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Wondering how I got pneumonia

Alisande
8 days ago

I was diagnosed with "walking pneumonia" last week. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic and ordered blood work and a chest x-ray. I had an x-ray about a month ago, which was clear. He said this one won't be. I was a little relieved to get the diagnosis because I've been feeling unwell, especially at night, when coughing and even breathing keeps me awake.

The doctor mentioned the possibility of mold, and asked if I lived in an old farmhouse. As a matter of fact, I do. And I'd been worried about mold lately, ever since my son mentioned that he noticed how different my voice sounds, reflecting chest and head congestion, and said mold could be the cause. He urged me to run the air purifiers with the UV lights, and continue running the dehumidifier.

My theory is this could have started when the restoration guys were replacing the kitchen ceiling. They started by cutting large rectangular holes in the old ceiling and blasting air through them to cry out the area above the ceiling that had gotten wet when the roof leaked. The result could have been dust and mold blown through the house. It never occurred to me to run the air purifiers when this was going on.

If the ceiling work didn't cause the problem, I can't imagine where I picked this up. I'm so isolated. I've had a few medical appointments, and a couple of quick trips into a store (I get most of my groceries as curbside pickups), but I'm always masked and careful. The only people I see socially are my family members.

Comments (51)

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Probably same place I got fungal pneumonia. Environment?


    I live in a house that was built in 1918. I garden. I can't even think of the number of places I encounter mold. A billion?

    Alisande thanked rob333 (zone 7a)
  • nicole___
    8 days ago

    I've had walking pneumonia several times, it's NO fun. I am surprised mold is the cause. I hope you get well quickly....and eating chicken soup is a nice way to spend a few days. ♥ ♥ ♥

    Alisande thanked nicole___
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  • patriciae_gw
    8 days ago

    Pneumonia can be caused by a specific bacteria or not. If you have the second presentation it can be caused by any of a huge number of conditions. It can be a physical thing. You need to know why. Walking Pneumonia usually resolves with care.

    Alisande thanked patriciae_gw
  • Lindsey_CA
    8 days ago

    As if you haven't been through enough this year already! I am so sorry that you are ill, and I hope you're better and back to normal soon. And, yes, I think it was probably the restoration work that caused this. With the roof leaks that you've had, there was undoubtedly mold up there.

    Alisande thanked Lindsey_CA
  • Alisande
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    I really don't know if mold is the cause. I hope it's not, actually. That's a hard problem to fix. Maybe the bloodwork will reveal the cause? Patricia, what do you mean by "the second presentation? And "a physical thing"? I guess I need to read up on walking pneumonia. The last time I heard the term was when I was a teenager and one of my girlfriends had it.

  • nickel_kg
    8 days ago

    My sibling was hospitalized with pneumonia when her system was stressed by chemo. I don't remember the specifics, but I remember her doctor saying most people when exposed to the thing that caused it, would easily fight it off and never even know it. Good luck reading up on it, and getting more info from your doctor, and take care of yourself!

    Alisande thanked nickel_kg
  • Kathsgrdn
    8 days ago

    Sorry you're sick, Alisande, hope you get better soon. Lot of respiratory crap going around right now. That and possible ear infections apparently. I got 4 calls today about left ear pain...all left ears, no right ears. Weird.

  • Cherryfizz
    8 days ago

    Sorry to hear you have pneumonia. Early one morning in March I was sitting on the couch and experienced a sudden severe crushing feeling in my chest that didn't go away. I thought I was having a heart attack so called an ambulance. In the ER after checking my heart and lungs I was told I had pneumonia. I hadn't been coughing at all. I did have some shortness of breath though which the doctors attributed to severe edema which they also said caused the pneumonia. After being in the ER all day the pain finally subsided and the pneumonia went away after they took litres of water off of me. I wouldn't wish that chest pain on anyone. Hope you feel better soon.


    Alisande thanked Cherryfizz
  • mdln
    8 days ago

    Hope your recovery is quick and uneventful.

    Perhaps your situation may be a reminder to get pneumonia vaccinations. There are two PCV13 and PPSV23, that should be spaced apart.


