Just out of Hosp - very confused :o(

Hi All, I 've not used this site before for the forum but I am really looking for your advice. I went to see my GP on wed and she commented that my breathing seems unstable. To cut a long story short i ended up having a nebuliser at the surgery and then after a while they called an ambulance. I didn't think i was that bad, I was just tired. I went to A & E and from there to recuss (sp). I just wanted to sleep but they wanted to put me to sleep. I was trying to say ""no"" to them and that I wanted to wait for my boyfriend Martin to arrive but I don't think it was coming out. They were trying to knock me out and i panicked and tried pulling all the tubes and the next think i know i'm feeling out of it and that's it....

I woke up not knowing where i was and was able to hear but nothing else. I really was terrified as I couldn't speak or move. Eventually i could open my eyes and they removed the tube.

A doctor who i didn't recognise came to see me and i found her really abrupt. She was asking me what medication i took for my asthma but her tone was sarcastic and she then said to me that she didn't think i had asthma as you can't have asthma without any wheeze and I hadn't been wheezing.

I was stil in recuss at this stage and really whoozy so didn't really answer her. she then said that i might have mild asthma but wasn't managing it properly and she wanted me to see a specialist - a psychiatrist. I was really shocked by this and thought that she was saying that I was somehow making up an asthma attack just to get into hospital. I told her that I didn't need to see a psychiatrist and that I just wanted to go home.

After she went i dozed off again and martin arrived. I told him what the doc had said and a nurse came over and i asked to go home and he said i needed to stay in for a couple of days to get my asthma back under control. I told him what the doc had said and he said he wasn't aware of that and would talk to the doc. He came back and said that the doc was concerned that i was suffering anxiety attacks and that was exacerbating my asthma. I told him i was only anxious when i had to come to hospital as i hate it so much.

I'm sorry this is so long but I'm really confused. I signed myself out of hosp and since i got home i've been all over the place. I can't stop thinking about it and have been crying a lot. I'm so confused. I've been admitted to hosp about 15 times with my asthma and no-one has ever suggested that I am making it worse on myself before and my consultant is well regarded in his field and he has never suggested this either. Martin was told I was in a life threatening condition and i was told by a nurse i had had what is called a ""near fatal"". But if that is the case why did the doctor say that? and if it was just anxiety why did they intubate me? I'm really scared that it might happen again and I don't want to be intubated again cos it really scarred me when i could hear but couldn't do anything and i'm scared if i have an asthma attack and go to hospital and they don't believe me and I'm scared if I don't have asthma and I am actually mad - i know that sounds dramatic but i am really questioning myself now and my head is just a mess.

My ribs ache, my neck hurts and my throat feels like it is full of ulcers and I am just confused. Is it normal to feel like this after an intubation?

I am due to see the asthma nurse at the gp surgery on monday - what if they don't believe me either?

I'm sorry, i don't know what is going on. :o(

10 Replies

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  • Debs i am really sorry you had this experience. Many on here have had the same or similar experience. YOU CAN HAVE ASTHMA WITH NO WHEEZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am not shouting but this is one of the biggest misconceptions about asthma especially severe or brittle asthmatics. When it happens and you end up being ventilated it can be referred to as status asthmaticus.

    You will be all over the place you have had a very fightning experience. While it is fresh in your mind write everything down and write to your consultant telling them what happened. Also contact your local PALS service (patient liasion) at your hospital. This Dr you saw needs speaking too, if not about her diagnosis she should be spoken to about her manners.

    Your breathing technique can worsen an asthma attack and you can become tired much quicker than you would with correct breathing. This Dr should have referred you to a chest physio who can teach you techniques that will help protect your attack from being exaccerbated by being frightened or stressed. Having said that for some people they detiorate so quickly it doesnt matter what you do.

    You havent said what medications you are on or if this has happened before?

    We will help you through this so please feel free to express how you feel and we will help you as much as we can. Who is your consultant?

