Post-hospital nightmares!

Has anyone else suffered from nightmares/terrors when coming out of hospital? I was in hospital until Thursday and intubated in ITU following 2 respiratory arrests en route home. at a London train station at the weekend. Feel so lucky to have recovered, but my brain in certainly is rather slow to get going again, but worse still are the awakenings at least 4 times per night, clammy and shaking with fear. All rather odd for me. Anyone got any ideas how to overcome it.

Yes... and do note the time that I'm writing this.

4 Replies

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  • Hi Puffing Billie,

    Yes, I can definitely identify with this, both in terms of asthma admissions and a non-asthma ITU admission I had. It's something I really struggled with.

    I've always had some problems with nightmares and night terrors anyway, but these admissions seemed to add fuel if that makes sense. It seemed to be a mix of reliving some things, possible memories I don't remember (I for instance don't think I have any memory of being in ITU or hospital afterwards) yet my brain seems to remember it in my nightmares, and a fear of similar or worse happening again.

    What has helped? Time, counselling and when necessary and the asthma's been controlled enough for it to be okay, a sleeping tablet so I could get a good nights sleep prescribed by my GP. But I still find, on occasions, when my asthma's playing up (oh yes, I'm awake now too!) it can come back in a mild form which can lead to panic, so I have to be really careful to control it so I know what is asthma and what is panic.

    I'd suggest talking to your GP or an asthma nurse or someone you trust and seeing if there's any help available to you, but I just wanted to reassure you that you're not alone.

  • Hi

    Sorry to hear you've had such a rotten time. Though I have not been in ITU/intubated for asthma (yet) I did once stay in ITU for 3months, and for quite a while afterwards I experienced dreams, nightmares and insomnia.

    I am currently doing some research into post-ITU quality of life and memories/dreams and it appears to be quite a common phenomena. For me personally, I found with time these nightmares got less and I found sleeping easier, but even now 3 years later I still occasionally get flashbacks.

    If you wish to PM me,, feel free

    Emz

  • i would have thought that any signs of stress such as nightmares would be a perfectly normal reaction after being through a traumatic experience such as yours. have you got anyone you can talk to about how you felt and feel which will help get it out of your head? maybe try being as mentally and physically active as you can during the day with a wind down period before bed so that you are completely tired. the more you worry the more it will happen. hope you are feeling better x

  • Hi there,

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I've managed to stay awake all day today even with hardly any sleep last night, so maybe I'll sleep tonight.

    Just got back from GP and feeling more reassured. Not only these nightmares a normal phenomena, but also possibly due to my high dose steroids. So I'm weaning them down over the next week, and been restarted on Singulair.

    I think all in all I was terrified in hospital. Not only was my managment rather hit and miss, but I was also not well sedated in ITU, so am probably aware of more than I should have been.

    Overall my asthma plan needs a good sort out, so my GP is sending back to the Brompton. I've not been seen there for a few years. I'm hopeful of that they'll have better answers, so I can get things back on track.

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