I was something in the 60s but now I'm just sixty something.

Yeah! It’s Only Pneumonia!

I haven’t been writing in awhile. I have been sick which really pissed me off at the time because I never get what I call “sick’. I get weird conditions like Bell’s Palsy and Dupuytren’s contracture. I get things attributed to aging like high blood pressure and osteopenia. I trip in potholes and break bones in my feet. I avoid certain foods because I can’t handle them and on rare occasions I’ll get a stomach virus which I’ve decided after watching TV shows like Bar Rescue is more likely food poisoning. But I have not had a cold in over 5 years and the last time I had the flu I was in my 20s. So when I first found out I might have pneumonia I was really shocked. By the time it was confirmed I was grateful.

I was exhausted. My throat was sore, my head hurt and I felt clammy. I was really cranky but I couldn’t even complain because I had completely lost my voice. But I really wasn’t coughing much. So I figured I had a summer cold. I was “sick” like normal people. But when I went back into the gym after two weeks I felt like I had never worked out in my life. I had to take a nap when I finished. When I tried to return to Zumba I experienced chest pains and had to shamefully slink out of class before it was over. I thought I should have recovered. Something wasn’t right and my worry meter started to register.

Fortunately, I had a physical scheduled so I chugged on down to my doctor’s office (OK, I confess I sped down the freeway going for a new record but hey, this is California). I figured if there was something bad going on he’d find it. I was given all kinds of tests in exchange for giving all kinds of fluids. I was scrutinized and poked and prodded. I was scanned visually for skin cancers and digitally for bone density.

By the time I got back home there was a message on my answering machine from my doctor telling me that my chest X-ray showed a spot on my upper right lung, where he casually added, you don’t often see pneumonia. He said that he was a little concerned and wanted me to go have a CT scan. I was not so casual about the whole thing nor only a” little” concerned. I was convinced I had lung cancer and was going to die. Cause, remember, I don’t get the usual kind of sick. And my mother died of lung cancer. And I smoked in my 20s and grew up in a house with parents who puffed away. And I had been having some pain in my shoulder and Dr. Oz said on TV that could be a sign of lung cancer from a tumor pressing on a nerve. And I tend to be  what you might call a catastrophizer. This was more frightening for me than my trip a few years back  to the breast surgeon for a lump.  I was used to lumps and no one in my family had ever had breast cancer. That time I only thought I might be dying. This time I was sure.

I am thrilled to say, it was only pneumonia.So I dodged another bullet. Life does at times feel like a game of Russian roulette which at some point you’re going to lose. But I plan on living another 20 or 30 years and I’m going make them good ones. Anxiety does offer insights.

How have you been feeling?

Mother puffing away too.

Me puffing.