A View from Bed 3 post…
As people on Twitter might know by now, my day started with a bang when I was hounded out of bed at 04.30 by a bout of Pulmonary Oedema, at which point it had already kept me awake for an hour, my lungs were bleeding quite badly, and it was getting hard to breathe.
This, naturally enough, scares the crap out of me and – rightly or wrongly – I have a fear of staying in bed with it (because the only time I did so it got so bad I almost died). It woke me around 03.30, feeling as if I was drowning and an hour later my breathing was so bad I wound up sitting here in front of this thing, getting ready to phone for an ambulance and send out my emergency “I’m in hospital” tweet and email, and megadosing with my inhalers.
But, once again, I dodged that bullet.
It’s evening now, and breathing is still difficult, and my lungs still hurt, but the bleeding, luckily, stopped after a few hours.
Taking into account occurrences prior to the event that put me in hospital in August, this has been going on, sporadically, for the better part of this year – but before August I just assumed it was a worsening of my COPD** – I had absolutely no idea what it really was, nor how serious, and potentially fatal, it is.
**Pulmonary Oedema is primarily caused by heart failure, not COPD. See section headed Long-term (chronic) pulmonary oedema symptoms in this document.
Whatever the cause, I simply can’t go on like this not knowing, every night when I go to bed, whether I’ll survive or not. There have been well over a dozen of these events since I got out of hospital (I didn’t start keeping a record until into September, when I realised the problem wasn’t going to go away). To deal with them I need what I had in hospital, better meds – Salbutamol and Atrovent, for my nebuliser – and oxygen.
There should be no problem with that as, for the price of 2 drugs and a supply of oxygen, it frees up a hospital bed, and staff, and I really don’t want to be there anyway. Everybody wins.
Otherwise, one day, and maybe soon, I’m simply not going to make it.