Man…when it rains, it pours. So you know how I last wrote about being stressed by the state of my house? Then I pretty much disappeared. Well, that weekend, I got the flu while at my sister-in-law’s wedding (still had an absolutely amazing time!). The next week, when I was sick with the flu, I passed out and fell from standing onto a tile floor. I woke up a little bit later (I have no idea how long I was out, but it felt like just a minute), called John and he came running home from work to take me to the doctor. After a series of tests and a chest x-ray, we found out that either in my fall or in one of my coughing fits, I had partially collapsed one of my lungs (a pneumothorax).
The good news was that the portion of collapsed lung was small enough that I didn’t have to get a chest tube, but I did have to go back in to the doctor the very next morning for another x-ray to make sure it wasn’t getting worse. I also had to sleep sitting upright. I was instructed that if I suffered any shortness of breath or chest pain to go IMMEDIATELY to the ER. No, really, they said the word IMMEDIATELY just like that – I could see the all caps.
With the flu, a change in how I could sleep, bruises head to toe down my whole left side (from the fall), and knowledge that I may still have to get a chest tube, I didn’t sleep so well.
At 8am the next morning, I was back at the doctor’s. When the doc saw me, she got really excited and told me that she had “been worried all night” about me and was so happy to see that I hadn’t had to go to the ER. (I guess it was likely that I would have gotten worse during the night.) I checked out just fine. My pneumothorax was no bigger, but perhaps a bit smaller – good news! For the next week, I pretty much slept (recovering from the flu) or sat very still. I had been banned from running, walking the dog, walking any faster than “Slowly,” or lifting anything. Yes, you read that right, anything.
After a week of pretty much doing nothing, I went to the doctor today for another chest x-ray. After just one week, my pneumothorax is completely resolved and I am now allowed to walk the dog and lift things up to 10 lbs. in weight. Ha. I have another two weeks before I can start running and lifting things heavier than 10 pounds, but the doc made it clear that if I push myself too soon, that I could re-injure myself and have to get a chest tube or surgery. I’d say two weeks off from running is worth avoiding hospitalization, wouldn’t you? At least I can walk the dog now – she’s been going crazy since I interrupted her routine with all of this medical stuff!
Moral of the story – when you’re stressed up to your eyeballs, remember to be thankful you don’t have a pneumothorax. That’s certainly how I feel now – thankful that I wasn’t hurt more in my fall, thankful that I recovered so quickly, and thankful that somebody is looking out for me. Thanksgiving couldn’t be coming at a better time for me next week – I’m overflowing with thanks!