My apologies to my readers for not posting recently but when you read what I had pulled out of my lungs you will understand that I just didn’t have the energy to be creative. Just think about those long gelatinous multi-coloured snakes we used to eat as children and that is what was pulled out of my lungs.
I am doing what my husband said I swore never to do; and that is talk about my ailments. I’ll do it quickly and then on to life matters.
I don’t like being sick and I don’t like my family being sick. My children have numerous examples of what they call my total disregard for their physical state but I think they are confusing tough mother love with neglect. They are all still healthy, and still talking to me so I can’t have been too apathetic to their needs. My husband does confirm that my mother advised him that if he ever became seriously ill he was to come to her, as he would most certainly die if left to my ministrations.
And that is precisely what I was doing to myself. When the usual 40 laps of my local swimming pool were taxing me, I scolded myself about my indolent lifestyle and pushed myself to swim faster and further. Until one day, about mid-lap when I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs I thought about going to a GP and mentioning that perhaps I might have a chest infection. No obvious signs, a slight cough, no temperature, normal lung capacity; some cloudy patches on the x-ray, (is that a collapsed middle lobe?) delays due to GPs being on leave etc., finally a sputum culture and ahhhhh…an aspergillus infection; perhaps you should see a thoracic physician who took one look at the x-rays and immediately ordered the bronchoscopy.
I gather what was pulled out of my lungs was seriously gross so I won’t put a picture up on the page, as you would think I had been invaded by aliens. Instead I have inserted a photo of a glorious winter sunset in Brisbane, one of many that I have recently had time to sit and watch.
It is very exciting to be able to breathe without choking and my makeup matches my skin colour rather than the nice shade of blue grey that I was. I keep patting my husband telling him the real me is back. There are still some restrictions (much to our credit card’s relief) on activities such as no swimming or flying for three months but I am sneaking out each day to dig and prune my neglected garden. I do not look a glamorous gardener as I now wear a mask when handling compost or manure, because I am pretty sure this is what caused the original infection when, two years ago in London I opened a bag of damp potting mix and inhaled the spores. It will have taken pneumonia, surgery and 6 months of antibiotics to finally get rid of this pestilent bug. Hurrah!
You gave the medicos a colourful challenge and perhaps you have provided exhibit A for many medical students to come. Very thoughtful. I am glad to hear you are feeling so much better. Ciao Jill
Susie – are, or should I say were, you Susie Cantamessa? If so, would you please email me at email@example.com. Am tracking down BGGS alumni of 1973. Cheers, Jan Tibbits