It’s funny how the little, mostly unpleasant things, like yawning and burping can be totally taken for granted. This morning was the first time since last Thursday that I was able to get a good, satisfying yawn in. And of course just typing the word made me do it again. I’m writing this from the hospital, which is where I’ve been since Friday afternoon. Here’s what happened:
Thursday morning I woke up at 5 a.m because I had a training at 8 across town. So I blow dried my hair, and Eric left for work. Pretty much right after he left I began having intense chest pressure. I thought I was having either bad indigestion or beginning to get pneumonia (I had a cough and chest congestion earlier in the week, and know several people who have had pneumonia this summer). I pushed through the pain and shortness of breath and got the kids up and we headed to the babysitter. As I got moving and busy, the pain got better, or maybe I just ignored it? I made it through the training, insurance open enrollment, and went out to see my classroom. The chest pain had subsided mostly but I still couldn’t get a good breath of air and I had a persistent upper back pain. We decided that I would go to urgent care that evening, after Eric got home, to make sure nothing was coming on right before I started back to work on Monday.
At urgent care they did a chest x-ray, EKG, and had me drink this stuff that would get rid of indigestion, if that’s what it was, which I knew it wasn’t. Everything that the nurse could see came back fine. But the radiologist would look over my x-rays the next day to be sure. I knew all along that it was my lungs, but thought it may just be the early stages of an infection. Friday, around 1 o’clock, I got a call from urgent care that the radiologist had looked at my x-rays and saw that my left lung had a slight collapse. They told me to head to the ER. I loaded up the kids, with their over night bags, and met Eric and my parents there.
With the understanding that I had a slight collapse, and wasn’t having any chest pain, just some back soreness, I thought it would be a quick procedure to pump me back up, and I’d be on my way. Even driving my parent’s big red truck, Clifford, home. Oh, how I was wrong. Another chest x-ray later, showed a 50% collapse in my upper left lung. Within an hour of being there I was being prepped to have a chest tube inserted and was told I’d be in the hospital for a minimum of two days. Cue the tears and fears.
They gave me a slight sedative and numbed the location. The entire procedure was done in about 30 minutes. Basically, the chest tube suctions air out of my chest cavity to make room for my lung to re-inflate.