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Question about Lung nodule or Mass ..


Butterfly

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Hello, I am a 48 year old female, I was admitted to the hospital last Friday for severe shortness of breath ,heart pain aad a sharp stabbing pain from inside my left chest through to my back. my BP was high. I had tried earlier to shop and couldn't make two isles before I was gasping for air. During my stay the hospital did an xray, CT scan, blood work several times and arterial blood gas. They gave me oxygen and bipap . I was given heparin,  medicine for high BP and ultram  for discomfort . I was sent home yesterday and told to immediately follow up with a pulmonary specialist , a cardiologist and my primary. I happened to be looking through my discharge papers today and noticed it said 5 CM nodule in lung  / CT under medical issues,They never mentioned this in the hospital while I was there and I feel like I was possibly rushed out . I vaguely remember the Dr. going over things with the nurse and telling her specifically to get me an appointment asap with the pulmonary specialist and she said it's probably not going to be for a couple of weeks and he said no, that's not good, have them speak to me. She never did make the appointment ,so today I did and they are booked for two weeks..so I took the appointment. I am assuming this was found during my CT scan , or could that be seen on xray too ? I am confused as to why they never said anything about this, is this common?? Any suggestions on what I should say or do at this point?  I am nervous about this and would appreciate some help. Thanks

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Hi Butterfly,

 It's really odd that they didn't say anything about the nodule at the hospital.  I suggest you get appointments as soon as possible with those 3 doctors. The pulmonologist shoudl follow up with the nodules as well as the breathing difficulties. Don't wait! Call in the morning! Best wishes to you.

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It's been my experience personally and in supporting others that emergency rooms are great at fixing emergencies but not so much at treating a patient or any form of ongoing care.  I'm not surprised that no one spoke with you about it- as shocking as that sounds. They are busy and you were not technically an "emergency" anymore. Thanks goodness you read your results and are an advocate for yourself!!  You are your own best advocate!!

Can you call the ER and speak with the Dr that saw you?  Perhaps that doctor can get you into a pulm faster.  

If you have any breathing issues at all don't wait and definitely go back to the ER!  Maybe let the ER dr know you're having breathing issues and anxiety and really need to get in somewhere much faster than 2 weeks.

I know you're scared and uncertain right now.  We are here for you.
Please keep us posted.    

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Thank-you for your response..I was actually admitted immediately and stayed for three days. They tended to everything while I was there, but failed to tell me that.. It just seems bizarre to leave that detail out..

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Butterfly,

Do you have a general practice physician?  If you do, I'd try this. Make an appointment with this doctor. Tell the doctor's practice nurse about your hospital admission. Have them call the hospital and get all the test results and specialist consults. You may need to sign a HIPPA form but ensure you call the practice a day before your appointment to ensure they have the reports. Have your GP explain the hospital findings. 

If you don't have a GP, you might call the hospital and ask for a complete copy of your record. It is your record; you paid for it. With the help of Google, you might be able to read and understand some of the stuff yourself. If you have a friend that is a nurse or in Med school, they might help you understand. 

I can understand your anxiety.  A 5 cm tumor is troubling but from your symptom description, the doctors might have been concerned about a heart attack and the cardiologist consult also suggests a heart problem. While a 5 cm tumor is of concern, I don't think it would be the cause of your symptoms. This could be the reason little was said about it. 

But it has been noted now and ought to be diagnosed. You are welcome here and feel free to ask questions. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, here is where I currently stand .. I'm not sure if this is typical, but I will say that it's driving me a little mad..I went to a pulmonary / critical care specialist that I was referred to. Unbeknownst to me, apparently there are two nodules , 1 on each lung . On the right there is a small solid nodule about 4 mm. On the left lung there is a Ground glass nodule that is almost 6 cm. . According to the doctor, the procedure is to wait 3 months and then do a pet scan to see if there is more growth and if they will do a biopsy. He is concerned about my breathing capacity now and says that I will need oxygen and a bipap machine at night as my arterial oxygen is low and my lungs aren't working well when I am laying flat.  I have been short of breath . I'm not sure how to describe the feeling but it literally feels like half of my chest is working, I can kind of feel air going towards the right and the left just feels like nothing.. Strange feeling. Anyhow, I am scheduled for titration , oximetry and a separate sleep study and have been set up with an oxygen company. They also recommend that I Carry an oxygen concentrator in my car. So that's what's happening now, I am basically waiting for the next scan.. I am also feeling exhausted..

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Butterfly,

The nodules are significant but small. I'm not a doctor but their presence alone at your reported size does not explain your breathing difficulties. It sounds like your pulmonary specialist is doing the right things. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in my early 50s and have used a CPAP since. My sleeping improved dramatically. 

Let us know the results of your next steps. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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  • 2 months later...

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