BeeDot

Anyone been through a medical crisis?

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I know humans are stronger than we think we are and we can handle things that we might not have thought we could. But I am so terrified of something medically real actually happening to me because I don't think I'll be able to handle it. Half of my anxiety isn't "I'm having an heart attack/stroke/aneurysm RIGHT NOW" but rather "I'm ABOUT to have a heart attack/stroke/aneurysm and I'm going to fall apart because it will be so terrifying".

 

I'm curious to see if anyone here really has been through something like that. How did you handle it? Would you have thought you could have handled it? You don't need to go into detail if you don't want, of course. 

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Unexpected atrial fibrillation a little over a year ago, at 29 years old. I woke up at/around 1am, choking, due to a horrible bout of reflux. The subsequent violent coughing apparently knocked my rhythm out of the ordinary, and it didn't correct itself. Well, not right away.

Did I think I could handle it? Nope. How did I handle it? Well, once the ambulance arrived, EKG confirmed afib, and I got to the hospital, I was feeling better. My rhythm was still abnormal (still in afib), but I was fine. It was like any other day, joking, laughing, like nothing was wrong.

When I first got there, I vomited, twice, due to the severe anxiety as well as more reflux. They gave me Protonix for the reflux, as well as Ativan for the panic. I was completely fine after that.

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1 hour ago, BeeDot said:

I'm ABOUT to have a heart attack/stroke/aneurysm and I'm going to fall apart because it will be so terrifying".

This is future anticipatory thinking and one of the ways anxiety thrives in us.  When i first had a panic attack (at 15), i was so terrified that my body released all the adrenalin it had and i just went bananas and ended up walking around the block with my dad, i was shaking so badly, i thought my life was coming to an end because my heart was failing.  I went to bed KNOWING that i wouldn't wake up, that was it for me, light out.  The next morning i woke up and felt ok until the memory of the night before came crashing into my consciousness and i fell apart again.  My dad took me to the hospital where i had the doctors listen to my heart and performed various other checks.  Of course, i was fine but that anticipation that i wasn't was the very thing the sparked off 20 years of anxiety.  It's so easily done, to fall into fear and thrash around trying to fight your way back out again.  It wasn't until 2 years ago that i finally found the tools to cope and to change my thinking.  You ALWAYS handle it in the end and you will too.

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13 minutes ago, Mark G said:

This is future anticipatory thinking and one of the ways anxiety thrives in us.  When i first had a panic attack (at 15), i was so terrified that my body released all the adrenalin it had and i just went bananas and ended up walking around the block with my dad, i was shaking so badly, i thought my life was coming to an end because my heart was failing.  I went to bed KNOWING that i wouldn't wake up, that was it for me, light out.  The next morning i woke up and felt ok until the memory of the night before came crashing into my consciousness and i fell apart again.  My dad took me to the hospital where i had the doctors listen to my heart and performed various other checks.  Of course, i was fine but that anticipation that i wasn't was the very thing the sparked off 20 years of anxiety.  It's so easily done, to fall into fear and thrash around trying to fight your way back out again.  It wasn't until 2 years ago that i finally found the tools to cope and to change my thinking.  You ALWAYS handle it in the end and you will too.

That sounds a lot like me, but my first attack was at 16 or 17. Came out of the blue. I had no issues with anxiety prior to that time, at least not in the form of a panic/anxiety attack. I told the school nurse (high school) that "my chest hurts" and she looked like she had seen a ghost. LoL. Didn't mean to scare her, but frankly, I had no idea how else to describe it at the time! Everything checked out fine at the hospital.

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@bin_tennso sorry that happened to you, but so glad to know you're okay now:-)

 

(I'm trying very hard to refrain from asking you about the afib because heart fears are my very worst, but I know I'm just feeding my anxiety if I do that:-))

 

It's nice to hear you were scared, but that you got through! I always think that I just won't be able to get through the fear. That even if the original problem doesn't kill me, the panic will! But it sounds like even though you were scared, you were able to get the help you needed and that it was all terror -- I'm encouraged by your joking around:-)

 

Thank you for sharing!

