Very distressed: I started to get a... - British Lung Foun...

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Very distressed


I started to get a cold last week and didn't go to work on Friday, self medicated with the normal paracetamol, warm drinks, plenty of fluid and rest. I began to feel a little better over the weekend but still not well enough to go to work on Monday so took myself off to the med centre at 8am. GP was not happy and gave me salbutamol through the nebuliser, I felt loads better and he sent me away telling me to return at 4pm to see the nurse. I was buzzing at how much better I felt and even managed a little bit of light housework, however at 4pm I returned to see the my complete horror she listened to my chest and said she was calling an ambulance WHAT???

Ok I'll run with this several nebulisers later ans still in A&E they wanted to keep me in for the ok it's only one night, so confused, this is the best I had felt since Tursday last week, not once over the weekend did I feel even at my worst that I was ill enough to warrant calling an ambulance!

Once on the ward I endured what I can only describe as the most distressing night of my life, staying awake all night to basically look after the other patients on the ward, whose most basic of needs were not being met ( I will be taking further action with these events) So now I am sad and exhausted and angry beyond anything I have ever experience, by sending me to hospital they have put my life in danger, it's Tuesday morning and I've only had 4hrs sleep (Sunday night) 24hrs awake I'm tired and emotional, I've exerted myself way more than I should have ive been ill all weekend I not even eaten anything and I need to get out of here, I was getting better at home looking after myself, I refuse point blank a second night there and I discharged myself, much to everyone disgrace, I return to see the nurse and she says " You are seriously ill, you could die" ??? Other than a cough, I've not even had a problem breathing!

So traumatic was the night in the hospital I didn't sleep Tuesday night either, Wednesday morning I need to go speak to the nurse again, I need to tell her what happened in the hospital, she cried along with me as I told my sad tale and now she understands why the discharge, she promises me she done the right thing, which maybe she did and says she would do the same again, to which I pledged i would also do the same, without staying the night!

It's now Friday and with a huge amount of effort I have since managed 7hrs sleep in total since the last 4hrs sleep Sunday night.

I am so emotional, tired, scared witless reading the comments on here, I am the sole carer of two kids, Im petrified, I didn't even no how ill I was, I have no actual diagnosis, although fortunately I am in the Army so my GP, nurse and primary healthcare will be quick, I am seeing Dr again tomorrow.

This is so much to deal with right now 😱😭

edited by Admin

15 Replies

I can hear how distressed you are and how difficult the situation you find yourself in.

I too have been in hospital with breathing difficulties in the past and have some idea what you are going through. A nebuliser , however , gives me only temporary relief....only lasts about four hours at most, then I need another together with steroid treatment and / or antibiotics, to help reduce any inflammation and / or infection.

Have they given you oral steroids ....they can make sleep difficult for some. Hopefully you will soon get a correct diagnosis and get sorted.

I brought up three asthmatic children, now adults and working, and although I had a husband he worked away from home most of the time. Then I developed asthma after contracting double pneumonia .....we are all still around though.

Thinking of you.

in reply to knitter

All the medical staff have been brill and I can't fault them, the biggest distress I have right now is not my potential diagnosis of COPD but more PTSD from the trauma in the hospital and the sleep deprivation which is a well documented form of torture, which in itself can cause multi organ failure. I don't want to blame anyone, circumstances and NHS failure alone escalated what happened this week and made the state of my condition 10 times worse than when I was taken to the hospital!!

Thank you for taking time to reply


Its quite normal to call an ambulance when someone presents with classic chest infections (not, as you suggest, a cold). Similarly, medicating with a nebuliser, is standard for a chest infection. explains how a chest infection can develop in 24 - 48 hours into pneumonia so rapid action is essential.

Discharging yourself was, in my opinion, probably not the best idea but hopefully your GP will overlook that and treat you.

I am highly critical of GP's who ignore the obvious but it seems that, in your case, they didn't - they took appropriate action!

I get that you are distressed and are a primary carer but, as someone who spends too much time fighting exacerbations (chest infections) I have been pleased that the NHS have "blue lighted" me to hospital on more than one occasion. Might be time to listen to the experts when you meet the GP!

