Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: Lionman13, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 04

I feel for you all, and had 15 spontaneous pneumothoraces in the mid/late 90"s. It really messed up my junior and senior years in high school. I was on chest tubes, oxygen, and finally had two surgeries. They removed the top halves of both lungs (where the blebs were predominantly), and tacked the lungs to the walls. I have not had any collapses since but some asthma, and constant allergies, and congestion. I have been exercising 3 or 4 times a week for 9 years, and I amaze even myself. I do feel some aches and pains from the scar tissue sometimes, and get upper respiratory infections yearly it seems. Lately I have been having pains, stinging, and dizziness. This started after I hurt myself doing projects around the house (trampoline). I hope it is not my lungs. The doctors tell me it is pleurisy, or a muscular skeletal injury, or acid reflux.

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Comment from: Wendy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am a fit, healthy female of 44 and have never smoked. I woke up with a pain in my right shoulder, a small dry cough and a feeling as though I"d got air caught in my throat. I thought I"d pulled a muscle. I went to work. During the day it got worse and I struggled to breathe (I thought because it was hurting the pulled muscle). I made an appointment with the emergency nurse at lunchtime for after school and carried on, in a lot of pain. When I went to see the nurse she checked all my signs, and they were good. I was asked to lie on a bed and couldn"t, it was so painful. She asked a doctor to see me, he checked and said he"d send me to hospital to make sure it wasn"t anything serious. The doctor took blood then disappeared. I told my husband that I felt sick and then suggested he get someone. Everything was a blur after that. They had to bring the crash cart in! Anyway, I had a pneumothorax and a hemothorax and they didn"t understand why. I had two chest drains, a blood transfusion, 11 X-rays, 2 CT scans, hourly checks, lots of drugs especially when I came out in a huge rash, transferred to a specialist hospital and all in all was in hospital for 2 weeks and 2 days. I would not want anyone to go through the pain when they insert a drain! After the second one they thought they might have to put another in, I told them they would be putting me to sleep for that one! I am recovering at home now but it"s difficult to know what you can do or can"t. I feel about 112 years old and need to sleep after I do anything. They think it might have been caused by a cyst that burst and caused a collapse of top 2/3 of lung and caused a bleed in the pleura. This means it could happen again. Scary thought really!

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Comment from: notjonny, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I am 34 and get small pneumothorax on almost a daily basis. When I was young I would get them much less often, but they were more severe than I get now. My doctor when I was young said it wasn't a big deal and never did anything about it, not even an x-ray. He just said it's painful but not dangerous. In my early 20s I took a lot of Vioxx, and at that time I was getting a lot of medium sized pneumothorax. Very painful, made it hard to breathe. Vioxx was pulled from the shelves because it was giving people heart attacks, and I stopped taking pain pills. I also found out that NSAIDs can cause pneumothorax, so now I don't take any Advil or aspirin or prescribed NSAIDs. I think the large amount of Vioxx made my lungs much more susceptible to the pneumothorax, which is why I get very small ones all the time now. If you get small ones, the best way for it to go away is to just relax. If your breathing is reduced, take in a breath as big as possible and hold it for 30 seconds. Keep doing that a bunch of times and it should increase the amount of air you can take in. I am a 34 year old female with asthma and connective tissue disorder (Ehlers–Danlos syndrome).

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Comment from: Whitedove, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I got up to go to work and was short of breath, went to work and when I bent over I could not breath at all. My work called the squad, no pain just couldn"t breathe. I had chest tube, then they took out the tube. But my lung lost air again and I was put back on tube; six days later went home. Four years later I had the same thing happening, this time lung would not keep air, so the doctors went in and super glued my lung to my ribs and stapled the holes in my lung. Twelve days later I went home and had to quit work. The bottom of my lung was so full of holes I lost the half of it. I had no pain at the time it happened, but I stay in pain now from the scars.

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Comment from: MADAmbrose, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 10

I have to say that (two years ago) when my left lung collapsed, it was truly the worst pain I've ever experienced. My left lung fully collapsed and I could barely breathe. I'm only 26 (was 24 at the time) and I thought I was having a heart attack. It was my left lung (so it was by my heart) and my arm was also hurting (another sign of heart attack), so I really thought I was having a heart attack. While it's rare in people my age, it's still possible. I was just so scared that it didn't matter what it was. I thought I was dying, and from what I've read here about pneumothorax, I very well could have. It just scares me to death knowing that it will probably happen again. I've been getting pains in my chest again recently. I've been to the emergency room again, but they can't/won't do anything until it actually happens. I'm horrified. I don't want to die.

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Pneumothorax - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax - Treatment Question: Were you hospitalized for your pneumothorax? What types of treatment did you receive, including medication?

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