Those At Risk
Hear from those who have suffered from pneumonia
Watch Michael’s story
Michael, a husband and father in his forties, was working and had an active lifestyle when he was struck down by pneumonia.
I experienced pneumonia twice as a child and then seven years ago, as an adult, a chest x-ray confirmed I had pneumonia again. It was a frightful and sad experience. For ten days, I went through injections, infusions and pills. Thankfully, I became healthy enough to leave the hospital.
My life, however, is no longer the same. I now suffer from chronic bronchopneumonia and it limits the things I can do. I get exhausted quickly, and after 16 years, I had to give up the role of headmaster at school. I also have less energy for my family. My physical strength is now limited and I always live with a shortness of breath.
Today, I try to live my life as normally and as actively as possible. My experiences with pneumonia are a reminder to me that we don't live forever. That's why it is all the more important for me to never forget about making the best of our lives: Carpe diem!
In October 2013, I wasn't feeling well but I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong. I went and had a chest x-ray and they said I had bronchitis, but I’d had pneumonia previously. That was a surprise. I’d taken the antibiotics my doctor had prescribed, and when I didn't improve, he’d given me another antibiotic. I was concerned, but still too busy to slow down and investigate. A few days later though I felt so bad, I went to the hospital. When the results came back they confirmed I had pneumonia.
The exhaustion of the disease consumed me and I had no desire to fight. My sister tried to get me to eat, but I had no appetite. My little granddaughter would stand in the bedroom door and say, "Grandma, are you okay?" I'm sure she was frightened by my condition, yet there was nothing I could do to comfort her. I got better that time but a short time later a routine chest x-ray confirmed that I had pneumonia once again. It was then recommended that I see a pulmonologist on a regular basis. It still amazes me that my only symptoms were fever and fatigue.
As a relatively healthy person who has never had respiratory problems, I never thought I was at risk for pneumonia. Had I known that a vaccine is available, I definitely would have taken that simple step to protect myself. Life is too precious - and we all have so much left to accomplish.