33 Comments#MondayMusings, Ageing/Aging, Blogfests, Health and Wellness, Life

I’m about as far from a hypochondriac as one can get; assuming that whatever ails me isn’t serious and will go away on its own. Fortunately, this has mostly been the case, until recently.

On Jan. 23, a high fever and severe cough sent me to bed. As usual, I assumed it was only a virus that would clear up after a few days. When that didn’t happen, I dragged myself to the doctor. A chest X-ray indicated pneumonia, for which he prescribed a course of antibiotics. They didn’t work! Feeling even worse a week later and struggling to breathe, I made another appointment. The doctor took one look at me, then sent me downstairs to the emergency clinic, where they administered treatment. Apparently, I was suffering from a severe asthma attack, something I’d not experienced before, despite having been diagnosed with the condition 12 years earlier. The treatment didn’t help much, so I ended up in the hospital for nine days.

Don't Take Good Health for Granted!

Although not my first experience as a hospital in-patient, it was the most harrowing! I spent the first three days in isolation, hooked up to oxygen, as they did test after test and bombarded me with both oral and intravenous medications. Switching to an actual room was a welcome relief. Although the fever had subsided, I still couldn’t breathe well on my own. The doctors were concerned about this and suggested that I might have a heart problem. Wait! What? How could that be? I was “Ms. Invincible”! Another theory was a possible blood clot in my lung. By now I was completely rattled! Fortunately, the subsequent pulmonary angiogram quelled that fear, although there was still a lot of grunge in there from the pneumonia.

Side comment to former smokers: They can tell, even if you quit long ago!
I kicked the habit in 2003 but was asked if I still smoked.

Next up was a coronary angiogram. It also came back negative, much to my relief! At that moment, I resolved to become more mindful of my health. Another point to ponder is that age is becoming a factor. I may be 35 in spirit, but in reality, this old broad is 61! It takes longer to recover when you’re in your seventh decade.

They switched me from a full-face mask to one with nasal prongs and reduced the oxygen level, but I was still struggling. Even taking a shower required a prolonged rest period so I could catch my breath. One of the doctors opined that I might have COPD. Another shocker! Back in 2004, the diagnosis had been asthma, not COPD, which had been my main worry at the time. I’ll be visiting a respirologist next month for the definitive answer.

I started taking short walks up and down the hall and still had some trouble breathing, but was otherwise feeling much better, so they discharged me with a prescription for home oxygen. That was two and half weeks ago and I’m happy to report that I no longer need it. Some weakness lingers, but I’m well on the way to a full recovery. It’s been a long haul!

This has been a hard lesson and I hope it will drive home the point that we shouldn’t take good health for granted. I’ll be getting a pneumonia shot this spring, plus I’m trying to make better food choices and exercise more. Maybe I’ll live to be 100!

Eating healthy. Don't take good health for granted!


Have you had a recent health scare?

Did it change your perspective on life?

Looking forward to your comments!



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Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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  1. Goodness, that was potentially harrowing! It still sounds like they’re not quite sure what you had, even though the treatment ended up working. Hey, I’m not far behind you in age, but almost 2 years ago I stepped up my walking regimen and got control of how I ate (though not what I eat lol) and I’m much healthier now… even lost a little bit of weight. It’s all about trying to feel better and keep out of the hospital… something I’ve never done outside of working in them. Take care of yourself.

    1. It was quite an ordeal, Mitch; a bad case of pneumonia, complicated by a major asthma attack. The breathing issues afterwards had the doctors puzzled. I’m doing well now, but seeing the respirologist later today. Even my family doctor thinks I might have COPD. What a bummer that would be; especially since I quit smoking years ago. Losing weight is a constant struggle for me. The age and hypothyroid factors aren’t helping (not to mention asthma and arthritis), but I’ll keep at it. Congratulations on your success! We generally follow a healthy diet, but probably need to practice better portion control. Thanks for dropping in.

  2. Ugh, this sounds awful! Hopefully these new choices you’re making help and you get to feeling better! I’m not looking forward to my health completely failing me (as looking at my family it seems, unfortunately, very likely) and I try to eat better and exercise, but that just isn’t any fun. *sigh*

  3. Oh poor you ! What a harrowing time you must have had. Going to the hospital even for a minor check up freaks me out to no end, so ending up there in an instant with no prior warning, whatsoever, can be a difficult time. Glad to know you are recovering well. Here’s wishing you the best of health. Well said, I often feel I tend to take my good health for granted. But after reading your post I realize that I need to be more caring & grateful for my health. Take care, Debbie. 🙂

  4. WOW, Debbie! You were one sick lady,weren’t you? But, yeah I sure know what you’re talking about taking health for granted. I learned that nearly three years ago when I thought my problem was a bad Crohn’s flare up. I waited that out until I realized things weren’t improving on their own like they normally did and then to find out I was experience an acute case of diverticulitis that required surgery. I was sick for on and off for several months until my body went totally break down, then I could do nothing for myself. Weak as a kitten, feverish, no appetite, the whole nine yards. I spent two rounds in the hospital each time 5 or 6 days each. After surgery, it still took me several months to get back to my old self. I promised then and I told DH to hold me to it that I’m to NEVER to that foolishness again. Take care of yourself! Rest. Do what the doctor says. I’ll be saying prayers for a speedy full recovery and that you get good news when see your Respirologist.

