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I had a collapsed lung on the left side in 1989 when I was 30. The doctor asked me if I smoke marajuana and no I don't but I smoke cigarettes. I quit a couple times but got into it again. I tried Champix twice and did well until I went to the bar and the urge was so strong that I gave in. I only had a collapsed lung on the left side once.
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I suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax only a few months ago.
Male, 21 years of age. 6'1" and only 140lbs. I fit the for the perfect example of a tall, lengthy, thin framed person who would be prone to pneumothorax.
At the time I was an avid cyclist, biking up to a 100mi a week just commuting to work & extremely healthy in my dietary choices. Yet I was still a smoker. Have been for 5 years, up to 8 cigarettes a day. Even though it does not fit my lifestyle of a healthy & positive lifestyle it has still stuck around.
I first noticed something wrong one morning when I woke up, the right mid-lower side of my back ached. I thought I slept funny & tried to shake it off as I got ready for work. I proceed with my day, hopped on my bike, and went to work for a full shift.
I continued this routine up until the fourth day, feeling the same symptom in my lower back but now also on the upper portion on the front of my chest.
By the Fifth morning I was in more bodily pain than I had previously ever felt, for no apparent reason. Not being a fan of modern medicine I waited absolutely as long as I could before l sucked up my pride & made a doctor's appointment for the following day. When I reached the appointment I told the doctor of my situation & how long it has persisted. After her examination she was dumbfounded & concluded with no explanation and proceeded to bring a second doctor in for consultation. Him being baffled as well, decided to send me for an x-ray, just as generalized procedure for chest pain.
The Seventh day I go in for an x-ray, in & out in 30minutes. Only a mile or two away from home before I get a phone call. It's unknown. I almost ignore it. But for some reason I answered. It was a nurse calling from the emergency room at the hospital I was just at. She gave no explanation but frantically exclaimed I must return to the directly to the E.R. for an 'emergency procedure.'
I return to the E.R. and immediately get rushed into a room.
Although a big deal for a person living it in real life, a pneumothorax in the medical field is common place. So even though I was rushed in it still took nearly 2hrs before I was ever approached by a doctor who was able to tell me of my condition.
My young stubborn mind couldn't comprehend having a collapsed lung and I tried to reassure him that was not the case. Unto which he pulled up my x-ray from the day prior and showed to me in fact that I had had a spontaneous pneumothorax. My right right lung was entirely absent from the photograph.
He went on to tell me though I had some of the largest lungs the radiologist had seen. And that it was crazy that my blood oxygen levels were able to maintain 100% even though half my respiratory system was shut down.
About 3 hours after arriving to the emergency room now and on the Seventh day of this dilemma they finally reinflated me like a god damn balloon. And I was able to go home only an hour later with the Heimlich Valve barely taped to my chest and the tube still deep in my chest. I was instructed to "Keep it dry & come back to the E.R. in a weel."
Later that night I noticed the valve accumulating with a clear fluid, which hesitated me since I know it is only designed as a one way air valve. But seeing as the fluid was clear I slept through the night.
Late by the eighth day, the hose coming from my chest to the valve was entirely full of liquid & kept getting darker. Now absolutely terrified of an all out chest infection I returned to E.R. I told the lady at the front desk "I have a tube coming out of my chest and it is leaking." Her face was absolutely priceless & I think a nurse was there to take me back before I could even sit down in the lobby.
Now my second encounter in the E.R. was with a new doctor, I told her of my situation and she was in absolute disbelief I had walked into the E.R with a Heimlich Valve in my chest. Apparently they are temporary, only needed momentarily until the patient's lung is inflated. Or in certain scenarios where a patient requires it longer but they remain hospitalized.
So to verify if my lung was truly inflated she advised for a second x-ray on the spot. She was immediately able to confirm it was 100% back to normal but had no idea where the fluid was coming from.
Within moments after the x-ray she decided to removed the valve and hose. Which was of great relief to me & painless. After that a little finger band aid was all it too to patch me up and I was on my way.
She later told me the fluid substance found in the tube was unknown and had no reason to be coming from someone's chest cavity, but it was made up of neutral compounds found in the body.
Sooo 3 months later & tens of thousands of dollars in debt, my words of advice are..
1.Get health insurance
2. Don't smoke cigarettes if you are prone to pneumothorax.
3. Maybe just don't smoke cigarettes at all.
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This post has numerous misinformation in it.

You had a lot of Dr's because of the severity of a collapsed lung, a spontaneous pneumothorax is not that uncommon.

Second, if you didn't have any lung damage it has nothing to do with cancer genetics. Emphysema, COPD, and numerous other lung diseases associated with smoking are non cancer related, therefore not having cancer genetics does nothing to stop them. You probably smoked very rarely, or quite possibly didn't inhale. Many people who are not regular cig/marijuana smokers don't inhale. In fact, cigars are not meant to be inhaled. And since inhaling is the act of drawing smoke into your lungs, if you are not doing that then you would have minimal, if any, lung damage.

Thirdly, the liquid draining out of the test tube is almost always discolored, smoker or not. This is because a large number of collapsed lungs come attached with an infection and/or there will be blood mixed in.

And lastly, I highly doubt they had you sit in the hospital ten days hooked up to a tube before surgery. I have had this procedure before. While hooked up to the tube I got two x-rays a day. Within 2 or 3 days they can tell if the tube is working well enough or if you need surgery. They won't let you risk sitting there waiting for 10 days waiting for surgery, any number of things can happen in that ten days to make the situation much worse. With severe injuries like this one time is of the essence.

Anyone who reads the reply above me, please take it with a grain of salt. The formatting/sporadicness of it reminds me of someone in a manic episode. People who are in manic episodes take a true story and exaggerate it to the point of being recognizable. Don't want to be mean to her, but also don't want anyone believing cigarettes don't cause collapsed lungs which she was hinting at in her reply, as evidenced by the excited tone of words used when revealing what the Dr. said to her.
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yes,smoking can cause a collapsed Lung But the worrisome bigger problem is Lung Cancer. Going thru both at this time.
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