by Warren Bull
Pneumonia is defined as an infection of the lungs by bacteria, a virus or fungus. I don’t know which of the three caught me, but I know it caught me. I have coughs of Biblical proportions. There is the three-stage hack with each segment getting deeper in my lung. Then there is the multiple bark which sounds like a Gatling gun, i.e. repeated rapid sound. And, of course, the long wheeze, which is much ado about very little.
Sometimes my whooping sounds like a foreign language. I don’t know which foreign language, but it might be a variation of German. Sometimes the sounds sound like actual words in English. There’s no plot yet. I remain hopeful.
More annoying than the coughing itself, is the fact that the infection occupies a large part of my lungs. Climbing stairs leaves me gasping for air while my heart pounds like a trip hammer. Going shopping is an event that requires planning. Where can I sit at intervals along the way? How many tissues will I need for the phlegm, mucus and the just plain old crap that will come into my mouth? How much water should I carry?
My voice is unpredictable. It ranges between as raspy as Bob Dylan singing to my normal dulcet tones. When I breathe I can hear a crackling sound. I am certain it is not due to Rice Crispies.
I am not in pain. The major symptom beside those mentioned above is a lack of energy. I start to feel better and then it feels like someone pulls the plug, leaving the energy to drain away.
I’m writing this in the hope that someday a character with pneumonia will pop out of my mind. I will know how he or she feels. I ought to get something out of this beyond a sore throat.
What problem in your life is the raw material of your writing?