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 wasnโ€™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 itโ€™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. ๐Ÿ™‚

87 Comments

  1. Great news! Yeah, I’ve been to the emergency 3 times and the waits just keep getting longer and longer. When I broke my right arm during football practice, it was a 90 minute before I finally saw the doctor… after nurses checked up on me. It was almost twice the wait for the doctor after I broke my left arm after goofing around while playing basketball. The last visit to the emergency room was a little over 3 1/2 hours wait time for the doctor, but she walked in for about a minute, asked a few questions, and left. I’ll tell you this… nurses are important to a hospitals and make the wait much easier.

    NissanNut
  2. I remember the first time I went to the ER. Of course, it was after a five minute ride in the ambulance with my right leg broken in three places and the foot twisted toward the other. It was a painful experience I suffered for five months. I hope it won’t be painful as mine.

    Man, that specialist better give you some good news.

    Knightmare213
  3. good luck hope you get better

    at least it wasnt like me the first time i went to hospital emergency that i remember (i prob went once cant remember since i was like 4 or 5 or something) was like 2 and 1/2 yrs ago when i found out i had cancer
    with 2 yrs of treatment but thats all good now you get used to the wait(like over 2hrs sometimes 6 hrs or more) after you go there few times

    someone
  4. Yeah I’ve been to the ER once because it was late night and all the urgent care places were closed. Took them 2 1/2 – 3 hours to put 5 stitches in my finger.

    Anyways your injury/condition sounds a little more serious than mine was, but hopefully it will heal up like they said.

  5. I make a point in keeping as far away from hospitals… or any kind of doctors for that matter, as possible. Good luck with your lung. I hope it heals and you won’t have to have anything stuck into it -.-

    That wait sure was loooooong. Did they build the machines right when they got you?

  6. As someone who’s been through a lung biopsy and suffered a long while with tubes stuck in his chest let me say one thing: You do not want to have tubes stuck in you! >_

    melange
  7. Hmm I hope that tear doesn’t get any bigger. I’m glad you want to see the doctor when you did though, lots people tend to ignore such symptoms and just think nothing of it.

    ER is nothing like what people think of it sterotypically (i.e. what happens on medical dramas). I work at one so I would know. But yea most small community hospitals tend to be pretty quiet, steady flow of patients at it’s busiest (unless there was a code orange in the area). But 90mins wait (after the inital assessment by the nurse) isn’t so bad. Some of the patients at our hospital some times have to wait up to four hours+ before the doctor even comes to see them. And that’s nice that there’s a tv in the room, really distracts you from the wait time (at least I think it would).

    Like I said I hope that tear doesn’t get bigger and that it’ll start to heal itself. You’re a good blogger and it’s great to read your entries but health comes first. Take care.

    Angel
  8. Darn it… my post got cut off…

    Continuation: Even if it hurts, its good to take some deep breaths now and then. That way the lung can expand more easily to its original capacity.

    melange
  9. I’m glad it’s nothing extremely serious! I think the community would probably implode or explode or some sort of “plode” if anything happened to RC. ๐Ÿ˜› But, even more importantly, YOU are okay! Health > anime? Yes!

    Take care of yourself as best you can. ใŠใ ใ„ใ˜ใซ๏ผ

  10. oh man that sounds pretty serious problem.

    I hope the docs can heal you (less pain, if possible) to 100%.
    And be 100% cured.

    So, us readers can enjoy your amazing blogs and comments d(^.^)b.

    Get well soon.

    Jubo
  11. Boy, I feel for you dude, one of my close friends had his right lung collapse on him 2 years ago, and then his left one last year. He had to have surgery on both of his lungs and had about 3-6 month recuperation period. I was told the same thing as to how its genetic and due to my friend’s height (around 6 foot 8) and being thin (I think he’s 170-180 lbs).

    Hopefully things work out and you get better!

    BOZZY
  12. I’m glad to hear that you are okay. I hope you will get better and that the pain isn’t too much. You’re very smart, a lot of people choose to ignore the pain and will not go get a checkup. I hope you get well really soon!!

