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Not Coping with Near Death Experience

Hey Smiley Happy

So I have had anxiety and health anxiety for years I have been able to in last few months been able to tell myself I'm just anxious and not dying from a medical condition however a few weeks ago I had a near-death experience and Im lucky to be alive...

 

I was 100% ok walking around my kitchen when I felt my heart go funny and I felt like impending doom I assumed I was anxious so I sat on a high stool and woke up on the floor unconscious unable to move and I was home alone and I knew something was wrong I felt like Id been hit by a truck and my head hurt so I crawled down the hall to my phone and called an ambulance and waited alone for 2 hours for the ambulance and essentially I ended up having a very severe case of saddle pulmonary embolism; I had dozens of large blood clots in each lung that essentially caused my heart to be damaged and give out. I was rushed to ICU and given very aggressive meds directly into my lungs to save me. I was in ICU for 9 days and I according to my docs am lucky to he alive and they were very worried and its a miracle I even woke up when I collapsed. I had no symptoms of clots or embolism and I have no risk factors and they have no clue why it happened to an otherwise healthy 19-year-old. I am now on heavy blood thinning meds for the rest of my life and need to be monitored often. 

 

Im now terrified to be alone, I cant sit on any stool at the breakfast bar. I also have been very highly health anxious and can't rationalise my anxiety anymore. 

How do I cope with this (I already have a therapist) 

Re: Not Coping with Near Death Experience

@Charlie-29-1999 that sounds really hard..

 

If this is an issue that may reoccur, maybe you could consider a personal emergency response system (medical alert button) and/ or a medical alert bracelet.

The button would make calling an ambulance much easier, and means that you wouldn't have to crawl to a phone, and the medical alert bracelet would let ambulance crews know that you've had a history of blood clots. 

It might help to make an emergency plan with your doctors, so that you have something to fall back on. 

 

It may help to remember that when that happened, no one knew what it was, you didn't know what is was, and you were not on any meds or being monitored. And you still survived.

 

Now you're on medication that makes it way less likely to happen, you're being monitored by your doctors so you could detect problems before they even happen, and if something still manages to get you by surprise you know what it might be, so you can get any needed tests and treatments sooner.

Basically, you faced a terrible situation, and you made it. Even if anything else were to happen, you'll be in a much better position to deal with it. 

 

So even if you can't tell yourself  "I'm not going to have a medical emergency", you can accurately tell yourself "Even if I do have one, I'll be able to deal with it."

A little like the quote "the bird's faith is not in the branch, but in its wings".

Re: Not Coping with Near Death Experience

Hi @Charlie-29-1999!

Wow, I'm really sorry about what happened to you. Smiley Sad It sounds very scary. I think anyone would find the thought of just going about their day, only to suddenly find themselves in hospital being told that they could have died, extremely frightening. I'm glad you survived though! I find it really amazing that you had the courage to call an ambulance and wait for so long with no one around. I think it's a great example of your toughness and strength.

What happened to you could happen to anyone. It sounds like an extremely rare event. That day, you just happened to be unlucky. Hopefully the blood thinning medication will decrease the chances of it happening again. Are you able to talk to your specialists about your concerns? Maybe they can provide some reassurance, especially about the risk of it happening again. Additionally, they might be able to suggest ways of minimising the risk. You might be able to reassure yourself that as you are following the doctors' instructions and are more aware of the warning signs and being monitored often, the chance of it happening again will most likely be even lower.

I hope you have a speedy recovery. Heart

Re: Not Coping with Near Death Experience

Hey @Charlie-29-1999,

 

I'm so sorry to hear about what you've gone through recently, I can only imagine how scary it would've been going through all of this and it's no wonder you're feeling anxious. Could you discuss these feelings with your doctors? Going through a medical emergency like you have is life altering, no doubt, and I am wondering if your doctors may have any suggestions on managing the fear and anxiety associated with this experience and your condition?

 

In regards to not wanting to be alone, is there anybody that would be able to stay with you for a little while or that you could stay with? 

 

Take care @Charlie-29-1999