The day my world (lung) collapsed.

A guest post from my mummy.

Dear Bella, I’m writing this open letter to you from A&E. I’m sorry that you can’t see me right now but I’m in so much pain that it’s not a good idea. You see today was the day my lung collapsed.

Collapsed lung

So, how did it happen? Who knows… just bad luck. An initial trip to my GP the Monday rung alarm bells in my head. I couldn’t breath properly and had a crazy pain in my shoulder. Almost like a panic attack I shrugged it off as stress a week before our holiday. I was sent on my way with an inhaler and hopes that the pain was fleeting.

Collapsed lung

However as the days passed a pain in my chest developed, tightness and shortness of breath. I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without feeling light-headed and fighting to catch my breath. Deep down I knew something wasn’t right.

I couldn’t sleep on my right side, crackling in my throat kept me awake and I was too uncomfortable to breathe. However I still went to work like a trooper thinking it was my muscles playing up as they often do in my back.

Collapsed lung

It all came to ahead on Friday March 3rd, 5 days before our holiday. Going into work and putting on a brave face on I knew something was wrong. I booked an emergency appointment with the GP based on my gut feeling that this pain was new. However after a quick evaluation the GP armed me with a prescription of antibiotics and steroids I felt relived that a chest infection could be determined and cured. Our holiday plan was still gleaming on the horizon.

Collapsed lung

How wrong I was.

This was the night my dream of Mexico collapsed. I was told to go to hospital by my GP to confirm the infection on a chest X-ray but instead it revealed something much more sinister. The radiographer even joked how ‘long’ my lungs were saying the X-ray dept would be in contact in a week if anything showed abnormal. Driving to nursery 20 mins later I got the call. The call to come back to hospital where a consultant would be waiting for me at A&E. It put the fear of god into me. The hospital wanted me back as a matter of urgency, something showed up on the x-ray and no-one would tell me what was wrong. Not the poor lad that took my vitals and asked probing question, who put my catheter in and wheeled me into resuscitation on my own.

Collapsed lung

The nurses and staff looked at me in disbelief as I walked into theatre, I was chatting away and joking. I looked healthy, apart from my laboured breaths and pain in my shoulder you’d never had guessed my right lung had shrunk to the size of my fist. 75% smaller than it should be.

Collapsed lung

A crude drawing displayed a healthy lung on the right and my lung on the left. How was I coping, walking, talking so well, they couldn’t tell me. All they could tell me was that I was extremely lucky I didn’t board that plane for Mexico.

Because if I had I may not be here to tell you this story. I had a large primary pneumothorax, an abnormal collection of air in the pleural space that causes an uncoupling of the lung from the chest wall and the air needed to be removed from the pleural space so that my lung could expand again. Later in the night a chest tube was placed between my ribs into the space around the lungs to help drain the air and allow the lung to re-expand. I slept with the chest tube protruding out of my ribs on a busy ward. It’s only been 24hrs since the diagnosis so fingers crossed I’m on the mend. I’m a 36yr old, healthy non-smoker with long lungs.

Collapsed lung

So even though I’m extremely sad, gutted, disappointed to not be joining you, my family, my Isabella – I get to see another day, take another breath.

I hope you have a fantastic time with Daddy, Grandma and Grandad in Mexico next week, you’ll have a whale of a time. I’ll be here when you get back. Bring me a sombrero!

Love Mummy x

My Petit Canard
Mudpie Fridays

46 thoughts on “The day my world (lung) collapsed.

  1. OMG I hope you’re doing better now. So shocked to read this. I’m so glad you trusted your instincts. Gutted you’ve missed your holiday but there will be others to enjoy together. Sending lots of hugs and love xxx

  2. Oh you poor thing! It must’ve been absolutely terrifying, I’m so glad that you’re in the mend now. It’s so scary to think what could’ve happened if someone hadn’t of caught it. Sending love xoxoxo

  3. Oh my goodness, you poor thing. Thank God you went in when you did. It’s quite scary how the docs just didn’t know and kept giving you medication. Sorry you don’t get to go to Mexico but at least you’ll have that time to rest up and get better. Take care lovely xx

  4. Oh no! Sorry to hear what happened, but so glad that you had it diagnosed before you left for Mexico. Get a lot of rest and hope you’re out of hospital again soon.

