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AIBU?

To think I wasted the paramedics time?

18 replies

TiredMum30 · 05/02/2024 21:04

So just some back story so you kinda understand why DH called an ambulance.

I had covid just before Christmas, i felt really rough and didn't do much of anything over the holidays, it developed into a chest infection which gave me shortness of breath amongst other symptoms, I received antibiotics beginning of January, it cleared up most of my symptoms but i still felt run down, then last week my shortness of breath and pain in my back started up again, I saw a doctor towards the end of last week who said one of my lungs is very crackley but my oxygen levels are fine, she gave me a round of amoxicillin, diferent to the first antibiotics i received, however my shortness of breath, pain and now a cough have gotten worse, I thought I'd give it to weds to see if it clears by the time my antibiotics finish.

Then while cooking dinner earlier tonight, my shortness of breath got quite bad, (it get worse during activity and settles after i've been sat down awhile) while dishing dinner out I felt really dizzy and called DH through, I then had a panic attack after my whole body went cold and started feeling weak and funny, which then made my breathing worse, DH panicked and called an ambulance.
The paramedics arrived within a few minutes, took my stats and did a ecg, all normal, DH explained about the ongoing chest infection etc. The Paramedic explained that I'd had a panic attack, which I agree with but he kept insinuating that my shortness of breath was due to the panic attack despite me explaining I'd had the shortness of breath since last week and had it before the anxiety attack happened tonight, the attack just made it worse but it wasn't the cause of it. He did say I didn't need to go to a&e but gave me the option of going if I wanted to but he didn't think there was any need as there was nothing they could do to help. I declined and said I'd stick with my original plan to see GP on weds if no better. I still felt quite dizzy when getting up for a couple of hours after they left but now I can't shake this feeling of wasting their time and that maybe it is all in my head, is it all in my head? It was the feeling of being short of breath/out of breath over small activities again that made me go back to doctors in the first place, so I know it's not but now he has me second guessing myself and i feel really stupid 😔

OP posts:
freeandfierce · 05/02/2024 21:08

you didn't waste their time, you can't take the chance if your breathing is affected. I'm sure if you'd rung 111 they would have sent an ambulance. Hope you feel better soon, sounds like you've had a rough time of it

LightSwerve · 05/02/2024 21:11

You didn't do anything wrong, sometimes ambulances are called and the paramedics evaluate and determine that the patient doesn't need A&E.

I hope you feel better soon.

The paramedic will have moved on now, try to do the same.

Do you have an oximeter? They are useful in these situations. Be careful with your breathing, better safe than sorry.

purplemumster · 05/02/2024 21:11

You didn't waste their time. You were struggling to breathe and this caused a panic attack which is an entirely natural human response, your husband did the right thing and hopefully you felt a little reassured by having an mot at home before seeing the gp this week!

Alwaysgoingforit · 05/02/2024 21:22

Dh did the right thing, panic attacks are so scary.
Hope you feel better now, please don't worry, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Idtotallybangdreamoftheendlessnotgonnalie · 05/02/2024 21:39

Panic attacks are fucking scary, and I hate how they're seen as a Victorian, feeble-woman, fit of the vapours attention thing.

They're not.

You have two branches of the autonomous nervous system in your body- sympathetic, which deals with arousal/fight or flight, ie. Danger and survival feelings, and the parasympathetic which calms and deals with things like digestion and secondary functions.

During a panic attack your sympathetic system registers a perceived threat to your survival and dumps a fuckload of adrenaline into your system. Your parasympathetic system didn't register the end of the threat so didn't come online to soothe you and so your body continues to get worked up because it legit thinks you're dying. The chemicals increase your awareness to stimuli, so you become more aware of whatever has triggered it.

It's not a character flaw or a personal weakness, it is literally a coding glitch in the human body that evolution hasn't patched yet.

theduchessofspork · 05/02/2024 21:41

Of course you didn’t - you’ve had shortness of breath. That can indicate some serious shit, your husband quite reasonably thought the panic attack was that. Nothing wrong with what you did - a scare is sometimes nothing.

Nortono · 05/02/2024 21:44

TLDR

Jeffjefftyjeff · 05/02/2024 21:49

You didn’t waste their time. You could have been having a heart attack or other heart problems. They have to rule that out and have to do that urgently. My partner has shortness of breath from long covid and spent a day in a&e (having been told to go by GP and a friend who is a respiratory physio) for heart investigations. I hope you don’t get any more episodes (although if you do, don’t hesitate to get the help you need at the time)

TheShellBeach · 05/02/2024 21:53

Definitely didn't waste their time. It's their job to attend when patients are having trouble breathing.

They checked you over and determined that you didn't need to be conveyed to hospital.

That is not a waste of their time! I'm glad you're feeling better now. Chest infections and panic attacks are horrible.

hedgehugsandkisses88 · 05/02/2024 21:55

I'm amazed at "the paramedics arrived in a few minutes" tbh! My 2 year old had a seizure and we were told 3 hours.. I ended up driving her myself.

But in answer to your question, no I don't think you were unreasonable. Can you get some medication for panic attacks to deal with them yourself, clonzapam, propanolol etc?? I suffer from them too and have had an ambulance once.

nocoolnamesleft · 05/02/2024 22:01

Fast breathing, chest pain, and dizzy? Calling an ambo sounds reasonable!

TiredMum30 · 05/02/2024 22:02

Thank you for all your kind responses, I feel a little more reassured, I hated the thought of them coming out to me and wasting their time.
I definitely feel less dizzy but I've been laid down, I just got up to see to DD and the shortness of breath came back but alot more manageable then earlier.

OP posts:
TheShellBeach · 05/02/2024 22:08

nocoolnamesleft · 05/02/2024 22:01

Fast breathing, chest pain, and dizzy? Calling an ambo sounds reasonable!

And that's why they arrived so quickly. The call would have generated a Cat 1 response.
Quite rightly.

GettingStuffed · 05/02/2024 22:10

You

GettingStuffed · 05/02/2024 22:11

You didn't, I had similar symptoms last year, they ordered me a taxi to hospital and I was diagnosed with an upper and lower chest infection.

TiredMum30 · 05/02/2024 22:12

hedgehugsandkisses88 · 05/02/2024 21:55

I'm amazed at "the paramedics arrived in a few minutes" tbh! My 2 year old had a seizure and we were told 3 hours.. I ended up driving her myself.

But in answer to your question, no I don't think you were unreasonable. Can you get some medication for panic attacks to deal with them yourself, clonzapam, propanolol etc?? I suffer from them too and have had an ambulance once.

I'm so sorry, 3 hours is such a long wait especially when a child is involved. I hope your child is okay?
We was just as amazed at how quick they turned up, I hadn't even managed to get up of the kitchen floor before they had arrived.

I'm not sure about medication, this is my first proper panic attack, I do suffer with anxiety but it's usually stress related or in social situations and it's usually heart palpitations and some minor chest tightness. I'll mention it to my GP but hopefully it won't happen again, but can't help to be prepared just to be safe.

OP posts:
Dutch1e · 05/02/2024 23:00

I don't think it's ever a waste of time to call and ambulance when you're ill and scared.

Where I live they triage you on the phone and decide whether to send the after-hours clinic docs or an ambulance. But no-one is ever refused.... How could you be until a medic has seen you?

It's very thin ice to expect a layperson to make medical decisions, that's the medic's job!

It was absolutely the right decision to call for help and be seen. Never EVER feel hesitant, nor your DH

peachgreen · 05/02/2024 23:12

Do follow it up, OP. Always better to get these things properly checked out.

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