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I was diagnosed with a rare tumor, I won't name it to help you keep from googling! It literally scared the hell out of me going through testing and removal 3 times. I know have a nasty scar but was super lucky that my tumor was benign. If it was malignant, it's one of the top 3 most aggressive forms of cancer. I think when you are faced with a true medical emergency your brain shifts to reality instead of anxiety and you just do what you have to do. The same when my dad suffered a massive stroke in front of me. I held it together and did what I had to do 

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14 hours ago, BeeDot said:

@bin_tennso sorry that happened to you, but so glad to know you're okay now:-)

 

(I'm trying very hard to refrain from asking you about the afib because heart fears are my very worst, but I know I'm just feeding my anxiety if I do that:-))

 

It's nice to hear you were scared, but that you got through! I always think that I just won't be able to get through the fear. That even if the original problem doesn't kill me, the panic will! But it sounds like even though you were scared, you were able to get the help you needed and that it was all terror -- I'm encouraged by your joking around:-)

 

Thank you for sharing!

Don't worry yourself too much. There was no question at all that something was actually wrong vs the times anxiety made me think something was wrong.

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When I was 20 years old, I had a compression fracture of the 11th Thoracic vertebrae and was hospitalized for 6 days for observation. 

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I had an incident this past January. I won't go into details but it involved 2 prescriptions that just didn't mix!  I was vomiting a lot, and was having a tough time staying awake.  It was a frightening scene I am told. I was at home. The paramedics arrived and from that moment on, medical personnel were all over me. First the EMS squad, then the ER doctors and nurses and finally the head doc in the ER. They quickly were able to understand what had happened and were able to stabilize me in minutes after arriving at the ER. I remember feeling so calm, even before I was officially told there was nothing wrong other than the drug reaction. The doctor told me he was going to "check everything" just to be sure and that was such a comforting feeling.

So, with me when it hit the fan, and it was real, there was no anxiety (for me at least) and all the medical folks being with me and all the testing was a great feeling.

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Thank you all so much for your replies! I'm glad to hear that, even though you all have been through scary things, it seems like you weren't overwhelmed with panic. I don't know why I have such a HUGE fear of fear -- I just hate being scared. It's one of my most avoided experiences. No haunted houses for me this Halloween!

 

@utrocket09 anaphalyxis is one of my biggest fears -- I hate that it can just hit you out of nowhere. It's the sudden medical emergencies that scare me more than the something like cancer that doesn't feel like an immediate emergency to me (obviously cancer is terrifying, this is just the way my mind rationalizes it).  I honestly don't think I could handle an allergic reaction they terrify me so much haha. I'm so glad you are doing well and made it through!

 

@Kindra I also have a fear of someone else having a medical emergency in front of me. I had to hide in the bathroom recently when my grandfather started choking on food. In fact, I hate eating with people who talk while they eat because I'm so afraid they will choke. I hope your dad is okay and if he's not, I'm so sorry. Interesting that you were able to snap into action and your anxiety didn't get in the way! I guess I hope that's what would happen with me....

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@BeeDot after a lengthy recovery, my dad is doing much better! He is almost 100% :)  if you ever find yourself in a situation like that ( I hope not!!) I'm sure you will do great. When you have no choice but to act, your anxiety is the last thing you think about!! 

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@Kindra so glad to hear! I had a friend that thought she'd never be able to handle someone bleeding, but then while she was an RA one of her residents hit her head and Monica handled it like a pro! We always told her that in the moment she'd be fine! I guess I should learn to take my own advice;-) I'm just the absolute worst and let my anticipatory anxiety overwhelm me.

 

Thank you for sharing.

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Anticipatory anxiety gets me, @BeeDot. Every. Single. Time. Any time I have a panic attack, which is rare these days, I get a few small ones in the days following, presumably out of anticipation of having another.

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you are not alone, i have alot of anxeity about my heart. That when i go to bed i won't wake up. Or that i find a loved one dead..I often wake up in the middle of the night and i just have to check if my husband is breathing. Or that a vein will pop and kill me with the internal bleeding (very rare). I followed my husband to the ER because om abdominal pains one time. I was so afraid, but it got to me more afterwards. When you have to act quick i think the body reacts and shuts down the feelings, idk.  When i have the anxeity i try to think of all the other time i "survived" it. it often helps me get though it. ? 

