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It’s not what the world takes away from you that matters, it’s what you do with what you have left that counts

Every day we wake up and have a choice...smile (even in the times of most adversity) or let things bring you down until all you can do is frown. Feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere, making the most of what you have builds character, confidence and gives us a chance for a reason to smile. Every day I have to make this choice, I pride myself in having a positive attitude and when I find myself focusing on all the things that have brought me down, instead being thankful that I survived it all...but there are some days when I fail...its a lifelong journey and every day that starts with a smile is a success. Some days it takes part of the day of allowing myself to suffer that I then can hopefully shift to remembering that I am thankful for all the blessings I have in my life to be grateful for! I choose to smile today!

#ChronicPain # #ChronicIllness #physicalpain #peripheralneuropathy #backpain #neckpain #Migraine #chronicvestibularmigrain #ChronicDailyHeadache #Headache #COVID19 #covidlonghaul #Disability #mentalhealthe#SocialAnxiety #Anxiety #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #BipolarDepression #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #Shingles #Bronchitis #Pneumonia #PTSD #Acceptance #Happiness #Selflove #Selfcare #relief #EmotionalHealth #physicalhealth #strength #MightyMinute #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #MentalHealthHero #MightyTogether

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Grief, Struggles, Depression (Wash Cycle Doesn’t End)

I started my #Recovery journey in 2014 and I found a new way of life immediately. No one warned me the NEW was NEW Chapters of Life, Chapters which would not finish before the next starts….
In 2014 I had to have a #lumpectomy from my right #breast .
In the beginning of 2015 I was served #Divorce papers. By the end of the year we reconciled.
In 2016 when I should be excited my eldest is graduating from High School, simultaneously my second born had to have #OpenHeartSurgery .
In 2017 second born lost his first grandmother and I got to fly him from CA to ME to see her take her last breath.
In 2019 I was the proud #homeowner with my #husband of 10 years. We were finally making the #americandream .
In April 2020 I get a phonecall my father has had a #brainstemstroke I had to come home to Maine to assist with #lifeendingchoices .
In May 2020 my Mother is diagnosed with #OvarianCancer .
I am now temporarily living with my mother, being a #Caregiver , yet my #husband #mycaregiver #Abandoned me and then requested to take #fullcustody of #ourdaughter via the #Divorce .
In July 2021 my Mother sadly passed away. I have become an #Orphan too quickly. #Grief and #Depression is all too real now.
In March 2022, My second son has now come down sick. Doctors spend months trying to figure out why. It takes until July 2022 to diagnose him with #Sepsis #Endocarditis he spends 2 weeks #hospitalized and another 8 weeks on a #PiccLine at home.
In Dec 2022 he is given a clean bill of health and decides to come live with me in #Maine .
In Feb 2023 he starts to become tired easily, slight cough, and finally passed out in March.
March 10th he passed out at home. We called #911 and the #localer #Misdiagnosed him.
March 13th I took him to #mainemedicalcenter where he was hospitalized for 7 days with #Pneumonia and possible #Endocarditis where he was then transferred to #boston .
March 19th upon arriving to #brighamwomanhospital - #shapirocardiovascularcenter he underwent dozens more blood testing, procedures, exams, etc.
Today March 27th he is having #OpenHeartSurgery Number 2 to replace the pulmonary valve, pulmonary conduit, remove large vegetation.
In a couple of days as scheduled I am also supposed to exchange visitation with my daughter so I can visit with her for Spring Vacation. However my ex is trying to knit pick about my schedule and if I have ample time to spend with our daughter while my adult son is in ICU. Our daughter is 11 years old.
I really feel in the last multiple years I have had one catastrophic event after another without time to process.
I have other things like major moves, loss of therapists, and other medical mental health issues. I am so exhausted today scared sick for my son.
I am so annoyed how some people enjoy kicking others while they are down.
I don’t even know when I am going to sleep again right now. I have so many thoughts, concerns, to do’s in my head - I can’t sleep it is going to drive me crazy.
I am so sick of being in a chapter book that doesn’t let the chapters end.

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Having people that listen and respect us is so helpful and encouraging, so much better than having people who judge, or try to fix us!

I am blessed to have people in my life that are there for me, sometimes just listening and asking what they can do for me, telling me that I’m not alone, letting me know they’ll be there for me, and they love me … but what can really help us feel better about ourselves is when they just say they’re proud of us. Wonderful people in our lives can regularly remind us about everything we’re going through and how amazingly well we are handling ourselves. They can acknowledge us for what we ARE doing even when we can only see and judge ourselves for the things we’re NOT doing. Sometimes they can be there just to listen to us, sometimes they can help us get our minds off all we’re going through by lightening up the conversation and not allow us to get caught in a loop of feeling sorry for ourselves.

