I’m back now, more or less ok. The short story is that I have a partially collapsed lung, aka. a pneumothorax. It should get better on it’s own in a few days (hopefully).
The long story:
On Tuesday night, I got off the exercise bike and felt some back pains. At the time, I thought nothing of it and assumed it was just muscle strain. The problem persisted through the night and into the next day. Basically, it hurt whenever I took a deep breath and whenever I was lying on my back. Enough alarms went off in my head that I went to see my doctor today. She did a normal check-up and took some chest x-rays. Unfortunately, their office equipment wasn’t that great. And so while she saw some abnormalities in the x-ray, she couldn’t tell exactly what it was. Her advice was to go to the ER.
So I came home, grabbed my stuff, wrote that quick update, and went on my way to the hospital. Now mind you, I’ve never been to the emergency room, so I had no idea what the experience is like. It ended up being better than I thought it’d be, though the local hospital was a lot smaller than I expected. The triage nurse checked me up, I filled out some paperwork, and then I waited. About 45 minutes later, they called my name, put me in a small room, and made me change into one of those hospital gowns. Then came an even longer wait. After the initial nurse who took my blood pressure and my temperature, no one showed up for the next 90 minutes. I had brought this week’s issue of Time Magazine (which has a Nintendo Wii preview incidentally) to read and there was also a TV in the room to keep me occupied. The ER doctor finally came and examined me, and then sent me to get more chest x-rays and a blood test done.
Once those tests were done, there was more waiting until the doctor finally came back. His diagnosis was that I have a partially collapsed lung, aka. a pneumothorax. According to him, it wasn’t something specific I had done as much as it was just because I’m tall and thin (or as he referred to it, “genetics”). From the x-ray, he thought that my left lung had a tear of some sort and some air got out. There had also been some internal bleeding. Usually a small pneumothorax heals by itself as the body absorbs the air. But there’s always the chance that the tear gets bigger instead of smaller, in which case they have to stick a tube inside of me and start sucking out the air. He told me to come back tomorrow afternoon for a follow-up x-ray and to go see another specialist next week for a check-up. There really wasn’t any medicine he could prescribe me except for painkillers (which I turned down).
And so I’m still in pain, but it’s comforting to know that it’ll get better (hopefully). A huge Thank You to everyone for their support – it really means a lot to me. 🙂