I’ve had pneumonia more times than I can count. No one can tell me why this happens. My squishy lungs? My deformed ribcage? Who knows. You too?
My lung function tests are normal. My immune system is intact and working. High resolution CT scan showed no bronchiectasis.
The mystery continues.
I missed Coachcella one year due to pneumonia. I’d dislocated a rib just before I got sick that time, so I every time I coughed, well, you can imagine the pain. And then no Coachella. Grrrrrr. We sold our tickets, cancelled the hotel. Boooooo!!!
Made it to Coachella the next year.
Getting a pneumonia vaccine at Costco. Bring a prescription. Get ready to argue. They have no idea why someone so young is asking for this. My pneumonia bacteria doll comes with me.
Waiting for the other pneumonia vaccine at Costco. The pneumonia vaccines do not prevent pneumonia, just prevent the pneumonia from killing you.
I take what I can get.
In Urgent Care, with a high fever, waiting for my chest X-ray.
UCLA Pulmonology had sent me home the day before with no chest X-ray. Chatting with the fellow was delightful, although he didn’t believe me when I insisted I was getting pneumonia and refused to order a chest x-ray. He was an MD, Ph.D. Breathing hurt so much that day, it was intolerable. Perhaps I should not have been so chatty and friendly with him. Maybe I should have cried.
I can go from feeling fine to pneumonia in a few short days. Dr. MD Ph.D did not think this was possible.
If you get antibiotics right away, you get better super fast. Otherwise it can take months. Yuck! The small spot of developing infection showed on the x-ray. Got my antibiotics.
Made it to the beer crawl in Orange County the next weekend. Sweaty and weak, but my lungs were clear. Yay for me!
I get pneumonia about once per year, although I have gotten lucky and gotten it twice in a year.
This year, 2017, was one near miss, so I was grateful. But I had a lung infection for weeks, in Paris. I did not let that slow me down. Paris was in a massive heat wave, plus I had gotten caught in two torrential downfalls of rain. Dampness and swift temperature change seems to be a factor in when I get a lung infection. Does this make sense to anyone? Please email me: lessflexible AT gmail.com.
I went to the doctor in Paris. She had never heard of Ehlers-Danlos, gave me antibiotics to take if this became pneumonia and was shocked at the huge amount of C I inject. Pretty much like all my doctor appointments.
“But I do not benefit from oral C,” I told her.
“Alright, fine,” she said. “I won’t interfere in your medical care.”
However, she prescribed this, which no one in the US ever suggested. Acetylcysteine is an expectorant????? I think it helped. I stocked up.
Since my energy was limited due to pre-pneumonia, I ditched French class and went to Galleries Layfayette. And then the Louis Vuitton Foundation. Couldn’t do everything.
Riding the Paris Metro with my super fashionable face mask helps. Keeps that dust out and warms the air coming into the lungs.
Later that day. An architecture marvel: The Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Contemporary African art exhibit on display there. Extraordinary!!
I did not get pneumonia, but I coughed for the rest of my trip and had less energy than if I had not gotten sick. But this did not slow me down much. Just had to get to bed early. Of course, I had brought my inhaler. I would not travel without it. After a bad lung infection, I will cough for weeks. That is called Reactive Airway Disease, and I will try this remedy next time. Life sucked in the days before you could find the medical research yourself on the internet.
The Dior show in Paris was a great moment in my life.
I get a high from profound beauty.
If Mr. Pennington ever leaves me, I will beg him not to, dry my tears, give my best Gallic shrug, and then find a French boyfriend tout de suite and move to Paris.
I am a survivor.