As we get older we become more susceptible to infections. The immune system doesn’t work as well as it used to. It’s more difficult if you are also dealing with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD or emphysema), heart problems or cancer.
Lee, who’s in her 60s, thought she might have thyroid cancer a few years ago when a CT scan she had for something else showed a lump or a nodule on her thyroid. Further testing came back suspicious for papillary cancer, the most common type of thyroid cancer. “Suspicious” doesn’t automatically mean cancer, but Lee’s odds were 60 to 70 percent and the next step was surgery to find out for sure.
Not too long ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with mononucleosis (mono). When I hear that someone has mono, I think teenager. My friend may be so in spirit, but in reality, she is a grandmother.
My mother had a couple of choking episodes recently. I wasn’t alarmed because she’s had swallowing issues in the past. At least twice over the years, she had a procedure that stretched her esophagus because of a stricture or narrowing.
It was the beginning of a Labor Day weekend when Al felt a strange sensation on his right buttock, just underneath his back pocket where he carried his wallet. It was kind of sore and kind of itchy.