Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: rasha, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I am 25 year old. I had pneumothorax when I was 21. I am not tall, am of medium height. It suddenly happened to me while talking to a friend. I couldn't breathe, felt so weak and couldn"t move my right hand! One of the worst aches ever and my lips turned up blue! I went to the emergency room and they've done a chest tube for one week, then an operation to be sure that there won't be any chance to get a pneumothorax once again. It worked but I still get pain from time to time and it kills me and I wonder how to deal with it. Sometimes I take a deep breath sometimes it stays for days. I should be away from smoking areas and smokers.

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Comment from: evi, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I"m a 32 year old very active mom of 3. I have never smoked, never done drugs, not particularly tall. I woke up one day and was short of breath but had no pain. Over the course of the week following I went on with my life. I carried my baby, went to the gym, went bowling, etc. It seemed like I was actually getting better but the cough was what made my husband insist on my seeing a doctor. I was dumbfounded when I heard the diagnosis of pneumothorax. I got a chest tube in the urgent care center (I"d rather give birth again) and was transported to the hospital. The doctor said that it"s probably from lifting weights at the gym. I"m on my third day at the hospital and still had a 10% collapse today. Tube is out though. If it"s still 10% tomorrow I get to go home, finally.

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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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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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