Been a Redditor for a few months now, but I decided to make a new account just for this wonderful occasion.

*I had some pain meds a little while ago, please excuse any syntax errors.

Back story: I had a cold about 2 weeks ago, but had been fine for the past week. Around 11:30 Wednesday evening, just redditing in usual weeknight fashion, when a sharp pain hit my right chest. Stayed up till 8 A.M playing Tomb Raider, when I finally decided that I'd had enough. Some doctors thought it was a heart problem, but "luckily" it was "just a collapsed lung"

Now I'm in the hospital, and it's my first time. Since being here I had a few interesting experiences. Wacky roommates, despite tons of prune juice, the 2nd worst bout of constipation I've ever had (Ladies, I'm single!), saw a 12 inch needle pushed in my chest, got morphine, and much more.

So go ahead and ask away.

Proof Sorry for low quality pic. Any more proof needed, just ask.

EDIT: Thanks to everyone! I could really use the conversation. Thanks for the gold, not sure how to find out who gave it to me.

Also, the reddit I was looking at was r/TumblrinAction (I think) Might have been r/LungPorn though!

Comments: 1475 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

Soupinmyfly1902 karma

Did something you see take your breath away?

Lung_Like_Rasins1677 karma

Believe it or not, I have not met a single person that made that joke yet. Thank you for making it right.

crustyspot855 karma

Unfortunately, there is no preventing this. If it happens more than three times on the same lung, they can "superglue your lungs to your rib cage" as the doctor eloquently put it to me. Not a super fun procedure. On the bright side though, the chances of it happening again after you're 25-26 yrs old is virtually nil. I suppose either the blebs finally seal themselves, or your lungs man-up.

Based on my own personal multiple experiences 15-20 years ago, here's what not to do:

  1. Don't travel 50 miles from town to work on an old Spanish teacher's computer problems at her house.
  2. Don't drink root beer while playing chess with your brother in law.
  3. Don't try to read the instructions of a hotel waffle maker.
  4. Don't announce a Red Hot Chili Peppers song coming up after a break in your new temporary radio job.
  5. Don't show up late for debate class.

Perhaps the one piece of advice I can leave you with that seemed to be a commonality was breathing in too suddenly. Don't do it.

Also, those sharp instant pains that very rarely occur that will throw you to the floor when you're older than 25? Doctors won't have a clue what's wrong with you, and it's not your lung collapsing.

Enjoy your life, fellow young skinny, likely successful type-A personality! See a doctor about your future heartburn issues (hint: protonix), and that clicking in your heart is mitral valve prolapse. It means nothing.

Lung_Like_Rasins349 karma

Dude, I love RHCP and I get heartburn if I drink hard liquor on a full stomach........It's begun! NOOOOOO

BreastUsername445 karma

How's Tomb Raider?

Lung_Like_Rasins389 karma

Impressed so far. Especially how well it runs on my pc.

BreastUsername994 karma

Sounds breathtaking.

Lung_Like_Rasins654 karma

They should put warning labels on those things.

DavidAAxelrod215 karma

did the docs say why it collapsed?

Lung_Like_Rasins911 karma

Because I'm "a tall, slim, male" was what most people said. Others said it could be connected to the cold. I say it's because I'm so tough that my lung collapsed in fear of my might.

Gallows138175 karma

I work in an ER, and I hate spontaneous pneumo's like your case; I'm 6'5 185 and all you do is make me wonder what the invisible clock on the bomb inside my lungs reads.

Lung_Like_Rasins584 karma

It's like covering yourself in dinosaur pee. You're surrounded by collapsed lungs, so they won't be able to find you.

EDIT My first gold! Thank you!

Ditchingworkagain217 karma


Lung_Like_Rasins535 karma

pain meds.

notathr0waway151 karma

You said you're on pain meds so excuse the syntax errors.

What else are you on, bro?

Lung_Like_Rasins332 karma

prune juice and jell-o #thuglyfe

bkwrmi112 karma

How tall, and how slim?

I know this sounds random, but try making a circle around your wrist with your thumb and forefinger - can you get your thumb and forefinger to overlap?

Edit: Correction - thumb and pinkie.

Lung_Like_Rasins139 karma

6'3, 175lbs~

my finger and thumb juuust about touch tips.

yanzie16 karma

My exact weight and height.

|Scared now

Lung_Like_Rasins36 karma

its okay buddy, I'll be there.

ThePsychoMantis181 karma

I had this happen to me about 2 years ago. Apparently this happens because "tall, skinny" males are born with blebs; small air pockets on top of the lung that can easily rupture.

