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Pleural effusion....

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While this is nothing like what strandman is going through, its still going to keep me off the rock for a while yet.

Found out a week ago I have fluid between my lung and ribcage on my right side. Went in to get it drained today only to find out via ultrasound that there are adhesions in the fluid, which are essentially like scar tissue that is creating pockets in the fluid. So, about my only option is to have it surgically removed. I'm meeting with the surgeon tomorrow morning and my assumption is the procedure will be next week. I'm too young for this shit!!

Troy and I were at Lost Horizon this weekend and I was thinking about your trad leads out there.  Sorry to hear it's not just free fluid going on with you.  Did they just do rads initially w/o an u/s, or was today's a recheck with adhesions newly forming?  Any tentative diagnosis for your issues? 

Should be SOP but would inquire as to whether they plan to culture the fluid and submit for cytology as well in hopes of ID'ing a cause.  Seems worrisome in someone I assume is young and otherwise healthy.  Any history of old trauma?  Recent pneumonia/bronchitis/fever?

Good luck getting over this whatever-it-is and salvaging your rock season!

Thanks, Dale.

The symptoms started appearing about a month ago, mostly a "creaking" in my chest that I attribute to my lung rubbing across my ribs.  After the symptoms (shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, movement of the feeling in my chest) worsened last week I finally broke down and went to get checked.  I had x-ray's done at the walk-in clinic that I went to last Wednesday.  My primary care was out of town for the week so the walk-in after work hours is the route I went.  The chest x-ray is what led to the diagnosis.  I got a referral to see a pulmonologist and met with him Friday last week, basically an initial consult.  It was set up on Friday for the thoracentisis (sp?), aka- tap/drain, today with the ultrasound to guide the tap.

What I didn't mention in my first post was that twice today I felt as if I was going to pass out right before the doctor was going to start the actual procedure.  Part of it was that the room was small and had no air circulation.  There was also 7 people in the room and I was instructed not to eat anything for 4 hours before the CT scan which was scheduled for 1:30.  It was after my "normal" lunch time (noon-ish) when this all occurred too, so I'm sure blood sugar played no small part in how I felt.  The doc was going to stick the needle in me anyway, even if it drained only one pocket so that labs could be run on it, but after my second episode of feeling hot/ready to pass out, he decided not to since there would be little benefit right now.

I don't know how long the adhesions have been there.  My guess, from discussing it with the doc today, is that it's related to a severe bout of costochondritis that I had about 2 years ago.  Costo is an inflammation of the cartilage and connective tissue around the lungs.  I was never officially diagnosed with it, but my symptoms fit to a "T" what I found online and after starting a heavy regimen of ibuprofen it pretty quickly went away.  My assumption is whatever is removed during the surgical procedure will be sent off for labwork.  The doc told me last Friday that the ideal situation is (obviously) that this never comes back, and that they not figure out what caused it.  If they can figure out definitively what caused it, chances are good that it won't be good.

"Young and otherwise healthy"- yeah, that's the problem.  I'm 34 and have had no major health issues.  The guy that checked off the form for the CT today made the comment that I was the easiest one he'd ever had as far as medical history/issues!  Hell, I've never even broken any bones.  I don't remember the last time I missed work due to *me* being sick...

Dan hope they figure this out for you. The broken bone thing happens a lot in the climbing world watch out.

Good luck man...sucky anyway...i had no symptoms of anything and now it's a shitstorm...i originally thought pleurisy..guess not


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