The other day my wife, Brenda, bought some new towels for the guest bathroom. I approved her choice immediately. How practical. Each of the half-dozen towels was decorated with a capital letter H. “Perfect,” I said. “His and Hers.”
Brenda gave me the funniest look. We both know I have been losing my mind lately. “Brad,” she said. “The H is for our last name—Hallock.”
Of course. I knew that.
In 2010 I began experiencing a persistent shortness of breath following even my mildest efforts at physical exertion. I realized I was no longer effective in the classroom and that it would be wrong of me to pretend otherwise. So, heartbroken and discouraged, I retired at the conclusion of the 1st semester prior to our Christmas break. Four months later, April 2011, I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. No known cause, no known cure. Prognosis two to five years. I had managed to hold my own pretty well, not relying on my portable oxygen tanks overly much, until this past January, 2013. I have since degenerated to where I am now using two liquid oxygen tanks providing me with 8 L of oxygen per minute. I am easily winded by almost any activity, including getting dressed and walking around. Obviously, I am no longer able to leave the house, nor am I allowed to drive even if I could due to occasional blackouts.
To close on a lighter (?) note, the other day I came across an article discussing the merits of wi-fi availability for patrons at certain establishments. Like, you know, coffee shops, restaurants, malls even. Anyway, while reading, it occurred to me that more of my generation will likely need other conveniences at these places. One that comes to mind is the availability of oxygen outlets. So as to preserve the valuable contents of our portable oxygen tanks, thus extending shopping hours.
Yours truly, Toe.