Pop Goes My Lung: The Biggest Struggle

I was so eager to get out of the confines of the hospital I never once considered that I would no longer be on constant pain medication, complements of my IV, nor would I have a handful of people at my beckon call any time I needed something.

I also didn't consider the fact that without that pain medication, the two incisions through my rib cage and the fact that my lung had been purposefully beaten and bruised would actually hurt a LOT more.

[ Pop Goes My Lung Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3 // Part 4 // Part 5 // Part 6

It was somewhere around a week before I literally left my parents recliner. I literally couldn't get out myself if it was reclined, because I just could not use any of my core muscles without crying in pain. I had to have my mom or dad help me get up out of a chair any time I needed to go use the restroom, or eat. I slept in the recliner just because a bed was SO uncomfortable.

Even worse than the physical pain though, was the emotional side. It wasn't until I was back home at my parents house that it really hit me what I had just been through. I mean I woke up on a Friday morning just like every other week before that except my lung was no longer functioning. And then I had a weeklong rollercoaster of emotions when I thought I was recovering, and then learned I was getting worse, and visa versa. And then in one fell swoop I was being taken to a different hospital and rushed into surgery in the lingering hours of the night. And then... THEN.... after being constantly watched, monitored, cared for, they up and sent me home to handle it all on my own. (Granted, I wasn't on my own, my mom once again rearranged her work schedule so I was rarely left alone at their home, and my dad and LT put in their fair share of babysitting time)

So I spent somewhere around an entire week or two in tears. I was in pain. Coughing would hurt, breathing would hurt, moving would hurt. And to top it off the pain medication they had me on was making it worse. I couldn't sleep. I would get an hour or two at night. And when I did doze off, I was having the most vivid, outlandish dreams that would wake me up. I was struggling with the mental aspect where I knew my lung was well enough to go home, but my body wasn't recovered enough to be normal again. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. And it was scary.

People would crack jokes about "oh aren't you back at work yet? Slacker!" and it would send me off the edge into a crying fit.

It was a few weeks before I ventured out of their house. At least four or five weeks before I was able to be up walking around in a semi-pain free state. Six weeks before I even made it back to work. Over six weeks before I even returned to my own house, and even then I had my mom or LT staying with me.

Truth be told, as I sit here writing this today, two months to the date of my spontaneous pneumothorax, I still struggle with it.

I still get SO frustrated that I am not back to "normal". I don't have the physical capabilities I did. I'm still not able to be completely independent. I can't even mow my own grass for god's sake. And for the girl who has always been too stubborn to ask for help, this isn't an easy thing to face.



Babygirl said...

Hang in there girl! You will get through this...and in the mean time, just enjoy being taken care of, despite how hard and sometimes discouraging it can be!

Classy Fab Sarah said...

I can't even begin to imagine what you've been through - it's a pretty crazy thing to go from "healthy" one day to dangerously ill the next.

You will get back to normal.... just probably not as soon as you would like to!

Jennifer said...

This has got to be difficult and the fact that people joke about work would piss me off too. They just don't realize the pain you are in.

Hang in there and get well soon, sweetie!

Nikki said...

Girl IDK how the hell you got through this! At least you are feeling better now!

Carolyn said...

Seriuosly. I don't know how you kept so silent about all this when it was happening! I can't imagine! Hopefully you get "normal" back soon! Take care of yourself girlie!

Kerr said...

I hope you are feeling better soon. It sucks to rely on someone to help you with every little thing!

undomestic mama said...

Oh Chelsea, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I followed the story a bit on twitter and Instagram but reading it now, I'm scared FOR you. It's funny how through all of this you still have your sense of humor, it shows how strong you are that you can still be yourself after all you've been through. I know it's not easy, but know that all of us(and prayers if you're that type.)

Heather said...

You are so strong! Seriously, I don't know how you've held it together so well. I know I would've been a wreck. Just lean on those who love you for now and take it slowly. <3

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jax said...

I am so glad you're alright, but I couldn't imagine how hard the recovery is. I, too, am stubborn and have a hard time if ever unable to do things for myself. But, so glad you have so many great people helping you. In a year, hopefully this will just be a passing thought and not a daily worry. I'm so impressed with you, girl. This isn't easy and I couldn't even begin to say I relate. The pills they gave me when I broke my back totally wrecked my dreams, too. I had these horrible nightmares where I kept trying to wake up but my body just wouldn't let me. It was horrible and my recovery wasn't nearly as involved as what you're going through. Sending hugs and strength, friend. You're a rockstar and you'll get through this.

♥ Marcy ♥ said...

I am thinking about you girl. I can't imagine what you have been going through! Hugs

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