  5. Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry it’s come so randomly for you. I’ve had a pulled back muscle before and just even that makes breathing hard but yours sounds really painful :(. I hope you’re better very very soon andxan rebook the holiday xx

  6. OMG this is terrifying. Something happened similar to my fella when he randomly got pneumonia. Do they honestly not know what triggered this for you? I’m so glad you’re able to tell your story cause there will be so many people out there, like you, who would have soldiered on and carried on as normal at work. I know it’s disappointing not going to Mexico but health comes first of course. Thinking of you and wishing you positive vibes and a speedy recovery.

  7. Wow, when did this happen? Are you okay now? This is really sound like an incredibly strong woman, working through all that pain for so long.

  8. Oh gosh what a horrible thing to happen to you. I hope you get better soon. So sorry that you didn’t get to go on your holiday but at least you are alive and breathing!

  9. Oh my goodness! This is terrifying…..I hope you feel better soon! So sorry you are missing your holiday xxx

  10. Wow, how did that even happen? You poor thing and thank goodness it was caught in time. I wouldn’t have thought a collapsed lung would have been that easily missed by so many professionals. A scary thought. Get well soon! xxx

  11. I am so sorry to read this, am gutted for you that you will miss your holiday. Hope you are back to normal very soon ((hugs))

  12. Oh my goodness so lucky that you didn’t get on the plane for your holiday. Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery, Chloe #MarvMondays

  13. I can’t believe this happened to you but I’m so glad you didn’t get on that plane, I can’t imagine the damage the pressure would have done. You’re in the best place with people there who can look after you. Sending you all my wishes x

  14. Oh what a horrid ordeal and missing such an amazing holiday, however it will all be worth it to come home and see your family at the other end of the holiday! #marvmondays

  15. #MarvMondays how blessed you are to access the right care at the perfect time and how much does it suck to miss family time? this made me feel very appreciative of my health – a reminder we all need.

  16. Oh wow, how scary. But like what the doctors said, if you had boarded that plane how different things could have been. Hope your recovery goes well, your family will be glad to see you fit again. #marvmondays

  17. Oh god you poor thing! I can’t believe that this happened and you had so many GPs miss it. Thank goodness they did that scan to check and found it in time. So glad to read you are on the mend, I hope you’re feeling better too. Thanks for linking up despite clearly being unwell! Emily #MarvMondays.

  18. oh wow thats horrendous, I can’t believe you were able to still function so well with a lung hardly working to capacity. Its such a good job you went and found out what was the matter and didn’t end up going on holiday as it could have been much worse. I hope you’re feeling tonnes better soon xxx

  19. Reading this gave me goosebumps! I’m so glad that you are on the mend but I cannot imagine how scary that must have been 😦 #MarvMondays

  20. oh dear me! couldn’t believe what had happened! Strange things and scary too! You are one brave woman and a beautiful mom! Wishing you a very speedy recovery and hope things are mending faster. xxx

  21. What a horrible scary time you’ve had – thank goodness you went and had the pain checked out and followed your instincts. Sometimes it’s easier as busy mothers to carry on and hope it’ll go away. What a scary experience but thank goodness you’re OK. #bloggerclubuk

  22. Sounds like you are having a right time of it 😦 sorry you missed your holiday but at least you are on the right place now. Im in hospital at the min 2 its rubbish being away from family 😦 xx #bloggerclubuk

  23. Awww I’m so sorry you don’t get to go to Mexico. It’s great that you are in tune with your body and you get to live another day. Mexico can wait till you are better. #BloggerClubUK

  24. Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear this happened to you! It’s good that you went back to the GP. And it’s also good you weren’t going to Mexico a few weeks earlier, you could have ended up in a Mexican hospital! I hope you are well soon lovely, take it easy! Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK

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