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Finding Pneumo
The Pneumothorax Community
newbie here 
29th-Jan-2007 03:10 am
I guess I'll just hop right in here..... typing this from my hospital bed, 24 hours into my second stay and second pneumothorax.

First one happened just around two months ago, while making out of all things! (embarassing!) I can remember saying to my bf how I thought my lung had just collapsed. Fast forward eight hours and I was taking myself to the ER feeling very short of breath, in a lot of pain, and coughing up a lung or so it felt! It was confirmed as a 50% collapse, I was given a pigtail cath chest tube (which I am so thankful for) and admitted for 4 days. Overall it wasn't that bad of an experience, in hindsight of course...compared to this, my second.

But before we get to that...let me mention the small collapse I felt at home one day that reinflated rather quickly but was followed by a month solid of everyday chest pain. Small stabs and aches everyday for the past month!

Then, while at work this past Saturday night I felt it again. You know, the tighness, the pain, the sudden coughing. I informed one of our bartenders (i work at a music venue) and was out the door and on the way to the hospital within 15 minutes. My pneumothorax was once again at 50% and was given the pigtail cath again. GOD I LOVE MY DOCTOR FOR THAT. I keep reading about those big ones they put in your side and how painful they are!! The pigtails hurt, yeah, but I'm guessing it's nowhere near the same.

Anywhoo...(a little fuzzy here as I just got some morphine on top of the darvocet I recieved a bit ago) the doc says he wants to do the camera procedure and possible "glue" my lung back to the wall. My question is this though.... I've read several places that the recovery time and amt of pain from the talc procedure can be a little extreme!!! What are your experiences with it???

Thanks for listening and the advice guys, it's good to know we're not alone here!!! I'm only on my second and it's already so frustrating!!!
29th-Jan-2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the community. (I feel weird welcoming people to this community because then I want to say "Sorry you have a reason to join it...")

It can be a bit of a long recovery from the surgery, but if you're getting the laproscopic version then it should be shorter than the one where they really cut you wide open. I've had both, and the one with the scope was much better.

As for the pain... I always had far more pain from the chest tube. Yes, while recovering from the surgery I was popping Percosets like candy.. but it's not as bad as lying there waiting for the five minute timer to end on that morphine pump because there was a foot of plastic tube in my side.

All in all, though, it is worth going through it. Every time you have a collapse, you are more likely to have another. Getting the surgery will let you go back to living your life.

What is the pigtail cath you got? I haven't heard of it. It's been a few years since my last tube (*knock on wood*) so maybe this is something that's become common very recently? How is it different from the normal tube?
30th-Jan-2007 01:16 am (UTC)
First of all take care with yourself and I hope it's some comfort to you to know that there's a few other around here that have been through similar circumstances.

I've only ever had the two collapses and the second one was rectified by "glue" key hole surgery procedure. That was almost 6 years ago.

The recovery time is a strange one. It can take months and months until you feel back to normal, back to your old routines, especially where fitness is concerned. But it's only a few weeks or so until you're back on your feet and carrying on with less strenuous excercises such as regular walking, working, visiting town etc. There's a slight worry and feeling of being frail but it's so worth going through.

Like I said, it's been 6 months since my last collapse. I really think it's been down to the key hole surgery I had. I only wish you the best for the future and hope you feel free to stick around this community if you've got any further questions.
30th-Jan-2007 02:11 am (UTC) - talk
Hi my name is becky and i just had the surgery on jan 08-07. It is a very painful. i would not have it done unless you really need it.
30th-Jan-2007 02:24 am (UTC) - info on pneumothorax
a great site to look at is blebdisease.com. it will answer a lot of your questions.
10th-Mar-2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
What, exactly, is a pigtail catheter? I've had many, many tubes inserted and they've all been done in basically the same manner. I'm curious. :)
10th-Mar-2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Also, I've heard the talc is a rather risky procedure. When my doctor was talking about it, it was only as a "last resort" type thing, to be exercised after the first surgeries. First surgeries involved laproscopically abrading the chest wall and sealing the lung to the top of the chest wall. Fast recovery time, hardly any aftereffects. He said if that didn't work for whatever reason, the only other option was the talc dusting, and that can be less than pleasant for all concerned. If you can get it done laproscopically everyone will be happier.
28th-Jun-2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
This is late, but thank you so much for posting.

I'm sorry you had to go through that (again). :(

They used the talc on me and from what I remember, it wasn't too bad. (Then again, I'm relating this third experience to the first two, which was incredibly scary and stressful for me.)

I wish I could give you more information, but that was two years ago.

I hope you're doing well now, however. Please feel free to keep us updated with how your life is. :)
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