by Cheryl Fryfield


Cheryl FryfieldI would like to share about my health issues I had this year. I had two major illnesses, one was Pneumonia and the other one was Shingles.  I had pneumonia around spring time and shingles middle of July. Some cases are mild for pneumonia, so the doctor usually tells the patient to stay at home. My case was serious. But I pulled through – twice this year. So, I thought I was over being sick for the year.  I also thought having pneumonia was painful, I was wrong it was the shingles.


Let me tell you a bit about shingles. If you’ve ever had chickenpox (usually when you were a kid), this virus is quietly hiding out in the roots of your nerves. It can become active again and cause a painful skin rash. Then it can spread. Shingles happens mostly to people who are 50 years or older. But there have been cases where young adults who are in their early 20s or 30s have had shingles. I got my case of the shingles when I was 49. Shingles can be quite painful and you need medication to get rid of it. I was off work, again, for 8 weeks!


How not to get shingles: Before I got sick I knew there is a shot for shingles.  I should have gotten one, but I didn’t think I would ever get shingles.  My doctor says I can’t get a shot now for two years.  If you didn’t get chicken pox when you were younger you are quite lucky. If you can’t remember you might want to check with your doctor.


Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It can be caused by a virus or by bacteria. People often have a high fever, sweat and cough a lot. Sometimes pneumonia means resting at home and taking a break. Sometimes pneumonia is quite serious and a person has to go to the hospital – like me. Pneumonia usually lasts about two weeks, however you may feel tired and sore for a month or more. In my case, it took me a good two months to get back on my feet again.


How not to get pneumonia:

  • Get a seasonal flu shot.
  • Get a pneumonia vaccination if you are over 65.
  • Practice good hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Watch your hands several times a day.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Stay rested and fit.


You can go online, google these two illnesses and have someone help you find the information. It’s very important to know this.


So, if you don’t want to get sick, make sure you:

  • eat right
  • get lots of rest
  • drink lots of water. The normal amount of water a person should drink each day is 8 to 10 glasses. Pop and coffee, are not considered as a liquid that should quench your thirst. I would say spread out drinking water – drink a glass every hour or two hours.
  • get regular check ups with your doctor
  • exercise regularly
  • take vitamin C (or eat lots of fruit) and
  • yes it’s true – eat lots of chicken noodle soup. It will help you stay healthy.


By having pneumonia and shingles this year, I missed out on a lot of events. I’m trying to get back on my feet again by doing little things here and there. I am mostly seeing my friends on the weekends at the moment.


I am trying to go to bed at the same time every night now, but sometimes it doesn’t work. I am also trying to get up at the same time during the week. That seems to help me. Getting into a routine during the work or school week, or with whatever you do in your life, is something to think about.


I am planning to stock up now with healthy foods and want to do more cooking. I have a neighbor friend that helps me with this stuff. Between a good diet, exercise and seeing your doctor regularly you should be able to lead a healthy life. I know that I never want another year of being sick. Here’s to good health for everyone!

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