My husband once had a spontaneous pneumothorax. For you layman's (as I was before the experience) that means his lung spontaneously collapsed.
The amazing part of the whole ordeal, because it was an ordeal, was we didn't realize right away. You'd think if one of your lungs collapsed you'd know. Well, we were busy moving. He felt like he was having a heart attack but that passed. The pain subsided but he was still short of breath. No biggie. Our son's 3rd birthday party was later that day. Had to keep moving. Death does not come before the 3rd birthday, at least not if you don't know it.
I tried to make my husband feel better. I assured him it wasn't heart attack. At least I was right about that. I put vicks on his feet like his Mother always does and gave him Mylanta. Yes, I gave my husband with a collapsed lung Mylanta. I am, and forever will be, a bitch!
Honestly, I thought he was being a whiny wuss. I was 5 months pregnant with our second, moved to a new apartment with only the aide of my Mother, was raising a 2 year old, and he was complaining. We were all exhausted. In my defense, he never said he was short of breath. Never. That is a BIG red flag.
So 2 days went by and he woke up on Monday with a fever of 40 degrees C (104 F). Mr. Rant never has a fever and even if he did, that was high for 7am! I told him he was going to the hospital, all this was too weird and this fever was not ok. He insisted on going to work.
What would any woman married to a stubborn Brazilian man do? Call their Mother! I so called his Mother. She drove in, with his Father, from the country to take him to the hospital. Of course it was around lunch when they arrived and there's a hospital close to my place, so you can guess what happened. They walked to lunch, ate, and then walked to the hospital. Imagine everyone's surprised when he was immediately admitted and an emergency procedure had to be done.
Turned out, that day he felt like he was having a heart attack, his lung had collapsed. It had been collapsed so long that he developed bacterial pneumonia. His collapsed lung was also compromising his good lung and it was, at the time he went to the hospital, about to collapse. I was told if he had not gone to the hospital, he would have died in bed next to me that night.
What a lovely picture. I had a 2 hr long contraction after that news. Especially because the way the doctor told me was by slicing his finger over his neck and making a dead face. Talk about a special kind of bedside manner.
So what saved him in all this? How did he last so long, especially being so active? He has never smoked. His lungs are strong and healthy, besides the whole collapsing thing.
While I quit smoking during my pregnancies, I returned later. I consoled myself with the fact that I didn't smoke around my kids. But after this happened, my view of smoking changed. It became realistic. Of course that wasn't quite enough. I still love the little nasty bastards.
Then I went to a get together at my friend's place. The other American in the room happened to be a Thoracic Surgeon. Guess what topic we got around to. And guess who put me in my place. It's really hard to ignore good old medical facts/stories. That combined with my experience with Mr. Rant, I couldn't ignore the importance of the lungs any longer. They are sensitive beasts who will bite back if you don't take care of them.
And while I miss smoking, and love it, I have quite. It's been a week and a day now. No cheating, no sneaking around, no smoking. I think about it often but only really miss it about 4 to 5 times a day. And when I say miss I mean that I have to mentally talk to myself about why I am quitting. Seriously.
It's freaking ridiculous to "need" something like this. That is one of the main things that keeps me going. I shouldn't need it! So here's to 8 days and going strong!!