    Alisande thanked mdln
  • lily316
    8 days ago

    Have you had the pneumonia shot?

    Alisande thanked lily316
  • mdln
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    @lily316, shotS, be sure to get both. 😊

    Alisande thanked mdln
  • jim_1 (Zone 9A)
    8 days ago

    Blastomycosis is the official diagnosis for my 43 year old son, who has lived his entire life in the farmland of central Illinois. He has been hospitalized since January 14. He did/does not have the ability to handle this fungal pneumonia.


    Make sure that your pulmonologist is up-to-date on Fungal Pneumonia. No vaccine for that.

    Alisande thanked jim_1 (Zone 9A)
  • arcy_gw
    8 days ago

    After a long period of masking and distancing many typical germs/bugs things that impact health were held at bay. Many of these have a season. Medical personnel can tell you Feb is cold and flu, Jan is pneumonia (as an example) etc. etc. I was at a meeting with a head of our hospital last week. She said these things are having an explosion all at once now that hosts are available once again. Clinics are seeing many things "out of season" that they typically deal with with in a year. They hadn't seen near the bugs they were used to. Proof masks work for keeping germs to ourselves. They also compromise our immune systems and we are all in weakened states due to these protections. Take care out there.

    Alisande thanked arcy_gw
  • Alisande
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    I meant to mention that the doctor who diagnosed me is a cardiologist. I was there for a routine visit. He mentioned mold before he listened to my chest, because I seemed to be having an allergic reaction to something. When he realized I had pneumonia he said he thought it might be mycoplasma. One of the blood tests was for mycoplasma, so we'll see how that turned out. I guess I'll find out today, as I have an appointment with my PCP.

    I had both pneumonia shots a few years ago, a year apart. A friend of mine refuses to take them because if she ever ends up in a nursing home pneumonia might be her only way out. My DH died of pneumonia in a nursing home, so I know what she means.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    8 days ago

    Alisande, did you doc test you for covid? I ask because one of my brothers has been in the hospital for 7 days now and was diagnosed with covid related pneumonia. He may be released later this week if his O2 levels steadily increase. He was the one hold out in my family who did not get vaccinated (idiot).

    Alisande thanked vgkg Z-7 Va
  • chisue
    8 days ago

    Really sorry to hear this, Alisande. It doesn't sound as though mold caused this; more likely a reaction to inhaling the dust from work done in your home. Our defenses decrease with age. REST is the best 'cure' for pneumonia. Hydrate as much as you can. Are you able to control any coughing? (Exhausting.)


    Please report back after you've seen your primary.

    Alisande thanked chisue
  • dedtired
    8 days ago

    Oh gosh, one more thing to add to your already full plate.. Feel better soon!

    Alisande thanked dedtired
  • mdln
    8 days ago

    @arcy_gw, surgical teams, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians often wear masks 8-12 hours per day, their entire career, with NO compromised immune system. Please do NOT spread medical misinformation.


  • Alisande
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    I was tested for Covid when my symptoms first started, before they got a lot worse. I'm fully vaccinated, by the way.

    It wouldn't surprise me if drywall dust caused the pneumonia, or at least was a big factor. Everything was covered in white dust. I was stupid not to run my air purifiers, but I wish the workers had suggested it.

    Vgkg, I hope your brother recovers quickly.

    A somewhat amusing update on one of my recent kitchen events: The dishwasher installer called yesterday morning to apologize for not showing up, and said he'll get me on the schedule as soon as he can. I had to tell him he was confused, as he delivered my dishwasher last week. (And he ran it through a cycle without removing the plastic and Styrofoam inside. Sigh.)


  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    8 days ago

    When I was a study coordinator for several different antibiotic trials for pneumonia, I noticed that one factor was simply being under a lot of stress, whether physical or emotional.

    Physical could be a preceding viral infection (like the flu), irritated airways (like dust inhalation), physical injury, a lowered immune system (from aging or induced), or strenuous activity/exhaustion. Emotional - self explanatory, whether from work, school, relationships, (home repair?).

