Recovering from Pneumonia, Getting Back to Work

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Kevin Embracing my inner alien

Alas, after a long couple weeks of constantly spitting phlegm into a cup and spending hours attached to my Vest Airway Clearance System, I’m finally getting over this pneumonia and back to “normal.” Normalcy isn’t exactly something that factors into my life at any point, but I am happy to be back to work and not dragging around without any energy.

Once I started to feel a little bit better, I decided to spend a night sleeping in my chair so that it would be easier to cough up secretions in my system. The hardest part about having pneumonia is that anytime I lie down and go to sleep, all of the secretions I coughed up during the day go back down below my chest. By the time I wake up, I feel horrible, and it takes an hour on my vest and cough assist just to get all of that junk to a manageable level.

As such, sleeping in my chair a few nights ago did help me cough up junk during the night. I was able to use my robotic arm to hold my spit cup and keep it propped up toward my mouth, and I could still adjust my chair so that I could lean back as much as I wanted. Granted, I still didn’t sleep great that night, but it did help me feel a lot better the next morning. I woke up with less phlegm backed up in my system, and I continued to use the vest and cough assist throughout the day.

By the beginning of this week, I felt even better. My energy levels increased significantly, I wasn’t using my suction machine constantly, and I could scarf down a sub without having to intermittently release big wads of mucus into a cup.

You’re welcome for that image.

Getting back to work

While I would love to take a vacation and relax for a bit, especially since I had trouble sleeping while I was sick, I don’t have time for that right now. In addition to my usual responsibilities at this website’s parent company, BioNews Services, and my daily creative writing sessions, I’m also busy promoting a Kickstarter campaign for a comics anthology that I’m part of. I’ve written about this project in a previous column. Basically, the “Corpus” anthology is a series of comics centered around disabilities, mental and chronic illnesses, and healthcare experiences.

I’m thrilled to have a story in this anthology, and it’s even more exciting because the protagonist has SMA. The Kickstarter campaign for “Corpus” is going well so far, but we still have a ways to go before we reach our fundraising goal. As such, if I’m not doing work for SMA News Today or writing, I’m spending my time making videos and social media posts to promote this project.

In all honesty, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love working, and I’d rather be too busy than be stuck at home sick and watching ungodly amounts of Netflix.

Also, if you like reading my articles, then you know you want to support this Kickstarter. Pretty please? After all, I did just suffer through two weeks of pneumonia and would greatly appreciate the support here. Thanks.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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