A foolish mistake
Two years ago I was doing a grout removal job in my house with the wrong personal protective equipment that resulted in me inhaling a substantial amount of crystalline silica for a long period of time. This is a chemical known to progressively destroy the lungs. A foolish mistake for sure. I've never had any chest problems before. A year after this accident I began having symptoms; chest pain and frightening shortness of breath that landed me in the ER. My chest pain and shortness of breath went on for about 6 months. I thought this was "it" and that it was never going to improve. Faced with what I thought could be the beginning of my end I began to see how much time I've wasted in my life and how much time I've spent on nonsense and misplaced priorities. Naturally, as mortality can make you do, I quickly shifted my thoughts to the eternal reality. Yom Kippur was approaching and I became aware like never before the importance of it and how it applies to non-Jews, such as myself. I felt like I had a real opportunity to connect with my Creator and discuss the invoices Ive needed to settle and to make my best efforts. I realised the seriousness of my time here on earth and gave extra tzedakah during the Be'ezrat Hashem Yom Kippur campaign and crying to Hashem for a blessing. After tests were performed a pulmonologist couldn't give me an explanation of my symptoms but said there was no indication of the poisonous inhalation I was describing. Neither were my symptoms typical for it. After many tears and prayers they were finally heard, my chest pain left me and my breathing returned to normal. My symptoms are now completely gone. I now feel that every breath is a blessing that I've always taken for granted. My prayer and Torah have improved and I enjoy an even greater connection with the Creator as a result. I would never ask to experience such horror again but in the end I realize it was good and I have Hashem to thank.
Jonas From Texas Via Email