    My observations are purely anecdotal, mind.

    The most common bacteria that causes community acquired pneumonia - Streptococcus pneumoniae- can most simply be described as "it's just around". You don't have to be in contact with another infected person to become ill.

    There are around 100 different types of S.Pneumoniae, and the vaccines don't protect against all of them - just the large majority and the most likely to cause illness (why you need both vaccines). Also, like any vaccine, not everyone will get full protection, but may be less ill.

    If you are getting better quickly on the antibiotic, it was either viral (in which case the antibiotic isn't making any difference) or bacterial. Too bad it was a cardiologist, because a GP, FP or internist could have got a bit of coughed up phlegm on a slide and seen whether there was bacteria there (but good for him for recognizing it!)

    You should know that the cough and fatigue can persist well after the bacteria is killed- I have seen up to a month after.

    Alisande thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • patriciae_gw
    8 days ago

    Alisande, Pneumonia is a physical condition, inflammation and fluid in the lung tissues that can be caused by any number of things. It can be minor or very serious depending on the extent of the problem and what is causing it.

    Alisande thanked patriciae_gw
  • Elmer J Fudd
    8 days ago

    "Please do NOT spread medical misinformation."


    Not the first time and not the last.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    8 days ago

    PS- alisande, wishing you a quick recovery, of course.

    Alisande thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • pudgeder
    8 days ago

    Hope you're better soon, Alisande!

    Alisande thanked pudgeder
  • sleeperblues
    8 days ago

    I hope you are feeling better! I'm wondering if you could have been exposed to asbestos, which is commonly in tile ceilings in older homes. Arcy, just stop. I wear a mask for up to 12 hours a day, and my immune system is just fine.

    Alisande thanked sleeperblues
  • jakkom
    8 days ago

    Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear this! Hope you get your lungs cleared up quickly and everything turns out okay.


    Loved the story about the DW installer, btw. I have to replace mine and am not looking forward to the hassle. We're switching from a wired to a plug-in install so I'll have to coordinate the new DW delivery and then get the electrician in ASAP to do the wiring before we can actually install the DW. Ugh!

    Alisande thanked jakkom
  • petalique
    8 days ago

    Alisande, I hope you feel better soon.

    If there was that much plaster dust, your air cleaners might have just gotten clogged up. I think plaster dust can even clog vacuum cleaner filters/bags. I hope the workers cleaned up most of the debris with shop vacs.


    Incredible that the repair people didn’t use a better technique that wouldn’t have filled the house with so much dust, drywall or plaster debris and perhaps mold. what were they thinking? And you were at home all during their work?


    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Alisande thanked petalique
  • wildchild2x2
    8 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I'll have to coordinate the new DW delivery and then get the electrician in ASAP to do the wiring before we can actually install the DW. Ugh!

    Why? The electrician can come at anytime beforehand to place the receptacle outlet in an appropriate accessible place near the dishwasher.

  • maire_cate
    7 days ago

    Just checking in to see how your doctor's appointment went today. Did your PCP have the test results? Are you feeling better now that you're on antibiotics?


    I had mycoplasma pneumonia when I was in my mid 30's and it must have been a severe case. I was in bed for few days with a fever and extreme fatigue. I still remember my 5 year old son coming into the bedroom and asking when I was going to bake my birthday cake. DH had to stay home because I wasn't able to get out of bed - I was so ill that I didn't care what the kids ate. It's also possible that I developed both bacterial and viral pneumonia - which might explain the severity of my symptoms. I've never felt so sick before or since. Fortunately DH was home and could keep an eye on things. But I was miserable, and sweaty and oh so tired.


    I hope you're improving - let us know how things went today.

    maire

    Alisande thanked maire_cate
  • lily316
    7 days ago

    I hope you feel much better quickly and I believe as you do it might be from inhaling drywall dust. Many of the first responders in NYC on 911 came down with pneumonia from inhaling the dust.

