Monday, January 26, 2009

Is it possible to sprain a lung?

I know it's been a very long time since college - and even longer since my last really thorough Human Anatomy class - but I must know:  can a person sprain a lung? 

I have been living with this dumb pain in the general vicinity of my left lung for several weeks. Here's what it's like: 

It hurts to breathe.

That's just the obvious part. There are more parts, like driving and turning right, when I pull my left arm across my body and my whole self does a massive nerve-twitch. Or sleeping. Mostly the lying down on my side part. Or lifting my girlie 10-pound weights. Curls? Okay. Hammers? Okay. Over-the-head presses? Fairly agonizing. Picking up a smallish preschooler? Nope. We just sit down on the floor together when one of us needs a good cry. 

I must have been whining too much lately, because Scott said that I need to call a doctor and make an appointment to see what's going on. (Disclaimer: Scott would [this is a fact] play several games of basketball, volleyball, or whatever, on a sprained or broken limb. Going to a doctor is a last line of defense for this guy.) 

So I called. The nice and grouchy reception lady told me she'd be glad to get me in sometime in late February. I said, okay, great. Let's do it, I said. Fine, she said. What's bugging you? So I told her. Not in nearly so much gory detail as I've just lined it out for you, but just the basic facts. Okay, she said. What about tomorrow, she said. Come see our PA, she said. Oh, I said. Do you think that's a good idea? Um, yeah. Apparently maybe I could possibly have sprained my lung. She can't wait to get me in there and check me out. 

So now I'm nervous. Not a lot nervous, you understand, just enough that my sort-of-hidden hypochondriac tendencies are peeking their heads out of their boxes. 

"Hey, what's going on?" they ask.

"Cracked ribs?"

"Or maybe a torn transverse abdominal?" (I don't know if people have these, but frogs do. Right around their froggy middles. Thank you, Mr. Charlie Zimmerman, Batesville High School 1989.)

"Holes like swiss cheese in the lungs?"

"Popped diaphragm?"

"Anything requiring heavy doses of steroids, guaranteed to help add 15 unwanted pounds?"



"Anything that will cause hair and/or fingernails to disappear?"

Hey hypochondria - can you hear me? Shut the box. Go back inside where I can't hear you. I don't need  your help.


  1. Not to freak you out but it could be a blood clot. Has happened to a few of my friends. I pray that it isn't but your hypochondriac self was right to call anyway. BTW-I love reading your blog. Let ys knwo what happens.

  2. How funny that you should say that. They did take blood to check for a clot. Hopefully it's just a muscle thing (and I have SO MANY muscle things!) and it will go away soon.


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