A person I know, sometime in his late twenties, went to the doctor complaining of some mild respiratory problems. Doc decided to X-ray his chest. The X-ray showed that one of his lungs had basically shriveled into a thick block of tissue about half the size it was supposed to be. The other lung had expanded somewhat into the resulting space. Doc said, “Some doctors would see an X-ray like this and immediately rush you to the hospital. But looking at you, you seem fine.” Patient agreed that he pretty much felt fine.
The doctor ordered a test that involved extracting fluid from the lungs. Apparently, cloudy fluid would indicate an infection, bloody fluid would indicate cancer, and clear fluid would indicate nothing serious. The fluid came out clear. Doc said, “I guess you’re fine.” Decades later, Patient is still fine, his lung is still shrunken, and his operatic tenor voice is still as loud as ever.
What kind of medical problem would cause a man’s lung to shrivel up and then just pass, hardly even causing any discomfort?