Spontaneous Pneumothoracies

27 year old Male EX smoker -5’11”- 160lbs at the time of the collapse, I was actually using the bathroom which was the crazy part, had the collapse and toughed it out from 10a.m. until 8pm when I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to the ER where they had placed a chest tube in the left lung cavity. 3 days later no progression or inflation, 5 days in 2 chest tubes had been replaced and repositioned. Finally the third one wasn’t placed correctly and my right began to collapse which required a chest tube also. Now I was laying in the ICU which two tubes hooked up to suction feeling like I’m in the Matrix or something. Final solution for the left lung was the thoracotomy with pleurodeses thank god it was successful and extremely painful might I Add. The right lung had inflated fully with the help of the chest tube and the surgeon decided it was best not to operate on the right due to the amount of stress that would be on my body. So after a One month stay in that lovely Florida hospital (note the sarcasm). I was released with more scars than Scarface himself. But thankful I’m alive to tell the story now and have been out of the hospital for about 6 months to this day from April 7th, 2012 my admittance day.
  • rjdude

1st pneumo last week

 So 21 male here 6' 1"..135lbs, smoker, green and cigs...until my lung collapsed! OMG i couldn't believe it! i thought id thrown my back out or pinched a nerve or something then i wind up with emergency surgery and a tube in my chest for three days. 9 days without smoking and had my last x-ray yesterday doc said it looked great. THEN i wake up this morning and the pain is there but not as severe. hopefully its just a small one that goes away, i dont know how close together these things can happen. it feels a little different though. instead of the sharp pain throughout the chest its like....when i get to the top of the breath/breath as deep as i can.....it feels like my lung is creating a suction off my ribcage. Normal for recovery? or should i head to the ER in the morning if its not gone.
Michael Corleone


Hi everyone! I'm 20 years old and I had my first pneumothorax sometime last month. I'm a bit of an atypical case: I'm a short, thin female as opposed to a tall, thin male, I had one giant bleb as opposed to a few smaller ones, and I had to have surgery after my very first collapse.

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newbie here

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!!!
amelie eats

Surgery in a few days

Well, I got a call the other day and I am scheduled for surgery on WEDNESDAY (the 17th). Nice notice, eh?
I had to get all my work shifts covered and figure out everything so fast!

I am pretty nervous. I think this one is....thoracotomy? I swear my surgeon said some word that started with a B or something but it was so long ago I can't remember. So basically, I will find out the details for sure on Monday when I go in for Pre-Op.

I wasn't expected such short notice...I've been on the wait-list for almost a year haha.

Anyway, a week in the hospital, couple months recovery. Hopefully I can get EI sick pay! Luckily I just paid off my card so I mostly have to worry about my student loan payments.

I am a bit nervous. I bought myself a cheap laptop to use while in the hospital since all the other times I had my school laptop. Sadly, I don't have blue cross coverage anymore so I will most likely have to stay in a ward. Not that it is a HUGE deal, but last time I had to stay in a ward temporarily, there were 4 old men and I saw waaaaaaaaaay too much of them haha. Of course, in my semi-private I saw a bit too much of my roommate as well, but at least you have some privacy. I asked how much the semi-private and private rooms cost and it's $130/night for semi and $160/night for private. How crazy is that? I could stay at a fancy hotel in the city for that much :P Oh well!

I hope it all goes well..

Thanks for all the support over the years :P


Oh wow!

I had no idea there was a community here for PT people!

I suppose it's intro/storytime, then! :)

I'm Becky, 22 and I've been dealing with this for four years.

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Does anyone have the urge to whack people over the head who blather on about "oh, but you're so tall and skinny! You're perfect!"? [-insert eyerolling on my part-]

I'm glad to be here. :3
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amelie eats


One of our channels, CTV has a program "Live at 5"

Anyway, a few weeks ago they had a segment on collapsed lungs in thin, tall women. Thought that was pretty cool. Too bad I couldn't have been on it lol.

I know I posted before saying I had to see my surgeon to find out if I get the "big" surgery...and I do have to get it. Just waiting for the date.

He said they will slice my back open, remove the abnormal area if they can see it, and then remove the lining of my lung so my lung sticks to my ribs. A week in the hospital, a month recovery.

Fun stuff I tell ya :| ughhh
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amelie eats


Well, I got my tube out yesterday. Fastest recovery of my lung EVER, and it was the worst collaspe. Strange!

