Monday, November 17, 2014
"I don't have asthma."
"You've had bronchitis for the past five Novembers, and this is your second go-around with pneumonia in that time. You have asthma."
That's how last week ended.
One of my first memories of my life was lying in the hospital with pneumonia. I was five. I remember how horrible the TV shows (tiny TV mounted near the ceiling) and the food (cheap jello....barf) were. It was 1979 and those facts haven't changed since.
I've had bronchitis at least once a year since that time, and haven't thought too much of it. Guess the doctors haven't, either. I was hospitalized with pneumonia again at age 22 (no insurance). I nearly had to drop out of grad school the following year (no insurance) when my bronchitis finally beat my pride, and I went and got free antibiotics from the school clinic. 24 was a good run, near the end of which I got real health insurance and promptly got really sick with bronchitis.
Now I'm 40 and being sick for weeks on end seems less noble. In a thoughtful turn from the standard spousal speech on my health, my wife correctly noted that this continued pattern is doubly related to the outdoors - when I first get sick, I keep going out in the woods and the water, probably compromising any slight possibility of healing myself due to.....whatever defect I have. Then once I get really sick, I'm out of commission for solid chunks of our fairly long hunting season. I hadn't really tied those two together. But here we are. It's duck season, and it will be 35 and raining tomorrow - perfect weather for ducks. I won't be out there.
Talk to you all soon, after I schedule something called a Comprehensive Pulmonary Function Test. Can't wait.