My last minimal blog entry from Friday concluded with these words: I woke up yesterday with an aching throat; now I've got a cold, the likes of which I haven't had for a few years. On Saturday, I didn't feel any better and spent most of the day in bed. On Sunday, I went to the clinic for a throat swab, as my primary problem was pain whilst swallowing (dysphagia) along with the copious production of mucus. I stayed at home on Sunday and Monday, and by early afternoon I was beginning to feel better - especially my throat wasn't hurting as much.
But then I developed a headache and a fever and began to feel much worse: less mucus, much more coughing. Yesterday (Tuesday) I went again to the clinic and was surprised when I was ushered into the doctor's office without waiting and without an appointment. This doctor - a locum - listened to my presentation, examined me and then sent me to the neighbouring town for a chest x-ray. As my wife wasn't around, this meant that I had to saddle up the motorbike in order to get to the x-ray clinic. Fortunately, this is situated next to the railway station, which is very close to where I live.
After a few minutes waiting, I had two x-rays taken, then was sent back to my doctor. She was able to look at the pictures immediately (this is fine progress!) and was able to see that I had pneumonia. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics and for a mucolytic agent, saying that the (kibbutz) clinic had the antibiotic.
As it happened, there was a kibbutz member who had seen the doctor just before me; he too had been diagnosed with pneumonia and had been prescribed the same antibiotic. The nurse was dispensing him the antibiotic when we realised that the clinic had only enough for him; I did not fancy going back to town to the dispensary (I was very weak at this point). The member was very kind and suggested that he take one of the two packages of antibiotic whereas I would get the second package; I would return the package (or equivalent) when my wife sets the prescription filled. Since then I've taken three doses of antibiotic.
Looking at the previous time when I had pneumonia (almost exactly five years ago), the story is almost the same. Then I was diagnosed on the basis of the physical exam (a rattle in my lungs) whereas this time it was on the basis of the x-ray. I don't think that I am as weak now as I was then, but I am having difficulty in concentrating on anything that requires mental effort (writing this blog was difficult at times). People at work send me letters (to the internal mail server), seemingly unaware of my incapability; I haven't answered many. My phone is on 'quiet': I've noticed that a few people have tried calling but of course I did not reply. I communicate mainly by WhatsApp which is just as well as I can barely make a sound with my voice.