Dear Air Conditioner,
Please do not take this as a slight. Understand that I simply adore how you keep me cool when it is an unbearable 107 degrees in the summer. I appreciate the hum of the breeze blowing in my room to help me fall asleep at night. Most of all, I know you are there for my selfish needs- any day and any time.
That being said; I have no tolerance for how sick you have made me. I know it was you because I am more sick when I turn to you- and Google told me so:
Air-conditioner lung: A form of the sick building syndrome caused by organisms that contaminate humidifiers and the piping of air conditioner ducts. The air conditioner blows cold air containing spores of the organisms throughout the building.
The organisms responsible for air-conditioner lung are the same as cause farmer’s lung which is due to repeated inhalation of dust from hay. (The organisms are thermophilic actinomycetes).
The symptoms of air-conditioner lung include episodes of fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath, typically occurring 4 to 8 hours after reexposure. Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting may also be present.
The diagnosis of air-conditioner fever is made based on a history of exposure to air conditioning and consistent clinical features, chest x-ray findings, and pulmonary function tests. Confirmation comes from laboratory results showing exposure to thermophilic actinomycetes and other organisms known to cause air-conditioner fever.
Treatment is avoidance of offending organism from the air conditioner. Symptoms usually subside within hours, although complete recovery may take weeks.
Repeated bouts of air-conditioner fever can result in pulmonary fibrosis with cough, fatigue, and weight loss and progression that sometimes requires hospitalization.
If I end up with this “pulmonary fibrosis,” I will not be pleased. In fact, I will be down-right pissed off. I understand you didn’t know I was allergic to dust, but you didn’t have to make me so sick that I have not slept from coughing…all….night….long.
Thank goodness there is a breeze in the air tonight, so I won’t need you. However, I highly suggest that if you plan on continuing this relationship for the rest of the summer, and more summers to come, that you cut it out- now. I deserve to not feel like shit.
Warmest and sincerest regards,