I'm posting to ask for your help as I process what happened over the last month.
I had my first asthma hospital admission this month - which came out of the blue. After being in hospital 2 days I deteriorated and had a life- threatening attack. It was taking so much energy to breathe, and I was so tired and tiring quickly. I stopped being able to speak or keep my eyes open. I knew from about 2 hours before that I was getting sick fast, but I struggled to get hold of a nurse or doctor, and when they did come, for them to be clued in enough to realise how sick I was (I was struggling to be able to reach the buzzer or to speak a word). I was terrified that I wasn't going to get help on time. I felt like I was going to run out of strength to breathe pretty quickly, and it suddenly dawned on me that I might not pull through. By the time the senior doctor came I could no longer move, speak or open my eyes.. I could still think & hear what was going on around me. i was so relieved to have someone there who recognised that I was sick and knew what they were doing. She said she might call intensive care, and then I could hear her on the phone to them 10 minutes later. I could hear the voice of a new doctor telling me she was from Intnsive care and that they had come to look at me, and that if I didn't get better they might take me to intensive care to put me to sleep and breathe for me. By that point, It seemed like the fear had disappeared with my strength and as I became more drowsy, I became more peaceful. Luckily I responded to the drips and back to back nebs and pulled through without needing intensive care - for which I am very grateful. Although as I gradually came round the fear of realising how sick I was returned - especially as the nurses/doctors went back to seeing other patients & it took a further 8 hours ago before the breathing eased enough to have a 15 minute break before nebs - and I was scared to go to sleep incase I slept too long & the gap between nebs was too much - - that I might get drastically worse again.
I know that a lot of people here will have had different 'near-death' experiences - and that many of them wiill have involved comIng a lot closer to death than I came that day, or could have been a lot more traumatic - I apologise for calling my experience a 'near-death' experience if it makes anyone feel I've used the term too lightly.
I guess I have used it because of the effects it's had on me- a realisation of the fragility of life - of mine and others & of how that changes my perspective on problems and priorities. how I don't want to miss one ounce of the lesson of that perspective - and how I'm scared I'll just forget it.
In the first few days, I kept having flash backs (and still do). It feels in part like it wasn't real. I also keep thinking of few of the staff who looked after me that day - one of the doctors - who realised how sick I was and got the emergency treatment sorted, the critical care nurses who started my treatment and kept an eye on me overnight in case I needed intensive care, and the ward nurse who looked after me that night and made me feel safe when I was so scared. Especially the first few days - it was like I really wanted to see them and talk to them. Has anyone else experienced that?
Does anyone have any advice for after an experience like that?
Also - a bit of a personal question - but for anyone who has experienced respiratory arrest - can you remember what it felt like? (I guess I'm wondering if the feeling I had that I was about to run out of energy to keep breathing was or wasn't a sign that I was about to potentially stop breathing)
Is there anyone else who is a healthcare professional and had an experience like that? I'm a doctor -- which probably didn't help with the fear when I realised how sick I was and what should be happening, but which didnt for a couple of very long hours. I think it still scares me - both for myself if I get sick again, but also for others, that lives which could be saved could me missed because of understaffing/ not doing observations properly/ taking action on observations properly/ calling doctors or seniors quickly enough.
Thank you so much in advance to anyone who replies - I really appreciate you sharing