Hi, I had my PE four years ago, and was admitted to hospital on the 18/02/15. I had been feeling unwell several months prior with pains in the back/shortness of breath, but put it down to ongoing back issues and the affects of smoking 18-20 cigarettes a day. I was working full-time and travelling up to four hours a day, so just thought I was a bit run down. By the time I got to hospital and had a formal diagnosis of clots, I was also told my lungs were scared from previous clots. I also had fluid on the lungs, partial collapse of both lungs, a nasty infection and severe asthma. I was in hospital two and a half weeks and also for a week in March.
My life changed completely after this. I suddenly aged 20 years over night. I broke my back in 2012 stumbling down a kerb and had spinal fusion surgery done in 2013. During this time I continued to work - drugged up on pain meds, but I worked. I was back at work 12 weeks after my surgery and kept going with other things at home with the family right up until February 2015. Since having the PE I have never returned to work.
Also, since that time I have found myself waiting to wake up one day and feel like my old self - four years of waiting for my stamina to come back. I have developed other health problems in the four years since I had my PE which I'm sure have contributed to my general lethargy, but this lack of stamina is what really gets me down. Everything takes so much more effort and so by the end of the day I feel exhausted. When will my stamina come back?
Also living with the fear of another PE - of not being able to breathe again - is insidious and terrifying. I held a wet flannel to my face and accidentally breathed in at the same time and felt panic start to rise. I kissed my husband the other day and held my breath when doing so and felt the panic start to rise. I feel myself struggle to breath when sleeping and wake up in a panic. Going to the dentist and struggling to breath makes me panic. The pain around my rib cage and at the bottom of my right lung is a constant daily ache and reminder.
Will I ever be myself again? After four years of waiting, I have resigned myself to never feeling like myself again and it just makes me sad. I'm 52 years old but feel 20 years older.