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On 9/17/2017 at 11:38 PM, BeeDot said:

I know humans are stronger than we think we are and we can handle things that we might not have thought we could. But I am so terrified of something medically real actually happening to me because I don't think I'll be able to handle it. Half of my anxiety isn't "I'm having an heart attack/stroke/aneurysm RIGHT NOW" but rather "I'm ABOUT to have a heart attack/stroke/aneurysm and I'm going to fall apart because it will be so terrifying".

 

I'm curious to see if anyone here really has been through something like that. How did you handle it? Would you have thought you could have handled it? You don't need to go into detail if you don't want, of course. 

Far too many times to mention. In my experience you handle it, you don't have time or energy to be anxious. If you are going to suffer psychological effects, it will come later. Again in my experience :p 

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@Gilly thanks for sharing, though I'm sorry you have so much personal experience.  

 

I'm just so scared of being scared. Going through your own or someone else's medical emergency is so terrifying and I hate that feeling! Not like anyone else in the world ENJOYS it....I just wish I had a different brain, ya know;-)

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I had a major lung scare two years ago. I started coughing up copious amounts of blood. I went to emergency they did blood tests and an xray, didn't find anything. Follwed up with a CAT scan about a month later, found a rare cogenital lung condition was the cause. Oddly, I was fine during the incident, like a previous poster said, you kind of fall into reality and here and now. It was only afterwards as I continued to cough up bits and pieces of the first incident that the anxiety set in and waiting for the CAT scan. That was the worst. My doctor prescribed some lorazepam to help me sleep while i waited. only used a few.

our anxiety is all based on anticipatory thinking!

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@Mocha1 I am so sorry you went through that! It's things like that that absolutely terrify me! I'm really impressed with your account of the situation -- seems like you held it together pretty well. I guess I feel like I won't have that same composure. At the same time, I did have a near death experience and it was much scarier after than during. During, I just though, "ok, well I guess this is how I die" so I think I can sort of see how you were able to get through it:-)

 

Glad you're doing better!

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Hey, sorry I've been sick for the past few days...

I would not say I had fantastic composure during that dark time, but I never missed more work than just appointments. But it was a very dark time, and the anticipation was top of mind during that time. Looking back it is surprising, because while all that was happening, I was starting a relationship with a wonderful woman who is still with me today.

I remember the phone call from the Dr as I was driving home from work to give me the all clear. Talk about a load off.

I still live with this condition and there are two fixes - one is surgery and the other is embolization. I'm probably going to go the embolization route, but am chicken of the pain that evidently follows when that part of the lung dies.

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@Mocha1 no worries at all and I hope you have been feeling better!

I'm glad there are options for your condition, but I know that having to face a procedure is scary! Hopefully that wonderful woman will be by your side;-)

Actually, in the past week, I was diagnosed with atrial tachycardia -- which I hear is relatively harmless so long as you don't have underlying heart disease. I don't think I do. It can still increase your risk for strokes and whatnot, but trying to get too freaked out about that:-) It gets much worse before/during my period so I've been sort of white-knuckling it this week and trying to remember that it often changes with hormonal changes and I shouldn't freak out even more now just because I know what it is:-)

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I had a major medical scare about 10 years ago (I was 38 and 9 weeks pregnant with my first child)  - I had a bad cold/cough and then one evening starting getting stabbing pains in my chest -- didn't know exactly what was going on and somehow ending up getting to sleep that night.  In the morning, still having chest pain and then coughed up some blood -- went straight to the doctor and then was sent to ER -- had multiple scans and x-rays...which I was really scared to do since I was pregnant at the time...and was diagnosed with a PE in the lung, pneumonia and pleurisy.  Spent a week in the hospital...surprising my boy survived and was born healthy.  I did find out, once I was released from hospital and had to follow up with specialists that I have two hereditary blood clotting disorders.  When all this was happening -- I was so sick -- I didn't have time to get anxious.  My HA seemed to start after losing the rest of my immediate family members (my dad died when I was in my 20's from cirrhosis, sister died at age 60 - not sure why just died in her sleep, and mom died at 84 from late stage dementia) -- I guess I keep thinking I must be next.  It motivates me to try and stay healthy by eating right, going to the doctor when needed, and exercising!  I have two small boys (ages 7 and 9) and  a supportive husband that I want to stay around for - I'll be 50 next year!

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