Understanding Pneumonia Audiobook
Zeke takes a trip through the human body to learn about the causes and symptoms of pneumonia, how the immune system works, how to treat severe pneumonia and lower your risk of getting it, in this audiobook version of our award-winning comic book Understanding Pneumonia.
Rebecca: Hi there and welcome to a special audiobook installment of Jumo’s In My Words series.
At Jumo, we produce everything from comic books that explain difficult medical conditions, to videos where families share practical insight and their stories of hope. Learning how to manage life after a diagnosis can be stressful and confusing, and we aim to make that a little easier.
Ok, let’s go! Today’s story comes from our Understanding Pneumonia comic book. Join Zeke as he takes a trip through the human body to learn how little germs like bacteria and viruses can cause big problems.
Zeke: At first I thought it was just a little cold! No big deal, right? Wrong! Achoo!
Boy 1: Zeke, please tell me you didn’t just sneeze on the back of my neck.
Zeke: I can tell you I didn’t sneeze on your neck, but it wouldn’t be true.
Narrator: Four days later...
Zeke: Turns out I have something called Pneumonia! Apparently it’s pretty serious because now I have to stay in the hospital and take medicines.
Nurse: How are you feeling today, Zeke?
Zeke: Well, yesterday I felt like old garbage. Today, I feel like newer garbage, soooo, a little better.
Narrator: Three days later...
Zeke: Finally I’m starting to feel like my old self! My doctor says I should be able to go home tomorrow.
This has been the worst! I never want to get pneumonia again. But I don’t even know how I got it in the first place!
Huh? Medikidz! What’s going on?
Pump: You got pneumonia questions? We’ve got answers!
Chi: If you’re feeling up to it, we’d like to take you on an adventure through Mediland to explain everything you need to know about pneumonia!
Zeke: Are you kidding? I’ve been cooped up in a hospital bed for the past week! I’d love to stretch my legs!
When I said stretch my legs I meant, like, go for a walk, not fly through space...and definitely not fly through space and into a giant mouth!
Chi: Worry not, it is all part of the plan. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs, so to understand what it’s about, we first need to understand the lungs!
Pump: Oooh, lucky us, Mediland is taking a breath! It’ll suck us in and take us right where we need to go.
Zeke: Your definition of luck and my definition of luck are very different!
Pump: When you breathe in, the air first travels into your mouth and nose.
Chi: From there it goes into your trachea - also called your windpipe... and then travels through tubes called airways, all the way down into your lungs!
And here we are, in the lungs! As you can see, air contains oxygen which the body needs.
Zeke: Oh yeah, I remember hearing that oxygen is important for, you know, staying alive and stuff!
Chi: Once inside the lungs, the oxygen can travel through the bloodstream to wherever in the body it’s needed.
Germs Together: We’re here to start an infec-tion! We love starting infec-tions!
Zeke: Who are those...or better question what are those - things?!
Pump: Sometimes it’s not just air that gets into your lungs, but germs too! Germs can cause infections and make you sick!
There are four main types of these tiny invaders: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
Chi: The germs cause swelling of the lungs, which makes it more difficult to breathe.
This swelling is called inflammation.
Germ 1: Take that, and that, and some of this!
Germ 2: I’m a single cell with a single purpose- to infect this lung!
Pump: Pneumonia is caused by germs getting into the lungs and causing an infection.
You had bacterial pneumonia, meaning your lungs were invaded by bacteria.
Zeke: So it was that germ that made me sick?! Time to settle the score!
Pump: Don’t worry, your lungs have their own tricks for getting rid of germs. Just watch!
Chi: Trick number one! The lungs produce sticky mucus that traps the germs.
Germ 3: I’m a virus, and even I think this is gross!
Pump: For trick two, I’d hold on to something!
Zeke: Is trick two being loud and windy?!
Pump: Trick two is coughing! It forces the mucus up and out of the lungs, taking the germs with it.
Germ 2: Where do you think we’re going? Do you think we’re being blown to a magical land of happiness and joy where we’ll live forever?
Germ 4: Umm, probably not, but good for you for staying positive!
Pump: Everyone still here and not coughed up into space? Good!
Zeke: Yeah, but we’re not the only ones, look!
Chi: Uh oh, looks like the bacteria are still here. Time for trick three!
Pump: Here comes trick three - your body’s immune system, the guardians of your body!
Chi: These white blood cells are part of your immune system. They travel around the body with one mission, to find and destroy germs!
White Blood Cell: There are too many bacteria. We can’t hold them. Retreat and regroup!
Germs Together: Yeah, you better run! The lungs are ours now!
Zeke: That’s not a good sign, is it?