Feeling a lot better. The pain is minimal now that the tube is out and I haven't taken oxycodone since yesterday morning (in preparation of getting the tube out), and then one anti-inflammatory later on...and some tylenol at bedtime. I have a horrendous headache. Maybe from going from 2 oxycodone every 5 hrs pus 1 anti-inflammatory 4 times a day to taking none...ughhhh. Well, plus everything else.

I'm still taking it easy and left a message with my surgeon so I can see what he thinks. I sort of didn't want to call him since he said the next time I get the "big surgery" :(

I get to write one of my exams Monday and the other one is still up in the air :/ But I'm fairly confident I will be able to graduate May 14th as planned :) My other prof let me email my take home exam and book report instead of climbing the stairs to his office so that was nice!

Now I will continue to be paranoid of every little pain as I was before... :( I think that is the worst part.

Plus it sucks...everyone is out partying and having fun for being done exams and graduating...and I just sit here like a blob eating chocolate and icecream, watching re-runs of shows on my computer :/ I feel robbed of my graduating experience!!! Last year my friend was graduating and my lung collapsed so I missed getting to see her before she moved back (except for in the hospital a bit)...and this also happened my last day of highschool so I missed that too...

Just not fair sometimes.

Does anyone else just find it so frustrating??? I mean I know it's stupid but I've spent so much time crying when my lung collapses and not just because the pain but just because it's so unfair.......I wonder what I did to deserve this.

Oh my.

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amelie eats

Another pneumo

Well, it's exam time for me...I graduate from University next month. I had been studying hard all day and decided to give myself a 2 hr break...1 hr to just relax and go online...the other to watch Desperate Housewives :P

I was feeling pretty good, then went to watch my show...and BAM...pain in my back....got worse and worse. Called my mom and started to cry because it got so bad. I decided to call a taxi and then that changed to calling 911 because the pain was so unbearable I was scared of the longer drive in the taxi.

Ambulance arrived shortly after and I was put on oxygen/iv and taken to the hospital....got my xrays and sure enough, it was another pneumothorax! same lung (left side).

Finally got drugged up and my side frozen for another tube. This one was different from my others....it's not attached to suction...just sorta hanging there

Here are some pics:

Tube 1
Tube 2
Tube 3...best view I think

It is a TINY tube...wasn't used to that...anyway, they took xrays after and my lung was a lot better. Then I started having worse pains than before. The doctor thinks it was from my lung re-inflating and the tube rubbing against it...because it was more of a burning in the front area (similar to after my first surgery).

After being given tons of meds (I was bawling my eyes out...how embarassing! lol), I started to feel better. My boyfriend arrived from an hour away (at almost 2am) to stay with me, and then they let me go home!!!!! I was sort of confused. So here I am with this tube in me...in tons of pain! and heart monitor stickies all over me lol

The pain has been pretty bad...The nurse gave me percocet for overnight (a box of 4 tablets) and then a prescription for percocet and an anti-inflammatory...

I finally was able to go and get the prescriptions filled...pretty painful, and have barely been able to sit up or move for long all day :(

I'm pretty doped up now and just had a bath and washed my hair to try and feel better...but man, this is worse pain than any of my others, and I believe it's mostly due to the tube (although the pain from the initally collaspe was very very very painful as well!)

So, has anyone had these kinds of tubes before???? And been able to go home with it in??? They were going to keep me but it was very busy there and they thought I was be okay at home (they made sure I was okay pain-wise though)...and luckily I was able to get my boyfriend to come up so I wouldn't be home alone. I was supposed to go back today for an xray but since my last one (after the massive pain attack) was excellent, I can wait until tomorrow.

Another thing, this is the 3rd time my lung has collasped at exam time......has this happened to anyone else??? Last year I missed all of my end of year exams and I will miss them again this year....Bad thing is I'm supposed to graduate May 14th and I don't know if I can write my exams in time (one prof said she had to make a whole new exam for me and wouldnt be ready until the end of May but I'm trying to change that)...so it's very stressful!
It also collapsed my last day of high school in 2002...and then a few other random times..

Oh my...I guess that's all I wanted to say. Hopefully this makes sense....I'm reaaaaaaaaaally doped up.
It's so confusing and irritating...this always happens at the worst times :(

Hope everyone had a great easter!!! :P


ps-> in case it wasn't clear (i read this over and wasn't sure if I made sense), it collapsed LAST NIGHT around 10:05pm, I got home around 3am this morning...Now almost 8pm the next night :P
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