Finding Support in the Unlikeliest Places
A best friend from high school occasionally stops by to let my wife and me know what’s going on in her life and to check on my health. We all sit on my porch — socially distanced, of course — with cocktails in hand while we’d catch up. She lives in Deleware, but recently she put her house on the market so she could move back to Philly, where we live.
This past Sunday, my wife left for Deleware to help her pack up. The trip was welcome news for our family, for no other reason than that she needed a break from us, and us from her.
Strike while the fire is hot!
My wife and I still needed to fulfill our Sunday tradition of shopping at the local market with my mother-in-law. My wife was planning on leaving at 3:30 p.m., so that left little time for shopping. I was ready to get moving. Since I was cooking dinner and wanted fresh veggies to accompany my dish, we went to a produce place before hitting a small market.
The produce place was somewhat crowded, as expected. I decided not to carry my portable oxygen inside since the store is relatively small. I was able to get my needed product and get checked out before my mother-in-law realized we were leaving the store.
Being the wonderful husband I am, I decided to stop across the street at the gas station to fill up. Realizing that every minute counted toward a quick shopping experience with my two “angels,” I was well on my way to winning this battle.
Finding support in the unlikeliest places.
We didn’t need a lot of groceries so I didn’t envision being in the other market for an extended period of time. Just in case I needed a Plan B, though, I grabbed my portable tank. As my wife and her mom finished gathering items, I went ahead and got in line — my little trick to hurry them along. There were two people ahead of me, one with a full cart, so I figured they had a few extra minutes before I reached the cashier.
While zoning out, I heard someone say, “You’ll be all right, bro.” I turned around and a man in line behind me pointed to my oxygen tank in the cart. He repeated, “You’ll be all right.“
I thanked him and said, “I’m trying.” He told me he had a double-lung transplant in February and used supplemental oxygen from time to time. He said he suffered from COPD, and I told him that I had multiple spontaneous pneumothoraces caused by pulmonary sarcoidosis.
“You’re moving around well without any oxygen,” I said.
“That’s what you gotta do — keep moving!”
I told him I was in the Temple Lung Center, and he mentioned that he was, too. I asked who his doctor was, and he mentioned Dr. Criner. I told him that Dr. Criner placed my endobronchial valves. We laughed at the connection.
We chatted a little bit more before it was my time to checkout. We nodded and gave each other a thumbs-up. As I approached the cashier, I heard him say; “Keep with it, you’ll be all right.” I told him that’s why I go to the gym every day. He laughed again, gave me another thumbs-up, and said, “That’s right, you gotta keep moving … you gotta keep moving.”
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