I LOVED gardening. It was something that kept me happy and occupied through “retirement life”. I enjoyed it so much that I would spend at least 3-4 hours a day in my backyard garden.
One day, I suddenly felt an “irritation” in my chest area. At first I didn’t mind it, thinking it was just allergies from one of the new plants I was taking care of. But a few days later, I felt an itch in my throat that was accompanied with constant coughing. Because of this, I scheduled a check up with my GP. I told my doctor that I “think” the new plants were the cause of this, but my doctor said it was highly unlikely and just gave me a week’s worth of antibiotics.
After months of having a nagging cough, I visited my GP again to have my lungs double checked, and to my surprise, I had Pneumonia! The feeling in my lungs got worse as the weeks passed by. At first it was just sticky mucus, but later on I started to cough blood. I was alarmed with these symptoms so I had a third checkup. My GP said that my lungs were inflamed and that I would have to be confined for further tests. The medical staff ran a ton of tests, even for HIV and Legionnaires Disease - all of which turned out negative so I was sent home after 8 days.
About half a year since my first GP visit, I still had chest irritation, nagging cough, difficulty in breathing, and other symptoms. I got so frustrated that I scheduled a checkup with another doctor. This time I went with a Pulmonologist instead of a GP. After a couple of medical tests, my doctor found out that there was an obstruction in my lungs. Once they found out that there was a blockage, I was admitted again and dozens of tests were run. Based on their initial findings, I was told that I had some sort of tumor inside me and that it had to be surgically removed. The operation was successful and I was sent home after 4 days. The medical team said they will need a couple of days/weeks to further study the blockage that was removed.
3 weeks later I had the biggest shock of my life! I was told the blockage was not a tumor, but rather an accumulation of fungus called Aspergillosis. It didn’t make any sense because I was a germaphobe. I made sure every nook of the house was spotless whenever I did general home cleaning. I was the type of mum who gives hour-long lectures if I came home to a dirty house. I always brought disinfectant wipes and alcohol wherever I went. So it just didn’t make sense how fungus accumulated in my lungs.
I started understanding more about my condition after 2 ½ months when I visited my Pulmonologist again. He said that the fungus may have come from cleaning - maybe from the exhaust pipes or air ducts. Further explaining that this type of fungi can be found in those types of “tight” airflow related spaces. I wanted to share my story to spread awareness about this rare disease. My entire experience was a roller coaster ride of emotions, especially the part about having a tumor. It was a difficult time for my husband and kids, thinking that I had some sort of lung cancer. I hope this story urges everyone to consider asking for a second opinion from specialists.
And oh. Other than lifestyle changes like diet, hygiene, and physical exercises, another thing that helped a lot with my symptoms was Mullein. I first heard about this from a COPD group that I joined, many of the members say that drinking Mullein tea has helped them breathe easier. I'm usually skeptical about these things I see online but decided to try it since a lot of people in the group are giving positive reviews. I felt the effects within the first 3 days - initially it was just easier breathing, but then I noticed my phlegm started to clear up.
You can also learn more about health and nutrition by joining our group Lung, COPD and Health Examiner.
A great method of easing COPD, lung symptoms, and mucus build-up is by going through our Mullein Lung Detox Programme.