It’s that time of the year again…

We seem to be nearing that time of the year again, temperatures rising with no more snow on the ground at the Aim2Walk HQ and we changed our clocks ahead one hour. Spring is definitely in the air and it will soon be upon us! The weather around Toronto has been quite nice yet it is still damp, windy and cool.

I have been fortunate enough to be in good health since my accident some six and a half years ago. Well, except for a few occasions…It was in the seasonal change of October 2010 that I took a prolonged “visit” to William Osler Hospital in Brampton. I spent close to forty days in the ICU on life support with collapsed lungs and a host of other issues. Sure enough when I was admitted to the E.R. I had an extremely low heart rate and low oxygen saturation. I had pneumonia. In those 40 days I experienced everything from collapsed lungs to having a tracheotomy performed. I was not wise enough to listen to my own body and take care of it and ignored all the signs of pneumonia.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Symptoms of Pneumonia

While the Doctors were never sure of the exact cause, it was likely a multitude of factors starting with an infection. Before I was rushed to the hospital I practically had all of the major symptoms described in the picture above. For me, the biggest noticeable symptoms were muscle aches, chills, shortness of breath and phlegm buildup in my lungs resulting in a cough and a “rattle” in my lungs.

Before my spinal cord injury I was always healthy and thought nothing of the phlegm buildup in my lungs so I just assumed it was something that would pass with time and took some over-the-counter cough suppressant. Little did I know that is one of the worst things you can do for pneumonia!

I thought this was all a result of taking a car ride with the top down on a late and warm October’s day. While it may have been that, it was likely a combination of things resulting in my very own “perfect storm.” So take care of yourself and try not to let your immune system weaken like I had.

It was just last week when I thought I felt a bit of a “rattle” in my chest and instead of canceling my physiotherapy session at Aim2Walk, I made sure that I went for physiotherapy to help my lungs and keep my body in shape. If only I had done this and payed more attention to my own body I might never have had to go through such a horrible experience. So in essence, listen to your body and go for your physiotherapy to get treated where certified professionals can take a look and help you out!

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