I will certainly be happy to see the end of 2016. So much crap happened this year. On January 16, I tripped over a dog bed in the den and ripped up my left shoulder. After five months of physical therapy, I was almost back to normal.
The real kicker happened on March 2 at noon. I had been shopping in the morning and felt fine. At noon, I thought about going to get lunch but got feeling really weak and took to coughing my head off. I was in Tupelo, so I couldn't just go home. I sacked out on Bevan's sofa and suffered until Friday. Then, I just crept to the car and drove home. Fonda took me to Red Med in Batesville. After three weeks of being treated for pneumonia, they told me to consult a Pulmonologist since I wasn't getting any better. It turns out I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Basically, a death sentence. The lungs become covered with scar tissue and quit functioning. I am taking a drug that is supposed to slow down the process. I went to the Lung Institute in Nashville at the end of June for stem cell treatments. After six months, I can't say I feel any improvement. I am on oxygen full time, and walking fifty feet is a major project.
The worst part is that Fonda has had to take up the slack and begin to do everything around here. She is permanently exhausted. I found a really nice guy to mow, paint, fetch, and carry for us. So much for me.
Our daughter, Annie, got married this summer. I rented an apartment in Seattle for a week, and Caleb and I went for the festivities. We had a good time. Since everything in Seattle is uphill, I had a wheelchair and pushers for the week. The wedding was in costume as the Pirates of Penzance. I was the very model of a modern major general. The video is on the editorials page. I enjoyed my time there for a week. I got to see the museum of flight which is great. Besides, Annie's friend who entertains on cruise ships pushed me all around in my rented wheelchair.
I have been catching up on reading the books I have neglected for years. I will not succeed because I have 25 years of books at least. Also, I get up at 2AM to watch shows on Netflix. That is just an old guy thing. My old insurance partner used to tell me about all the infomercials he watched in the early hours. Oh, well.
So, here are a few excerpts from my favorite piece of literature, the Rubayait of Omar Khayyam:
Awake, for morning in the bowl of night
Has cast the stone that puts the stars to flight,
And, lo, the hunter of the East
Has caught the Sultan's turret
In a noose of light
Those who husbanded the golden grain,
And those who cast it to the winds like rain
To no such aureate earth are turned
As buried once men want dug up again
The moving finger writes and then moves on
Not all thy piety or wit can lure it back to cancel half a line
Or all thy tears wash out a word of it
Here with a book of verse beneath the bough,
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine,
And thou beside me singing in the wilderness
Ah, wilderness is paradise now
So there. To think that a Persian mathematician could write such beautiful lines in the sixteenth century amazes me.