(CNN) - The average person takes 20,000 breaths a day. Since November 3, my husband, Rand Paul, has not taken a single one without pain. He has not had a single night's sleep uninterrupted by long periods of difficult breathing or excruciating coughing.
As his wife, I have been distraught over seeing him suffer like this. There have been several nights where I had my hand on my phone ready to call 911 when his breathing became so labored it was terrifying.
Despite this, he refused to give in to the pain and was determined to fly back to Washington last week to do his job. As we walked through the airport returning from D.C., he was shivering with a 102.5 fever, and the next morning his internist diagnosed pneumonia in his damaged lung.