Saturday, March 22, 2008


As my son Michael already mentioned, I was hospitalized with double pneumonia based on legionella pneumonia, together with liver, kidney and some other minor problems. First of all I want to thank everybody all over the world who cared and sent me good wishes.

We returned from Cuba on monday, February 18th and I started to feel sick on February 21nd. On February 25th I went to the doctor and got some antibiotica, which basically did not improve the issue. Friday, February 29th my wife decided to call the ambulance and I was delivered to the hospital. As I was told later it took until saturday morning to make all the tests and I was responding normally, but I can only remember up to the time until I entered the emergency ambulance car.

On saturday, March 1st, they decided to put me into intensive care at the nephrology station and artificial deep sleep. I was on kidney dialysis the whole time. My daughter Kathi told me afterwards that I was connected to about some 20 tubes and wires, from dialysis, oxygen, food to uretic outlets.

On friday, March 7th, they tried to wake me up again. What I can remember is that I saw Kathi and my wife only black-and-white, could somehow understand what they said, but could not speak comprehensive back myself. The next day I could speak back and saw them in color, the first improvement. For two other days I was put to the dialysis on and off.

My readings were improving every day now, but my next problem was that I was completely de-mobilized - I could not even sit up. So they had to start to re-mobilize me slowly - on March 12th I left the bed the first time to stand up - held by two men - for 1 minute, still connected to a lot of tubes.

March 13th I was transferred from intensive care back to the normal hospital. The first day I was still unable to leave the bed on my own, but this also improved quickly. The next thing I discovered was that I had lost 10 kg and this was of course one of my mobility problems, because the majority I lost was not fat but muscles. Anyway, I started first with the 3 steps to the toilet and wash-room, take the food not in be, but at the table and then to walk up and down the aisle.

The 3rd week I had to do a lot of checks, such as blood tests, lung tests, thorax x-ray and finally a gastroscopy to find out that I had some gastoenteritis and also some fungi in the gullet - I assume from taking all this medication.

Finally it was decided to release me just in time for Easter on friday, March 21st from hospital, but they will keep an eye on me. Next wednesday I am ordered back already to the nephrology ambulance of the hospital and later the day they will do an echocardiography. So they will keep me on the long line for some time.

So I want to thank the medical and non-medical staff in the hospital, they did an excellent job, and again everybody who cared and sent me good wishes, either direct or via my family.

And last but not least my wife and all of my children who really cared about me and visited me every day two or three times.

Very good to see you back!
Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones.
My thoughts are with you as you deal with the aftermath of legionella. It truly is an under-reported problem and what is even more stunning, it is pretty much controllable with good maintenance practices and sensible risk management regimes.

My new legionella blog ( might be interesting for you.

Best wishes with your recovery.

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