Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Empyema Gone Bad

Posted In: Medical Stories 3 Replies
  • Posted By: andrew2010
  • March 13, 2009
  • 11:09 PM

Today I was finally able to leave the hospital after exactly 1 month, 15 of thoughs days in ICU, of entering the hospital. It all started about 7 weeks ago when I ended up with strep throat. That lead to bronchitis and pleurisy. The chest pain was painful enough to drop me to my feet so I went to the ER and was treated with anti-biotics and was sent home. Then a week later it wasn't any better so Feb. 13 I went into the ER again where they discovered 3 pockets of fluid amounting to roughly a gallon and a half and a collapsed lung. They inserted 2 chest tubes but it wasn't draining like it should of. They told me that they would have to go in and operate to drain the fluid and scrape the lineing of the lung. At 17 this scared the crap out of me. After the sugery they inserted 4 chest tubes and sent me to ICU with a ventalator tube and knocked out cold. Then my lung collapsed again and a 7 inch blood clot formed. I was rushed back into sugery to remove the blood clot and recieved 17 units of blood. they stapled me up and sent me back to ICU. Yet another complication occured when i started to leak air all over my body. I blew up like a balloon. The doctors and nurses all thought code blue followed by a body bag was almost guarentteed. But some how I was able to pull out of it and was brought out of sedation only 3 days later. i spent about the next week awake with a vent. They took the vent tube out and moved me to peds. 3 days after that I was able to go home. My near brush with death ended up as a good learning experence for med students due to the fact that everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Im still left with a nemothorax but they say that may never go away. All and all Im just glad to be alive.

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3 Replies:

  • For some reason they often miss empyema. Thank God you pulled through. Thanks for sharing your story with us. :)
    Felsen 510 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Andrew, I myself had a close call also & like you spent 4 weeks in hospital fighting for my life, that was back in 1988. I don't think there's a day goes by now without me appreciating life, now with the realisation just how easy it can be lost & how precious life is. It did take me a long time to recover & has left its mark but I will never forget that feeling of survival, its the greatest feeling in the world, I never want to loose it. Many never appreciate what they have until its too late and just waste their lives, unless someone has sailed that close to death they will never understand excatly now it feels, not only is it good to be alive its good to feel alive. Its a euphoric feeling. I hope you continue to do well, just take your time to recover, each day you will improve. I will also thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes.....:)
    Tootsie 628 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Andrew, I myself had a close call also & like you spent 4 weeks in hospital fighting for my life, that was back in 1988. I don't think there's a day goes by now without me appreciating life, now with the realisation just how easy it can be lost & how precious life is. It did take me a long time to recover & has left its mark but I will never forget that feeling of survival, its the greatest feeling in the world, I never want to loose it. Many never appreciate what they have until its too late and just waste their lives, unless someone has sailed that close to death they will never understand excatly now it feels, not only is it good to be alive its good to feel alive. Its a euphoric feeling. I hope you continue to do well, just take your time to recover, each day you will improve. I will also thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes.....:) Yes, I have noticed that I view life in a very different view. I am doing extremely well, and all my chest tube sites are almost completely healed. my main big incision is finally healed. Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read my story. It feels good to know that I'm not the only one that had to go through this.:)
    andrew2010 2 Replies Flag this Response
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