Lung_Like_Rasins391 karma

That's what they're called! I was just trying to remember what they were calling them. I kept calling them 'Bilbos', but I realized there was no way a hobbit was in my chest.

Therein lies the next problem though.... how to prevent this from happening again.

EDited grammar

ThePsychoMantis96 karma

You sure there are no hobbits in your chest? I heard they are a mysterious people.

FreyjaSunshine36 karma

You probably can't prevent it, but the next time it happens, you'll know what it is right away. Then they'll probably do a pleurodesis, which is putting a scope into the space between your lung and chest wall, and putting talc in there. That scars the pleural space shut so your lung can't collapse.

Lung_Like_Rasins48 karma

A lady in the waiting room had that done. But she had the thing where the chest cavity was filled with fluid. Put in talc, and it never bothered her again.

frogtinder111 karma

pulm/cc doc here. minimize the opiates and get on a regimen of around the clock nsaids - motrin q4-6 hours works great. most of your pain is pleuritic in nature and opiates suck at dulling that and simply put you to sleep. use the opiates for bad breakthrough pain only. use this for a few days and get them to start you on a ppi like nexium or h2 blocker like famotidine.

keep the oxygen on - even though you don't technically need it, it will help wash out the nitrogen within the pneumothorax faster.

push them to get you out of bed and walking around asap. use your incentive spirometer and make sure until you're out of bed that you have DVT prophylaxis going.

i'm sure you'll be fine. i treat at least 1-2 of you young skinny guys a week. good luck.

Lung_Like_Rasins72 karma

I understood none of that, but I will ask them about some of this. I do know that I'm taking Norco. not sure if thats good. I have been getting up to use the bathroom, and they used some sort of leg massager thing on my legs so I don't get clots.

th3legacy63 karma

Tall, skinny male here (or I was at the time of this happening, 5' 11" and like 145lbs?). I don't mean to hijack your AMA, but want to share my experience and recovery with you.

I was sitting in my Aero 215 class about 6-7 years ago and had this happen to my left side. Thought it was heart burn or a pinched nerve in my back. Then it kept getting harder to breath and A LOT more painful. So I walk out of class and thought about catching a bus to the hospital. I get out the front doors of the Aero building, think I might be having a heart attack and decided to call an ambulance instead.

They sliced open my side in the ER under local anesthesia and stuck in a small chest tube. That didn't seem to do the trick and 3 days of hospital later, they put in a much larger tube (more like a garden hose). Another 3 days of hospital and a lot of drugs later, I was able to go home.

Some interesting thoughts on my recovery since then:

  • I am super paranoid about any chest pains. Heart burn and pinched nerves in my back/neck make me anxious as all hell that I'm relapsing.

  • I get pains around the scar on my side, most likely from the scar tissue. This makes me anxious.

  • I can never go scuba diving every again. This is what they told me in the hospital. I was all drugged up and didn't ask why. I'm assuming because of the positive pressure and my seemingly weak lungs. This made doing some hypoxia training (where they give you O2 via positive presure) for a flight test job pretty interesting. Positive pressure = forcing air into your lungs.

  • I was also very nervous to do any flying, but the job I had above had me flying in experimental aircraft at 40kft. So I had to just man up and trust my lungs would hold.

  • I still get kind of nervous flying.

  • There is some literature that would advise against high altitude hiking if you've had this happen. I've hiked 13k peak and spent a lot of time above 10k. This also makes me a bit nervous, especially when you're in the backcountry.

  • Although its caused me quite a bit of anxiety, I've never had another issue. I've had a few chest x-rays taken since the incidence and there have been no signs of any problems.

Hope this may help in your experience and recovery. Cheers.

Lung_Like_Rasins29 karma

Holy shit. I generally stay pretty close to sea level, but that scuba thing is a bummer, I've never been, but maybe I still can if I'm lucky. I read another comment about not inhaling quickly. Have you ever had that problem? I sing, and it's kinda a package deal.

SpecialAgentOrange36 karma

Holy crap, they actually admitted you for a lung collapse so small that they could use a Heimlich Valve?! That's nuts.

I had a lung collapse about 3ish years ago, and I was in and out of the hospital in one night. I got the same explanation though: "Sometimes it just happens to tall, skinny guys."

Best of luck to you!

Lung_Like_Rasins41 karma

Not sure if my whole right lung collapsing counts as small. I'm actually hooked up to a suction machine, through the Heimlich valve.

EDIT: nodded off, forgot to thank you for the best wishes.

TryHardzGaming20 karma

I am scared now, this is the second. "It happens to tall skinny males" post. I scared because I am tall skinny male.

