A bad day today: Hello friends, It's... - Lung Conditions C...

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A bad day today

WestHam100 profile image
17 Replies

Hello friends,

It's Mark, the West Ham fan with a greyhound and also post-collapsed lung person! I've posted a couple of times on here about anxiety and twinges following my stay in hospital.

Had a particularly bad day today (stupidly for some reason, I listened to a podcast last night on collapsed lungs), so was thinking about it as soon as I woke up this morning. It made me have all sorts of anxious twinges which escalated into a bit of a panic attack, which involved shortness of breath and more pains - which just escalated the experience.

It's all calmed down somewhat, but still feeling on edge. I'm also struggling a bit with communicating this to my partner. I don't think she quite understands the anxiety - it can be constant sometimes. But sometimes I feel okay, so must seem like I'm getting on with things.

Advice on here from you wonderful people seems to be to take it easy, and it will take a while for everything to calm down - it's been nearly a month and a half since I was discharged. And I want to take it easy but I don't quite know how - and also communicate that to my other half.

I'm sorry for offloading, but it helps just to write stuff down and put it out there.

I just wonder sometimes if I'm ever going to get better and get back to my old life,

Mark

17 Replies
Catgirl1976 profile image
Catgirl1976

Best thing to do is stay away from podcasts on collapsed lungs in the future if it upsets you.

I remember after I was discharged after I had blood clots in my lungs I was frightened as well but time has helped me come to terms with things.

Things will get better in time but stay away from things that upset you.

WestHam100 profile image
WestHam100 in reply to Catgirl1976

Yes, you're definitely right. I don't know why I listened to it - it's the equivalent of going on google and seeing people's horror stories. I think time is a healer both physically and mentally, and I need to accept that. I'm glad to hear you're doing better now and time has worked for you.

Eastend555 profile image
Eastend555 in reply to WestHam100

Its the Millwall supporters messing with your head my son lol just messing

WestHam100 profile image
WestHam100 in reply to Eastend555

Ha ha!!! I did wonder! Those bloody Milwall fans!!!

teddyd profile image
teddyd

Dr Google or searching about a condition can zap your energy enthusiasm and be so draining.Trying to focus and stay positive ( easier said than done) is helpful.

I find when my brain/ thoughts etc start constantly being anxious and washing over me it can be difficult to move on.

For me writing my thoughts and anxieties down can be helpful. Also concentrating on a book, jigsaw or a puzzle gives me something else to focus on.

Trying to explain feelings to someone can be tricky ,however generally they want to be supportive. Give yourself time to physically and mentally recover. Dont be too hard on yourself.

Catgirl1976 profile image
Catgirl1976 in reply to teddyd

What's said on google you take with a grain of salt as some of it's rubbish!

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16

Hi Mark, it's still very early days and perhaps you think that you should be better then you are by now and that can aggravate anxiety too. It's also hard to take it easy if you have been used to being active. I used to find that going a walk helped me to gradually relax. I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other with no destination or distance in mind. I gradually found that the anxiety slowly went and that I could then enjoy my surroundings and walk until I felt like going home.

If you are able to practice relaxing that will help too. There are a lot of techniques and examples on you tube where you may find one that suits you. It does take perseverance and practice though. teddyd has given some other good suggestions too.

Anxiety is an awful thing to live with as I know from experience and partners may not understand unless they have experienced it themselves. Many of us here have anxiety and do understand so come and offload any time if it helps. You will recover physically in time and get your life back but don't expect too much just yet.

Viamar204B profile image
Viamar204B

I understand how your partner feels. My husband’s anxiety blighted both our lives for years. I watched YouTube videos to help me understand his feelings and this helped me help him. I found myself becoming anxious about his anxiety, like it is contagious. I have learnt strategies to manage but that’s no to say I am happy living like this.Living with an anxious person is not easy. I wish you both all the best.

Ergendl profile image
Ergendl

It's good that you can offload here, Mark, as that gets it off your shoulders and onto ours, which are far broader. Each of us has a unique body, so each of us has a unique recovery: some will be faster, some slower. Just keep coming back here and asking your questions and bathing in the wonderful support other members provide.

watergazer profile image
watergazer

Sorry to hear how you are feeling Mark. Relaxation and patience (both are difficult) seem to be a key to help. Maybe a counsellor may help you as you can offload there as well as on here It is difficult for a partner as they’re not experiencing what you are so will find it difficult to understand and be empathetic. Take care x

ccccc profile image
ccccc

Hi Mark (a Mark here also...!)

