Today I found out what it means to take a deep breath, one that makes your ribcage expand, your whole spine stretch out as the oxygen comes in. There's scar tissue that's been in my chest for two decades from the pneumonia days. Imagine a 3-year-old with her tiny ribcage a battlefield of chest tube scars. Imagine this kid growing up, shooting up like a weed into lanky adolescence, scar tissue stretching across the much, much larger torso of a 23-year-old.

Imagine that some of that twisted corset just got released.

Imagine the surprise of feeling your ribcage move. Undulate. Articulate. Expand like a balloon when you inhale. Not fluidly, and not symmetrically - my ribcage feels like a blotchy tough thick latex balloon blowing out in weird lumps - but it's enough for me to know that oh, it's supposed to move, supposed to feel like something other than carved wood, that this expansion and contraction and elongation that I'm starting to feel should become my conception of What Normal Lungs And Spines And Ribs Do.

I wonder if I could find a peak flow meter somewhere and test out my new lung capacity. This kind of thing is what I've needed; a different physical and intellectual model for what my body could become. Your shoulders move! Your collarbones articulate! You should be able to exhale, inhale, run, sing - your body is a living, moving thing. Not just an ambulatory robot that can get your brain between keyboards; it only felt that way because everything's been locked up for so long.

I need to find ways to not lose this.