    Alisande thanked lily316
  • salonva
    7 days ago

    I hope you feel better soon. I had pneumonia when I was much younger, like in my 40's. As I remember, I was "ok" but it took me a long time like maybe a month or so to get back to my normal stamina. So, be patient and don't push yourself too hard. Slow but steady.

    Alisande thanked salonva
  • Jasdip
    7 days ago

    I don't have anything to add except my very best wishes. I get bronchitis annually (except this year, perhaps because of the masks). I don't have any (nor do I wish) experience with pneumonia.

    Sorry, but I had to smile at your first run of the dishwasher. :-)

    Alisande thanked Jasdip
  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    "@arcy_gw, surgical teams, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians often wear masks 8-12 hours per day, their entire career, with NO compromised immune system. Please do NOT spread medical misinformation."

    It looks like the comment that provoked this response was removed, whether by the author or by the moderators.

    I've never understood the motivation of those who repeat comments that are so blatantly untrue and unfounded that most people can correctly assess them as being lies almost instantly. Is it to provoke or troll others with, or are the speakers themselves fooled? Thanks to regulars mdln, a physician, and sleeperblues, a nurse anesthetist (excuse me if I got these wrong), for speaking up authoritatively with real information from their years of education/training and professional practice.

  • Alisande
    Original Author
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Well, it turned out my appointment wasn't yesterday after all. Someone's mistake--probably mine. The PCP's office just called with my test results. The chest x-ray and blood work were all "fine." No pneumonia. No mycoplasma. No nuthin. I think the sounds the cardiologist heard must have come from my bronchial passages. I felt from the start that my chest congestion was higher up than my lungs.

    The only thing I know for sure is that the antibiotic is helping. I still do some coughing, but it's nothing like it was. I'm still short of breath, but I'm happy to say for the first time in many weeks I'm getting more sleep.

    A few responses to comments: Sleeperblues, no asbestos here. The ceiling that was replaced was only 18 years old. Before that, the ceiling was the underside of the bedroom floor above. My house is unusual in that most of the walls are wide hemlock planks, the original 1850 double-plank construction. There are some drywall walls here and there in the bedrooms, but none downstairs. The house has a lot of exposed beams, and sturdy posts. I love the look, and I hear a lot of favorable comments when workers and other people come here for the first time. They also love my old ice house, as do I.

    Maire_cate, that does sound severe. I'm glad you recovered! Petalique, yes, I was home when all the kitchen work was done. The drywall dust wasn't evident where I was, though. Although the house has an open floor plan downstairs, the dust was confined to the kitchen and dining areas, at least that I noticed. Lily, that's interesting about the first responders.

    Jakkom, when I first started shopping for a dishwasher Home Depot told me the code had changed, and new dishwasher installations required a plug into an outlet. So that's what I expected the installer would do with mine. But no, the new dishwasher is hard-wired, like the old one. So maybe this is optional? HD didn't sound like hard-wiring was an option, but I bought the dishwasher from an experienced, authorized dealer, so I would think they'd know what to do.

    Thank you, everyone, for all your good wishes!

  • patriciae_gw
    7 days ago

    So glad to hear you are better and that it wasn't some sort of Pneumonia. You certainly did not need that. Congrads on the dishwasher!!

    Alisande thanked patriciae_gw
  • kevin9408
    7 days ago

    "those who repeat comments that are so blatantly untrue and unfounded that most people can correctly assess them as being lies almost instantly."

    Is it to provoke or troll others with, or are the speakers themselves fooled? Please tell me Elmer because you do it almost on a daily bases. And what makes you an authority on masks and the immune system? Prolonged use of a masks can cause problems such as head aches, rash, acne, skin breakdown, and impaired cognition and some of these effects DO require a response from the immune system, and could lower white blood cell count and therefore theoretically compromise the immune system. Stating Masks don't compromise the immune system is misinformation in it's self but I won't go there and just say you don't know what you're talking about so stop it. In theory I'm right until proven wrong so deal with it. Just say; you're not right or I think you're wrong, but don't throw out misinformation because to me it's like calling someone a racist to win an argument in this day and age. I hate the word misinformation and used to much to sensor and discredit others with malice.

