Just over two weeks ago I got a cold. Nothing special, just a sore throat for a few days making swallowing a painful affair. Then the coughing started, plus I spent a day in bed with a fever. I would like to note that fevers are very unusual for me. Even as a child I spent more time in bed whenever I was sick being utterly bored than with a significant fever. Now, I thought it was kind of unusual that I kept coughing and feeling unwell for so long. When I mentioned this yesterday in my IRC channel (irc://irc.rizon.net/nyanko), someone there mentioned the possibility of bronchitis, based on the symptoms (1).
This would explain the coughing persisting for weeks, the shortness of breath which I have been experiencing for a while but simply ascribed to hyperventilating, fatigue and the chest discomfort. Then some people on a forum I frequent urged me to go to my GP right away with this, as bronchitis can develop into pneumonia (2).
Reading the list of symptoms on pneumonia was interesting, as it listed a chest pain which fluctuates with breathing (pleurisy)(3) as one of the symptoms. This just happens to be something I have been experiencing regularly for months now. Pleurisy is caused by an inflammation of the double membrane lining the chest cavity and surrounding the lungs. It's a common complication of pneumonia.
Considering that I have apparently experienced pleurisy for months, this could indicate that I have been walking around with developing pneumonia for a while now, and that only now it's becoming serious. Of the listed risk factors for pneumonia I do not classify for any of them, except one: compromised immune system. Prolonged exposure to significant stress levels have a proven negative effect on one's immune response, and the past few months have seen a significant increase for me, with a sharp spike during the past few weeks, coinciding with the occurrence of all these cold-like and bronchitis/pneumonia-like symptoms.
Whether I truly do have bronchitis, pneumonia or something else I won't find out until next week Monday at the earliest unless I go to the ER, as my GP didn't have time for me until Monday morning. Later today until late Monday I'll be home alone. Hopefully there are no complications during the weekend requiring assistance, as especially pneumonia isn't exactly known for being a mild condition.
I'll be staying at home, skipping swimming on Sunday morning as I do not wish to expose my lungs to more cold, dry air, nor possibly infect others. Maybe I'll manage to get some work done if I can stop feeling so darn fatigued and my memory starts cooperating again.