But we definitely can’t do this alone, things can appear insurmountable or overwhelming but if we’re lucky we have people who believe in us and are there for us when we just need them to listen and let us get our fears out in the open and talk about our pain. People can help us if they just say they feel for us and wish they could make us feel better. What I don’t think they realize is that by simply being there to walk by our side they ARE making us feel better!

You can expand your network of support by getting up the courage and then tell people that are close to you (that don’t already know) what you are dealing with, sharing what is really happening and what you are going through and then tell them how they can help. I have found most people want to help and if they decline I try not to take it personally. It’s worth the risk to get crucial support

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #PeripheralNeuropathy #Migraine #Headache #COVID19 #Disability #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder BipolarDepression #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #Shingles #Bronchitis #Pneumonia #PTSD #Selflove #Selfcare #strength #MightyMinute #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #MentalHealthHero #MightyTogether

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ideas on things to do while sick

so I'm on my second week cooped up at home with Pneumonia and it's getting really boring. I don't have a tv in my bedroom so if you have any ideas on what to do while sick besides movies or tv series bring 'em on. my cat is good company but I think I'm starting to bug him a little #Pneumonia #thingstodowhilesick #gettingbored

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On the year anniversary of my dad’s passing I was comforted by reading these words above, and I felt a cool wind of his spirit engulf and embrace me!

My Mom sent this to me, she got it from someone in her bereavement group. It is very powerful and was very helpful for me. My Dad’s spirit will always live on for and through me. Like so many others I was blessed to have him in my life. He definitely would have wanted me to move on without him here on this realm but I’m sure he would want me to continue to embrace the memories and experiences we shared together. Last week, on the day he passed away, exactly a year later, we had a small family ceremony and planted a tree in the woods on the land of his house where I grew up with him, in honor of his spirit and how he touched us all. It now sits in the woods directly across the way from where my Dad always sat in the kitchen (and where my Mom does today) viewable through the sliding glass doors. It has heart shaped leaves and turns purple (his favorite color), burgundy, green, and yellow through the seasons and they have begun falling near it.

Mom was deeply moved by the ceremony. I found it uplifting and joyful, not sad. We scattered his ashes under the tree, around it and throughout the gardens and trees he loved so much around the house! We had previously scattered some of his other ashes where he wanted them...in the lake where he used to fish. Both days brought a little more closure and connection for me.

Maybe if you have lost a loved one you will find solace and serenity in reading it.

#Grief #lossofaparent #Joy #happiness #relief #family #caregiving #prayer #gratitude #connection #spirit #sadness #depression #anxiety #ptsd #bipolardepression #mentalhealth #mentalhealthwarrior #Survivor #disability #chronicillness #chronicpain #mightydads #mightypoets #mightytogether #mightyminute #stroke #AtrialFibrillationAndStroke #ChronicObstructivePulmonaryDisease #CongenitalHeartDefectDisease #Pneumonia #Survivor

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New to group, but very active on The Mighty. Created Multiple Health Challenges group - I myself have many emotional and physical health challenges!

I am a 56 year old living in Baltimore, MD where I deal with multiple physical and mental health challenges. I am HIV+ and a person Living with AIDS (36 years) and have dealt with Chronic pain (back and neck+), Shingles, Pneumonia, Bronchitis, and Neuropathy which almost killed me...and the depression that was amplified from dealing with the HIV diagnosis: I have deep experience dealing with pain, worry, fear, Survivor’s Guilt; weeks lost in hospitals, therapy, surgeries, being bedridden and I have lingering symptoms, so I can relate to others with almost any physical health problems that have greatly affected our lives! I am also Bipolar (diagnosed 1982) I have been mostly stable for a few decades with no manic episodes or suicidal depression. I have been hospitalized and had extreme episodes in the past and still deal with depression... so I can relate to most people with mental health problems intimately. And I have been sober for 9.5 years. All these experiences have given me deep empathy and understanding

Recently I had a big scare as I got Covid and was admitted to the hospital with 12 symptoms and was stuck in a hospital bed totally dependent on others for 8 days, then I went to a rehab facility where I basically started to learn to walk again. After intense PT there, home PT and outpatient PT I got my strength and balance back and now can go on 45 minute walks and I just rejoined a local gym to continue my recovery! Unfortunately now I am dealing with the residual side effect from Covid Long Haul with regular and intense migraines. These were very bad for a number of months and often had me stuck in the dark with no sound from waking up until bedtime, but with all the meds and other treatments they have become less frequent and less intense so if I get one I often can get it to clear in 5 hours or so... but that still takes away a whole day out of my life...BUT.... I'm still alive and once again a warrior and survivor!

