A friend of mine laughed over the phone in disbelief that I feared death when I had pneumonia, back in November of 2012. She said, “Nobody actually dies of pneumonia in the 21st century, right?” Wrong! As I began my speech about how most of the world dies of diseases like Malaria, Cholera, Pneumonia, etc. My friend corrected herself and said, “I meant in first world countries.” Wrong again. In fact, some of my fear was because of Trish Keenan, lead singer of the band Broadcast, who died of pneumonia back in early 2011 in civilized England.
People still die frequently of pneumonia in first world leading countries due to lack of caring or paying attention to their bodies. The thing about pneumonia today, is that it is very difficult to detect because we know of so many diseases, and many have the same symptoms. Also, pneumonia happens to be an illness that if one waits for too long, it becomes more difficult to battle.
Before I collapsed during the last days of November of last year, with a fever of 104 for over a week in bed, hallucinating a little bit at times. I had no idea that, in fact, I had been sick for a very long time. I had what is called Atypical pneumonia (also known as Walking Pneumonia) for a few months prior to collapsing. I was not responding to antibiotics, coughing for a few months (but I am a heavy smoker) and was losing weight very quickly (which made me happy as a woman). The times that I felt pain, a slight fever or sick – I figured it was from all of the stress I suffered during that time personally.
I’ve had friends pass away from AIDS, and it is true that you say the person passed away from pneumonia. It is considered rude to mention the disease. However, they actually do die of pneumonia. One can’t technically die from HIV or AIDS. It is a disease that kills your immune system by not allowing to fight back bacteria we encounter every day, making the person fragile and more likely to die from a flu that turns into a pneumonia if there is no defense in the body.
So my point? I’m sick and on a rant. It’s a summer cold (the hardest to recover from), and I am totally in the sexy mood to nag like a mother.
Wear that damn scarf (even if it’s not cool), stay in bed if you are sick (your boss will survive), and NEVER dismiss weird pains or symptoms (I was also out of breath). I am stubborn like my mother (personality traits can be genetic). Woman thought she had the flu that was just persistent – and only decided to go to the hospital when she could no longer stand up…it ended up being a near death kidney infection.
Don’t be stubborn, listen to your body and take care of yourself!