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SOB - Panic attack?


hockeyma

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Has anyone had any experience with this....

My husband was recently hospitalized due to what they thought was collapsed lung - which was the same - jan 8 when he could breath - to now - so now they don't know what for sure went on. Still looking. So to make a long story short - he is on oxygen and still in hospital. My sister in law and I think that he may need a bit of oxygen but he had such a scare when the sudden shortness of breath happened that he is now panicking whenever the air leaves his nostrils. It is on a low setting....but he doesn't want to even leave the hospital. He gets rides to the radiation treatment in an ambulance and on a stretcher - he is capable of walking. In other words he is scared - you can see it in his eyes. He never had a breathing issue before this. Now to make matters worse he see's an oncologist tomorrow about second line chemo but I have been told that when they see a patient in this relapsed - apparent digressive state - that they are hesitate to be agressive. Has anyone been through this or experienced it. Any hints? How do I get this out of his head -

Heather

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Anxiety can play huge tricks on you. I was having dizzy spells and nausea for months, had an MRI, thought I had something on my brain. Come to find out it was all from anxiety. I took Lexapro for a year, it helped, and I weaned myself off. Is he on any antianxiety drugs? I personally think they are overprescribed, but if it helps him right now with everything he has to deal with, maybe you could suggest it. In the meantime, I hope he can gain some courage. I would always print off stories from this site and read them to my mama, it made us smile and gave her a ton of hope and courage. Prayers!

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Heather-

I totally agree with what Lori has said. My mom went through the exact same thing-She said that non-one understands unless they have been through it. I have to believe her because I have not experienced it. They put her on an anti anxiety med and it was way better.

Everytime her oxygen machine beeped she would have the look of a scarred deer caught in the headlights. My prayers are with you

Connie

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Few things are as scary as not breathing. Once it has happened, it is easy to live in fear of it. I think an anti-anxiety medication might help but also your calm reassurance and practicing slow, deep breathing - through the nose - are important. Not everyone is keen on relaxation training, but it is helpful if he's the kind of guy willing to give it a try. Buy a relaxation CD or tape and try it out. This should be done when he is feeling well, not when he is short of breath, so he can practice the skills and use them when needed. He might be comforted to know that people can feel short of breath long before they are in any danger, and taking control of his fear and his breathing pattern will help. Best wishes to you both; this is a difficult thing to experience and to witness in a loved one.

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It's hard for any of us to realize the anxiety of reduced respiration exchange unless you have experienced it.

My wife is a calm person but no amount of relaxation or breathing exercises could make up for the sensation of blood O2 below 90%. It becomes an panic attack.

When she needed O2 assistance we made use of the Oxygen Concentrator at home and portable O2 tanks for Clinic and hospital visits. We always have a backup full tank in the car. She felt confortable with this and as her condition improved she came off the O2 but feels confortable sleeping with the O2 concentrator at night.

As long as he knows that you've got plenty of O2 in hand hopefully he will begin to trust in it. Lisa used to go to the Oncology appointments attached to her portable.

I'm sure the Oncologist gave her reduced doses because of her weak condition and being on O2 and wheel chair.

She now walks in without O2 but we always keep a tank in the car just in case of the unexpected.

Take care of yourselves - Chanwit

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Hi Heather. I have and on occasion still do experience severe SOB. I have Ativan that I can us "as needed". I may take one or two a week on a bad week and may go a couple of weeks in between without taking one at all. I purchased an oximeter that I can use on myself to determine what my oxygen sats are when I am at home or on the treadmill at the gym which I have just started. Like Chanwit said having oxygen on hand at home in case he thinks he needs is may help him get over some of the tricks our minds play on us. I have a concentrator at the house plus some portable tanks that I can take in the car with me. If you wish more information on anything I have mentioned please send me a message. Nothing is worse than feeling like you will NOT be able to draw your next breath. You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.

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I certainly understand the anxiety feeling. It is excruciating. I once had it just for a moment when I over exerted myself and could not get enough air no matter how much I tried to breathe it in. Most of the time I just stop exerting myself and wait, knowing that I will be able to get enough air in 20 seconds or so. But once, I allowed myself to imagine what it would be like if this was the way I had to be for a long time. Then, I had the sense of the anxiety. Phew. I am glad it only lasts less than a minute. I am a one lunged person.

Don M

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Heather:

Is your husband having ANY constriction/inflammation of the air passages at all, like asthma symptoms, in the midst of this collapsed lung issue? I mention this for the scare factor: I had asthma in my teens and the shortness of breath that comes from it is really frightening and does come on "all of a sudden"; that said, it's really important for the patient to stay calm and take slow deep breaths through the nose (as theresa said and it did work for me personally when I had it)...panic just makes it seem worse (been there, done that) even though the patient is really getting enough O2 (else, they'd pass out among other things...learned that long ago from my allergist).

Anti-anxiety meds may help, however....there should be meds to help with the inflammation issue if it's asthma symptom-related....Advair diskus is one I know of (that I didn't have when I had asthma) -- it helps open up the air passages and reduce inflammation to make breathing easier; there are also inhalers that can act on an emergency episode basis.

You do need to know the true source of this SOB issue to get a clear direction on it from those docs. Asthma complications aren't unrealistic in this dx....check it out with the docs.

Hope this helps. Nothing worse than feeling short of breath!

Linda

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Sorry he is having such a hard time. I am A caregiver. My boyfriend was just diagnosed in May. I just lost my hearing a year and a half ago. I know no one can understand what he is going through. He probably has all kinds of weird stuff running through his head. I have severe anxiety attacks. An "episode" will last 12 to 24 hours. They feel like they roll in and out all day. There are losts of different ways to overcome them. Everybody is different. Before I lost my hearing, I used music with self hypnosis. Some people use breathing exersises and/or Yoga. There are lot's of different relaxation techniques out there. You just have to find the right one for him. I hope he feels better soon so he can concentrate on getting well instead of worring about having a panic attack. I feel for anyone who has to go through them. Good Luck , Aliboo-boo

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