Valley Fever

A few friends have emailed, alarmed that I haven’t posted a blog since July, when I said that I had pneumonia. (Why do I have two emails asking if I want burial insurance?)  I also mentioned that I would be teaching two computer classes in the fall – CIS and CAD. It’s easier if I just post a combination of the emails I sent them (so some of this is in the present tense, even though it happened in the past):

Valley Fever

When I felt like I had cracked ribs on my left side in July my doctor was out of town and his sub had me get X-rays and said that I had pneumonia. He didn’t give me the blood test for valley fever as I’ve lived in Arizona for over 40 years. (At that point in July I was working full-time, teaching math at the Northwest Campus, as the afternoon instructor was with her dying sister, her substitute had a vacation planned, and I had been working only mornings.)

What I had thought was pneumonia had me flat on my back, on drugs, listening to a book on CD’s for three days (although I did have to get out of bed to buy groceries on Saturday and do laundry on Sunday), so I am behind my self-imposed review of AutoCAD, which I have to do before I get up in front of a class of students to teach it! And yes, I am still going to see my son in Canada from the 28th to the 5th, as I already have the non-refundable tickets.

But when my doctor got back to town the next week he did the blood test and said that I did have Valley Fever. No drugs, since the side effects are bad. He said that because I only had it in one lung, I wasn’t sick enough. For the bad cases, drugs are prescribed:

In severe cases, the infection can cause chronic pneumonia, and the symptoms can last for years. In less than 1 percent of people who get valley fever, the infection can spread from the lungs to the rest of the body, causing meningitis (spine and brain infection) or infection in the bones and joints.

A guy I worked with at IBM got it in his joints and ended up in a wheelchair. My qigong instructor said that her sister-in-law’s brain had “melted” (her words).

In the meantime, my son-in-law got a job in Tucson and I went out with them on two occasions, when they flew in from Idaho, to look at houses. They bought one near his hospital in Oro Valley. My daughter scheduled me to meet the movers at their new house on Friday morning, as they aren’t driving as fast with 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat, and won’t arrive until the pm. Who knows what else she’ll corral me into.

I did finish off the summer session at Pima College and took my grandson to Vancouver. He wore me out a bit in Canada – he skipped everywhere! (Wish I had blogged it. My grandson, six, took about 300 photos, many of them pretty good. Oh well.)

With Valley Fever I have been tired for months, sleeping 10 – 12 hours a night.  But because my daughter and family have moved here, I have grandkids to “cavort” with.  (Went to Willcox to pick pumpkins the weekend before Halloween; we carved them at my house.  That night I went to sleep at 8!)  Have the house on the market yet again, but am doing very little yard work or house cleaning. (Hence the neighbor’s housekeeper coming over tomorrow after which I’ll put the house on the market again.)

Had two couples look at it last Friday – one loved it but have to sell their house first.  A couple from Texas flew in to see it, both Monday (evening, after they arrived) and Tuesday (during the day) – she loved it but he didn’t, so they negotiated with each other and bought what he wanted.


This adjunct stuff is nonsense. First I was scheduled to teach an evening CIS class and a morning CAD. The CIS was cancelled for low enrollment, but I was offered another CAD class to take its place. Then the department head lost one of his classes to low enrollment, so had to take my morning class, as he is required to teach 3 classes. But I was offered a writing class (two days before the start of the semester) in its time frame. Next, the evening CAD class was canceled due to low enrollment, so I was offered a late-start math class.   That was canceled due to low enrollment just yesterday. So I’m only teaching the WRT class.

In addition to teaching a writing class at Pima this semester, I’m taking a Revit (3-D CAD) class (for only $15, as an instructor), to continue to keep myself busy. I took the class many years ago, but I never got to use it. So I am relearning it because I’ll teach it next semester (!) as the present instructor is pregnant, due in December, and wants to take a semester off. The department head has great faith in me.

But I successfully installed the new graphics card that I needed for Revit on my computer! (Had a graphics card that I had to take out, then this one fit right there.) Maybe this stress will make me live longer.

So basically haven’t had extra time to write the blog – spend it sleeping!

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10 Responses to “Valley Fever”

  1. Kim Blair Says:

    Great to hear from you!

  2. Lyn Kagey Says:

    REST. REST REST and get well.

  3. Jim Says:

    It is good hear from you in such good cheer.
    Are teaching adults English as second language?
    I got my pneumonia immunization shot last week.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jim.
      Only one ESL student in my Writing class. Mostly just students just out of high school who graduated without learning to write (and proofread!)
      Was told that the pneumonia immunization doesn’t keep people from getting pneumonia, it just keeps them from dying from it!

  4. Nancy Says:

    Hope you feel better soon!

  5. Moira Geoffrion Says:

    Oh my and I thought I was worn out by grandkids and my asthma…Well, You have had a tough time of it and still not your normal energized self. We are thinking of you and wish you a full return to normal health. I have had to use my breathing machine regularly since the beginning of October, having been exposed to a sick person on the plane. Wear a mask on the plane when you travel…helps some. All the best, Moira

    Moira Marti Geoffrion

    Tucson, AZ 520.906.0528

    Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 18:26:54 +0000 To:

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      Driving, not flying, but have a book on CDs to listen to. (After Turkey Day we’re driving up to LA to see the new museum, the Broad, and hopefully the rain room at LACMA.) So sorry you have asthma. Can’t imagine you slowing down! (I used to use an inhaler for exercise-induced asthma, but stopped trying to run, and haven’t played tennis in years.)

  6. Hal Says:

    Glad you’re feeling better. I recommend chicken soup and red wine in no particular order.

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