After a few days of my lung not inflating, the surgeon decided he would need to operate. He said he would perform keyhole surgery, involving putting a camera inside my chest cavity to find where my lung was leaking air, stapling the hole or holes caused by possible blebs (blisters) and then burning the chest cavity or “scraping it” to make it bleed then using talc to stick my lung to the chest cavity. I’m sure they used nicer, longer more professional sounding words but that was the jist of it.
While I was waiting for a date, a guy was admitted to the bed beside me who had been in and out of hospital with pneumothorax at least 5 times. His body looked like someone had been playing x’s and o’s on him with a knife and that the x’s had won, a lot. He told me not to get my hopes up that it would work because his kept collapsing. He told me he had continued to smoke and said it wasn’t a big deal to keep doing it. I thought to myself “if this pain has happened to you 5 times and you’ve kept smoking then I’m definitely never smoking again”. He was a character though, as soon as he got into his bed and the nurse disappeared out of the room he would crack open one of the beers he’d smuggled in.
They told me surgery would be on a Tuesday about a week and a couple days after I had been admitted to hospital. The night before, the anaesthetist came and sized me up for how much I would need to keep me under. That night I wasn’t so worried, I just wanted to get it over and done with. I was happy to have the possibility of getting out.