Pneumonia on Vacation and Messages from Mom

Our vacation in the Florida Keys began on a Wednesday.  On Thursday, an x-ray confirmed I had Pneumonia! After the last 3 years of avoiding Covid on Vacation, I never thought of pneumonia! Yes, it’s a beautiful place to recover, but I do not recommend Pneumonia on Vacation!

Mom, gone since 2020, Was Very Present this Past Week.

As a kid, I had pneumonia several times.

My Mom was always a wreck when I coughed, and every cold had potential of the dreaded pneumonia in her eyes. (Now my friends probably think, AHHH…that’s why she’s always so germaphobe-ish). The thought in those days was that leaving the house with a fever would make you sicker. “Stay in Bed! Don’t Move!” It was the 1960s version of “self-quarantine.

This week it was No Surprise That

This week it was No Surprise that the unspeakable word pneumonia triggered me. “Pneumonia!” How did that happen? I’m still not sure. I visited the best urgent care ever Nurses Station on Big Pine Key. NP Dawn said my lungs were very noisy, and she sent me to Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon key for an x-ray.

The hospital was sparkling clean, efficient and the staff were emphatic. The first time I went (yes, the first time), they took longer to figure out my Out of Network insurance. The intake person (director of first impressions) felt bad so she brought me tea and then led me to the café where I received an employee discount for lunch. Who does that!!!


Once the Pneumonia diagnosis was confirmed the urgent care called to tell me to come back for an antibiotic injection. Emphasizing that they would stay open to wait for me. I also received steroids, an inhaler and more oral antibiotics.

The Second Hospital Visit

The second hospital visit proved that the healthcare provider was truly exceptional. As I said, I was on a lot of drugs. The inhaler and steroids can make a non-anxious person jittery – the combination took me to new heights (lows?). I wasn’t sure if I was having a panic attack or pneumonia symptoms. Regardless, it felt real and whether I needed anti-anxiety medication or oxygen was anyone’s guess. So, Mitch drove me to the ER at five in the morning; it was about a half-hour from our Key. Both times the hospital was beyond amazing, I would give them a 20 out of 10. And I worked at a hospital so I know what I could expect. The x-ray revealed no evidence of pneumonia. (I’m glad they didn’t x-ray my anxiety – that was quite evident!)


“Give me a break! Can’t you Just Chill, Like Me?”

The oral antibiotics and injection antibiotics and steroids worked. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren were due to arrive in less than 10 hours, and I was thankful that I was on the mend.

However, my mother was sitting on my shoulder, telling me to take it easy while the kids were here and as you know, that’s impossible.

Messages from Mom

I was trying to be in Nana mode while “taking it easy” and “not being such a big drag.” I did a few things, like going for a boat ride. Unfortunately, I made the error of sending a photo to my Dad.

Dad called me after seeing the boat photo and said, that he spoke to Mom today. “Huh? What?”

He reiterated her message – “Tell Vickie to take it easy!” “Why is she on a boat”? I told Dad that things have changed, and the Docs actually tell you to move around a bit rather than lying still in bed. Dad hesitantly conceded.

But the next day, I called Dad and told him Mom was contacting me directly. I walked outside and heard Mom on my shoulder telling me to rest. I went on another boat ride, and there she was again, asking me if it was too windy to be out with Pneumonia.

Dad and I shared a good laugh – which is healing for the soul and pneumonia (good breathing needed to laugh!)

And Here is where I give a shout out and thank you to Dr. Cousin Lisa, who patiently (no pun intended) took my calls and texts.


I once bought Mom a plaque that said, I’m not a nag, I am a motivational speaker!

Mom passed one month before we all knew about Covid. I never got to experience the “be careful” words for the pandemic. I can’t even imagine how that would have played out!

Mom- “did you breathe near anybody today?” Vickie – “No, I held my breath around all others.” Mom – “Take it easy; I don’t want you to get Covid and Pneumonia!”


I sit back and reflect on the Pandemic time and still need to wrap my head around the past three years. What we have lost and what we gained. We have all changed regardless of how you viewed “the virus,” vaccines, masks, and other Covid-paraphernalia.

Personally, I started my blog (three-year anniversary this month), published my book, Raising Jess A Story of Hope, and learned too much about germs, sanitizers, and handwashing.

History will reveal the lasting impact of this period of time that we as a globe experienced.

I’m glad Mom is still nagging/motivating me to be careful from above. Whether it’s all in my head and heart or a real thing, it feels comforting to remember the love that I shared with Mom.

I am honored and humbled to receive my third recognition for Raising Jess: A Story of Hope, selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for Memoir. Please share the title Raising Jess with families who may need to find some Hope and Encouragement and professionals who work with families.

Click here for amazon

Raising Jess A Story of Hope

16 thoughts on “Pneumonia on Vacation and Messages from Mom

  1. Thank you so much … I have had asthma throughout my life and more cases of pneumonia than I care to remember. I can relate to your hospital visit in the keys … I made the same visit. I love that you hear from your mom and I love the great pic of your gorgeous iggy on boat watch ! 🥰 Take care, my friend 🙏

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I LOVE your Social media photos! I am thrilled about our mutual love of IGGY’s and wish we didn’t share the pneumonia thing – UGH!- Thank you again – V

    1. Thank you for reading and for commenting – I am such a fan of your work and really appreciate your comment about my writing!
      May we both sell “lots of books!” – V

  2. I love your humor no matter how serious the problem may be.❤️❤️❤️
    Your precious mom was beautiful!

  3. Oh Vickie, I’m so sorry you got sick during your vacation. That sounds very scary and I’m glad to hear you got excellent care from the hospital. Listen to your mom and dad and take it easy – but also glad that you are able to make the most of your vacation and time with little ones. Sending you lots of healing energy!

  4. Love reading your blogs. I am a germaphobe and have a 95 year old mother who still passes on health warnings (advice) when we talk. I had pneumonia when I was a teenager and wound up hospitalized, so for almost 50 years I’ve been told to be careful.
    We are lucky we have/had such caring parents.

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