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Intermittent recurrent pain?

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pinkribbon518 Reply with quote
New Member

Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject: Intermittent recurrent pain?
Hi all,
First, thank you for this site! Very informative. My son (now 22) suffered numerous SP's between the ages of 12-17. ALL went undiagnosed and we were told everything from "he wants to get out of gym class", to it's in his head. Repeatedly the school nurse (for years) would tell me his lips were blue and fingertips too. He always triaged normal with O2 at 98% or better. It wasn't until he was 17 before someone did a routine chest x-ray and found a 10 day old healing SP. About a year later, he suffered a bi-lateral SP, with a significant amount of blebs. He underwent VATS, 1 pleurodesis (talc) on the right and 2 Pleurodesis and pleurectomy on the left. We are now 4 years out without another collase since. However, he still has intermittent chest pains. The last bout, last night landed us in the ER. I am finding many doctors know superficially of the condition, but not enough to offer great insight. (Including pulmonologists). His last bout of pain, 9 months ago, they said was a pulled muscle. It simply isn't the same type of pain. We are confident his lungs are holding, but would love more information about what is causing this pain. Yesterdays lasted several hours. Like so many others here, he doesn't complain, so when he does, I take it seriously. If anyone else suffers from sporadic pain episodes, we would be grateful for your insight! We often know our own bodies so much better than our physicians. Thank you!
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Hazz Reply with quote
Doctorized Blebber

Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 210
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:50 am    Post subject:
I have had the thoracotomy and chest tubes. The thoracotomy was about 1983. I still have pains. I know I sound like a broken record here but. Get your doctor to find out all he can about SPs. My GP is like a good friend to me now. I know he does his best with what he has. Your Son might be having small SPs and they are taking care of them selfs. I know I have had as lest 26 small ones from my last chest tube in 1990. I get chest colds all the time and they suck.
The short said is. Yes I would think he will be getting pains from time to time. Now about having small SPs. The X-Ray is your best friend. As long as the lung reseals and it was not a big flat as I like to call it. He should be ok. The Doctors that I talk to seem not to know much about what we have. Sad If we could get more of this into the light. The better off we all are and others that in up with our strange problems.
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grushdeva Reply with quote
Trainee Blebber

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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:28 am    Post subject:
Hey there. I've only had two SPs that I know of, but I've also had pain off and on since my first back in '04. (The docs at the ER only ran an EKG on me and sent me home with some heavy-duty Naproxen and a diagnosis of "chest wall pain") Since that first episode, I had a recurrent pain centered around where the collapse must have been, which seemed to always be worse when I was stressed out. A girl I worked with for a while always insisted that it was "just a pulled muscle" and that I should stretch more often. After my second SP in November 07, which was actually diagnosed with an x-ray and required a chest tube, I came to the conclusion that the more minor pains in between the first and second collapses were either scar tissue or pleurisy--in any case, some sort of residual pain from the initial injury.

Since my second SP, the pain has been worse than that which followed the first. Makes sense, because this time my lung was collapsed more (the first, of course, healed on its own because no one bothered to discover it, but that's another rant). I've had some pretty bad days, including a few scares that sent me to the ER. Every time, the docs took an x-ray (I even had a CT scan to make sure nothing was wrong) and confirmed that my lung was still holding up. So, short story long ... I don't think that every pain indicates a collapse. Yes, there have been times that I've been in such pain I was certain that it could be nothing else, but the x-rays proved me wrong. So far as I can tell, from my experience and the input of several different doctors, what I'm feeling (and what your son may be feeling as well) is scar tissue, etc., from both the surgeries and injuries. Until this happened, I had no idea that scar tissue could hurt so bad, but it's the best explanation I've had so far, as well as the only one that makes sense when everything else has been ruled out.

As you read your way through the board, you'll see other stories of these pains. I'm still working my way through all the posts, but I'm already finding some comfort in seeing that I'm not the only one going through this. I know it's got to be hard on you in a different way, as you're having to see someone else deal with this. If I can't give you all the answers, I can at least offer you the hope that we're all making it through this.

As for me, I have my good days and my not so good days. The pain can last anywhere from a few seconds' twinge to an ache that comes and goes all day long. The pain also manifests itself in different ways, which can be unnerving. I just try to ride it out. I don't even bother with the pain medicines I've been given. I don't really need them. I haven't run off to the ER in a panic in at least a month now, which is a good sign. It does seem to be getting better with time. You said your son's last severe pain was nine months ago. Surely that's a good sign as well.

I didn't mean to ramble on this much. You may notice that I tend to be a bit long-winded (a fact I attribute to my lingering excitement upon finding people who share my experiences), but it's all with the best of intentions. I hope I've been some help to you. If I've missed anything, don't hesitate to ask.
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