    An apologize to arcy_gw is in order if you're big enough.


  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I'm happy to respond to you. Just to start, I believe mdln, whose comment I quoted and about which 16 people have "liked", is an ER doctor who faces Covid patients each day, risking her own life to do so. Sleeperblues' workplace is a hospital and its operating rooms, where she administers anesthesia, and where she is also at risk. Both of them called the comment bogus and wouldn't think of deviating from their established practice of wearing masks while at work.

    Mask wearing to protect oneself (not one's self) and others is wholly uncontroversial and globally accepted. And not new. Suggesting that wearing a mask compromises one's immune system is a joke. Untrue. An unfounded misunderstanding at best, a lie at worst.

    Something like 9 out of 10 of current deaths in hospitals are people who are unvaccinated, and that fact (not speculation) has been in the media. Why can't people recognize what's so obvious? Why do they continue to threaten the lives of our medical first responders by denying truths?

    I have a close relative who has a PhD in immunology and works in the field. Another is an MD who faces Covid patients every day, risking their own life. I speak to both regularly. Both advocate wearing masks in public, getting vaccinated, and say neither offers any health risk. This is consistent with what all the docs say, what all the experts say, over and over. If you or anyone else have facts suggesting otherwise, what are your competent sources?

    The purpose of mask wearing is the same as vaccinations, to slow the spread of the disease. If the consequence of doing so is a rash or acne, I promise you that healthcare providers won't risk their own health or that of their patients by stopping wearing them. Ordinary citizens, you and me, need to follow that example and follow the uncontroversial and consistent advice.

    Thanks for your questions.

  • sjerin
    7 days ago

    I'm glad to read your tests were negative, Alisande! That must be a relief for you. It's interesting that the antibiotics are helping you so much--could you have had a long-term case of bacterial bronchitis?

    Jim, I'm sorry to read about your son--what a difficult situation. That is a very long time to remain in the hospital and I hope the tide will turn to the positive soon for him. My good friend's daughter was mis/undiagnosed with a lung infection for a few years now and is on oxygen. She is considering a transplant which I read only buys some time. I hope I misunderstood that but am too sad to look it up again. I'll say a prayer for your son.

    Alisande thanked sjerin
  • mdln
    7 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Pneumonia does not always show up on chest x-ray; this study found 9% were only found on CT imaging. (Am not recommending exposure to that much radiation for confirmation.) Glad you are getting better.

    https://www.jwatch.org/na46290/2018/03/08/pneumonia-with-negative-chest-x-ray-positive-ct-scan

    Alisande thanked mdln
  • Chi
    6 days ago

    I hope you feel better!


    I'm sure it's not at all related but I would feel bad for not mentioning it, but one of my mom's first symptoms of her lung cancer was a hoarse voice. Just something to keep an eye on!

    Alisande thanked Chi
  • sleeperblues
    6 days ago

    Alisande, thanks for clearing up the asbestos comment I made further up. I'm glad you were not exposed to it, and it was just a thought. Glad you are feeling better.


    Kevin, Elmer and jmm have responded to your ludicrous statements far better than I can, so I'll just leave it at that. The only risk I have from wearing my mask is having to smell my own coffee breath, so pity me for that fact.


    I'm beat down by the anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and general non believers. If you could see the world from my eyes....

    Alisande thanked sleeperblues
  • yeonassky
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I hope you feel better fast. I do not like pneumonia!


    When my sister and I were in Spain when I was 16 and she was 21 we contracted walking pneumonia.


    My sister realized she was sick and sent me to get a doctor. However when I realized I had it was when I awoke after a plane ride to Copenhagen in Denmark. I was in my aunt and uncle's apartment with a stranger doctor leaning over me.

    I think that was scarier than realizing how sick I was at first.


    I remember being awakened by the flight attendant on the empty plane and nothing about the flight before that and nothing about the trip back to my aunt and uncle's place.


    I often wonder how many people I gave walking pneumonia to on that flight.

    We have no idea how she got it. We know exactly that I got it from her though.

