one day at a time . . .

Posts tagged ‘My Story’

The Botched Chest Tube

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 . . .