Pneumonia – nobody’s best friend…or maybe it’s best friend is bronchitis? Similar hobbies and interests.
Anyways. I’m just getting over a pretty intense bout of pneumonia.
I’m talking temperatures over 105ºF, chills, non-stop coughing fits, throwing up, the whole nine yards. Not only was the illness a bummer (on top of the baby teething & battling an ear infection & *brand-new* ringworm, and the other two family members having colds) but it is still the hubby’s busy work season which is equally exhausting and stressful.
While I would never wish pneumonia on anyone, including myself, I was able to take away a few things from the experience.
1. Everyone needs to take breaks. Guilt-free. Even when they’re healthy. My strategy the first day was to sleep as much as possible to get better as quick as possible – so my only 2 jobs were to sleep and nurse the baby. If I wasn’t nursing the baby, both kids were with dad and I was sleeping behind closed doors.
When our eldest was younger we used to take turns doing this on the weekends, but with two we do the divide & conquer method, which means we’re both tired all the time. We need to figure out a way to get this sleep-in time again so we can catch up on much-needed rest and stay healthy.
2. Family time needs to be a priority. Don’t be afraid to put it in the schedule. When I eventually emerged from the bedroom I loved what I saw. My husband playing with his daughters and them gazing adoringly at him with fits of giggles. If I had been healthy this weekend I guarantee much of his time would’ve been spent the countless work tasks he had planned. However this illness gave him almost an “excuse” to do nothing but focus on his family.
It’s easier for us to say I can’t do work on the weekend because we’re visiting family out of town or we’re going to this event/friend’s place, etc. but we should be equally as adamant about saying no to work because we’re going to play together at home. Doesn’t need to be fancy and is equally (or more) important than those other things.
3. Don’t take your ability to breathe for granted. Those first few normal breaths feel amazing, especially compared to the days of shallow-breathing and hacking endlessly at the mere thought of breathing deeply.
But really – don’t take any of your breaths for granted. One of the things I pondered was how lucky I am to live in a country where if I feel ‘off’ I can go to a doctor for free, access medication at a reasonable cost (or sometimes free if covered by our medical plan), and a week later I’m off in my daily hustle & bustle. Not everyone is so lucky. According to a quick stat I found on the World Health Organization web-site, pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old, killing an estimated 922 000 children in 2015.
When going through one of the dozens of episodes of chills I thought of a young girl at our church who recently beat cancer and how during her hospital stay I’m sure she would’ve loved to trade places and ‘just have pneumonia’. Chills and some antibiotics – cakewalk compared to what she went through..
Perspective can be quite humbling.
Pneumonia – ‘pnot’ my friend, but ‘pnot’ the worst thing that could happen to me. 😛
(ahh, such a geek!)
I’m happy I’m on the road to recovery and able to function again. I’m thankful for how my husband took the reins and lovingly cared for his 3 girls, despite his overwhelming workload. I’m hopeful that we stay healthy for a while!