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British Lung Foundation
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A horrible, drained feeling upon waking up from a nap.

My breathlessness started about a year ago, which I ignored and I ended up in hospital with suspected heart failure at Christmas. My doctor put me on oxygen at night which I now use in conjunction with a CPAP machine, nights only. I'm still awaiting pulmonary testing, even though the hospital cardiologist and my own doctor have written asking I be given an appointment. My breathlessness is so bad that I have to lie down in the afternoon with the oxygen. I don't go out as I'm too breathless. I am getting worse. I wanted to ask if anybody has experienced an awful feeling when you awake. I get it if I am napping in the armchair and I will suddenly awake with an awful feeling, which quickly passes off. The feeling is like feeling drained and as if I'm going to die or pass out. I've only had it once when I was on the oxygen, but get it quite regularly if I fall asleep sitting up, which is often as I'm always falling asleep. Tired all the time. Could it be that my oxygen levels drop too low?

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Hi caprice, that's a horrible feeling....when my breathing has not been good I used to wake sometimes with feelings of panic .

Do you have an oximeter to measure your oxygen levels. I bought mine from Amazon but other places sell them too.

I would contact your GP again and tell him/ her about your increasing breathlessness and try and get your pulmonary testing prioritised .

Best wishes.

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Thank you Knitter for your helpful response. I've spent most of the day on the phone, with a few breaks to stabilise my breathing, to the hospital and my doctor, chasing up the pulmonary testing appointment. It's so frustrating when I am not getting the help I need. I have an oximeter and my readings are between 88 and 90.

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Hello Caprice123 . It must be horrible to wake up feeling that way. I would talk to your doctor as soon as possible. It could be that your oxygen levels are dangerously low. I really do hope you get some help as soon as possible.

Gentle hug.

Cas xx 🍀

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I get the same awful feeling when napping sitting up, for me it is not a breathing problem but I think it is a blood pressure drop perhaps you could look in to this.

Regards

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Hi Siskin. Maybe low oxygen levels lower the blood pressure. My blood pressure is usually high and I take medication to lower it. However, the blood pressure could momentarily lower, though when I get up immediately I have one of these horrible attacks, I don't feel dizzy. Anyhow, thanks for your helpful response, much appreciated.

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Hi Caspiana, it is so scary to wake up with that awful feeling. I think it must be low oxygen levels. So, now I try not to nap without my oxygen. I am so fed up with trying to find out why I can't breathe. I have to chase doctors and hospitals all the time. I just feel like giving up. Thank you for the hug, I so need some support.xxx

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Don't give up. You are too important to ever give up Caprice123 . Please keep us updated. I am thinking of you.

Another big hug!!

Cas xx 🐞

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I have had this experience too - in the past. Not so much now and I'm sorry I don't know why. Think it's a good suggestion to speak to your doctor again. I wish you well xpiggix

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Thank you piggi for your reply. My doctor has just faxed a duplicate letter to the hospital Lung centre, who said they didn't received the first letter. When you are struggling to breath, it is such an effort to have to keep chasing up appointments, which you badly need. I am so weary of life.xxx

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Hi Caprice, it is a horrible feeling, especially when you don't know what's going on and what's causing it. You've got quite a few problems, poor lady!

I think knitter's suggestions are spot on and I do hope you get some answers and help soon. Take care. Sue x

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Hi Watford girl. Thank you for your kind words. Still struggling to get the help I so badly need. Doors keep slamming in my face. I have been so patient waiting since March for the pulmonary testing. I'm getting a bit nearer, as my doctor faxed off another letter today to the Lung Centre. Now I sit and wait for the testing.

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Good luck, Caprice. Is that door beginning to open a bit for you? I do hope so. Do let us know what happens. Take care, sue x

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Hallo Caprice. I always get this if I have an afternoon nap in the armchair. This is, I think, because the normal sleep pattern, i.e. night until morning, is disturbed and makes you feel disorientated. I find it soon goes as soon as I am fully awake.

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Hi Sherry44. Thank you for your response. My sleeping patterns are erratic. In the past, as I was always so tired I would sleep anywhere, anytime, in the armchair, at the table, sitting on the toilet. I was always sleeping. So I don't think it could be a quirk in my sleeping pattern. Hopefully, now I'm using the CPAP machine, my sleeping will be confined to nighttime only, but time will tell.

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I am 68, have COPD and live in the USA.

I would immediately think I was having an anxiety attack......A lot of COPD patients take meds for anxiety. I have woke up like that and just blamed anxiety.

I was taking xanex. I now have weaned myself from most all COPD meds and have started cannabis oil treatment, have a new great diet I eat by, and I have made it a habit to exercise daily. I am off oxygen at the moment.

I too, was tired ALL the time. Doctor gave me B12 shots and tests and could find nothing. My energy is up more now since the exercises and food change!

Try not to let this take you over. Do something to overcome it and you will see a difference.

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Hi there Winded and such a refreshing story you told us. In your post you mentioned that prior to being diagnosed with COPD, you thought you were having panic/anxiety attacks. I'm a COPDer also, but do suffer from the dreaded anxiety/panic attacks - or have I labeled these feelings+like you do) ? I'd be interested to know from your point of view,once you started the COil plus exercise and diet,did the stress/anxiety/panic start to decrease? But apart from my questions to you, congrats on getting yourself feeling so much better. Well done!

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Hi Winded. You could well be right. Thinking about it, when I awake with the horrible feeling, I also feel a little frightened. I love the cannabis oil approach you are taking. I am happy for you in that your new regime has proved a success for you. Unfortunately, as I have a rare neurological disease which causes my back muscles to waste, I can barely walk, so exercise is difficult. My brain is not talking to the back muscles. I do eat healthily and take B12, Complex B, Iron tonic syrup, vitamin D, Vitamin C and Magnesium tonic syrup daily and do not feel much better. I still have the breathlessness which brings on the atrial fibrillation', sometimes. Any exertion leaves me breathless. I'm going to try to see my doctor tomorrow to see about ambulatory oxygen. I have terrible bouts of depression, which come and go, I think they are linked to the breathlessness.

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Hi Caprice,

Sounds like sleep apnea to me, this is when your airways are collapsing while you sleep and then you suddenly wake gasping for air but recover quickly as you start to breathe normally. The cpap machine should help with this. People usually feel tired on waking as you get a disturbed sleep. Talk to one of your doctors, I am often wrong. Best wishes, J

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Hi JoHarr, you might be right though I am not gasping for air when I awake. I am starting to think that it is low oxygen levels. I have only just started using the CPAP machine and love it as it helps me breathe. I have noticed that my breathlessness has increased during the daytime, so whether it is connected to the CPAP machine, I'm not sure. I hope not, as the machine is proving to help.

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I also use the cpap machine for severe sleep apnea in the last few weeks I have also become very breathless I blamed the cpap However I was hospitalised and although I have asthma andmildcopd I was told these wrere not the cause of the breathlessness I asked the respiratory consultant if it was the cpap machine which was causing the breathlessness and she said it was more Likely to help me rather than hinder my breathing . personally I still think its the cpap machine which incidentally have upped my oxygen levels from 50% to 94-5%. And I can't stop using it as I would die because I was stopping breathing 63 times a minute and sometimes for as long as76seconds. Therefore iam in a catch22 situation

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