Best wishes

in reply to y_not

This is brand new to me "my cold" was what I percieved it to be! I have never had any trouble breathing before and if I'm honest, don't feel like I do now. I 100% agree the nurse who called for the ambulance, did exactly what she as a medical professional should have done and glad she did if I am actually as ill as she suggested. However the whole situation has been exasperated so much because of the circumstances of that night that I am now in a far worse place on this occasion, I almost feel from you tone that you are telling me off, I don't in anyway mean to belittle the complete fear of being unable to breathe, it must be one of the scariest things ever.

I just had to vent, I am scared

This has all happened in less than a week, and now with the sleep deprivation on top I am not really coping too well, I suppose I just thought maybe a little support or encouragement may put me in a more positive state of mind to tackle this.

Thanks for taking the time to reply, that's me told!

in reply to Boes

Boes it was obviously more than a cold though I can quite understand why you thought it was if you didn't have difficulty breathing etc. It must have been pneumonia which the nurse picked up on and did her job sending you to hospital.

Like all of us I have made mistakes before. I once spent a week coughing and unable to get a decent breath. I didn't have any chest infection symptoms so I tried to ignore it. Eventually a friend made me ring the doctors and it turned out to be a bad exacerbation and I was put on a nebuliser, ab's and steroids.

It is a worry though and makes you feel insecure if you can't rely on obvious symptoms to tell you what is wrong. I hope you find some answers. x

in reply to hypercat54

I once had pneumonia almost without a temperature, just a slight cough and feeling of exhaustion at first. So perhaps the nurse did find something alarming. Really hope you are feeling better now and that you've managed to discuss it all with nurse and GP.

in reply to Boes

I totally understand you Boes. I had a stay in hospital 2 years ago and will resist going again. The sleep deprivation was so bad when I came out I couldn’t even move. I am 3 weeks into a chest infection but insist on being treated at home. I hope you get you get sorted soon. Barbs x

I am not in a position to "tell anyone off" - I've made far too many mistakes for that role!

I'd encourage you to listen to the experts, particularly when they seem to be doing all the right things.

Having (amongst other issues) sleep apnoea I understand that sleep deprivation can affect judgement - just a thought.

If you feel in any way aggrieved by my comment then I offer an unreserved apology

Best wishes

I am sorry, this is tough

Hi Boes, you say "sleep deprivation which is a well documented form of torture, which in itself can cause multi organ failure" but unfortunately this is a regular side effect from steroids which I would imagine they would have given you as they treat inflammation and it's inflammation which narrows the airways. Don't mean to undermine what you are saying about sleep deprivation but over a short period there shouldn't be a long term problem. An example: while on oral steroids in December I had a period of 72 hours in which I had a total of 2 hours sleep. I felt both manic and like a zombie but it passed and sleep re-established itself when I reduced the steroids.

I imagine one of the most disturbing things must have been having all this happen and not being given a diagnosis so you must ask your doctor tomorrow exactly what was happening in your lungs and if a diagnosis was established. Please let us know :)

Hope things improve for you Boes and you get some answers. It all sounds scary but glad you found this forum to be able to chat. As you can see, you’re not alone and please do let us know what your doctor says.

Wishing you well. Xxx

WHAT!!! Boes, so sorry to hear of your terrible experience. Sending love and comforting thoughts.

I understand what you went through at the,hospital. and when you are sick

you need sleep which you don’t get in a hospital. What I do is make sure I have good ear plugs! works!! 👍

So sorry to hear of your awful experiences, Boes. Hope you're starting to get the answers you need, feeling better and sleeping more.


It is strange how we are all different..

You won’t believe the number of times I wished they could take me in hospital and make me feel all better..I would drop off anywhere it doesn’t bother me..but that isn’t going to happen, like today, I self-medicate and I feel better in the long run.

Thanks to rescue meds and action plans. Do you have those at home?

Anyway hoping your cold is just a cold and will soon go away. Take care x

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