#BipolarDisorder #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #HIVAIDS #Addiction #SOBER #COVID19 #Migraine #PTSD #BipolarDepression #PeripheralNeuropathy #BackPain #Shingles #Pneumonia #Bronchitis #MentalHealthHero #happy #relief #Grief #LossOfAParent #AddictionRecovery #Bipolar1Disorder #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Disability #MultipleHealthChallenges #MightyMinute #longtermsurvivor #MightyQuestions #Hope #thankful #grateful #Acceptance #Selflove #Selfcare #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #strength #relief

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Can’t make it tonight for virtual session

I’m in the hospital. Had fever of 101.8 earlier. Looks like I have #Pneumonia from swallowing problems from #ThyroidCancer

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Survival is a challenge, a journey, a mountain, a summit, a success, then I'm thankful, then a smile and then...simple flight!

Sometimes just surviving, in and of itself is a massive victory. Sometimes it’s the best you can do...sometimes it's the only thing you can do...sometimes it's the hardest thing you can do....but it is always the most important thing you can do. It's not always easy, often a battle with ourselves, often a fight against the odds, and sometimes giving up would be the easiest thing to do. But I won't stop fighting. I am a survivor. I will never give up, I will push through, I will do whatever it takes, I will succeed when failure seems like the only option...

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #HIVAIDS #PTSD #PeripheralNeuropathy #Shingles #Pneumonia #Bronchitis #cdeficile #SurvivorsGuilt #AddictionRecovery #Addiction #SOBER #COVID19 #Migraine #ChronicHeadaches #Depression #Anxiety #BipolarDisorder #BipolarDepression #MentalHealth #MentalHealthHero #Survivor #Faith #happy

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On losing a father…”At peace by his side”… last moments together before he died

I’m with my dad right now … and the lights are low as I sit by his bedside. He is curled up in bed in a fetal position with his back towards me very close to the edge. I’ve created a wall of pillows tucked behind him so he hopefully won’t roll off the bed. When we tried to move him I could barely lift him and we only got his head more on the pillow. Mom is giving him morphine somewhat regularly now and he gets a little water too, both with a syringe. He moans if you touch his bad foot or mom touches his shoulder wrong. Earlier tonight my Mom sat with him for a while and kissed his forehead which was a beautiful moment. I loved to see this... it was so bittersweet but so loving. I was able to hold his hand between mine for a while and gave some squeezes. It was a powerful moment with deep connection! Now I love just being here.

Yet he has moaned and screams quietly spontaneously. Mom can ask him if he wants water or painkillers but he only mumbles and she has to make it a yes/no question. He hasn’t eaten regular hard food in 6 weeks going back to when he was in the hospital for 2.5 weeks with a feeding tube. He moved on to chicken broth, Gatorade and jello when he got home, but it’s only water now.

So the lights are dimmed down low like he likes it and it’s very calm and subdued now in complete silence. I have actually watched his belly go up and down just to see that he is still alive… but just now he is snoring! He seems very much at peace and I hope he passes this way. I’m unpacked, and spread out downstairs, planning to be here 3-4 days for my mom or as long as she wants/needs me. The nurse aid will be here soon so I’ll relinquish my spot in this room and watch some TV and hope I can sleep. I’ve been up so late at home during the last week worrying about him. I haven't slept well and sometimes have hours of insomnia. It's even harder here now when he is upstairs, because I know I can get a scream or call to come up at any time which is an almost overwhelming thought... However it’s nice to be here in his last moments (I really hope it’s not days as he is definitely suffering when he’s awake)

I have not broken down in tears today, although I started once. I’m actually too drained to cry and it’s odd because this past Saturday I had what I thought were my goodbye moments. I spoke with him then and he acknowledged me although not in conversation. I cried there with him. I didn't hold back. Then he looked me in the eye and smiled.

(Dad passed away five days later with me on one side holding his hand; Mom curled up next to him on the other side as we sung Hebrew & Native American prayers together; my sister & brother at the foot of the bed; and with my little sister there from 1,000 miles away on speaker phone on the pillow next to him. He died peacefully in no pain) Written last October. Reposted from 7/14… #Grief #LossOfAParent #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #ChronicObstructivePulmonaryDisease #Pneumonia #Disability #BipolarDisorder

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