A week ago Monday I was at the dojo; it was Fitness Week, so they were putting us through a lot, and I’m stupid, so I was giving it to them, and by the end I was pretty wiped out. My voice was hoarse. Also, I was coughing a lot. Had been since earlier in the evening. That worried me. But Sensei Bidwell pulled me aside, asked if I needed to practice Short 3 — I told him it probably wouldn’t make much difference — and tip checked me. I passed.

The coughing worried me because that kind of coughing with no prior cold symptoms has happened a couple of times to me, both times signalling the onset of the flu. Tuesday morning, though, I felt okay enough to think it was a false alarm. I went to work and spent the day feeling dopey and uncomfortable at my desk. Back home I checked my temperature. By then it was 103.8°F.

OK, so, flu. I did what I always do for the flu. Rest, fluids, don’t bother the nice doctors.

I spent the next three days out of work. By the weekend I was feeling… well, arguably a little better. Still running a fever, coughing, leg aches, fatigue.

By Sunday evening nothing had changed. My wife the RN hadn’t said anything until I asked her advice at which point she said “Call the doctor on call”. The doctor said definitely come in for an exam, because what may have been only flu at first might have weakend my immune system for something else, like pneumonia.

So I saw the doctor yesterday, got a chest x-ray, and came away with a shot in the hip, a prescription for some oral antibiotics, and a diagnosis of pneumonia.

I’m still coughing, I have probably more energy than before but not back to normal, and last time I checked my temperature was 97.5°F.

Oh and, yes, I did have a flu shot last fall.


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