I suffered a serious bout with Legionnaire's Disease in June, 2010. I am a healthy 52 year old male and a non-smoker and was able to recover from the pneumonia at a better than average rate. Before the diagnosis was made, I was declining very rapidly and a surgical lung biopsy was performed to get a broader spectrum of analysis of what was causing my lungs to fill with fluid so rapidly.... quadruple pneumonia hit me out of nowhere in the course of 4 days following 3 days of very high fever. So all was going well as I recovered until a hematoma developed near the scar tissue of my biospy in mid-July. Since then they have drawn blood out of the hematoma (with CT scan) twice, including a large amount of fluid outside the lung wall and inside the plural lining. In that procedure on August 17, they took @ 65 ccs of blood from the hematoma and over 650 ccs of fluid from within the plural lining. The fluid accumulated outside the lung very close to the hematoma. I've gotten back to a fairly normal schedule with work and weekend activities since then, but two xray followups show that the hematoma has not reduced in size. My pulmanologist advises me to stay on normal schedule... no more needles in the lung unless symptoms of complications develop. I feel OK and have good lung capacity. The rest of my lungs have healed almost completely so the Legionaires Disease is history (all tests of blood and fluid drawn have shown no sign of infection and I have had no symptoms of infection at all). I am trying to be patient, but it is unsettling to feel that mass of blood when I breathe deeply. My question that my doctor won't seem to answer is: How long will it take for this hematoma to be absorbed by my system? Is it normal for no decrease in size after a month of general improvement in my health? I will feel better about my progress and more positive about life if I just know that this is not that unusual. I pick up bits and pieces of information about how hematomas can take a while to be absorbed, but what is the general realm of what is considered to be normal. Lastly, if this thing does not go away after an acceptable time frame, what is a reasonable action to take. It may be benign, but my infectious disease doctor (who diagnosed the Legionella) indicated that it can be a magnet for problems in the future. I'm getting mixed signals from different doctors and not sure what to think. These are good doctors, but not the best at communication.
Hi, I think we have all been there with our doctors. It is important for you to remember that no two people are a like - there really is no normal. That is probably why your pulmonologist won't give you a time frame for healing. I would recommend being patient and continue monitoring the situation. I think your doctors will let you know when things have gone too long without healing.
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