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I posted last year about our family's experience with "swine flu" and how it affected my oldest son. I will give a quick overview for those who didn't see. My oldest son got swine flu in June, but then seemed to get better. Soon after, he developed the post-viral pneumonia and it had complications. He developed a pleural effusion and had to have VATS surgery to clear it. He was in the hospital for almost all of July. It was a terrible time in our lives and it keeps coming back to haunt us.

In October of last year, my son developed pain on the right side of his chest that felt like someone was stabbing him every time he took a breath. We went back to doctors, no one seemed to know what was causing it. We finally got shunted to pain management who did a 4 level intercostal nerve block which seemed to do the trick.

Fast forward to now. Last Friday, he was walking to class and felt and heard a "pop" in his chest and immediate severe pain. He sent me a text message and I raced to the school and took him to the ER. He did not have a pneumothorax, and no one could find a reason for his pain so he was sent home with the instructions to take 3 motrin every 6 hours. I called the surgeon who originally did the VATS because last time this happened he blamed scar tissue and said if this happened again we might have to explore other options. He had no new ideas, and did a pain block procedure in his office. Now my son hurts more than ever. I don't know what to do. I feel so helpless, watching my son in so much pain and I can't do anything about it.

I need to get outside of Children's network and find a thoracic surgeon who will help us. Any ideas?



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Oh Angela-

I remember when all of that was happening. So sorry he's dealing with something similar again.

Mack had a POP like that in elementary school. He was trying to do a trick on the Monkey bards at school at the time. You say your son was just walking to class. Hmmmmm. Wonder if he was carrying a heavy load or twisted some funny way. We had to rush Mack to the ER. They did X-rays & other tests and finally decided that a growth plate had "popped" in his sternum causing the extreme pain. As I recall, he was on codeine (not motrin!) for a few days.

Did you son hurt more before or after the nerve block? Was this new pain in the same place as the one from last year? I'm wondering of the two are truly related... This may be a new and totally unrelated injury.

As I recall, this is your son who doesn't have a chronic illness. Geez. So sorry to hear you are dealing with this again. Let us know what you find out. I'm sending prayers, hugs , and good thoughts your way.


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Hi Julie,

This is the same pain in the same place. The only difference is him feeling and hearing it pop, he didn't last time.

All three of my boys have asthma, but my oldest only has mild intermittent asthma that usually only acts up when he gets a cold or something.

I may take him to Cleveland Clinic, they have a pain and diagnostic center there. So if they come up with an opening before Children's, that is what I'll do.


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