Lung_Like_Rasins35 karma

The sacrifice must be made.....Virgin chickens and all that.

MrSeanyB34 karma

Would you rather fight one horse sized lung, or 100 lung sized horses?

Lung_Like_Rasins46 karma can't be

EDIT forgot to answer actual question: horse sized lung. I've defeated a lung once, and I can do it again.

thegreatgazoo17 karma

Why would they suction air out of a collapsed lung? Shouldn't they be pumping air in?

engineered_academic24 karma

EMT here. A pneumothorax occurs when air enters the chest cavity, collapsing the negative pessire balance that allows your lungs to inflate. The chest cavity is normally isolated from the pleural space by a membrane. The cause for this in an emergency setting is usually external puncture to the chest or a flail segment of ribs that has punctured the membrane. Sometimed it can also happen with excessive fluid buildup. The goal is to suck the crap out to restore the empty space rather than pushing air in like a balloon.

thegreatgazoo12 karma

So do they need to do surgery to reseal the membrane?

Lung_Like_Rasins14 karma

If it happens again, then yes. if it's a first time collapse, it can normally reseal itself. at least that what I got from all the doctor speak.

thegreatgazoo8 karma

Would it eventually works its way back? Ie if it happened in 1800 were you screwed?

Lung_Like_Rasins10 karma

They said with a total collapse, if left untreated I could have died. :|

Lung_Like_Rasins10 karma

They're sucking the air out of the cavity around my lungs. If i understand correctly, my lung is the balloon, and the glass cover is my chest cavity.

mine inflated about just was fast, felt really weird.

VerticalLegion17 karma

I've had my lung collapse on me before, they insert a needle to drain the air out. Shit that was a scary experience for me, how do you feel right now?

And don't worry, taking it out is easy, you practically don't feel anything if you cough right when he pulls it out.

Lung_Like_Rasins23 karma

I was on quite a few different drugs when I got my tube installed. I had a smile on my face the whole time, but I gotta say, seeing the scalpel and the needle closing in on my body was pretty scary.

I've got some cramping feeling where the tube goes in, and the suction machine, isn't helping. My ass is a little tender (context!) from trying to pass a very unpleasant guest.

Glad that the removal isn't so bad. I was worried I wouldn't be getting any local anesthetics and that it would hurt.

pooshoot16 karma

What did it feel like? Were you scared?

Lung_Like_Rasins24 karma

Well there is a family history of heart disease, so when I have any sort of chest pain (even if it's on the wrong side) I was scared shitless. I was actually kind of relieved to hear it was a collapsed lung. It's happened to other family members and they came out of it fine.

It felt like there was a huge amount of pressure in my chest cavity. If I tried laying down I feel something "flop around" inside me. The really weird feeling was when they re-inflated my lung.

jacksaces16 karma

Congratulations for being alive.

Lung_Like_Rasins30 karma

I'd like to thank the academy.....

sirlofty13 karma

The exact same thing happened to me about 3 months ago. The first time it happened they put a tube in just like you have. I was in the hospital for a couple of days while my lung reinflated then it was good for another 2 weeks. Then it happened again and then I opted for an operation called a pleurodesis which fuses the 2 pleurae in the chest. That wasn't as pleasant as the first time in hospital as the lung had to be scarred and the chest tube was a lot bigger than the first time. But there was lots of morphine so it was ok. The reason for my pneumothorax was that I was "tall and thin and male".

Lung_Like_Rasins11 karma

ffffffffffuck. Same exact thing happened to a friend of my cousin's. I crossing my fingers in hopes that it doesn't happen to me.

Golemfrost10 karma

So after the incident, do you still have contact with said lung or did you two just decide to go separate ways?

Lung_Like_Rasins22 karma

we're going to counseling.

Flavor_Enhanced10 karma

Raises hand

Yes, I have a question! How do I avoid this condition?

Lung_Like_Rasins28 karma

quick remove the lungs before it finds you!

Tow2B6 karma

My thumb and forefinger overlap 2x when wrapped around my penis. Am I cursed to ugly women?

Lung_Like_Rasins15 karma

if its really long, you could fold it in two. use it doubled up

TheGrimGoodbye6 karma

How hard was it to breathe with only one functional lung? I'd think that the shock of having chest pain would have exacerbated the problem and give you a sense of even shorter breath.

Lung_Like_Rasins13 karma

That and being scared from thinking it was a heart problem all made for some very concerned EMTs.

I felt light headed the whole time. It felt like what I imagine drowning is like. you're trying your hardest to fill your lungs, but there's nothing you can do about it. The worst part though, was not being able to lie down and sleep...worst pain I have ever felt.

azertyqwertyuiop9 karma

Not being able to breathe is the worst sensation ever. Hope you recover quick!

