Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting to Inhale Autumn


The past few weeks have driven home the hard realities of PF. Most of us who suffer with pulmonary fibrosis suffer more in extreme weather, and suffer even beyond that when pollen counts, barometric pressure, and hay fever season come prowling like menacing poltergeists outside our doors. We get text alerts from wonderful medical professionals warning us off the outside world. Stay home. Stay cool. Keep oxygen close.

I usually carry a portable supply of oxygen around, but recently have had to keep a lead in all day. This year we are having early and severe allergy and hay fever seasons.

So while I DO still take my daily errand jaunts with Max, I can’t do them on foot. I do things from the car, windows UP, oxygen looped into my nose, air conditioning on.

I miss walks. I miss even the simple joy of following Maxwell outside to watch him trot around the yard. I miss crisp, clear air most of all. Spring allergies tend not to trouble me, but late summer air is not a friend. I simply pick up the hazey mook in the air when it’s heavy.

Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year. Now it is even more so. From late September, deep into November, even to the early snowfall—I can breathe.  Add to this the absolute wonder of the autumn smell—like maple syrup and toasted nuts, with a rich earthy bed beneath—and I am in my glory for three months.

So they are talking about tropical storms and hurricanes, and all I can think is “don’t blow all the leaves away before they can turn.”  Give me my color, my cool days and chilly nights, my crisp apples scenting the air as they weigh limbs down, and my walks.  The world is full of luxuries people spend their savings on.  Diamonds are lovely and velvet is soft.  Spa weekends of pampering are all well and good.

One foot crunching in front of the other in a pair of old boots, a chubby little bundle of energy scampering through leaves, and the rustle and rush of color all around me—these are free, and beyond the price of pearls, sapphires, emeralds.

I’m ready for summer’s end.

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