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Pain Management 30 years after the surgeries
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DJH Reply with quote
Trainee Blebber

Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:32 am    Post subject: pain management
Hi all,

I just wanted to write a resonse to 15yrstolive. I'm a singer and sax player and I teach modern music - rock.jazz/electronic anything at a local uni. I've had surgery - bullectomies via keyhole on both lungs. I know first hand how the condition sucks with trying to be a muso and all that goes with it. I smoked from when I was 13 till about 28. I have coninued playing and singing. At first it hurts but ultimately the breathing you have to do for singing is really good for your lungs and singing itslef is great for them because it locks the lungs into place.

The problem for me was that I waited after having the first op 13 years ago until last year to have the other lung done. All smokers have the beginnings of emphysima so it's not over yet buddy. I have had some friends get it and it's not nice - it's kind of like pnuemothorax with muscles as the blebs are black and pussfilled and your lungs eventually dissolve.

When I sang my un operated lung hurt because of the blebs on it pushing against the wall but I would push through and when I had collapses I would blow my arse off on the sax until it expanded, but as I got older - just 27 - 30 my body just could't cope with the energy output anymore so I opted for an operation. I had it last nov and although hostpitals suck I'm now feeling alot better and can sing and play without pain. So many people no nothing about how the lungs work and each person has a different response to pain.

Hang in there and if you feel you can't handle the shitty pain anymore find yourself the best cardio-thoracic surgeon you can through research - usually the head surgeon of major hostpitals and demand a referral from your doc. The better the surgeon the quicker the recovery.

Good luck and try not to be too negative we've probably all felt like it's not worth it at some time or another .

Keep singing man - just take it easy at first.
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DJH Reply with quote
Trainee Blebber

Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:07 am    Post subject: Don't be lazy with your lungs
I wanted to add another note that it is important not to be too carefull with your lungs as sponaneous pnuemothorax occurs during rest periods because the lung relaxes and does like an internal fart. I have found through consultation with surgeons lung specialists , massueses and physios that to manage pain I must continue to biuld the strength of my lungs to remind them to work freely and naturally.

I also find that the muscles in my upper back freeze up if sit around too much and this cause knots which cause lung pain so getting massages even self massages to get rid of those knots really helps. Also learn to stretch the upper body and practice it everyday.

I've been lucky in avoiding pain killers but I have too keep up the stretching and working out to do so otherwise the pain kicks in - I think its sort of like back pain for me where if you stay still and avoid working the area of pain it gets worse.

Anyway I hope I'm not crapping on too much I just want to help because I know the kind of suffering we have. We can't ignore it but we can manage it I reckon.

On the subject of accupuncture it's like anything. Find someone who knows about the lungs from another point of view also. I have a great therapist in sydney who is an Osteopath and acupuncturist who also lectures around the world on lung trauma and breathing.

After a lung operation the body goes into a trauma and your breathing can become erratic and too deep. We suck in a huge gulp of air and often sigh.

Too rectify this you can breath slowly but not deeply with five seconds in then five seconds out then leave the breath out until the body wants to breath in again, and repeat.

Try this out to retrain your body out of the panic breath and over respiration.

By guys

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DJH Reply with quote
Trainee Blebber

Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:10 am    Post subject: through the nose
I forgot to say breath through your nose for that five second breath exercise.
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starmom Reply with quote
New Member

Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 2
Location: ny

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: hey all, i had my lung surgery 24 yrs ago
I dont know that there is anyone here that has been done this long ago.....

I was a tall, skinny 22 y.o. female, smoker.

history of pneumonia, bronchitis most of my life (in the 1960's & 70s)

decided to race my boyfriend in a sports club pool, got out of the water and thought I had pulled every muscle in my back, next thing i know breathing starting to become very difficult, next thing i knew i was in the Emergency room and admitted.............. lung reinflated over and few days and i was released.

a month later while visiting my boyfriend in the hospital (he was having rods removed from his back) I felt "funny" and went to the e.r. and sure enough my lung had collapsed......they wanted to do surgery right away i was terrified and none of my family lived in the area, i held off , called in consult after consult ( i was a medical assistant and knew how to work things) they put in the chest tube (to this very day still the worst experience of my life) hooked me up to a pleru e vac box and that way i stayed while we waited to see if i would reinflate and stay that way but no go..

i had a thoracotomy/pleurectomy on my right side, i was told i had a bleb that was removed and i was stitched up and and "roughed up my pleura" and also broke a rib to gain surgical access. i just remember waking up in the intensive care unit and being a hurting unit of pain........

i ended up with a frozen shoulder from the relentless nerve pain that i had on the operative side took months of physical therapy to get that right and i remember the feeling of electricity that would run up and down that arm and still does occasionally......... because of the long hospital stay 3 -4 weeks and the chest tube being in so long i lost all the muscle tone on my ight side i was a mess. and went thru the b.s. of docs thinking i had psych issues because of the extent of the post op pain, was SO CRAZY, the nursing staff was unfortunately horrible and uncaring , i guess they view me as a pain in the butt........

funny how 10 yrs later i became an R.N. and always remember the crappy treatment i received in the hospital and would NEVER treat my patients like that. the only time i ever thought i was pass out during nurses training was because they wanted me to assist a doc putting in a chest tube, it was like reliving it myself all over again!


Ive been having this pain on my right side of my chest feels muscular and like a burning just under the surgical incision site ( from the inside of my right breast to all the way under my arm).......... went to my local internal medicine guy and they figure its my gall bladder do an u/s and its not my gallbladder, but my liver is inflammed, they do the bloodwork and they tell me i have fatty liver disease and a symptom of that is discomfort in that area, but ive been thinking really hard about it and i have to wonder if its from scar tissue from the lung surgery or some other related thing. I have had a scar in that area from a '" stab" wound made when they put the jackson pratt drain in my chest post op............. the other thing is that i quit smoking and gained like 45 lbs.

So i just figured I would ask you guys here that have had this surgery to see if there were anyone out there with similar pain?

from what i have read I can totally relate to the intense pain post operatively, i remember it well......and they also told me that i could have a collapse of the other side at some point in my life but that the fix of my right should be it! once i was healed up and getting moving again, i was in pretty great shape doing aerobics, mountain biking 20+ miles a trip, being pretty physical (that shoulder was always a bit tender if i pushed it too hard) im feeling very lucky after reading some of your posts about your repeated ps.......totally stinks..........

If you have gotten this far.....thanks for reading my post

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