Today I come to tell you a story, unusual to normal. 

A few years ago, we experienced something unusual like this story, it all started at home. Together with my family, my mother has always been a strong woman in her health, she did sports constantly, she went for a walk near the house with my father’s company. He already had his routine created and so he spent several years. She had a very healthy lifestyle and took care of all of us be true, she taught us various things about well-being in the human body. With my brothers, we always saw their quality of life and it is now after what happened we realize that everything can change in the blink of an eye.

On May 14, 2018, my mother began to have certain changes in her health, she started with small flu once a month, then they became more common once a week. Which was very strange for both her and us, seeing your mother very healthy and happy; to see her sometimes days lying in bed or waiting to take medication for these events. Along with this small flu, with time came respiratory problems, small coughs that grew over time, it really began to be a concern. For each of us, we know how important our parents and family in general are, especially for me, who has always had a very special connection with my mother. Every day I was very aware of her and her state of health.

We started with few visits to the doctor, which before was too unusual, taking medication, sometimes using an inhaler to give my mom a boost in breathing. All this began to grow from something that we did not know could happen, that we saw very far away and very unlikely. It was a mountain that we began to climb with the health problems that my mother presented, a mountain that we climbed full of fear, barefoot, with a lot of uncertainty, and really with a lot of fear of reaching the top. In other circumstances, reaching the top of the mountain is the best, in our case, it was the opposite. A very unpleasant process, a process full of ups and downs; I can say that at first the highs and lows were balanced until out of 5 highs we had 15 lows. Something really stressful for everyone in my family and especially for my mother, you always saw him with a smile, with encouragement to move on, with a hug, and soon everything will be fine in his mouth every day.

The fact of not knowing what was happening and because everything started to escalate so fast was horrible, in the course of months my mother had taken thousands of exams, she had been hospitalized more than 20 times, needing oxygen in several cases. It became a horrible and endless road. As time went by, my mother’s health worsened and this was where everything turned dark; after several tests to determine what was happening inside my mother’s body, the doctors found nothing. As time passed, we had to travel to another country to find an answer to my mother’s illness, was there that almost a year and a half after her first symptom and ups and downs, they gave us the least expected news and the ugliest they can tell you about someone you love with all your life and hope that they will always be with you.

Doctor John Walkens, presented in my mother’s painting a disease that has NO cure. Silicosis, which to sum it all up, is a disease that directly affects the respiratory system by inhaling silica dust. Some of his symptoms were obviously shortness of breath, fatigue, strong cough, a lot of chest pain, fever, shortness of breath, etc. These symptoms get worse over time and treatment is necessary. And you will wonder what is that and how did it happen? Silica is a material that penetrates the smallest parts of the lung, the bronchioles, and alveoli to be exact. And it generates different things, such as inflammation of the alveolar walls, also the appearance of fibrosis in tissues located within the lungs, and many more things. Damage to the lungs can be permanent and even fatal. To be honest, we never expect this to happen, much less to a person as healthy as my mom.

The million-dollar question and the least expected would be how did it happen? Technically silicosis gave by work areas that are exposed to as l silica the main material of the cement. My mother in her free time did social works and helped build houses for the neediest people, she had done this all her life and no one imagined that this would cause her. And really all the people who are exposed to the dust that is generated when cutting the tiles, blocks or anything of cement, also when cleaning the residues of the cement so that person will be exposed to respirable silica and causing silicosis.

And what can I tell you? We continue to have ups and downs, playing with a disease that we do not know when it will have moments of uncertainty. We continue climbing the mountain, knowing that there are things that can change from one day to the next. This is my story and my mother continues to be my greatest source of inspiration, always with a smile on her face overcoming any kind of adversity.