    Join us on the camping tread this is where we chat about general things that have happened daily, attacks, appts, hospital and everyday life!!!!!

    Welcome

    Louise

  • Hi Debs, and welcome to AUK

    I'm so sorry you had a bad time in hospital. I can only echo Bowmei's words and also add that in the past I have experienced 'abrupt' comments from either overworked medics or ones that have extremely poor communication skills. It hasn't happened often, but comments like, 'you left it too late again' ( apparently 'I should have known better') provoked exactly the same sort of behaviour in me as did you.

    Fortunately most medical staff are wonderful, but you must complain about that particular medic.

    As for ‘you can’t have asthma without wheezing’. What rubbish. I’ve had severe asthma all my life and used to wheeze all the time. I still wheeze a little bit now but mostly suffer from severe SOB when having an exacerbation.

    The SOB or shortness of breath symptom of asthma is due to airway constriction of the small airways deep in the lungs. This affects exchange of gases and basic lack of oxygen, hence the breathlessness. This was explained to me by my chest con professor Stephen Holgate who knows a little bit about asthma!

    The intubation soreness will last for at least a week. Well it did with me. You really need to have complete physical and mental rest as your poor old body has taken an internal physical – metaphorically speaking – battering, let alone your emotions and state of mind.

    Breathing exercises, relaxation strategies and also psychological strategies such as ‘visualisation’ are very important and can help you feel more in control. Unfortunately in a ‘status asthmaticus’ situation they won’t help at all.

    However when your asthma is back under control these sorts of therapies are well worth learning and practising to help ‘manage’ either a slight worsening of symptoms or maintaining control. Chest physios are very helpful. Also I’ve found some of the breathing exercises associated with practising hatha yoga very useful for improving relaxation.

    I’m sure you will find everyone on AUK very supportive, so please keep talking to us, and I’m sure your GP will believe you as well.

    Hope you are feeling a little bit better today.

    Mia

    xxx

  • The others have pretty much said it all. It is possible to have asthma and not wheeze. I rarely wheeze when i'm having an attack but cough a lot and suffer from a very tight chest and shortness of breath, but i don't often wheeze...

    I think you should complain about this doctor, what he said was hardly going to aid your recovery and wasn't well grounded in fact....

    Tell your asthma nurse everthing that happened in the hospital... She will believe you... It's quite common not to have wheeze when you have an attack... Some people get a ""silent chest"" where no wheeze or any sound of air going in our out can be heard. It's still asthma....

    Hope you're feeling better soon...

    Becca xxx

  • That Dr wants shooting.

    Have they never heard of cough variant asthma.

    And ya most certainly can have asthma with no or very little wheeze.

    I very rarely wheeze but can cough for England during an attack.

    If I wheeze its generally means am heading to the non-invasive vent unit at our hossie (they use cpap and epap etc).

    Please DON'T question your sanity alot of us have bee there done that and got through it.

  • Debs, welcome. It might be worth finding why they intubated you was it the arterial blood gases that were giving them cause for concern or was it something else. I have never woken up with the tubes still in they generally bring me out slowly and pull the tubes before I wake up (at least I don't remember them being there) the arterial lines and NG tubes I have been aware of them removing but not the intubation tubes.

    I don't wheeze very often I wish I did it would mean some air was getting through to create the wheeze, I am pleased when I wheeze it is releif to know I still have some air entry. No wheeze can mean no air entry but you normally know when that gets bad and you are certainly well past protesting about anything when you get that stage

    I would suggest you ask your asthma nurse to try and fine out exactly what happened cos it will be worth knowing for the future. And please however frustrating don't discharge yourself right after sedation it is very dangerous.

    Bex

  • Dear All, thank you for your responses, it is really helpful to hear of other people's experiences. I've been to see the asthma nurse at our surgery this morning and have talked it over with her and she has reassured me a bit that I am not suffering from insania :o)

    I'm also seeing my gp on thursday as I'm keen to find out what went wrong to stop this happening again.

