Sunday, August 16, 2009

On the inside

We went to see the pulmonologist on Friday -- always a mistake! -- and my lungs were even worse than the last time she had seen me two weeks before.

I had some clues beforehand: a slight constriction in my breathing and an increase in fatigue. The advance warning helped me make some preparations for the visits. I washed thoroughly (I'm not supposed to shower at the moment) and gave myself a shampoo in the sink. This will delay my descent into looking bizarre by a day or two. I brought a good book (thanks, Lee!). I even kind of sort of tipped B. by talking to him about how much my doctors are working to help me even when they make choices I don't like, for example keeping me in the hospital. I also skipped lunch, though this was more lack of appetite than premonition. The end result, though, was that we were able to get admitted and get my procedure done (removal of an old tube; insertion of a new one) at a reasonable hour.

Of course, the nurses, billing reps, IV nurses, nursing assistant, residents and the rest of the hospital's manifold "teams" kept me up most of the night; but that's just the way the place works. My room is quiet and, at the moment, I share it with no one.

The plan now? Get a CT scan and form a plan. Everyone's memory is shaky but it seems we've done VATS twice on the right side, but only a bedside pleurodesis on the left. So perhaps a pleurodesis is in order. Troublingly, and unlike every other procedure of this type that I have had, my lung didn't immediately reinflate with air and return to its proper position. I have no idea why. The recent removal of the other tube, or something more sinister?


Anonymous said...

My lungs are wierd in that way too. I've never had them deflate fast. It's always gradual. reinflating with the chest tube usually takes a couple days i think. that's how it's been with mine, if that helps you. so hopefully, it's just the slow flow of air. hang in their partner.

SG said...

that's encouraging, thanks. do they inflate slowly with big chest tubes or just with the pigtails?

Anonymous said...

we are sending good thoughts your way. thinking about all of you everyday! kim, josh, jacob, sam and sophie