Last November, when were were finishing up sale or our condo in Northern Virginia and getting ready to make the final, and complete, move to Floyd County, I came down with a cold, which turned into flu, which turned into walking pneumonia.
I thought everything had run its course by late December but the cough and congestion never went away and flu returned two more times in January and February, followed by more colds and days when breathing became the major concern of the day.
By late March, when the flora and fauna that surround our home began to bloom, coughing jags left me gasping for air. Could, I wonder, be allergic to the wondrous things of nature that are so much a part of our new home in the country?
It took a battery of tests, experiments with medications that did and did not work and even more tests before medical science came up with the answer: the chronic bronchitis I have had since early adulthood is now even more chronic.
Thanks to a regular regimen of medication and twice daily sessions on an inhaler, I can now walk among the trees and flowers without collapsing into a gasping, air-starved heap. I mowed the yard Monday, kicking up all kinds of pollen and airborne debris and didn’t cough once.
This morning’s walk over the nearby hills and dales ended with clear lungs and no wheezing. I sat on the picnic table in our front yard and took in the fragnances of nature with nary a problem.
Maybe it’s the miracle of modern medication. Or maybe my lungs just needed time to adjust to clean air. After all, I’ve spent the past 40 years in places where the air could choke a buzzard. Maybe my lungs just didn’t trust any air it couldn’t see.