Cover Photo: Image was taken by Richard Legner/Getty Images
Image was taken by Richard Legner/Getty Images

Deep Breath

I had trouble breathing last night, Mom.

                  I had trouble breathing last night, Mom.C’mmon mija, I’ll give you honey and té de oregano.

Má, I don’t want tea. Mina, estas tose y tose. Go to the kitchen, we’re going to deal with that cough.

After the tea, you can have miel and some limon.And then after the miel, you have to do your medicinas again.

Ma, no I don’t want to, I did them before I went to sleep. I just want to go back to bed.Te va servir aunque no lo crees. Trust me, it works.I want the honey and lemon, Mom, not the tea.

Ya vengo, I’m coming.Are you sure you don’t want the tea?Ok. I’ll get the honey, but after this it’s back to bed.

I’m tired of hearing her cough like that, why isn’t she getting better? Ella debería de estar mejorando no empeorando.

Mom, Mr. Barajas gave me a trophy for being a good student today. Que bueno, mija. I’m proud of you.

Take her to see a specialist, Mrs. Rodriguez. She’s seen every doctor in this clinic and it has been too many years without any significant improvements. Aren’t you a doctor, why can’t you help my daughter?You will get better, mija. I promise, this new doctor will fix you right up.

You’ll be like Deadpool after this.Please, remove your shirt, Mina.

Why?

That’s So RavenThe shirt has to come off, Mina.Yeah. I’m a big girl, I can handle it.

Please, please, please!

Lay down.Wash. It. Off.

We’re not done just yet, Mina.

Make a wish. A person with normal lungs would have only taken one attempt.

We’re preparing the vaccines for your daughter, miss. They will be ready soon. I need you to hold still for me, it’ll only be a pinch.Don’t move.

We are going to give her two allergy vaccines each week, one on each arm, and they should work better than any of the other medications she’s taking since her asthma is allergy-induced. Don’t scratch it. You’ll only make it worse.

Dios mio, mija.You will finally be a normal kidI’m not throwing anything away. I’m keeping them para emergencias. Mija, puedes correr. You can run. You can do whatever you want.

Mina, you’ve been coming here for many years now.I don’t have to ever come back here ever again. I’m cured.

Mom, I’m cured.Do not tell my daughter that she has been cured. She has not been able to breathe since she was five years old and you’re telling me that there is no chance of the asthma coming back? Don’t lie to me. There is no cure. You helped, yes. But there is no cure.

Vamonos, Mina. I’m tired of his bullshit. It was the insurance, pinche cobarde. Mija, you won’t ever need to go to the hospital again, I will always take care of you.

Por andar de novia, stop kissing him. Don’t you have any regard for your health?Ma, stop! I don’t need it anymore! It’s just a cold, it’s not asthma!No more inhalers.You don’t have insurance anymore! We can’t replace them, si empeoras! We don’t have money, Mina.

Te dije, Mina, you still needed everything.Te voy hacer un te, I’m going to make you some tea. Ma, no. Quiero miel y limón.It’s not that serious, mom. It’s just a light cough, I’m fine.

Like your mother told you, there is no real cure, but like a soldier you can always fight the enemy.

Hija, te doy miel y limón?Si, mama, por favor.

Mija, I don’t ever want you to feel like you are a burden to me. I just want to take care of you, you’re my little girl.

Mexican-American Writer, 19 years old

Currently an undergrad studying Literature/Writing and Political Science at UCSD

Instagram: @alexislzarco