Having had a lovely quiet weekend, where my lungs were well behaved, and more surprisingly perhaps so was I, I woke up this morning looking forward to gearing up for a week of improvements. I felt a little tight chested so after struggling to move around perched precariously on the arm of a chair (where else when you are surrounded by beds chairs and pillows) to do a nebuliser. As I was doing so I cleared my throat and felt a ping and that same old flood of pain and pressure. Instinct took over, as did fear of a repeat of two weeks ago, and I ran and pulled the emergency chord and then out into the corridor (although not very far as O2 tubing causes comical dog on leash movement at all times). Credit to them every single doctor and nurse came flying. I was struggling quite a bit by this point but was aware that it wasn’t getting any worse, so immediately started apologising to everyone (in between trying to breathe) for pulling the emergency chord which is really a cardiac arrest button and clearly my heart was still beating as I could feel it reverberating all the way from my eardrums to my toes.
So here’s where we stand now. It was another collapse, as I felt the “ping” so that brings me to a grand total of 4 pneumos in just over 2 weeks. Now the good news is, this was unbelievably painful. I know that may not at first sound like good news, but the reason it was so painful is because the air was pushing on the lung trying to force it to collapse, but instead of collapsing with good grace, it is sticking nicely to the lining therefore refused to budge very far at all. That conflict of interest is what caused the pain, so is an excellent sign as we want that lung to stick to prevent huge great ER type dramas as exhibited previously.
The somewhat more disheartening news is that this is a step in the wrong direction. I was put back on suction straight away, will remain so at present, and so am back to being tied to the bed. This was also a major blow to my morale, as it puts an immediate halt on leaving the hospital (at all) until this is resolved, as it is just not safe. I would be lying if I said I have managed to be positive all day.
I had a CT scan, which revealed a large patch of air in front of the lung. The drain is sitting nicely in its own little spot behind the lung. This means it is not being particularly efficient at clearing said new airspace, and so we will be in talks tomorrow with the surgeons about putting in a new drain. This new drain experience will be bittersweet, good because it will be under controlled conditions not a hasty life-saving manoeuvre, but because I am stable, I will be far more aware of it, and it isn’t the most pleasant of things. But still, surely better to have unpleasantness than to be critical, so stop your whinging Em. Plus Lu is staying the night tonight, and we have had a muchos fun night, who says hospitals are no place to have a sleepover!
Ironically, the thing that has cheered me up most and kicked me back into fighting spirit is the following episode. Things have been very stable this evening but obviously the doctors have hammered home to me the importance of reporting any change, even if I think I am being silly. I was sitting up and began to notice a slight pain as I breathed in, and a small but pretty insignificant increase in pressure. Remembering to be adult and forward thinking, I bleeped the nurse, and reported this, congratulating myself in my professional and cautious manner on doing so. About 20 mins later, feeling was still there, so I decided to move off the bed to see if a change of position altered it. In order to do so I leant over to move my bedside table, only to discover I may or may not have positioned it directly onto my suction tube. Since removing large and heavy object from delicate tubing I have noticed a significant improvement, so whilst I am not a doctor, my medical instinct tells me this could perhaps have caused that change in pressure. Who can be sure…
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1 week ago