    1. Thanks, Cathy; Yes, I was down and out for awhile there, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as what you went through. What an ordeal that must have been for you! 🙁 I’m pretty much back to normal now and am hoping for good news from the respirologist.

  5. Gosh! Good to hear you’re recovering.. We overlook our health as long as we are not affected by anything. The moment a disease touches us, we realize the value of eating healthy food, exercising and everything.. i just wish you a speedy recovery Debbie 🙂


  6. Thank you for sharing what I am reading as a good report, at this stage.

    I get all nervous when I go to the doctor, even if I am confident I know what is wrong with me, and it is minor.

    1. I am feeling much better, Myke. Just need to regain some strength. 🙂 Going to the doctor is never fun, but I won’t put it off so long in future. Lesson learned!

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂 I am much better now and grateful for that. This was definitely a wakeup call to be more vigilant about health issues. I’m sorry you suffer from chronic conditions. 🙁 Those must be difficult to bear.

  7. Oh gosh Debbie. So much happened, I am glad you are home and feeling better. You are right – with age, we need to take better care of our health. My annual health checkup is pending for 3 years now. I should get that done.
    May you feel better every passing day! Hugs!

  8. Good Lord Debbie… talk about going through a living hell. I never used to be a hypochondriac, but internet seems to have awakened that sleeping dog. With every ailment, I look to see what it could be, and in the end come to the conclusion that I have just a few days to live. Whatever… lol…. I’m so happy that you were in good hands and that modern medicine was able to heal you.
    Yes, our life styles make a big difference. Aren’t you glad you don’t smoke anymore! At least that hurdle has been conquered!
    I haven’t had a cold for two years. Up to then I always got humdinger of colds… that lasted months! But I now wash my hands after shopping, going to the theater and movies, doctor appointments, and simply being with other folks, especially my grandchildren, who carry non-stop cold bacteria with them. It has made a world of a difference.

    1. Yes, it was a frightening experience, as I’ve rarely been seriously ill. Other people go through worse things and I’m grateful to be over it now, for the most part. Just need to build up my strength a little more. I agree that washing hands is the best defence against viruses and am diligent about that. The internet has turned many people into hypochondriacs. 🙂 That’s not necessarily a bad thing. My mother has always been one and she’s almost 92.

  9. This was scary to just read about and I wonder how you went through it all! So glad you are back home and back to blogging as well. I do agree that we all tend to take things for granted, especially good health. Time to get a Master check up done soon. I’ve been putting it off for too long!

    1. It was a harrowing experience, Shailaja and I’m relieved to be feeling well again, plus I have a new resolve to take better care of myself. The older we get, the harder it is to recover. Don’t put off that check up! Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  10. I am glad you are finally feeling better finally. We have no idea how we take our health until we don’t have it. I am glad you are finally on he mend but you have to still take it easy. You can go to your concert plus get healthier faster. This time is he most difficult because we start overdoing it.

    1. Thanks, Birgit. It has been a long illness and I will definitely keep myself in check, even though I’m feeling so much better. Looking forward to the concert! 😀

  11. Hi, dear Debbie the Doglady!

    That was a frightening tale and, again, I am very sorry that you had to go through all that suffering and anxiety. I am very relieved to know that you have improved significantly since last report. Your message is an important one. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. As Steppenwolf would tell us, “It’s never too late” to get started on a healthier diet and a fitness program that is geared to your age and fitness status. I consider myself fortunate in that I haven’t had a major health scare. They say you make your own luck, good or bad, for the most part. I get my shots, exercise regularly, eat healthy, avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs, think young and try to maintain a positive attitude. Beyond that, longevity is the luck of the draw.

    I hope you continue to make steady progress toward full recovery, dear friend Debbie. I’m thinking about you!

    1. Hi, Shady; It definitely was frightening but I’m well on the way to a full recovery. Sounds like you’re in excellent shape! I am determined to improve in that area, as this was a giant wake-up call. Don’t take away my alcohol, though! We Europeans consider our dinner wine as important as water. 😉 It actually has some health benefits, when used in moderation.

      Thanks for the good thoughts and wishes. Cheers!

  12. Sorry to hear about the bout with illness, but thankfully you had the care that you did. I’m pretty bad about taking care of myself even though I’ve got good medical resources though my wife’s insurance. I just hate going to the doctor. And I tend to be one of those “if it ain’t broke” kind of people who don’t do anything unless something really scares me. Thankfully I tend to feel pretty great most of the time and when I have gone to the doctor because I was feeling abnormal in some way, they usually tell me I’m just getting old and what I feel is just the way it is. Well, that’s probably right.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    1. I just hate going to the doctor. And I tend to be one of those “if it ain’t broke” kind of people who don’t do anything unless something really scares me.

      That was my mindset as well, Lee, but this episode has convinced me to be more proactive. Getting old is no picnic, but it sure beats the alternative! 🙂

  13. So scary to read about your pneumonia, Debbie. Wow! You really sounded sick, you poor thing. Must have been miserable but glad they finally were able to treat it and you are doing better now.

    So true that we need to take care of our health and not take it for granted, especially as we age since we don’t bounce back like we used to.

    All the best for a continued recovery. One day at a time!

    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Cathy. 🙂 It was a frightening episode and I’ve never been that sick before, so it was a big deal for me. Thankfully, I’m almost back to normal, but will be sure not to overdo things. Getting old really sucks, doesn’t it? 😛