I think they didn't quite realize what I likely had!
When we had lost electricity for so long after Hurricane Sandy, and then got hit with a Nor'easter which dropped temperatures below freezing. With no power I had tried to keep warm by boiling water constantly on the gas stove, and by filling both bathtubs with hot water. The house was filled with warm steam.
From an article about illness caused by cooling towers in NYC, "A type of severe pneumonia, Legionnaires' disease -- which was named after an outbreak during a 1976 meeting of the American Legion in Philadelphia -- is not spread from person to person but by breathing in mist with the organisms. Outbreaks usually occur in the summer."
"By breathing in mist with the organisms..." What you want to bet I had Legionnaires?
Legionnaires usually develops within 10 days of exposure. If it was Legionnaires, and if it was due to my breathing all that steam, I must have been fighting it off for a good six weeks before I couldn't fight it any more. I do know that I was getting progressively weaker all through November and December. I thought at the time it was just age and kidneys catching up with me, plus that I am very sensitive to molds, and with all the houses and mountains of household goods rotting away all around us from Sandy flooding, I thought that's what it was.
Interesting. Maybe if not for the mold I could have eventually fought it off.
Even more interesting, the folks most at risk of death are older people, smokers, and those with weak immune systems (like from kidney problems or diabetes). Boom, boom, and boomity-boom-boom.
I must be in better shape than I thought.