
    less than someone who’s whole.




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