I’m not just being cute with the title, I seriously experienced both a primary and secondary spontaneous pneumothorax. The ‘secondary’ part means that some external factor triggered the collapse of my lung. I think you could also call it a “traumatic pneumothorax,” but this works too… and fits my blog titles better While I was in the hospital in November, a CT scan revealed indications that my right lung was also showing early signs of an eventual collapse. I suppose at the time, nothing much could be done. But as a result, it was expected that I might experience a collapsed right lung at some point in the future.
That turned out to happen sooner than anyone expected. About seven or eight weeks after my first surgery, and less than a week into returning to work at the theater, I slipped on the ice on our front porch and fell on my right side. At first I was glad I hadn’t fallen on the left, but as it was later discovered, this most likely triggered my right lung into partially collapsing. I didn’t notice anything until the following night at a friend’s wedding on New Years Eve, when I felt a very familiar pain in my chest, of course this time on my right side. I worried that I might end up at the hospital, but then the pain went away and didn’t bother me the rest of the night. Nothing bothered me for another couple of days. Then while I was working that Sunday afternoon (January 2nd), I began to feel pains again that wouldn’t go away. I had to sit down frequently and honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it through my shift. I had a feeling I would be visiting the ER before the end of the night.
I did manage to make it through my shift and made it home, where I promptly laid down on the couch. The pain would come and go, and I was somewhat worried about overreacting. But as of the day before, I was once again insured, so my parents took me to the emergency room. Given the collapsed left lung two months earlier, I was given my now 18th chest x-ray (by this point I could go through the motions in my sleep, and sometimes did), which revealed my right lung to be about 30% collapsed. Medical journals vary on this point, but it is generally assumed that when under 22-30%, no chest tube need be inserted. It was a relief to know my body might be able to fight this one off on its own, as I didn’t want to experience a chest tube again, particularly the insertion of one.
I was discharged that night and had an appointment with the specialist the next morning (different doctor from November, but same office). He determined since I had a pneumothorax already, that they would just go ahead with the surgery the following morning. This was a bummer in that I’d have to be in the hospital again, but I’d rather go through the surgery than a chest tube on its own. Continue reading →
I have become far more familiar with this medical anomaly than I would have ever hoped. Since November, I have learned more about the human lungs than I thought I’d come to know about any bit of human anatomy. Let’s face it, I’m usually squeamish as hell. But I’ve even overcome a lot of that.
Some time during the wee hours of November 2nd, my left lung spontaneously collapsed while I slept. I awoke the next morning, ever the left-side-sleeper, with a considerable amount of chest pain. I particularly felt an odd tugging sensation, but really had no idea what it could be. Thinking maybe my excessive consumption of caffeine could be affecting my heart, I made a mental note to try to cut back and hoped it would go away after I got up.
About 15-20 minutes later, as I stepped out of the shower, I was struck with lightheadedness. Being a rather squeamish individual, and having at least researched what happens during fainting, I promptly laid on the bathroom floor to allow the blood to reach my head; a moment later, I was fine, but the pain was still nagging. Not too long after the bathroom incident, my dad asked me to help him move the trailer out of the driveway. This was particularly strenuous, and I rushed inside at the first indication that my dad had things under control. At this point, I felt like I was experiencing intense heartburn or stomach pain or something, so I quickly mixed up some Alka-Seltzer and made it to the living room floor (my mom was napping on the couch) just in time to prevent myself from blacking out. It was all I could do but lie there to keep the pain at its minimum.
I really should have just went to the hospital at that point, but I was uninsured and couldn’t bear the thought of what might be wrong with me or how much it could cost me, nor did I want to alarm my parents. My dad came inside a few minutes later and asked what was wrong. I abashedly told him I was having chest pains, but didn’t think it was serious enough to go to the hospital. Besides, I couldn’t afford it. I lounged on the couch for the rest of the day and that night, reading away on my Kindle. Continue reading →
Okay, I caught this over at Engadget (what a surprise, right?) and I’m digging the idea more and more.
The NoteSlate is basically a totally awesome digital notebook that uses e-ink and a stylus. Although merely a concept piece at the moment, I hope to God this thing sees the light of day. Something like this would finally see the end of paper on my desk at least. When organizing VFX stuff, particularly when I’m supervising on friends’ films, I usually keep a small three-ring binder and jot down everything I need; be it naming conventions or frame ranges/counts. Then I designate a page or more for each individual shot, where I can keep all my notes. This has always proved to be the fastest for my own reference.
If I could have a digital tablet that does the same thing yet offers virtually limitless pages and could organize it all electronically, I’d be set. Granted, two issues pose a problem: getting the resolution high enough is one. You have to hit 300 dpi to truly equal pen and paper I think. And the other issue is e-ink. You’d want e-ink for the fact that it looks like paper, but response time is a huge problem at the moment. We have a Kindle 2 and a Kindle 3 in our household, and although the response time has increased with the third-generation ereader, I’m still not sure how well the technology could keep up with a scribbling pen.
Still, if they can pull it off, hellz to the yeah. And even if they don’t hit the $99 price point, I’d still buy it for even $300. No matter what, you’re eventually going to surpass the cost of the paper you would have purchased. It intrigues me that they have a price point on a concept, and that they seem to be indicating the pen/e-ink combo is nothing to worry about. Maybe they have something up their sleeve. Or maybe I’m just wishing… and slightly bitter over the Courier.
This is by far the neatest little app I’ve come across for Android. What it does is setup a link (using wifi or bluetooth) between your phone and your computer, allowing you to be notified of incoming calls, voicemails, text messages, app updates, and battery status right on screen without the need to look at your phone. It’ll even mute your speakers when a phone call comes in.
I’m using it on my Mac, but it works on Windows and Linux as well. It’d be nice to be notified of other events, but it requires third-party developers to add support for Remote Notifier on their end. However, I love it even just for calls, especially if I have my music turned up or am using headphones. When I’m at my computer, I usually keep my phone out of my pocket so the vibrate doesn’t help in those cases. This little app does.
Beyond just being nifty, this reminds me of what I used to imagine the future to be like. I remember seeing a concept video some years back (although I can’t for the life of me find it now) that showcased a setup between a computer and phone that was totally seamless. While at the computer, calls and messaging were all handled without the use of the phone, and as soon as the person got up and left, everything switched over. Stuff like Remote Notifier are a step in that direction.
I’ve always been the target of criticism among my family and friends due to my incessant “cell phone ADD.” Ever since my first phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, I quickly moved into the smartphone realm and proceeded to drool endlessly as the industry rapidly evolved, switching phones sometimes months apart.
For years the iPhone was the Holy Grail for me, however outside my grasp. Due to AT&T’s terrible coverage, they provide service in only two cities in Nebraska, and being in the seventh largest county, you can surely guess I don’t live in one of them. In fact, until sometime in 2008 if I recall correctly, we didn’t even have a GSM carrier with which to use an unlocked iPhone where I live.