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When to call an ambulance or go to A&E/the emergency room.

Feb 01, 2015 8:44 AM

Hi, I suffer from chronic neuropathic pain, and have incredibly frequent and scary pain attacks. They make it incredibly difficult to breathe and talk, and almost impossible to move. Many of these attacks have made me think of calling for an ambulance...
I was wondering when you all think it's appropriate to call for an ambulance.
I like in the UK, if that makes any difference.

Feb 01, 2015 12:21 PM

If you're in such a dyer situation and you're in the midst of one of these attacks, there is no reason not to call an ambulance for help. If you're unable to speak or hardly move whilst these happen, it's scary... Especially when you can't breathe properly. You have to only be concerned about how badly YOU are feeling and decide if you need the ambulance. I hope this was somehow helpful.. Good Luck!

Feb 01, 2015 12:23 PM

I live in Canada and do not know the UK system.
What I do know is that what you are going through sounds really scary.
When I first started getting symptoms of fibromyalgia I got terrible chest pain. One of my Dr's concerns was that I would ignor pain that should be treated as an emergency.
We set up a protocol (check list). I then shared it with my family and worked in their concerns for example changes if I was by my self.
Fortunately I have never had to call an ambulance but the checklist has helped calm those who love me and helped me to be less scared.
I hope that your health care professionals will be as supportive. I hope even more that something will come along soon to stop the attacks all together.
Thinking of you.

Feb 01, 2015 12:41 PM

Hi bmrdawson, I'm sorry you are going through such a nightmare. I'm in the USA and have been a nurse for >25 yrs.... I have fibromyalgia and chronic pain amongst other stuff. A few years ago before I knew I had fibromyalgia I ended up going to the ER twice in one week for what I thought were chest pain. Both times a family member drive me as we only live 2 miles from the hospital I worked at. Bothe times I was treated as a chest pain patient and after they rang gamut of tests and ruled out heart problems, I was sent home. I felt like such an idiot but what can you do?!?!
Two years ago I was having neuropathic pain, a burning pain in my hands and fingers that made me want to scream. Thankfully that has quieted down a considerable amount with the use of cymbalta. I was tried on neurontin for nerve pain but it made me too sleepy. Have you tried any meds geared to nerve pain yet?
But back to your question, when to call an ambulance-- I see it as a life threatening assistance. So if you know that your breathing problems are from the pain then I agree with Fibronorth. Maybe before you reach that point, you can try some relaxation techniques and talk yourself down. With me and my heart, after I followed up with a cardiologist following my ER visits, I had a complete work up and see him every 4-6 months but now I know that what I'm feeling in my heart is due to the fibro. But you have to check with your doctor to make sure nothing else that is life threatening is going on. If you haven't found anything to help your pain, search for a good pain specialist if you don't have one yet. Good luck and keep us posted!

Feb 01, 2015 2:16 PM

Dawson, of you are in that much pain & that scared, then go to the ER. If you need to call an abundance to do it, then do so. Asking the litany of medical problems I have is IBS so bad that it interferes with daily life. Not realizing how bad it can get, I called the squad (ambulance in our part of USA) because I thought my colon had ruptured. It was merely a severe IBS attack but in the moment I didn't know that. I don't know how the British system works but here in the states if you call for an ambulance, they must come. If the systems are the same, all you'll be out is possibly a bit of embarrassment.

Good luck & I'll pray for relief fit you. Your pain sounds horrendous.

Feb 01, 2015 6:25 PM

I live in UK and call the an ambulance every time my pain gets so severe im just crying and screaming and able to move anything as if I don't get on top of the pain the following days/weeks im not able to move at all due to exhaustion, I can't even speak and use blinking as a way of communication. If the pain is really really bad then yes call an ambalance. I have a special card tht gets me through a & e quickly so I'm straight onto a ward or in a side room and given meds to get on top of it

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