Back from Death’s Door

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At the very end of my last post I stated that I would be taking some much needed “time off”. Little did I know how prophetic those words would turn out to be.

On Christmas eve while eating lunch with my family I started to feel achy and “off”. For posterity I will be including photos of my “transition” into near death (more on this shortly).

Believe it or not I don’t typically take “selfies” but for some reason on Xmas eve I did. Once my transformation became apparent I decided to continue this as a record of my illness and the corresponding changes to my physical being. Here’s a photo of me looking pretty healthy on Xmas eve.


“Ok Watcher. You’ve made a slew of references to “changes” and “death’s door” so what gives”?

Well pneumonia, actually. That’s what gives.

What started out as a brutal, and I mean brutal flu, turned into a serious case of pneumonia.

Ok so let’s back up a bit so that I can go through this step-by-step.

On Xmas we had dinner at a friends house. I was feeling “fluish” before but we left so I popped a bunch of Ibuprofen which got me through. Once we got home that night I was really starting to feel horrible. I briefly remember tossing my keys onto the table and stumbling into bed where unbeknownst to me at the time I would lie for almost thirty days.

The next thing I remember was being colder than I’ve ever been no matter how many blankets or layers I piled on. This was coupled with a splitting head ache, pounding heart beat, weakness like I’ve never known and a high fever (consistently at 102 F for close to two and a half weeks). Then the chills would pass and I’d be dripping, and i mean literally dripping with sweat. Soaked my clothes and soaked my bed. Back and forth it went. Freezing, burning up, freezing, burning up.

(Here’s a photo of me just four days in obviously in the “chills” phase)


After close to ten days like this with no improvements I finally worked up the energy and nerve to visit the doctor.

He looked me over and told me that I had a really bad flu.

“What about the weird sound coming from my lungs” I asked? When I would exhale my lungs sounded like they were filling up with pop rocks.

“Well I’m not hearing it” he said. Now in his defense at that point it was really only audible if I laid on my back or side. Had I been in a clear state of mind I would’ve told him this and he could’ve listened and dealt with it right then and there. Unfortunately it didn’t go like this.

He gave me a bunch of herbs and supplements to boost my immune system and sent me home.

After two days and no improvement I worked up the energy to go back and see him again.

He hooked me up to an blood oxygen monitor and saw that I was not getting enough oxygen into my blood. This explained the heart rate of 120 bpm that I’d had since day one of being sick. One of my main concerns was that I was going to have a heart attack. When your heart rate is this high for days on end you start to wonder how much your heart can take before it says “enough already”.

Next he listened to my lungs. This time he heard what I had been describing. “Looks like you have pneumonia” he said.

“Ok. At least now I have an explanation for that sound in my lungs.”

He prescribed some antibiotics, which I typically abhor, but in this case gladly started taking.

There was another trip to see him and a trip to the ER after this but I’ll spare you the details. The underlying point is that I was sick. Very, very sick.

I lost over twenty pounds when all was said and done. Here are some photos of my weight loss progression as well as some photos of me at the tail end of this ordeal looking pretty awful and weak.

weight-1 weight-2 weight-3 sick-man

Now I’ve never had pneumonia before. I’ve never had respiratory issues before. And I’ve never been as sick as I have been the last two to three years. I know what the reason is yet the majority of folks are walking around oblivious and in a trance. I know a whole bunch of folks, young and old that came down with pneumonia around the same time as I did. People should be questioning this, but they’re not. People should be up in arms, for real issues, but they’re not.

I have one simple statement that should take care of all of this.

“Look up”.