Sneak Attack


I came to Phoenix last week with a cough, which incubated into pneumonia. I spent six hours in the Chandler Regional Medical Center ER on Wednesday and was called back on Thursday when a culture revealed the infection had spread to the blood.

Turns out I have streptococcus pneumoniae, or “strep-pneumonia.” I didn’t know there was such a hybrid, but trust me to get the weird version of a typical disease. (And trust me to get it in a place where my insurance company doesn’t operate.)

There are more than 50 types of pneumonia, which is basically fluid and/or swelling in the lungs. It can be caused by fungus, bacteria or a virus. If it’s on both sides, it’s double pneumonia. Mine is double—of course.

Strep-pneumonia is dangerous and I’m very thankful for the thoroughness of the ER staff to have caught it. I’m getting a bag-o-biotics as I type and hope to be released with pills later today to enjoy the rest of my Phoenix stay. Always the optimist!

The love and support of family and friends has been fantastic. My hosts, Dave and Debbie Briggs, have been amazing in going above and beyond the call of hospitality.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this sneak attack in my warfare with germs. Next time I’m traveling under an assumed name so I can’t be so easily tracked!.

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5 thoughts on “Sneak Attack

  1. Mike, wow! can’t believe you got that on top of all else your dealing with… just sending Chuck’s and my love and a long distance hug and hoping for a very fast recovery, it sounds very scary!. Love ya, Julie

  2. Mike

    I have been following your journey since September of 2008 when I began my journey with DLBC lymphoma. Your words were inspiration for me at that time, and while my path has led me down a different but similar road with numerous potholes, your words still inspire me and help me to keep things in perspective. I am so very sorry for your recent loss. Keep the faith.

    I borrowed your quote about “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger…” for my Facebook page. I hope you do not mind.

    Take care, Mike Hamel.

    Gene Francisco

  3. Mike, I love your humor -now THAT’S good medicine right there 🙂 Praying the bag o’ tricks really does the trick. And good, caring hosts make a world of difference. We look forward to seeing you soon.

    P.S. In the spirit of solidarity- I share this: I miscarried while in Poland- right after we’d told all our family we were pregnant. Being at the hospital for the dnc, with no one really speaking English (so none of the “ok, now we are doing this and it’s going to feel very cold” prep you get in US hospitals) it turned out to be a bit comical. Unexpected cold, prods, etc. One nurse couldn’t get my iv in- she got frustrated, I felt bad and was apologizing… I was “the American patient” It sure is good (a gift of grace?) to see the humor in some of life’s more stinky moments.

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