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Personal Experience: Sandra Bubner

I am 27 yr. Female and I have had three spontaneous pneumothorax to date and refused surgery in Dec 2000.

I do not believe the procedure of scraping the blebs is what i need yet.
Nor is 4 week off work. I have heard that the pain afterwards is bad.

All 3 pneumothorax occurred 4 weeks apart, I am interested to know if there is any link between menstruation and the conditions of cause for a spontaneous pneumothorax.

All 3 experience where treated differently.

In my first I had collapsed 80% of my lung. I was jogging one night and felt a sharp pain in the top of my chest, similar to a stitch but much higher. I felt an increased short of breath and very lazy the next 4 days on day 5 when I couldn?t pick up my 2yr. I decided to go see my local doctor. I was in QEH emergency, half an hour after x-ray by this time I felt really bad. The doctor inserted a needle in between my 2&3 rib on my chest and over 10 minutes withdrew almost 2lt of air. This was painful. Followed by three more x-rays to check for the size of the air pocket and more waiting, until I had less than 5% air left then 1-hour rest and home again all within 4 hours. I was told not to worry.

My second experience was much more intense. I had been for a short walk not ten minutes before sitting down and I felt the same pain, but not so sharp. I waited for an hour then admitted myself. X-rays showed my entire lung had collapsed and my Trachea air pipe had moved more than 1cm also my heart had moved. My good lung had over compensated for the collapse lung. The doctor then stuck in a huge needle and drain, between 5&6 rib but on the side then a tube with a diameter of 1cm and a good 20cm in length. When the tube goes in it hurts a little but no where near the pain you feel when it is pulled out. One week in hospital and lost of pain management. I am now aware of what procedure I do not want again.

My third experience was in a restaurant and I waited until we finish then asked to be driven to hospital on the way home. I was drained and released in 6 hours. Only 60% of lung had collapse. Then i was told not to lift more than 5 Kg and take it easy. However i still do aerobics and weights but not much jogging. I do believe i can feel the differance in my lungs now.

Please e-mail comments or questions skbubner@senet.com.au