Weird and wacky - but what was wrong with his lung?
By Peter Petterson
First published at Qondio:
This is a little weird and on the wacky side too.
Ron just wasn't feeling well at all. His failing health began to deteriorate even further. He already knew he had emphysema. The 75 year old former teacher had been running a fish retail market and smokehouse for a number of years.
He had some bad coughing spells in recent months, was getting tired and listless, and generally felt everything was just running downhill.
He was referred to a hospital in Cape Cod for a diagnosis of his problem. He was told he was badly dehydrated and had pneumonia. X-rays showed a small dark spot on his lung. Ron suspected he had the Big C - cancer! But biopsies proved negative to cancer.
His doctors at the hospital felt there was only one course of action - they had to go in and operate on his lung.
The surgeon found a lot of inflammation and suspected a tumor at the bottom of the patient's lung. But the more he probed the encrusted mass in the lung, the less he suspected a tumor. He thought it looked pretty grungy down - it actually looked like a "pea" - so he sent off a sample to the pathologist, who confirmed his diagnosis.
He cleared away the sprout, drained some of the fluid away and helped to restore the lung's capacity.
After his surgery Ron spent three weeks in hospital and another week in rehabilitation. He has recovered quite well.
It was by all accounts a typical story, where somebody at a picnic may tell a joke, somebody else laughs and chokes on their food. Something I believe most of us have done sometime in our lives.
Foreign bodies are often found in airways, but rarely aspirated into lungs, without the victims knowing it.
There was a similar case in Russia where a surgeon found a tiny fir tree in his patient's lung.
Acknowledgements: AP/ ABC News Internet Venture
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