    Celeste
  13. I hope you get well soon. This is a very eeire concidence, this also happened to my cousin 3 months ago and I had to rush her to the hospital, when her other lung collapsed 4 days later. She took 2 weeks to get out of the hospital and is only now approaching her normal self. I hope yours is a milder case, unlike my cousin, who seemed to have the worst case scenario.

    Artking
  14. Oh my god, I just read what you wrote and if that would have happened to me I would be really really shocked oO
    How are you? So the follow x-ray is today afternoon, I hope it’s gonna be fine and that the tear gets smaller really fast.
    รคhm.. yeah, that’s it ^^”
    And I’m worried about you (like everyone else who visits this blog I guess). People around me got sick a lot, so I can’t help but worry about you XD (sorry if that’s annoying since it’s definitely not as comforting as “good to hear that you are ok” or anything).

    get better soon.
    greetings. estella

    estella
  15. um… I had the same condition as you early this year too… I think. It happened after I did a lot of sit-up than usual. I didn’t went to the doctor… was planning to… but I just endure the pain for 3 – 4 days… trying not to breath so hard and lay tower my right side when I sleep instead of left side… I really thought my lung (or heart) going to burst … it eventually don’t hurt anymore, so I didn’t go to a doctor. This condition is called pneumothorax eh… scary T_T Hope it doesn’t happen again to me or you again.

    FalloutDude
  16. Ugh, ER was torturous for me last time I was there, hurt my toe from someone’s heel coming down on it in a cleat, took an hour and a half to be admitted, a quick x-ray of my toe, then a 2 and a half hour wait until they told me they wouldn’t have to melt my toenail open (without even telling me what was wrong with it o_O).

    Anyway, hope you get better, but you should try the painkillers, they really do help even though you’ll probably be asleep for most of the time ๐Ÿ˜›

    Dash
  17. i had taht a few yrs back..especially when after they stick the tube in and the condition aint getting better, resulting in a operation to patch it up… hope u wont have to go through this..and get well soon ^^

    wthis
  18. Dude, I hope you’re gonna get better pretty soon.

    And I hope you won’t get a nervous breakdown or so. I’m always down when I’m sick (which, fortunately I rarely am) but I hope it’s not the same for you.

    Rest for now, there is nothing to be ashamed in not updating the site. As the doctors said, it can get smaller and heal by itself or it can get bigger if you don’t behave (ya bad boy ^^).

    Come back, and in good shape, as soon as possible! We’re with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    gammaoh
  19. omg…i feel so sad!! my friend had to go to the hospital for 5 months because she got like some blood infection thing and she already had a hole in her heart! ill pray for you! i very very very very much hope you get better!!! ^_^ smilie face

    KiLa
  20. OMG… I hate hospitals -_-
    (have scars from hot milk at age 1.8 on my left arm and chest…)
    I really wish you to be healthy again! think of it as part of an anime…
    maybe HanTsuki XD but with a better ending of course… ~_^

  21. Wow! All that and you’re still updating! Thats called real dedication. I just wanted to let you know that your blog is my absolute favorite and it really influences what I watch. So keep up the great work and feel better!

    Amita
  22. oh wow. I got pneumothorax the same way too. was in the gym for a while, then i felt a sharp pain on my left side, where the stomach is. doc didnt know what was wrong as i kept telling him the pain was internal, so he sent me for an xray. Pneumothorax. observed me for 4 hours in the emergency, then told me to come back 4 days later.

    After the 4 days, i came back, got xrayed. and 2 docs came out. and told me it got more serious, and they need to insert a chest tube. so there i went, morphine and all, tube in which hurt a real lot. and the tube stayed in for 3 days. i was so thankful it was finally over, and i got a sore back from carrying the case seal around.

    yakumo
  23. I sympathize with you 100%, as I also had a form of pneumothorax some months ago.
    Anyone who has to lie in bed with a tube in them for god knows how long knows how badly it sucks.

    Hope you get better soon, (in fact, I know you will) and stay strong.

    Kaori-sama

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