My thoughts on, well, whatever the hell this is.

Well, I woke up yesterday feeling fine, but not half an hour later, I felt that tell-tale “bee sting” pinch inside my chest. I had chemical pleurodesis last December and have felt relatively fine while on the mend (still getting pain when I yawn and occasionally when I hiccup). So, as a precaution, I went back to the hospital. I had an X-Ray done and the doctor came in relatively quickly and told me that they saw nothing out of the ordinary, aside from the scars from my pleurodesis.

Last night and today, though, I’ve had what feels like, and probably is, tiny bubbles moving around my chest. They’re all still localized to the area where I felt the bleb pop, but it’s still really a disconcerting feeling.

Is this just something I’ll have to get used to?

I’ve felt that tell-tale pinch before now, but I’ve never felt any of these bubbling sensations from them, at least post op. I have a feeling that, since the pinch was so, for lack of a better term, prevalent, and lasted so long, it was probably a big one (or, bigger one, I should say). Like I said, it started shortly after waking up and it continued long after I got home from the hospital six hours later. That’s the longest that the pinching feeling has lasted for me. The rest of the time it has been no more than an hour or so. I’m also thinking that, since I had the chemical pleurodesis, the feeling of a bleb popping might be amplified? I don’t even know.

I’m also thinking that the bleb probably popped because I recently came down with a cold that has had me coughing up a storm for a few days, now.

As a side note, I remember reading that people with a BMI of 21 or less have a much greater chance of having a pneumothorax and at the time of my first four, my BMI was around 17 to 18. Since the surgery, though, I’ve been able to raise it up to 21.

I’m really sad, too, because I was really looking forward to writing up a post for reaching the six month post op mark and letting everyone know that I was doing fine. Then, pretty much on the day, this happens.

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I hate and am sick of

People suggesting I declare bankruptcy to solve my issues with hospital debt.

That being said, I got my bill yesterday in the mail. $47,004.91 for my pleurodesis. My mom had a radical hysterectomy 14 years ago (in 1997…I suddenly feel really old…) and that cost her 2/3 of that. Her bill, to have an 8 hour surgery to remove her cancer and all of her lady-bits cost $32,000, while having the outside of my lung scuffed up cost $15,000 more? Sorry, that just doesn’t make much sense to me.

If anyone feels like getting indignant about me being angry about my bill costing more than a cancer-removal bill, my mom feels the same way I do, and it was her cancer being removed.

Back to my main point, that being declaring bankruptcy, so many people have suggested – willy-nilly, mind you – that I do so just to absolve my hospital bills. Two things pass through my mind immediately after hearing/seeing those words, and I shall dramatically reenact them with ragefaces:

Quickly followed by:

Reason being; I already have shit credit. I know, I know, you’re not really supposed to talk about your credit, but whatever. My credit is shit, because of the $20,000 I already owed the hospital from a few years ago, as well as a $1,000 debt to SunTrust from a few years ago, so if I declared bankruptcy, I’d be fucked for pretty much the rest of my life.

Now, the person of whom I’m speaking, the one who just suggested bankruptcy to me, she suggested this just after I mentioned that I am one notarized sheet of paper away from this: http://www.browardhealth.org/news/?sid=2&nid=648

Now, if you actually read through that, good for you. If you also understood it, pretty fucking sweet, eh? If you didn’t under stand it, you see you it says “charity” quite a lot in there? Well, the entire system is basically like this:

Me: “I have no money, oh noes!”

Government Man (Come from the Government): “That is not a problem!” (reaches into community chest/tax pile and pulls out a wad of money) “Here is enough money to pay off your last six months of hospital bills!” (hands wad of happy-paper to hospital)

So, a one time use free lunch/get out of jail free card, basically. Yeah, it comes out of community taxes, but that’s why I’d do my damnedest to make sure that it’s a one time thing.

So after I mentioned that I’m one notarized sheet of paper away from said out-of-jail-free card, she suggests bankruptcy.

Yes. I am going to fuck myself up for the rest of my life when I have the possibility of paying off almost everything I have ever owed to this hospital. I’ve already been told that if I can pay a lump-sum of $800, then my old debt from a few years ago will be taken care of in total and I won’t owe anything more for it. So, if I can get this one sheet of paper notarized and handed into the hospital along with $800, I’m home free with my grand spanking total of around $68,000 GONE.

YES. LET ME DECLARE BANKRUPTCY THIS INSTANT.

I reiterate:

Quickly followed by:

Lexapro and an amazing nurse

While I was in the hospital, I mentioned to the nurses that I have anxiety/depression issues, so they put me on a daily dose of Lexapro to help me with it. I normally don’t like any kinds of medication or pills or anything like that, but it really did make me feel better. When I was discharged yesterday, the nurse told me I was supposed to have a prescription for it, but she didn’t have the paper with her. Knowing that we don’t have enough money for it, I told her that was fine, and I generally don’t like to take anything for it anyway and that I really don’t like pills or medications. She said okay and let me leave without it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was feeling so good because I was still on it.

Now, I’m feeling the effects of it wearing off, and it’s hitting me HARD. I feel like shit. I’m sad, my anxiety is coming back full force and I’m hyperventilating again. One of the nurses, Jen, who is the GREATEST NURSE IN THE WORLD (more on that later), actually put me on the Lexapro BECAUSE I hyperventilate while my anxiety is acting up, and I was in for a collapsed lung. She had a momentary epiphany when I told her about my hyperventilation and immediately put me on it.

Seriously, I can feel everything rushing back, and it’s absolutely terrible.

Anyway, I was going to talk about Jen for a bit and let you all know about the greatest nurse in the world.

When I first had the procedure to have the tube inserted into my chest done, I was in the most pain I have ever felt, and the first thing I did was ask if she could stay with me for a little while. I asked, because one of my deepest fears is being alone. She held my hand throughout the procedure and kept saying things like, “you’re doing fine”, “the worst is over”, and all those good things. So, I asked her to stay with me for a while, because I was so afraid. She held my hand with both of hers and said that she’d stay for as long as she could until she had to get back to work, but until then she would stay. I actually started to cry because of, not just the pain, but how kind she was. While I have met some truly kind people, she is honestly right up near the top.

For the rest of that day and the next day, she took over everything when it came to taking care of me. There are two nurses on duty in each wing at all times, one for checking the vitals and bringing things to the patients, another for giving out the medications. Well, Jen did everything for me. She brought me the incentive spirometer a few hours after the procedure and told me what it was for and how it would drastically help me. If you don’t know what an incentive spirometer is, here’s all the info you’ll need. For the rest of the day, she was hustling and bustling around me, making sure I was using it. The first time, I got only 1,300 ml. The average lung capacity is 6,000 ml, so that was a fraction of what I should be able to do. So, she, being the good nurse, says, “I know you can do better than that, I think you’re just worried about how much it might hurt, so I want you to try it again”. So I tried again, and got just a little more, 1,500. By the end of the day, I was getting almost 3,000. When she saw, she flailed a little bit and goes, “I am going to sleep SO well tonight!” and gave me a fist bump. The next day was the same thing, really, but I progressed all the way up to 4,000, which is the max for the incentive spirometer. When I got the plunger up all the way, she actually told me she was surprised and proud of how quickly I was able to do so.

When the night shift started at 7pm, it was part of her job to take the new nurse around and show them all of the new patients. When she was showing me to the new nurse, she told her that she had better take good care of me, and she really looked like she meant business when she said so.

Seriously, because of her, I had a great time recovering from this, and I’m actually planning on sending her something along with a thank you card. Not sure what I’d send, though.

Anyway, just posting something for the sake of posting.