I have spent 23 years suffering from chronic back pain and it has often been pretty horrendous along my journey through life. However, most of the time I remain positive and indeed would probably say I am a pretty humourous and outgoing person except when the pain really kicks in.
I have a spinal implant stimulator which mostly kills shooting pain going down my legs but my lower back pain could only be controlled by very strong opiate-based drugs, the most recent being the horrible methadone!
However, two weeks ago I underwent a horrible operation to (Honest, I'll get to the point soon, just lokin for some sympathy!), extend the spinal stimulator to help with my lower back pain, now the technology permits. The operation failed and although I was somewhat devastated when told while lying on that theatre table, I started to look towards moving forward.
Then three days post op I found that in the morning I had restricted breathing and was getting dizzy and my legs were failing. I was literally terrified! NHS direct recommended casualty and there I went thinking I would never return home (I was that scared!). That journey of 17 miles was like being driven to the end of my life. I was gasping! Then it would settle and then return again!
I was checked out for a possible heart attack and then the next day scanned for blood clots in my lungs. During the night, I would suffer these attacks and be given oxygen and my oxygen levels were dropping. It really was horrific. I was discharged as I had not had a heart attack and my lungs did not have any clots but I was advised to visit my GP urgently to check my respiratory problems. My GP has told me, following a spirometric test, that I have most likely got Asthma and has given me the two inhalers. They have helped greatly but I can still have this shortage of breath for long periods of time even when I use the reliever.
How bad is this fear? These past two weeks I have suffered excrutiating pain to the point that I had to have a new opiate prescribed (Hydromorphone) which is deemed much stronger than morphine. This cause horrible withdrawals from coming off the methadone, however, none of this wasas horrible as the fear I have when my breathing becomes restricted. I know it will not kill me but the feling of suffication is truely terrifying. (Nearly finished and thanks for sticking with it, you are a star!)
I have experience with phobias through my work, in psychology, but I want to ask those (You, I hope!), who may have direct or even indirect experience of such episodes, ""Do you have any tips for me or personal experiences of resolving this problem?""
I await your replys and am grateful for any ideas no matter how crazy they may be!