Tom Gilson

It was a very strange morning for me, in a way I didn’t even understand until most of it was over.

I got up before 6:00 today and drove 30 miles to a breakfast meeting a friend had invited me to. It was an excellent time. I met some new people, I discovered an opportunity to help a nearby church and I was invited to speak there later this year—altogether a positive and enjoyable experience. Sure, it was 16° outside and the meeting was in a tent, but it was still a great time together. Actually the tent is a permanent canvas/glass structure, attached to a country club building, and they had a whole lot of heaters running. That wasn’t the really unusual thing.

Then I went for one of my usual swims, 1200 yards today, for a total of 3600 this week (just over 2 miles). It’s the only kind of workout I’ve ever really enjoyed, and it felt great. That wasn’t the strange thing either.

A little back-story now: I had bronchitis the end of last year, and I missed several weeks of exercise as a result. This week was the first one that I’ve been able to do my full swim workout. When I last saw the doctor in December, he had biven me a prescription for a chest x-ray and said I might use it if I wasn’t feeling great in January. Well, I’ve been feeling pretty good, actually, except I’ve been wondering if I’d bruised or cracked a rib from coughing with the bronchitis, because I’ve had some pain near my sternum. So I got the x-ray done a few days ago.

Thiis morning I was driving from the pool to the office, when the nurse at the doctor’s office called me on my cell phone. She said, “The chest x-ray came back, and you have pneumonia. How are you feeling?” I told her I had just swum 1200 yards, and she said, “You’re kidding!” I went on to say it was my third swim like that this week, and she was really astonished—as I am too, with the news she gave me.

So that’s what was strange: getting up early, driving 30 miles, eating breakfast in a tent in 16° weather, swimming 2/3 of a mile, and then find out I was doing it all with pneumonia.

The doctor ordered some medicine for me, of course. I don’t feel sick, thankfully. I’ve been a bit tired, but I had attributed that to working my way back into my exercise routine. I suppose I should take it easy for a while, though. It might still be a while before I get caught up on everything!


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