I just came home today after hospitalization for spontaneous pneumothorax (happened while I was actually walking toward the hospital, no less...). I was treated by having a tube placed in my chest and with many many painkillers. I had the tube out yesterday, but was hopped up on percoset at the time, so I can't actually remember what all the doctor said about what I can and can't do, how long to keep resting, or anything, really. All I really remember through the haze of pain and percoset is him telling me that I shouldn't fly for a while and I should never scuba dive again (I actually giggled out loud a bit at that, considering I'm terrified of deep water).
So, my questions are:
1. How long should I actually leave the dressings on? I asked a few of the nurses, and they all told me different things, anywhere between 'take it off tomorrow, if I feel like it' and 'wait until you come in to have the stitches removed in a week'.
2. How long should I stay at rest now that I'm out of the hospital?
3. Heavy lifting - should it be limited even after I'm all healed? Also, how heavy is heavy? I'm guessing no more than 5-10 pounds?
Also, I did post this elsewhere on the boards (general health discussion, I think), but I was just wondering if pneumotrophin had ever been used to treat a pneumothorax after normal treatment of the tube in the chest to drain the excess air and fluid and whatnot. Has it been tried to heal the spot that tore? Has it even been tested?
Hi...curious about your age...your body type and if it was your right or left lung.
I had numerous SPs for a year without treatment (not knowing what the actual pain was and it improved, and once when the ER doctor LIED and told me to do 10 deep breaths to improve the thoracic myalgia -- even though my lung was 30% collapsed as per the x-ray that I found out about later).
My last one ended up with me being hospitalised, 4 tubings that weren't successful while there, and finally a thoracotomy to sew up the blebs and abrade the lung surface to have it permanently stay up. It was a long and painful process, but worth it.
My other lung also had blebs, they were stitched and haven't caused a collapse, thankfully.
The treatments of you being only tubed, might not result in you having no further collapses in the future. The treatment is to reinflate, nothing else.
If your lung had pleurodesis (talc or other chemical abrasion) as well, it still isn't guaranteed of further collapses.
Not all blebs will break and cause collapse, but interestingly, I did feel some air bleeding through the abraded/stitched area, but obviously no collapse. Painful, but at least I knew the why.
Regarding your other enquiry in the General questions about the supplement...it won't heal your blebs or guarantee no further collapses.
I hope for you this is it. There's also a likelihood your other lung has them as well. I don't know off hand if one can find out through testing...maybe ultrasound?
Not to scare you, but truly get yourself to the hospital asap if your other lung has ANY discomfort/pressure in the throat or upper chest or around the back to have you x-rayed imediately.
Do the homework, KNOW the terminology and discuss which would be the best treatment for you in the future if it should happen.
It's all a matter of perspective!
Last edited by quincy; 09-09-2011 at 02:20 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to quincy For This Useful Post: MiseryFields (09-09-2011)
After having X-rays every days and multiple CT scans while I was there, the doctor told me that I don't actually have any blebs, which did surprise him, considering it was spontaneous.
As for my age, I'm twenty-three.
One of my nurses (who was the absolute greatest nurse in the history of ever), told me that the "stuff" (can't remember what it's called) that really holds your lung in place can actually be replenished with good amounts of protein in your diet. So, I've been eating a lot more meat since then. Of course, I'm balancing it out with other foods as well, but more protein rich things, mainly.
::EDIT:: - It was my left lung, and I'm tall and skinny (6 foot, about 140 lbs). One thing that the doctors and nurses marveled over was that my O2SAT never went below 97, even when my left lung was at 50% collapse. They tried changing the finger monitor five times before they believed that it was working properly. lol
Last edited by MiseryFields; 09-09-2011 at 03:09 PM.
LOL..I would think it's good your 02SAT level remained high. Did they do blood gasses as well? ouchie.
Explain what you mean about healing the "spot that tore". To me, that would be a bleb.
I don't know if blebs that have NOT been ruptured can be seen via CT scan...I would still believe the possibly of risk for further collapses..just be prepared.
Do make sure you rest well and not tempt further damage until all things are healed properly. I would say that any surgery requires 6 - 8 weeks before resuming normal activity. Even healing from the tube assult through the muscles, etc takes time.
Things like colds and especially the flu, coughs...etc....Wash your hands often and keep them away from your mouth, nose, face. Tell people who you know who are sick to keep their germs to themselves..lol.
You might be a candidate for the flu shot this fall....
Oh, forgot to ask if you had a major cold with cough before your collapse?
I always have eaten lots of protein (meat and potatoes upbringing) at least one with every meal....and feel better when I have it in my diet. It's good you're balancing it, however....too high protein can set you up for other issues. But, I don't see how using the supplement will be of harm. Balance your diet accordingly, and do lots of research on contraindications for using it.
You sound like you're a classic SPN body type, ectomorphic. But since the doc mentioned no blebs....did he do further testing regarding other possibilities?
Is there by chance anyone in your family who has lung issues or possibly a collapsed lung in the past?
You posted regarding costochondritis pain relief. Did you mean YOU have it, or just that pain relief from aleve can help? If yes you have it, that could have been a partial collase? Where exactly was that pain?
Let me know how you're doing.....please don't overdo and take care to remain healthy.
