HomeHome   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups    Forum & Information
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
I'm *so* sick of pills. (sp story included)

Post new topic   Reply to topic    SPONTANEOUS PNEUMOTHORAX Forum Index -> Pain Management

grushdeva Reply with quote
Trainee Blebber

Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Nashville, TN, US

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: I'm *so* sick of pills. (sp story included)
Bet you can't tell where this is going.

I just got home from another visit to the doctor with yet another cocktail of narcotics, muscle relaxers, and more. Needless to say, I'm a bit frustrated. Before I get too deep into this, here's my story:

Spring 2004, age 16: While driving to the theater after school, I get a sharp pain in the left side of my chest. Soon after, my left arm goes tingly/numb and I have to have my boyfriend drive me back home because I can barely move. I can only tolerate the pain when I'm sitting down with my forearms supporting my weight over my knees (I guess that's because it took the pressure off my lungs?) Dad takes me to the emergency room and the docs run an ekg and--big surprise--find nothing. They diagnose me with "chest wall pain" and send me home with naproxen. The pain goes away after a few days, but returns every once in a while. My friends tell me it's just a pulled muscle and I need to stretch in the morning. It always seems worse when I'm stressed for some reason.

November 2007, age 20: I'm standing in line at Subway when I experience a sudden wave of nausea. I break out in a cold sweat and my vision goes out of focus. My hearing becomes muffled and I feel like I'm going to pass out (I've never fainted, but I'm relatively certain that that's what it would feel like). Before I can pay for my order, I excuse myself to sit in the floor of the out-of-order ladies' restroom. Upon returning, I can only stand long enough to pay for my food before I have to sit down again. Now comes the pain. It's worse when I stand, like a knife going down the left side of my ribs. (I don't remember if my arm got involved this time.) I can only take a few steps before I'm doubled over in pain. My husband takes me to the ER, but while we're waiting to be seen, the pain recedes to the point that I reconsider and choose instead to visit the doctor the following morning.

The doctor throws out several theories, acid reflux and arthritis in the ribs among them. Luckily he also opts for an x-ray. That evening, he calls with the message "Your left lung is collapsed. You need to get the ER NOW. There's a surgeon waiting for you." The surgeon puts in a chest tube and sends me home, assuring me I can handle myself until Monday. This happened on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, so this was really my only option. I did have to go back into the ER over the weekend because a chunk of fat got stuck in my tube, but other than that there were no complications. The fluid drained fine, and the x-rays showed that I had reinflated properly. The tube was taken out and I was sent on my way on Monday.

And then the pain came back. I've been in and out of the ER and doctor's offices at least once a month since November. The one good doctor I visited performed a plethora of tests--CT scans, x-rays, echocardiogram, and all sorts of blood work. I've got linear morphea (a form of scleroderma), so he definitely wanted to rule out the possibilty of it having turned systemic and thus causing my SP. All we got was a lot of nothing. Since then, I've heard that the pain I experience is pleurisy and/or scar tissue. Is it really supposed to hurt this bad for this long? I try to keep myself calm and not rush to the hospital at the slightest twinge, and I've gotten much better, but it's so hard to tell. The pain's different every time, it seems. It does seem to stay centralized around the area where my tube was put in, so that makes sense, but still ... This time, it's lasted for nearly two weeks and intensifies when I bend over, but the doc still says it's nothing. My breathing sounds normal, and I'm not short of breath. (Then again, even during my two sp's I wasn't noticeably short of breath, so that doesn't mean a lot to me.)

I can deal with the pain, usually, except for when it's all over my upper body--both sides, chest, ribs, etc. I've learned to weather the more typical pains, but this exceptional times give me added concern. I can't help fearing the worst.

But anyway, back to my original topic. Yes, I'm very long-winded. I apologize. This time, the doctor (the good one I mentioned before) gave me Naproxen, Methocarbamol, and Propoxyphene. Isn't that overdoing it a bit? Call me old-fashioned, but I really don't like the idea of all this stuff in my system. It just doesn't seem right. Isn't there a better way to treat the pain, if it really is only pain and not an sp? If this is something I'll be dealing with for the rest of my life, I'd rather not complicate it with the risk of stomach bleeding, heart attack, and addiction that these pills offer.

If you're still with me, thank you for wading through my little epic. As I'm sure you can understand, this does get overwhelming at times and I've got a lot to get off my ... chest. No pun intended.

Thanks for listening.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger

Hazz Reply with quote
Doctorized Blebber

Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 210
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 7:14 pm    Post subject:
Hello Jess,

First off. I am not a Doctor! I am just telling what I think as for what has happed to me over time.
Like you said. As long as you don't have a clasped lung. You will be fine. Pain is something we have to live with that have this problem. I can tell you that I have pain just as the weather changes and when I am stressed. Rolling Eyes You can read up on what I have been though on one of my post if you wish.
The pills are up to you to take them IF you feel the need. I had never got much in the case of pain meds. My Doctor told me that he do not wont me getting brocidus or worse do to pain meds slowing down me respiratory system. I just take Naproxen or a Goody power if needed.
The only thing I would said to do as for your Doctor. Ask him to look up all he or she can about SPs. The more we push our problem into the light, the more will see it and might help us. I for one will be more then happy to help someone that has the same problems as we do. I will give my medical records if they would do the paper work. Laughing
One of the guys here talked to The National Heart and Lung Association and said they have not even seen a case like ours. Evil or Very Mad That is bullshit to me. I am not going to get on my soapbox for that now. lol
Good luck and I know I will be around to chat if need.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

kalie28 Reply with quote
New Member

Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject:
you are right to be sick of pills, I don't always believe in pills power to heal...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Post new topic   Reply to topic    SPONTANEOUS PNEUMOTHORAX Forum Index -> Pain Management
Page 1 of 1

Choose Display Order
Display posts from previous:   
User Permissions
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Jump to:  

Skin Created by: Sigma12, Edited by Ceebee
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group