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Ds having short episodes of saying he can't breathe. Panic or something else?

(11 Posts)
shelsco Tue 19-Feb-13 23:05:51

Ds3 (who is 8) had a severe case of tonsillitis a couple of weeks ago and it took about a fortnight for him to recover, although he's still not 100%. For a fortnight he basically slept and did very little else. He was given 10 days of penicillin and now seems better but tired and less energy than usual.

He has now started complaining of feeling like he can't breathe. It only lasts a couple of minutes and he doesn't actually seem breathless - he has no obvious symptoms, he just says he feels like he can't breathe. It has happened 4 times now and it's never been when he's exercising (although he says he is getting out of breathe quicker when he exercises), always when he's just been doing something quiet. So what I'm wondering is has anyone come across this? Could it be a post viral thing linked to the tonsillitis or is it possible he is developing panic attacks type symptoms? He's not particularly anxious normally but he has seemed tearful and subdued since being ill.

What do you people think? I'm just monitoring it atm but just wanted to check if someone else has come across this.

Clara35 Wed 20-Feb-13 09:26:09

My dd suffered from heartburn symptons & used to say she couldn't breathe & then panic but it was just the feeling in her chest. Used to be worse when she was hungry. Had a course of tablets which settled her stomach down & ok ever since. I always tried to reassure myself it wasn't her breathing as she would have been crying & shouting she couldn't breathe but obviously could! Hope it all settles for your ds smile

shelsco Wed 20-Feb-13 10:02:45

Thanks Clara. I've been trying to do the same, reassuring myself that if there was a serious breathing problem it would be really obvious. He said he woke up in the middle of the night last night with 'fast breathing'. It does seem a bit like panic attacks but just seems to have come out of the blue!

shelsco Thu 21-Feb-13 09:18:30


OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 21-Feb-13 09:21:02

How big are his tonsils now?

amillionyears Thu 21-Feb-13 09:24:52

Take him to the GP.
I would have thought it could be on one of several things.
It may not even be related to the tonsillitis at all.

I did that once.
Left my child with a symptom because I thought it was related to something they all ready had, but it was not. It was totally unrelated.

shelsco Thu 21-Feb-13 18:40:26

His tonsils are slightly enlarged but they always are. We've had them checked a couple of times but are always told that, although they are not the healthiest looking tonsils, they don't need any treatment as they don't cause symptoms often enough.
I've contacted the GP. It's just so hard to get an appointment. It's not exactly an emergency (as far as I know) and the next routine appointment is 5th March. I've said I'll take that and hope in the meantime his symptoms subside. He said he woke up 'breathing fastly' in the middle of the night so it doesn't seem to be linked to exercise. Seems to happen randomly.

shelsco Mon 25-Feb-13 23:17:13

Well I've been to the GP and she suspects glandular fever. I had no idea that severe tonsillitis/glandular fever have such similar symptoms but now I've read up on it, it seems likely that he's had GF rather than tonsillitis. Still doesn't really explain the breathlessness, unless its linked to tiredness. A bit scary though as I know it can go on for ages.

amillionyears Tue 26-Feb-13 12:10:56

I presume you mentioned the cant breathe bit to the GP?

shelsco Tue 26-Feb-13 22:10:23

Yeah I did and she checked his pulse and listened to his chest etc and couldn't find anything wrong but as the bouts feeling like he can't breathe come and go, I don't know if she would only notice a problem when it was actually happening. We go back on Friday for the results of the blood tests so I think I will ask a bit more about what it could be and what the breathing issue could be linked to then.

amillionyears Tue 26-Feb-13 22:14:09


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