    Alisande thanked yeonassky
  • kevin9408
    6 days ago

    Elmer, why do you believe MDLN is an "ER doctor who faces Covid patients each day, risking her own life to do so." I don't believe you and find your claim lacks any evidence to support the idea an anonymous forum member is a doctor. Especially when the alleged Doctor has trouble writing English and her/his comments tend to plagiarize many websites almost to the exact words and exact orders found in the sources. So why on earth would an ER doctor need cheat sheets from other sites, when a doctor would know and could communicate in his/her own words with hopefully better English? I'll tell you why, it isn't true. Did you just fall off the truck Elmer? All you need to do is copy and paste the advice from the alleged doctor to find the source. Nope, not a doctor, not even close.


    "Mask wearing to protect oneself (not one's self) and others is wholly uncontroversial and globally accepted And not new" Somewhere after April 1st 2020 it became new, when the world health organization said quote; "There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, Link to the fact if you don't remember. Advice Elmer, know the subject to avoid mistakes, which takes me to your following statement which has no bearing on the first.

    Suggesting that wearing a mask compromises one's immune system is a joke, so was the WHO making a joke in March 2020? Point is they were wrong as adult professionals then and you're wrong assuming as a child novice now based on the words of an anonymous fake doctor as your source. Your assumption is careless and premature and equivalent to WHO in March 2020. I'll make it easier and rephrase my statement to "theoretically possible but very unlikely". A joke? Maybe so but don't laugh it off or live in a flat world.


    The rest of your comment is strangely unrelated to my first comment that you intentionally went out of your way to attack another forum member. It Looks more of a rant based on emotions but you never addressed the question. What makes you an authority on masks and the immune system? 16 likes to another commentator isn't a degree, and neither is anything mentioned later in your rant. Drop it and apologize to arcy_gw, it's just that simple.

  • kevin9408
    6 days ago

    @jmm1837 you got me, you easily proved my theory wrong and I stand corrected and very well done referencing creditable sources I can't deny.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    "Kevin, Elmer and jmm have responded to your ludicrous statements...........so I'll just leave it at that."

    I'll be doing the same.

    I have NO trouble distinguishing truths from untruths, especially with such easily assessed matters as are being discussed. I also have no trouble sticking to the truth, I never say anything that's untrue, no matter what it is and no matter what the situation is. Like it or dislike as you wish it but don't make things up as you seem to do.

  • chisue
    6 days ago

    Kudos, Kevin, for at last admitting your ERRORS. I hope we've read the last of them.

  • Alisande
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    Mdln, that's interesting about some pneumonias being detected only on CT scans. No worries about me asking for one, as I'm gun shy when it comes to radiation. Or perhaps I should say radiation-shy. Radiation was used to destroy my adenoids when I was only 6 years old . . . they thought radiation was safer than surgery back then. Add to that various x-rays, fluoroscopes, and CT scans in adulthood, and at some point (I wish it had been earlier) I became very cautious about adding more.

    Thanks, Chi, but I'm not hoarse. I sound more nasal than anything else. There goes my voice-over career (the one that was never gonna happen lol). I miss talking to you! Please send me a message, here or on Facebook.

    Sjerin, it's very possible I've had bacterial bronchitis for some time. Actually, the way this developed, I wouldn't be surprised if I've had two separate ailments. We'll see how it goes from here.

    Thanks again, everyone!


  • jane__ny
    5 days ago

    Alisande, you'll be fine. I've had 'walking pneumonia' twice. Nasty business. Mine was diagnosed by x-ray. I was walking around, working handling the household, etc but couldn't stop hacking. Night was the worse. Laying in bed was horrible. I was sleeping in a chair.


    I agree with you about radiation. I had so much over my 72 yrs. I'm amazed I'm still walking around. It will get better and you will get back to feeling normal.


    Jane

    Alisande thanked jane__ny
  • Anna
    5 days ago

    Alisande, Glad to hear it wasn’t pneumonia and that you’re feeling better. I hope you recover fully soon.

    Alisande thanked Anna