British Lung Foundation
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Recent visit to my ICU with breathing probs

Hey gang, I went to my local hospital for my Xolair (anybody heard of it) jab for my Asthma. I told the Resp nurse that wwasn't feeling well. I had been bringing crap off my chest for a few weeks (after having my Flu jab!) She checked my Peak Flow and it was 200 instead of my usual 370. She rang A and E and wheelchaired me down there. My chest started to deteriorate and I went into Resus. A bit later ( after magnesium and corticosteriod infusions) I was intubated. I woke up on ICU 2 days later being told it was a viral chest infection that was the cause of the venting. After a week on ICU I was sent home from the unit, instead of going to the usual resp ward. I am feeling like I have hit by a very large bus. I am flash backs, daymares and bouts of extreme crying. I had PTSD before due to being in ICU sereval times and Vented 4 times in the past. Can anyome give me any advice or help please.

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10 Replies

hi there - that all sounds very scary and no wonder you are feeling dreadful. i think the psychological side of illness can sometimes get put to one side with all the medical stuff going on but the two are very intertwined. i have PTSD from work relate issues (it is my partner who has the lung disease) and i have found it very disabling. i have propanolol for panic attacks which is a big help. i have in the past had a treatment called EMDR which is really helpful - i'm on the waiting list for more of it. maybe you can access it though your hospital?

Hi, it must have been very difficult for you to be sent directly home after your stay in ICU. It is bad enough to adjust from being on a normal ward to managing at home.

Can you ring the BLF helpline today for advice and ask your gp for help.

Best wishes

I have been in ICU for 32 days straight and it has a profound effect on you you are not alone. will help with all the strange things that happen to you and your mind while in ICU. More is being looked into how ICU people should be looked after when you leave as it is not so simple as going home and all is well.

Be Well


OMG that sounds horrendous - no wonder you are having flashbacks etc. Please go to your gp and ask for help. Also call the helpline they might be able to offer you some practical advise. Take good care, with love TAD xx

Yes go to your GP,really feel for you,X

Sorry to hear of your dilemma


Hi hope you manage to see your GP soon x

Hi Taffyrocker, I feel for you as I had a 2 1/2month stay on ICU with ARDS and was very lucky to survive the ordeal. I then had a further 1 1/2 months on the respiratory ward. I did struggle for 12 months or more afterwards with reliving the experience, and tears would come from nowhere but strangely this would happen when I was feeling happy. I did reach a very low point on ICU where I would have welcomed death to escape the seemingly never ending torture but I hung in there for my family and I am so glad I did now.

It does seem very odd that they sent you home from ICU without a few days on the wards to keep an eye on you for a little while. I'm pretty sure that would be the normal procedure and would have been better for you to adjust.

I hope your GP can help but I think the only real cure for these things is time and also talking about your problems as you are doing now.

I hope things improve for you soon



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You're a brave man to have gone through this. Of course, you are in shock, who wouldn't be! You need to do some phone calls as suggested BLF, Pulmonary nurse, GP.

If you see your Gp, do tell her/him that this anxiety level keeps creeping up.

I had a bout in hospital just as my wife was taken to hospital with severe mental illness. I cried in front of the chest specialist who referred me straight away to a psychologist. She was very sweet and non judgemental and a bit mothering too! She prescribed me a drug that, in her words, was not addictive, would make me sleep at night, would make me hungry ,and generally lift my mood up; it was Mirtazapine 15 mg to be increased to 30 mg if I couldn't get better. She advised me to keep taking this for a year and a half.

It was really helpful. It changed my anxiety to a sort of happy medium and a belief that I could go on despite the difficulty.

Oh I do hope you may find a solution. But if we go down, we can always go up too. I hope you'll be better soon and smiling more.

I was in icu last year for 3 weeks and then another 3 in resp wards. I had horrendous hallucinations in icu and it was fortunate that I spent another 3 weeks in resp wards because it gave me time to adjust and I could get back to reality. It would have been horrific coming home straight from icu and I cannot imagine why you were sent packing so soon. Has there been any follow up care?

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