As an aside, my hospital stay collapse happened the first week of September.. interesting what memories have come to mind during this season, especially with the weather in my area...as well as talking about it to another.
It's all a matter of perspective!
I know, I thought it was a good thing, too, but they were a bit confused at first. lol It does make sense, though, with one lung only half working that my O2 level would be a bit lower.
What I mean about the spot that tore (or ruptured, or whatever the case may be), is just where the collapse was initiated, be it a bleb, or a puncture from a rib breaking or a stab wound. I've read some things about pneumotrophin about it, for lack of a better term, essentially "rebuilding" the lungs, in a way. Like, people with lung cancer can take it to help get over it and whatnot.
I didn't actually have a cough or anything beforehand, it was just a spontaneous collapse. I do smoke, but I've never had a smokers cough, I smoked heavily for the last few years (a pack a day, if not a pack and some change on a few occasions), but have never actually shown any symptoms of smoking that much. I'm very active (swimming, biking, going out for walks daily) and I can be VERY active without getting tired the way smokers usually do. Like I mentioned before, my O2 levels never went below 97, and I've been smoking for almost 9 years, again, a pack a day for at least the last four or five. The doctors were astounded when I mentioned just how much I smoke.
The funny thing about the costo, I was never actually diagnosed with it. It was a self diagnosis, because I was in Australia at the time and would never in my wildest dreams be able to afford healthcare over there. What it actually was, was this pneumothorax. I've actually had this for four months without treatment, it would just abate for a while, then come back slightly. I still smoked throughout the entire thing, just thinking it was costochondritis, because it acted just like costo, instead of what I had read about SP's.
As for family members, as far as I know, I don't think anyone else in my family has had any lung problems except for my grandfather, who was just diagnosed with slight COPD. He's 84 (86?), and he's been smoking a pack a day since he was 12. My mother is the same way I am, she smokes quite a lot, but has never really shown signs of smoking as heavily. Hell, my great grandmother who was 96 when she passed, smoked from the time SHE was 15, but never had any problems with her lungs whatsoever. So, apparently, it's actually the opposite in my case, my family has relatively strong and good lungs, at least on my mothers side. lol As for my fathers side, they are all very healthy people, and always have been. They are all quite tall and skinny, though, so obviously, that's where I get that from. (My grandmother was 6'5"!!)
Oh, on the blebs note, the doctor told me he actually heavily studied all of my X-Rays and CT scans because he couldn't find any blebs. lol He was so surprised that he couldn't find any that he asked me on multiple occasions if I was really just walking and doing nothing else when I had the SP. lol
Afternote - they did take a vial of blood every day that I was there to run tests on it to see if there were any infections or anything of that sinister nature, and everything came back negative for anything at all unusual.
Also, just a question - What's the best way to rid of the residue left from the medical tape used to hold the IV in place? It's been a few days since I got out and I've scrubbed my arm I don't even know how many times, but my arm is still covered in that stuff. lol
Well, you have a huge red flag above your head, and while I won't go into the smoking debate, you're literally playing for fire.
The concern regarding rebuilding your lungs with protein intake is a moot point now. You have the power to maintain good lung function, and while the docs may be surprised at your interesting set of circumstances, you are young after all.
Actually your family histroy of smoking has probably had a huge impact in your development (before conception and exposure to it afterward).
I have asthma, but not diagnosed until age 28. It does run in the family, however. My parents both smoked.
I did smoke as a teen and intermittently after age 19...I've probably ever had tops 6 cigarettes a day. I never smoked at home. I did smoke occasionally before age 25. After that...nadda.
You mention being in australia....well, the travel and air pressure would have had a huge impact on your lungs and (from my perspective) weak areas/blebs and possibly bursting even the smallest bleb (that I don't think they can see on the x-rays...I'm meaning the thin areas, not ones that have burst. It's also easy to not notice a small collapse, just discomfort.. If the areas are thinner, anything that exerts effort will cause the collapse. It's a process, doesn't show until it gives.
Think balloon blown up a million times, one with a weak area won't last as long.
The first time mine happened I was lifting something. The last time it happened I was bending down to get my purse out of a drawer at work. I know I had a few in between....and interestingly, I did travel via plane a short time before my first one.
I do hope you consider to quit smoking...my mom died of lung cancer. My lungs are running at only 70% because of scarring from chest infections not treated (by the specialist), and improper prescription of using appropriate meds....which I'm on now.
You're young....look after your lungs. Not that it won't prevent further collapses, but it's much better for recovery should you need other surgery. I still believe you'll not stop at one collapse...
Plus...once you hit 50ish? all the past still seems like yesterday. It's more difficult to quit then.
It's all a matter of perspective!
oopsie...forgot about the tape.
There are removers you can purchase (maybe from the pharmacy or a health supply store), but try rubbing alcohol on a make-up remover pad or on a face cloth that's got enough of it on.
As well, applying moisturiser initally for a while can help soften the "glue". Then use the rubbing alcohol.
Don't scrub, it can easily irritate.
Another suggestion....try shampoo on a facecloth and in a circular motion it should ease. Maybe try it lastly after you've been in the shower for a while..
It's all a matter of perspective!
Last edited by quincy; 09-11-2011 at 01:06 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to quincy For This Useful Post: MiseryFields (09-11-2011)