    I've never been that bad before and it seems to have knocked me emotionally more than before, i've been tearful and generally a bit pathetic but feeling better each day. I am still sounding like mariella frustrop tho!

    It sounds like some of you guys have been where i am now. I'm actually really unsure about complaining about the doctor at the hospital - what if i have to see her again? That would be a nightmare.

    My Consultant is Colonel Hoad, based at Frimley Park Hosp. He is a really nice bloke and never condescending or patronising. I think I am going to talk to my gp on thurs about seeing him for a follow up.

    In the meantime I'm continuing on steroids (yuk) and hoping to get my energy back soon. I've not been feeling this ruff before so it's all a bit new to me so thanks again to everyone for the replies, it really does help :o)

    Debs

  • Dear All, thank you for your responses, it is really helpful to hear of other people's experiences. I've been to see the asthma nurse at our surgery this morning and have talked it over with her and she has reassured me a bit that I am not suffering from insania :o)

    I'm also seeing my gp on thursday as I'm keen to find out what went wrong to stop this happening again.

    I've never been that bad before and it seems to have knocked me emotionally more than before, i've been tearful and generally a bit pathetic but feeling better each day. I am still sounding like mariella frustrop tho!

    It sounds like some of you guys have been where i am now. I'm actually really unsure about complaining about the doctor at the hospital - what if i have to see her again? That would be a nightmare.

    My Consultant is Colonel Hoad, based at Frimley Park Hosp. He is a really nice bloke and never condescending or patronising. I think I am going to talk to my gp on thurs about seeing him for a follow up.

    In the meantime I'm continuing on steroids (yuk) and hoping to get my energy back soon. I've not been feeling this ruff before so it's all a bit new to me so thanks again to everyone for the replies, it really does help :o)

    Debs

  • I can fully understand why you are worried about complaining but what I would say is to contact your hospital PALS(Patient advocay liason service). You can talk to them in total confidence and not put pen to paper. Their roll is to resolve issues wihtout formal complaints. They can talk to Drs on your behalf and arrange all sorts of things. If it would help they could find a nice person who was on that night form A+E that can sit down and expalin what happened to you in order to help you with the experience. Their role is to do what you need to help resolve this. I have used my PALS locally for a lot of things and never been let down. I also have represented parents where I have had to have contact with PALS across the country and they have always been helpful.

    When something similar happened to me my chest cons helped sort things out providing me with letters and if you get on well with yours Im sure he wil see and support you.

    Good luck and I am so sorry you have had such a tough time with it all. Hope you feel a little better soon.

    Caroline

  • Hope you are starting to feel a bit better and not quite so (understandably) shaken up by your experiences. I cannot add to any advice given by the previous posters but am glad that you at least have a supportive asthma nurse and consultant.

    Like others, I'm a cougher not a wheezer and can start choking on anything, even my own saliva (charming). Re. psychiatrist, if your health authority is anything like mine you could well wait two years for an appointment.

    Take care and, importantly, spoil yourself - plenty of relaxation, chocolate etc etc.

  • I agree it is possible to have asthma without a wheeze although I don't think my boss (matron) thinks so because she is fishing from my closest friends and colleagues for some emotional cause of my attack this week at work. That is part of the penalty of working for the NHS. Actually I had a severe reaction to a very liberally applied perfume and started to swell never mind coughing and my peak flows plummeting. I am now back on pred which I hate taking.

    Why don't you try writing down on paper your version of what happened - you have done a pretty good job in your postin here. Add to it what your own asthma nurse and GP have said too. Then contact your PALS team (Patient Advice and Liaison Service). Every hospital has one these days. Talk things through with them because it was that doctor which has lead to you discharging yourself against advice and now making you terrified of going back and that won't help your asthma even in a mild attack.

    Hope you get your confidence back quickly with the hospital.

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