Did you know that November is the month of the lungs? I did. I have a friend and she had to deal with those a lot. It hurts when she tells it, even though she describes it with a good dose of humor, irony and sarcasm over time. But that may be caused by her personality. Anyway, in this time when the coronavirus is mowing down humanity and attacking mainly the lungs, the idea of destroying one's lungs with cigarettes and exhaust fumes makes me light-headed. Because breathing is not something that will last us forever...
The lungs are something we take for granted and that we do not pay attention to until there is a problem with them. They develop as the last organ in the body. And imagine you're minding your own business breathing, and out of nowhere you feel a stab somewhere on your chest and game over. You can't breathe, you try in vain to reach for the staple that is air.
You're walking and suddenly one of your lungs is busted
I'm not talking about the coronavirus. Because of this, you cough until you feel like coughing up your lungs, as they say. I'm talking about a ruptured lung. Technically, this is called a spontaneous pneumothorax, which means that one of the lungs, in the worst case scenario both of them, suddenly simply bursts. That happened to my friend. But she didn't find out until three days later... until then, she'd dealt with it normally, thinking she had the common cold that was accompanied by a brutal cough. When she wasn't able to walk up the stairs to the first floor after those three days, she went to the doctor. She wanted to dismiss her with some medicine, but thank God the patient stood her ground and literally forced the doctor to do a lung X-ray. And lo and behold. There it was! The lung deflated like a balloon after a crazy party.
In the nick of time
An ambulance had to arrive immediately, and from there it was crazy. They took her to the ER for literally in the nick of time. But the best part was that she didn't understand the term spontaneous pneumothorax at all, so she didn't understand why everyone was so frenzied. It wasn't until the ambulance doctor explained that she was dying because the air from the deflated lung was pressing on her other lung and heart. Nobody cared for her much at ER, they tore off her T-shirt and, while fully conscious, I note in full consciousness (!), someone jabbed a tube into her chest between the ribs. She said it was so painful that she was glad she passed out. Then she woke up connected to all those devices among the other half-dead people.
Once is probably not enough
It is interesting that the girl is a non-smoker, an athlete, an active person. She thought the guy above had chosen her again and taught her a lesson so she wouldn't think life was only great. Smart people in white coats assured her that it was definitely not exceptional, that this happens quite often to a lot of people. Shocking. Seriously? There is no prevention, they don't even know why it's happening in the body. And as the icing on the cake - it doesn't have to happen only once. After this brutal drainage procedure, the lungs inflate spontaneously again, because the tube gets excess air out of the chest. So in a few days, get ready to go home.
And wouldn't you know it, it happened to her again two months later. And now get this - in her sleep. The friend woke up in the morning and knew that she had a recurrence of pneumothorax. She had already packed a bag for the hospital, because she didn't want to bother the paramedics, after all she had lasted three days last time, so this time she would go there on her own. That's obvious, right? (I hope you feel the irony with which I describe this situation).
This time she went under the knife. After surviving that crazy drainage. I'm not going to explain to you what they were doing in that chest of hers, I don't understand it myself, but I'm sure it hurt unbelievably, as did the recovery. Wouldn't you know it...
Twice is also not enough
Five months later, she felt like she was having a heart attack. Her hands were tingling and she wanted to vomit. She let her friends take her home to sleep. But because her friends didn't want to leave anything to chance, they took her straight to the emergency room and man, there it was again. This time, the drainage was the worst thing that had happened to her in her life. Root canals or childbirth have got nothing on this! This was followed by another surgery, another round of poking around in her chest, and a warning finger from the surgeon, who said that if it happened again, they would pour glue into her body to keep her lungs in place.
Just ugh, a young girl and her lungs are like those of a hundred-year-old woman. She would never have thought of this, one would think even cancer is more likely.
So, dear friends, here's my appeal to you. November or not, the lungs need constant care and attention. Let's appreciate them and let's appreciate each breath, preferably out in the fresh air. I wish you all good health.