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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board


Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index


I'm 30. I'm right at 6' tall. I've been physically active since middle school. My usual weight is around 225-230 lbs. I've had the displeasure of suffering a collapsed lung. Twice. I'm not the super tall, skinny candidate that usually falls into the category of those prone to collapsing lungs. The first time happened in October of last year. It happened after a Crossfit workout. I felt, what I thought was, a pulled muscle in my upper right shoulder. Granted, I may have been doing too much weight for too many reps and overdone it. It was a Friday, so naturally I thought the pain would go away and tried to enjoy the weekend. But the pain lingered. Got gradually worse day-by-day. Icing it somehow made it worse. By Sunday night, I was experiencing above-average rapid heart rate. It was impossible to sleep. There was no comfortable position to lay in bed. Almost my entire right side and upper back hurt. Monday, I went to work. Heart rate steadily rose. It felt like my heart was literally beating against my rib cage. Thought to myself, "OK. No more coffee." After a long, agonizing day, I decided to go to Urgent Care. That's when my world flipped. After 3 days, my lung had collapsed ~75% (almost 80%). They put me on oxygen and rushed me to the hospital. They did the whole chest tube deal to re-expand the lung. I was there a week. After I was released, I still felt mild pain every now and then. I was super paranoid and anxiety-stricken. I'd go once a week to an X-ray. All came back negative. Gradually, I got back into lifting, cardio, & sports in general. I was doing well. I was losing fat, getting stronger, playing in a basketball league. Was feeling like borderline Superman. Although, just a few weeks ago, I was playing basketball. Mid-game, I started feeling more out of breath than usual. Just thought, "Damn, I should've eaten a bigger lunch." After the game, I still felt winded. It lasted for a few hours. Suddenly I felt a slight discomfort in my upper right shoulder again. I thought, "Nah, can't be. I wasn't weightlifting." Eventually, I developed a dry, short cough. Something didn't feel right, so again I went to Urgent Care. Again, collapsed lung. Same side. Same lung. Only 20-30% collapse this time. I'm rushed to the hospital (again). They do the usual ordeal of putting in the chest tube. I'm there for a few days. There is absolutely NO progress in the lung healing. Yeah, it'll re-expand, but the leak won't heal. I'm told there will need to be surgery. They did a VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) procedure where they attempt to find the cause, cut off a sliver of lung, rough up the chest cavity, and attach the lung to the inner chest wall. I've got a few nice, ugly scars on my right side now. I'm told I'm to do NOTHING for a couple weeks. Just relax. That's hard for me to do. Especially after sitting in a hospital bed for a week. I actually went for a light walk the other day. Which felt great! But I'm told I can't do heavy cardio (ie, trail running, basketball) for 6-8 weeks. I can't start lifting weights or play sports again for 3-4 months. Such a bummer.

I guess the reason for this thread (other than vent a bit) is to show that collapsed lungs aren't just common in tall, skinny guys. While I'm not a bodybuilder, I lift weights to keep a little of the body I had in my college and semi-pro football playing days. I'm confident in my guesstimate that the first collapse was due to simply overdoing it. Lifting too much, exerting too much. Maybe even trying to show off. The second time, stumps me a bit. I was playing a low-contact game of full court basketball. I want to think that the initial treatment didn't mend the lung fully and that I was always on the border of it collapsing again. Part of me also wonders/worries that it'll happen again. Although, I was told that after the VATS procedure, there is a high 90s% chance that it won't collapse again. Still, the worry is still there. I know I'll be out of the game for the next few (several?) months. Which is a serious bummer. Should I wait the minimum 3 months to start lifting light again? Should I wait 5-6 months to "make sure" things are healed? Can I ever lift again? What about cardio? Wait the minimum to start a light jog? Wait longer? Can I ever run 5 miles or play full court basketball again? I'm at the point where I'm anxiety-stricken and paranoid that the collapse may happen at ANY time for ANY reason.

I'm deathly afraid I won't be able to play sports, lift, run or carry my beautiful girlfriend over the threshold when I ask her to marry me.

Anybody else, with similar or larger body types, experience this? Know somebody that went through this? Or have input? Suggestions?

Thanks, in advance.





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