So, writing’s taken a backseat to pneumonia the past few days.
I found out this week I have what’s commonly called “walking” pneumonia. It’s affectionately called this because those who have it often walk around normally, thinking nothing’s wrong. Besides the disgusting, nagging, everyone-seems-to-shutter-upon-hearing-it cough.
Well, this explains why my cough has haunted me since the beginning of August, even after being diagnosed as bronchitis and a round of antibiotics.
However, I don’t appreciate the term “walking” pneumonia, since I feel like death and neither would I enjoy walking nor find it easy to walk. Thank you very much. (Yeah, I don’t know who I’m thanking, either. Just frown and shake your head in frustration.)
I did go to classes and other activities up until this week. But I wouldn’t describe it as normal, though. Despite feeling alright, everyone around me gave me these stupid looks that gave these abnormal (at least for me) reactions:
1. You’re gross.
2. Are you dying?
3. Quit smoking, old lady!
I know….wah wah, get over it, right? You would be correct. It’s really not a big deal, but it has given me time to think. I’ve got to do something besides watch movies, sleep and breathe through a tube like an asthmatic middle-schooler.
So far, I’ve done 11 breathing treatments, and I feel like I’m going to pass out pretty much every time. It makes me wonder a few things: How cancer patients stay strong? What does chemotherapy or radiation feel like?
The breathing treatments annoy me, but I know they help me. Cancer patients don’t always know their treatment’s helping.
I know mine will end soon. They don’t. And if they do, they have no idea if that ending will turn out positive.
Think of how many dumb questions they get asked. I can’t imagine how tired they get of people asking, “How are you?” and “Do you need anything?” or “You look tired — are you tired?”
So, next time you get asked a dumb question or get sick, think about if you actually have a right to get angry or complain.
If you do, if you have an illness like cancer, chronic muscle pain, lupus or multiple sclerosis, know those around you gain strength from your courage. Whether that helps or not, it’s true.
And may the rest of us pray for a piece of the courage you have.