Pop Goes My Lung: The Persistent Leak

X-Ray was taken when I first got to the ER.

The hilarity here is that I shot my boss an email that Sunday evening (yes, two days after my lung spontaneously combusted) saying I probably wouldn't be into work Monday but I'd be back Tuesday. In retrospect, I crack up at how naive I had been. In reality, I did not return to work for 6 Mondays following that email.

(the next part of the Pop Goes My Lung Saga continues below. Click here to catch up on part one and part two!

After the ER doctor inserted the chest tube, her little optimistic self assured me that my lung would re-inflate and heal itself and I'd be out of the hospital on Monday.

(This is the waterseal that my chest tube connected to, don't ask me exactly what it did... besides something to do with monitoring breathing and sucking out air)
Little did she know that not once in my life has any aspect gone the "easy" route. So naturally, when my lung refused to re-inflate and heal itself time and time again in those following days it really came as no surprise to me.

My life that week was a constant hypocritical, anxiety-inducing battle. One minute I'd be telling everyone I was getting out of the hospital the next day, and the next minute I was discussing surgery with my doctor. Having never spent any time whatsoever as a hospital patient, I was uneasy and restless, but quickly settled into some semblance of a routine.

Every morning involved an x-ray, every meal I would get the fresh fruit cup, every passing hour involved HGTV, every four hours was pain pills, every afternoon was sprinkled with visitors, and every evening my mom would pull out the recliner and sleep by my side.

Somehow in the grand scheme of things I was graced with a little bit of luck on my side, and my doctor who was assigned to me once I was settled into an inpatient room, had wifed up a thoracic surgeon. Which means he would hurry home every night and tell her thoracic surgery-loving-self about my lung's activities for the day. (At least that's how I imagine it in my head. Why wouldn't my organ be the thriving topic of their dinner conversation?!)

After six days of that roller coaster ride, it finally became evident to all parties involved that my lung was not going to heal on it's own using the traditional method. And surgery became inevitable. The moment that sealed the deal was when I began to squeak. Hinting that not only was my chest tube not doing what it was supposed to,but also that air was leaking out of it. If I laughed, sneezed, breathed in deep, my chest would squeal like a dying dog toy.

So while my doctor wrote up the transfer orders to send me to the hospital where his wife did her surgeries, Mom and I packed up six days worth of flowers, candy, balloons and other random goodies and I got to experience my very first (and hopefully last ever) ambulance ride.

The laughs and smiles ended shortly after the paramedics wheeled me into my new hospital room. I went from having a new, spacious room to myself to sharing a tiny, cramped, outdated hospital room with what seemed to be a crazy, crack addict. After a few hours of her constant requests for drugs and more drugs, I had a breakdown and asked every nurse, doctor or cleaning person I saw to please, please, PLEASE get me out of there.

[The story continues on with Part 4 here]


♥ Marcy ♥ said...

You poor thing! Does it sound bad that I can't wait til' your next post about this?! You leave me hanging but it's only because I am glad you are okay!

Nikki said...

1 I am so so sorry you had to go though this.

2. I love e way you are telling this story.

Babygirl said...

I think we are lost soul sisters...I too cried and begged and pleaded for a new room on one of my hospital stays (not the lung on this one), when my lovely old lady roomy started accusing her husband of hitting on me....and as luck would have it, they had a private...only it was on the maternity ward, which is where my happy a$$ went. I was still in HS, so you can imagine the nice rumors that started to flow from that experience. I actually had a teacher pull me to the side and was all concerned, because she evidently thought my 16 year old self had a miscarriage...lol. I'm so glad you are better now, and even better that you are able to find some humor in this unfortunate situation, now that it is over. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!!

Jen said...

The way you are telling this story is amazing now many people could do it. :)

Ashley @ ladyacray.blogspot.com said...

Oh my goodness you poor thing! I love how you talk about it like it's no big thang. What a crazy experience!

Jenn @ West Sac Honey said...

Aw Chelsea I can't believe all of this happened to you!

Betsy said...

So glad you're on the mend. What a crazy experience, nonetheless.

Jennifer said...

So sorry you had to go through all this. I think I would be crying the whole time.