I had Covid in 2020 which exacerbated my already severe asthma for many months, and was stuck at home. I had the same thoughts around "am I ever going to get better, what will happen if I don't" etc etc and some very anxious times. I'm really into photography so I picked up my camera and started to take photos to represent how I was feeling - it really helped, not only as a positive distraction but also as a means of expression. It gave me something to focus on (pardon the pun...) but it helped to quell the rumination and the anxiety I was feeling. I didn't just feel like someone who was ill, I felt like a sense of purpose.

I've had anxiety problems for years and in my case it gets worse when I'm ill and it's as if my anxiety is looking for something to hone in on - if it can't find a focus it starts to whir round and round in my mind creating these "what if" questions that can't be answered. That's why having an outlet such as photography is a big help to me. You never know where it might lead - my photos are being exhibited by the local council arts service in a few months, never had anything like that before - that wasn't my intention when I started to document my experience but it shows that out of bad times some good can come of it. Use your unique experiences. So maybe anything creative you've ever wanted to try, photography, painting, collage, writing...just try it and see if it helps. And show your partner if you like, to create a conversation about what you're going through.

Have you tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy too, that has been a great help to me.

strongmouse profile image
strongmouse

I think we have all done that at some stage! Catastrophising, thinking the worse, so that if it comes about we 'are prepared' is something many of us will have done. As you say though, it can cause a cascade of thoughts and exaggerating every symptom.

I would say that the first is to differentiate between an acute problem and a long term one. With an acute issue we may improve, with a long term condition we need to adjust to our 'new normal'.

If you have a long term, chronic lung issue, the best way forward is to learn how to manage it. This involves discovering your new 'normal for you' level. Comparing with other people who are either well or have a multitude of health issues we don't have isn't helpful. But it is common!

It is a process, and good that you can recognise what is happening.

Hope you find a way forward which helps to make the most of what you can do and how to manage new, challenging problems.

mylungshateme profile image
mylungshateme in reply to strongmouse

This is brilliant advice. I remember going through all these emotions when having covid dec 2019 triggered my already unmanageable asthma then long covid and hospital admissions, urgh as if battling our lungs isn't enough the anxiety kicks in! And exactly like you say learning and accepting the new norm and adapting is key. I've come a long way in 2.5 years long covid wise but severe allergic asthma is so uncontrolled its frustrating wanting to do things but your know your lungs just can't cope.

Nelly_123 profile image
Nelly_123

Hi Mark,

The first thing I’d say is it’s only a month and a half. I was just about going back to work around this point (that was a phased return with 2 weeks of half days to start). I was much better than I was when I was discharged at that point, but honestly, I think it took me a good 3 months to really feel back to my normal energy levels, and then I realised how ill I’d actually been. Your lung is still recovering and you will feel twinges at times (I still do tbh), I do understand how worrying this can be, but I find if I focus on it too much it can cause my heart rate to increase and I then feel more breathless, I think because my heart is pumping more my lungs work more, and I become really aware of it all. I try to breathe deeply and move my mind onto something else, though it’s hard sometimes. I know a few people who have had great success with CBT to overcome anxiety of various types, maybe this is something you could look into?

I read your bio and noticed you’re only 1 year older than me! Are you by chance tall and thin? Spontaneous Pneumothorax happens more frequently in tall, thin people (I’m tall and thin) and my lungs are so long radiologists often have to re-take my x-ray as my lungs are so long! (Even when I pre-warn them!)

Caspiana profile image
Caspiana

Just a suggestion. As I was writing to another member , health anxiety is debilitating and hard for others to understand. I hope these links help you.

Best wishes. 😊

anxietyuk.org.uk

nopanic.org.uk/health-anxie...

Ravey profile image
Ravey

Yo Westham100 just read your bio..not suprised you are feeling some anxiety..dont be quite so hard on yourself..its a big deal what you have been through..its early days really. You have got through that bit and you will learn to deal with this bit. Emotions are a funny ol thing we all get overwhelmed by something at some point..It does help reading from other people's experiences...I've never been involved with social platforms or help forums but I have found alot of comfort and reassurance from it..spew it all out son ..its always better out than in .You will get there you must be used to grief..your a Westham supporter 🤣🤣..chillax and heal ✌

WestHam100 profile image
WestHam100 in reply to Ravey

Thanks Ravey. Yeah, as a West Ham fan I've had my fair share of upset!! Thanks for your message. It really does help and I appreciate you reaching out. You're right- have got to let time do its thing, accept what happened. I still look book at that time and it really freaks me out. The thought of having that chest drain again! But thanks again mate - take care and hope you're doing okay.

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