My Collapsed Lung

Yikes! What a title for a post. But it's true -- here I sit, in the hospital, with them trying to pump up my little lung back to full strength. (Remember those pump tennis shoes? Perhaps they'll try that technique!) I am currently on percocet (I just learned how to spell that!), so if I start to ramble and not make sense, it's the drugs talking!

How did this all happen, you wonder? No one knows. Apparently lungs can collapse without any rhyme or reason. Lucky for me! They call it "spontaneous pneumothorax." In other words, "your breathing apparatus decided to just poop out on you for no good reason." That's my translation, anyway.

Good news: they caught it in time to do something about it; it was 30% collapsed so MOST of my left lung was still functioning!
Bad news: I now have a chest tube stuck in my side to alleviate the air pocket that caused the collapse, and I have to be in the hospital for 5 days.

So here's the recap:
I woke up at 4 a.m. with a pain shooting from my back to my chest in the rib cage area. When I moved certain ways, pain would shoot. It felt kind of like an intense version of a sore muscle when you have slept on your side wrong. So I thought I just had a really bad sleeping position. Then at 7 am my alarm went off for work. I got out of bed and felt the same shooting pains. I thought a hot shower might help relax muscles. No such luck.

I wasn't going to go to work. But I took some Advil, and it settled the pain to a mere dull consistency. I figured I'd go into work to pick up some files I needed and not stay long. (Never say I'm not dedicated, hard-working, and stubborn!) So I did. But then the pain increased so I left after lunch and stopped by my doctor.

She thought it was either a really bad muscle thing or possibly a blood clot. Whoah! So she sent me right away to have a CT scan. The people at the Pro-Scan Imaging place were so amazing. The man and woman who did the test were so encouraging and caring. God-sent!

So they inject me with this iodine and send me through a donut-type shaped thing that scans the needed area. The iodine shot warmth through my body. Weird sensation. They read the results, saw the "moderate" sized collapse and sent me to Christ Hospital emergency room.

Meanwhile, Steve got a hold of Sheryl who left work to watch Kaelyn for us while he met me at the ER. The pulmonary doc came in and told me all about my lung and how air had somehow gotten between the lung and the lining, pressing down on the lung itself. So he'd have to knock me out, insert a tube in my chest, and leave it there for 5 days while everything clears up.

He said some people have this happen more than once in life. Not anything I look forward to. But since it was spontaneous, there's nothing I can do to prevent it. He said just don't go scuba diving or fly any planes. OK. Check. But he is also restricting my lifting for a month, so this will be interesting with a toddler and her needing to be lifted out of a crib and carried places. Go, Steve, go! :)

I'd appreciate your prayers and any notes you want to email me! Steve too. I think he and Kaelyn might miss me! At least we live close by, so they can run over to visit easily. I'd better get some shut-eye now.
Kelly5 Comments