Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

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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Comment from: lilyum269, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

With pneumothorax, I had my left lung collapse three times in 18 days. The first one happened, they placed a chest tube in the emergency room, it re-inflated, and I was sent home a few days later. Upon leaving the hospital my lung collapsed again. I went in the next morning n had another chest tube placed. I had to have surgery to fuse my lung and chest wall together. A few days later they pulled my chest tube from surgery and immediately collapsed my lung again. So I had one more chest tube placed and removed a few days later and since then no problems.

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Comment from: Outside-Lookin-iN, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

The first time I had a spontaneous pneumothorax I had no idea what it was and thought I may have just pulled a muscle in my chest. I waited it out and it eventually healed on its own. A few months later I woke up one day with the same pain in the left side of my chest, a few days later that same pain shot down the right side of my chest, little did I know both my lungs had collapsed. I went to the walk-in clinic, got a chest x-ray and went home. About an hour later they called me up and told me to get to the hospital right away, where I was diagnosed with a bilateral spontaneous pneumothorax. Having the chest tube inserted was probably the worst pain I've ever experienced, lying in the hospital bed with two tubes jutting out of either side of my chest was also pretty horrible. The chest tubes didn't work so I needed surgery to repair the problem, I also had a preventive surgery (pleurodesis and pleurectomy I believe) once my lungs were back up. I still have pain over a year later, but at least it's not constant.

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Comment from: Eddy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I had pain in my chest during a basketball game, I felt I couldn't breathe and the pain increased. I was transported to the emergency room and they diagnosed me with pneumothorax, they didn't make a drain, they only gave me some calming medications to rest and I was out of hospital 5 days after! During this period no tubing was suggested as my lung decreased the collapse from 30% to 5%. But unfortunately the symptoms have shown up again after 5 months after having pneumonia. I had to enter the hospital again but now for a surgery. All went well, it was painful, but since 5 years from the operation it hasn't happened again. Sometimes, especially during winter times, I again feel some pain in the same left lung the, one I had the operation on, but when I take the routine check-up nothing appears. I have also a minor scoliosis and I also had asthma, but it disappeared when I was older.

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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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