one day at a time . . .

Ok unknowncystic.. Here’s the story…

It’s the summer of 1990, and I’m getting ready for my wedding on September 1st. I had been losing lots of weight – unexplained. I had been visiting a GI dr who diagnosed me with intestinal fermentation??? He put me on several pills and enzymes with no success. By my wedding day I was down to 103 pounds at 5’5″. I was skin and bones. A few days before my wedding I felt back pain. I figured I strained a muscle or something… At this point I was not diagnosed with CF. On my wedding day the pain was still there – but I had the time of my life – it was awesome!

So, we go on our honeymoon to Hawaii and for the first 5 days we scheduled 2 tours a day! My breathing was worsening. I would run out of breath simply walking a few feet. But, even still, went on all these tours! The kicker was one called “Action Hawaii”… You’d think the word ACTION would give us a clue. So part of this was hiking up Diamond Head. It starts of with a nicely paved path. But then, it turns into stone and rocks and an incline. It was so hard! But I pushed through it. Then we reach a point where we had to climb 100 steps! At this point I told my husband – I’ll wait here – you go and take pictures. He said – NO WAY – you’re coming up – so I go on his back and he carries me up ALL 100 STEPS! It was amazing – other tourists were taking pictures of us! By the time we got back down, our group was waiting for us – when they saw us they all clapped. It was so funny – but they must have been like – what’s wrong with this young girl – she can’t even hike a mountain!

The remainder of the vacation was awesome. I wouldn’t let my pains and breathing stop us. We even missed a sunset cruise because I couldn’t make it to the boat in time!

We get back home after two weeks, I go to work and continue experiencing the pain and shortness of breath. Finally, one day at work, my breathing and pain had gotten so bad that I left and went to the emergency room at Westchester Medical Hospital.

And here’s where it happens…

They take an x-ray and discover a collapse in my upper left lung – about 30%. So, the dr tells me he can insert a portable chest tube – it will take a few minutes and I can go home and come back in a few days for removal. He says he can do it in his office, but says to follow protocol he needs to do it in the emergency room setting. I call my husband and tell him that I will have this quick procedure done and meet him at home. He says – NO WAY – YOU WAIT FOR ME. I insist it’s not necessary – but he insisted a bit stronger 🙂

So my hubby gets there, the dr explains what he’s going to do and begins. While he starts to insert this portable chest tube I get this uncontrollable urge to laugh, so I laugh, he continues. Then it happens. As he’s inserting – I seized! Tis is where hubby starts to freak out – and he’s asking what’s going on – they are telling him he has to leave – he’s insisting that he stay – but had no choice. Lots of doctors and nurses were entering my area – all in a rush with concern. My husband was freaking out.

When I came to, I had the normal large chest tube inserted and had to be hospitalized for a few days. I was on morphine for the pain. This was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced!

Later, a nurse came to me in confidence and said the the doctor screwed up, let air in,  and that’s why I seized.  No one ever admitted to me that I in fact seized – except for that one nurse. It was placed in the front upper left side of my chest. I have a permanent visible scar – with an amazing story to go with it . . .

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Comments on: "The Botched Chest Tube" (3)

  1. Wow. That is some story. I wish you hadn’t gone through all of that. But it is a hell of a story. You’re tough. I would have been pissed at that doctor. But what can you really do about it now? Did you ever see the doc again?

    Very glad you survived everything.

    Thank you for sharing the story.

  2. Time for a new story. Keep ’em coming!

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