Déjà Vu

I’m ending 2012 the way I began it—with pneumonia. Having had it five times now I’ve become more proactive in treating it. That’s why I’m not in the hospital like I was last New Year’s. I’m self-medicating with a prescription I got before my trip to China but didn’t use.

As a repeat offender I’ve been on different antibiotics. This one is Cefuroxime. It’s a second generation cephalosporin antibiotic. I’m so thankful for these wonder drugs, but they come at a price.

I didn’t realize until recently that most antibiotics (bacteria that kill other bacteria) have been developed from a single source, a microorganism called Actinomycetales. But as we put this bacterium in everything from medicine to food, to soap, other bacteria evolve to resist this overexposure.

At some point the scale will tip against us. In some areas it already has. One reason to avoid hospitals when you can is that every year more than 2 million people get drug-resistant bacterial infections there, and more than 100,000 die from them.

I never had pneumonia before my bone marrow transplant so there must be a specific hole in my rebuilt immune system, a tolerable nuisance for still being alive.


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