Chi: Nope! See, sometimes the germs are too strong for the immune system and your body can’t fight them off without medicines to help them.
Pump: We better retreat and regroup too! Teleporting us back to HQ now!
Narrator: A few minutes later back in Medikidz HQ...
Zeke: I’m not a doctor, or a scientist, or even a particularly good student to be honest, but wouldn’t I know if all that was going on inside my lungs?!
Axon: Totally! And though you didn’t know the name for what you had, you did know the symptoms you were having!
Symptoms you might have with pneumonia are coughing, making lots of mucus, difficulty breathing or pain in your chest, fever or chills, feeling very tired, and having a loss of appetite.
Chi: Symptoms are clues that help your doctor figure out what’s wrong with you and what tests are needed.
If your doctor thinks it might be pneumonia, then a chest x-ray will help confirm this.
Pump: You might also need a blood test. Which looks for signs of infection.
We take Mediland’s blood with a giant remote control syringe, pretty cool huh?
Chi: Your doctor might ask you to cough some mucus into a pot. This shows up the germs that are causing the pneumonia, and helps your doctor decide on the best treatment.
Zeke: I would not want to be that guy!
Germ 4: I don’t want to be me either.
Pump: Okay, we know it’s bacterial pneumonia, so now we can start treatment.
Let’s grab the right medicines and head back to Mediland!
Narrator: Back in the lungs...
Pump: Different medicines get rid of different germs. Since this is bacterial pneumonia, we’ll use antibiotics to kill them.
Antibiotics only work for bacterial pneumonia. You’ll need different medicines if a different germ is causing the infection.
Chi: If you are having trouble breathing and getting oxygen to your lungs, you can get extra oxygen through a mask, or through little tubes that sit just under your nose.
Zeke: We did it! The bacteria are gone!
Pump: Sure looks like it, but remember, even if you start to feel better you need to take all your medicines, especially antibiotics.
Chi: Otherwise, not all the bacteria will be killed and the ones that remain can become stronger and resistant to the antibiotics.
Pump: Let’s head back to HQ. The Lungs are clear for now, but we’ll give Mediland more antibiotics later to be safe.
Chi: For now, Mediland needs to rest! Rest is very important. You don’t have to stay in bed all day but you should take it easy for a bit.
Also, be sure to drink plenty of water and eat some food, your body needs energy to fight off those germs!
Pump: Sometimes, with severe pneumonia, the lungs stop working properly and you may have to be treated in a special ward in the hospital called the intensive care unit (ICU).
Chi: It’s the best place to be if you have severe pneumonia because the ICU has machines to help you breathe while your lungs recover.
Zeke: Okay, now I get what pneumonia, is but why did I get it?
Chi: It all starts with the germs! Germs that cause pneumonia are spread from person to person through things like coughing, sneezing, or by picking up germs on your hands.
Pump: Anyone can get pneumonia but it’s most common in young children and older adults.
Having a chronic illness, and smoking, can make you more likely to get pneumonia.
You might also get it when you’re fighting off something else like a cold or flu!
Chi: In America, pneumonia is the number one reason most kids are admitted to the hospital.
Zeke: Thanks Medikidz, I’ve learned so much. One thing I learned from having pneumonia is that I never want to have it again!
Pump: Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to lower your risk of getting it - simple stuff like eating healthily and doing exercise!
Chi: Yeah, another big one is washing your hands with soap and water after you play outside, touch animals, use the bathroom, and every time before you eat!
Pump: Pneumonia germs are often coughed or sneezed into the air and then breathed in by another person.
Chi: So, every time you cough or sneeze, you should catch it, bin it, and kill it!
Catch the germs by covering your mouth and nose with a clean tissue, throw that tissue in the bin, and kill the germs by washing your hands with soap and water.
Pump: You can also ask your doctor about vaccinations.
Chi: Vaccinations are injections that protect you against different infections and germs.
Pump: One more thing - here is a Medichron computer! It contains everything you learned about pneumonia so you can teach your friends.
Zeke: I will! Thanks Medikidz!
Narrator: Two weeks later, and Zeke has made a full recovery...
Zeke: Okay, so to understand pneumonia, you first have to understand the lungs!
Boy 1: My show and tell suddenly seems less cool...it’s a rock I found that looks like Elvis.
Girl 1: Still better than mine! This is just something my cat coughed up.
Rebecca: Thanks for listening! We'll be adding new episodes all the time. We also take requests, so if you have a great topic, let us know! Who knows, we may even interview you! Visit us at JumoHealth.com.
In My Words is produced in New York City and distributed worldwide.
In My Words - A Jumo production.