My new coping mechanism for the Cough Assist exercises seems to be a success. As soon as the mask goes on, I close my eyes, and I let myself sink into the whooshing sound. I pretend I need the mask because I am diving impossibly deep in a cold, dark sea. I won’t see much – light can’t reach the creatures here – but I know I’m surrounded by life. Every now and then an electric flicker from some alien creature reminds me of this. I stop resisting the air flooding my lungs and float in the shadows of waves miles above. I’m at peace in these depths where sunshine and beeping monitors and ALS are nothing more than myths. Breath and night rush in through the mask every 1.8 seconds, and they taste just fine.