British Lung Foundation
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Post Traumatic Stress / Insomnia

I returned to my GP for a chat regarding my illness, I am beginning to pick up although very slowly. I have been reliving moments when I was in the ICU and breaking down crying a lot, he said this is PTSD (any advice on this if you have had the same experience) he has also given me amytriptyline to help me get a sleep at night, I am totally exhausted, I don;t see my Respiratory consultant until March, still off work and still on steroids, this has been since August 2012, please any advice once again would be grateful.

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10 Replies

I had this a few years back when i was in ITU...i think its a natural response to what you have gone through.Talking to someone about how you feel should help...try the Blf helpline and talk to one of the councillors.Hope this helps..keep on touch. x

Many thanks Dors for your advice. I have now been offered counselling to which I am going to have. Take care.

Make sure you look after yourself Astral, give yourself some extra pampering, rest as you need to, get some good food in to help boost your immune system, salmon, mackerel, chicken, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, smoothies, yoghurts, drink plenty of water and juices, maybe consider putting yourself on a course of a good multivitamin and mineral supplement as well. Keep yourself warm and involve yourself with those things that can make you feel better and enhance your experience in life at this time. Get some David attenborough viewing, or watch some gardening programmes, humour anything that your find enjoyment in, just to give yourself a bit of a boost. Play some relaxing music etc. You Tube has some great David attenborough videos, BBC gardening and relaxation videos. I think Dors recommendations are good ones. Phone the helpline or ask your GP about getting some counselling locally on a one to one. Hope you will find you will be improving each and every day.

Take good care of you.

Zoee x

Many thanks Zoee for your advice it is much appreciated. I think a wee pampering session is in order, I do try to rest as much as I can and I must try and do some research in finding a way to boost my immune system, I have been watching David Attenborough funnily enough and I find these programmes very calming so I will continue to do that. I have now just been offered counselling and am awaiting my appoinment so I hope this will be a good help to the way I am feeling. Take care. Moyra x

Don't know if they do it on other places, but when my husband was in ITU for a week in Southampton general Hospital in 2001 he was asked back there a few weeks later, in order to show him round and allay any fears he may have had as a result of being there.Apparently they found that it helped in situations like yours. It was very interesting, he was shown his records and the room he had been in. Whilst there he was convinced that (a) aliens were nursing him (he was seeing double and the nurses were mainly Filipino) (b) he was on the Star Ship Enterprise and (c) that also, if you went out the door of the room you would be in a forest. It was very hard to shift these ideas, but having been shown round again etc. I think it helped him to realise he'd been 'away with the fairies' for a while ! Perhaps you could ask for similar?

Thank you for your reply. I think what was offered to your husband is an excellent idea, I have been offered counselling for which I am waiting an appointment now. Take care.

I don't know if this is comforting or of any use to you, but it wasn't until I had been transferred onto a respiratory ward after leaving critical care unit that I was told by a member of my family how close a call I had. It was very upsetting, and took me most of my stay on the ward to regain any real sense of peace. I would just say though that I was terrified of leaving the hostpital , I can only sympathize and ask that you try to grasp the fact that your still here with us, lots of people are looking out for you, your input on this blog site will be invaluable to some one in the future, who knows you may be having a positive effect on someone right now. Different people cope with traumatic happenings in different ways, so try not to let your feelings get the better of you. and although I am not medically trained I hope you don't mind if I ask that you try to keep the use of any anti- depressants or sleeping tablets to a minimum. I know what its like to feel exhausted but I sit up and do sudoku or tap away on the computer until too tired, I may only sleep for 2 hours then I do some more ,or read. These feelings will recede so please don't despair.

Thank you for your reply and very useful advice. I was also told like yourself about my close call and it's now that the memory of that is terrifying, I am so grateful to be here and when I was at the respiratory clinic last week my consultant was running well over time (2 hours ) other people were moaning and I said to one lady that I would sit all day to be seen because if it wasn't for the care I got the 7 weeks I was in hospital then I wouldn't be here at all, she went very quiet after that. I was offered anti-depressants but declined for now and have chosen to go for counselling which has been offered by my GP, I feel comfortable with that. I do my crosswords and word search to pass the time and also find this website so helpful, I know I'm not alone in the world. Thank you one again and take care. Moyra

It's now two years since I was on life support and was left with PTSD. Over time life regains its normality. There are still odd occasions when the terrifying flash backs and fear return but it is now infrequent and I've learned to see it for what it is - a natural response to a life threatening situation. It will pass and you will be able to move on. Take heart :-)

Many thanks to you for your advice and support. It is very much appreciated.

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