The first day I was in hospital the severity didn’t really sink in or even the fact that I might be there a while. I still thought I’d miraculously heal and be out the next day. I think that’s what I even told my boss at the bar. When my mum came back in to see me later that day she brought in a bag full of my belongings like my phone, kindle, laptop, some clothes and an e-cig as I knew I’d be dying for a cigarette and had the good sense to know I wasn’t going to smoke a real one ever again.
They gave me a room by myself which at first i thought was for the best. In Aberdeen Royal Infirmary you have to pay to use a private TV that is attached to your bed so my mum paid for a couple days use. My buddy Louis came in to visit me for the evening visits and you could see he was a bit panicked. He said “I looked it up on the way and this is serious shit”. We joked about a bit and then took the elevator down to the shop at the front of the hospital to grab some sweets and juice. I was carrying my chest drain and people were looking at it, probably to suss out if it was actually a bucket of piss, I got annoyed and stared right back at people with a bit of a challenging glare. Louis laughed and asked what I was planning on doing with only one lung and a tube sticking out of me. I said “hey I’ve still got one good side”. I think those painkillers must have been doing something to my senses.
When we got back up to my ward the doctor or nurse, not sure which, came up to me in a panic. She said I shouldn’t have left the ward because if my drain had been pulled out it would have been bad news for me. I didn’t realise this as no one had said. I went back into my room and chatted away to my mum, her partner David and Louis. I don’t think my dad came to visit on the day I got admitted because it was nearly past visiting hours by the time I told him what had happened.
When they left I was still kind of in a daze about the whole thing. I think I spent that night watching some of the extortionate TV and reading on my phone about what a pneumothorax is.
The next day, a Sunday, when the doctors came round for the morning check I expected them to say they were going to take the chest drain out and send me home, that never happened. I was sent for an x-ray where they found that there was no change in my lung. It wasn’t returning to normal. They told me I would have to wait a day or so longer to see if it was going to inflate on its own. I called everyone I needed to and said I would be staying a day or 2 longer.
I was in a lot of pain by now and they were giving me a lot of painkillers. Whenever they gave me something with morphine I would be sick about half an hour later. Oromorph was the worst. It’s a shame because it felt good being out of it while in there and not having to think about it. God knows what else they gave me but I kept hallucinating. When I would finally be able to drift off to sleep I would wake with a jump thinking someone was standing at the end of my bed, but nobody was there.
With all the medicine I couldn’t keep any food down. I was around 9st 8lbs when I went in and I was losing even more. I looked skinny and frail. When I asked the doctor why the pneumothorax had happened he said it was probably because I was tall, skinny and smoked. Apparently the most common people to have a spontaneous pneumothorax are young, tall, skinny, healthy, smokers. I don’t think healthy and smoking go together but that’s what they said. One of the nurses that took my meusurments said I should be about 11st 6lbs because I was around 5 ft 10in. I weighed no where near that.