So two times in the past decade my lungs have collapsed. Spontaneous Pneumothorax. The first time I thought I was developing an allergy and just having a severe reaction, the second time I recognized the sensation and went straight to the ER after only a little hoping it was just stress.
The first time I had chest tubes for weeks on a vacuum until it healed, the second time I had to have a surgical pleurodesis
and no problems since.
I often wonder, though...
What would have happened if I had not done anything either time? The pain is unbelievable, and the sensation of not being able to inhale fully is the stuff of nightmares, so I couldn't imagine it, but would I have died? Just been incapacitated? What would have happened to someone in 1850 who had one? Would I have just been an invalid?
In my case, it was only one lung, so I had partial function in the other.
I have been curious about it for years now, but all of the medical information is about how to treat it and get it taken care of, not what happens if you don't.