Going on 'Fresh Air' With Pneumonia

I’ve been told my interview on Fresh Air went well. That’s a huge relief. Because I was sick as a dog when we taped it, with pneumonia. 

More about that in a moment. But first, a story. When I found out Fresh Air would have me on, I felt like my eyes were being pulled across my face toward each other, almost like they were trying to switch places. I couldn’t really see very well. I skimmed the email a few times to see if I was hallucinating. 

Then I jumped up and ran three or four laps around our house. I took a few breaks from that to jump up and down, and then jumped up and down for a good minute straight. Then I called my wife, while still jumping up and down. 

This was before I got sick. Two weeks ago I woke up around 4 a.m. and could tell I was getting the flu. Only four days later I went to the doctor, and it wasn’t the flu. They told me a viral infection can give you a fever that lasts 7-10 days. Just keep popping Advil and Tylenol! 

So that’s how I went into the studio in downtown D.C. to tape Fresh Air. I had doubled up on pills. I had swigged some Delsym cough syrup. I had taken a prescription cough pill that the doctor said interrupted the signal between your brain and your cough (apparently this doesn’t work, because it definitely didn’t for me). I had cough drops, unwrapped and ready to go. I had hot tea, which didn’t stay hot long enough. 

I wasn’t nervous about the interview. I wrote the damn book for years. I should know what I’m talking about. Yet I hadn’t planned on the physiological impact of being sick. The interview starts. Dave Davies is wonderful. He’s excited about the book. But I realize, ’This is Fresh Air.’ And I tighten up a little bit. My vocal chords constrict a bit. That’s natural. 

But my chords are already constricted, due to the fact that I have pneumonia, which will not be diagnosed for close to another week. And as I try to answer Dave’s questions for the first five to ten minutes, I hit points where I can. barely. breathe. Panic. Try not to completely break down. Thank God this is being taped and they can edit it out if I totally flatline. 

I did in fact have to ask Dave to repeat his first question. He asked it, and I went, ‘Duhhhh. What?’ 

But apparently it all worked out. I don’t remember much. I was just happy to get out of there and go home to lie down. 

You can listen to the segment below. THANK YOU Fresh Air for having me on!!!!! So grateful!!!!

Jon Ward