Lung_Like_Rasins8 karma

Same here. Thank you!

TheGrimGoodbye8 karma

It just seems so nonchalant the way you put it in your previous posts. I'd imagine a scenario where you're on reddit and, "Oops lung collapsed, better call the EMTs."

Lung_Like_Rasins11 karma

I wish I was so cool about it! I was freaking out for 9 hours till I went to urgent care. That's when the EMTs were called, cause the doctor thought my right heart valve was expanding.

Jasian486 karma

Hey man,

I've had about 15 pneumothoraxes in my time. When I eventually go surgery I got this cool contraption to blow into, indicating how my well my lung was doing. So my question is, did you also get that thing, and if you did, isn't it awesome?

Lung_Like_Rasins10 karma

I received no such device. The headmaster of this hospital will get quite the talking to.

whosinthetrunk5 karma

Were you on the front page or a sub reddit?

Lung_Like_Rasins12 karma


jezzegfunk5 karma

Similar thing happened to me when I was about 17. This was 15 years ago now and I've been perfectly fine. I actually had to have surgery to remove and repair the blebs on my right lung. Got some nice looking scars to remind me of the whole ordeal.

Have a speedy recovery friend.

Lung_Like_Rasins3 karma

Thank you very much.

try-another5 karma

Get earphones and an app which plays white noise. Listen to that (with a tshirt over your head) if the excitement of the hospital keeps you awake

Lung_Like_Rasins6 karma

I might have to use this. My roommate is kinda insane.

CombatSandwich4 karma

This happened to my brother a few years ago. Twice, at that. If it's any consolation, he's run half marathons and 5Ks since the collapses, so it's likely you'll be back to your old self in no time.

Get well soon!

Lung_Like_Rasins6 karma

Makes me feel a lot better. I'm more the singing type, but lungs are lungs. Thank you!

ConsumptiveMaryJane4 karma

I feel stupid, but I'm curious.

When one lung collapses, does your second give you enough oomph to make it somewhere? I mean obviously walking around with a collapsed lung is super not cool but is this one of those times where having a pair of something comes in handy?

Also I fear for my tall skinny husband now based on the other comments in this thread. :/

Lung_Like_Rasins7 karma

i could move, but i sure as hell didnt want to

Simusid3 karma

I'm an EMT and I'm curious about your symptoms of pain. Was the pain steady? Worse on inspiration? Worse on expiration?

I want to be SMRT when I meet my next tall skinny male.

Lung_Like_Rasins3 karma

constant pain at about 5/10 inhaling was about 7/10. laying down was the worst pain I've ever felt.


Oh man I had this last summer. No question, but what helps against the pain is breathing with your belly instead of with your shoulders. Don't know if this helps you, but it sure helped me sleep at night

Lung_Like_Rasins2 karma

I'll keep that in mind.

eec0032 karma

been a redditor for months...

makes new username for AMA....

you got some splaining to do!

Lung_Like_Rasins2 karma

I'm......I'm into some weird shit, kay?

TryHardzGaming2 karma

Do you stay active or do you just reddit and game all the time?

Lung_Like_Rasins2 karma

Normally I try to stay active. Go on walks through the neighborhood, play with my dogs, but like most people, I could probably use some more.

unless you mean now with a collapsed lung, in which case, yeah, reddit, games and popping pills. #rockstarlyfe

nick1522 karma

I'm curious about your first worst bout of constipation

Lung_Like_Rasins5 karma

It was only a matter of time...

Taking a road trip with my family, hadn't gone in about 4 days. took a laxative to move things along. I managed to push some past the upper sphincter but not the lower. So I had a huge duce trapped in the twilight zone between my two sphincters for about 45 minutes. finally got it out. the next day was wrought with the "i need to shit" shakes cause the half dose of ex-lax worked a little to well.

Banzaiiiii2 karma

Someone discovered r/spacedicks for the first time!

Lung_Like_Rasins5 karma

I actually found it about 2 days before this happened. Delayed reaction I guess!

kidtraze2 karma

I, too, had a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) a month ago or so while driving on my right lung. That shit hurt. Then they put a tube in my chest to get the air out. That shit also hurt.

Lung_Like_Rasins3 karma

Yea but did shitting hurt? The drugs I got to reduce shit hurting dehydrated me and made it hurt to shit. I can't imagine it happening while I was driving.

BoomhauerAdvice1 karma

What subreddit caused the collapse?

Lung_Like_Rasins2 karma

if i remember correctly, it was r/tumblrinaction