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Facing fear of death

Discussion in 'Death' started by Lionheart777, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior Premium Member

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    I have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). I stop breathing several times each night. I am being treated with a C-Pap device (Continuous positive airway pressure) to keep me breathing and 2 liters of oxygen at night to treat low levels of oxygen at night time.

    Every night when I lie down, I worry that I will stop breathing in my sleep and pass away,.. not knowing I am dead,, my spirit/soul will then be trapped and unable to process the experience. Or I could have a stroke or suffer cardiac arrest due to complications of sleep apnea and COPD. (although that usually happens when the diseases are not being treated)

    Perhaps I am uniformed about COPD and OSA and my future visit to a Respiratory Care Therapist in a few weeks will ease my worries, ....and I will get more educated about my illness, ....I don't know.

    I do have a belief in an afterlife and have made my peace with The Creator/God/Higher Power. Still, I don't know how to face my fear of death and dying. I am very anxious and concerned, I guess because I witnessed my mothers death when she stopped breathing and maybe that is a stressor for me.

    Perhaps, if I felt more prepared for my eventual passing over to the next life, I would feel more at ease. Maybe there are some positive thoughts that could ease my worries. Just talking about this is a sign that I am being proactive so I guess that is a positive thing.

    That I stop breathing in my sleep is obviously a stressor for me and I am trying to get comfortable with the fact that we never know when our time will be done or how we will go.

    I didn't see a thread on facing fear of death and thought a discussion about it might be helpful for those who have terminal illnesses or who are experiencing grief over the passing of a loved one, etc.... and I definitely need to talk about it so here goes....
     
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  3. PointlessExistence

    PointlessExistence Active Member Donated

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  4. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

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    @Lionheart777 are you in the early stages of COPD? your RT will be able to give you some great info, and hopefully some reassurance about your condition. C-pap is a wonderful device, and should help your apnea, you'll know it's working when you wake up feeling better rested and more alert.

    I can't speak personally about progressive or terminal illnesses, except to say that most patients I have cared for have been very peaceful and unafraid.

    :hug:
     
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  5. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    I've read that book, it's pretty amazing.

    @Lionheart777 , I hope your RT is much help! I think, maybe, the unknown is what we fear the most. Death, regardless of your belief system, is largely unknown. Myself, and I have no explanation for this, I find I fear death the most in the dark. I've always hoped to die outside, in the daytime, preferably on a beautiful day. Somehow, that seems ok. :confused:
     
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  6. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior Premium Member

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    Yes I believe I am although I am guessing and need a new pulmonary function test, I am going to say stage II.

    and thank you for your reply. :):hug:'s
     
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  7. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior Premium Member

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    I think you are right, the unknown is probably my greatest fear, .....at least at times it is. But also I do not want to suffer pain and anguish. I am afraid of that as well. Still, it is all outside of my control, so I think that is probably the central issue...control or lack thereof.

    I am trying to trust that it will be okay in the end, that I will die peacefully and have an easy passing. I guess we all want that tho, huh?

    I think the respiratory therapist will be a big help and will see her in about 2 weeks.
     
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  8. ladee

    ladee I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I don't feel I have a fear of dying... I just know I don't want to anytime soon... but like you said... who knows when....
    I worked in a caregiving field with elders... thier passing was always peaceful and quite....
    I will share with you when my mom died... of what happened that I know has made me ok with what ever is on the other side....

    She was in the hospital for the last time... no heroic measures were being taken....me and my two sisters were with her... she had been changed into another gown, and was settling back down.... I was at the foot of her bed.... she took a breath, her eyes were closed... she took another breath and her eyes opened wide..... the look of awe on her face , well, I've never found the words for it... but I also believe we can't always put words on God things...

    What ever she saw, or who ever she saw, sent her such a peaceful look, pure joy, no fear, she took another breath and was gone.... we can use our human mind to try and say what happened or who provided that peace for her.... but it was real..... and as much as I missed her, and still do.... that look on her face always let me know she was going to experience something that we have no clue about.... and she was happy .

    I don't feel we have to process anything... the way we do things in this life does not apply in what ever happens later....


    I am sending you lots of gentle hugs for your fear.... this is very real for you every day and night of your life.... and I do pray you are able to get some personal peace about it.... you are loved and cherished here, that's all I know about this side of things... we can only hope the other side is beyond anything we could imagine..... and nothing to fear.... lots of hugs Lion.... hope you get answers from your RT next time you go in, about what you are dealing with health wise....
     
  9. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

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    COPD is really manageable now, especially in the early stages, and for people who can take good care of themselves. I hope your RT has good news for you.
    I don't have anything like copd, but I am going blind, so I can empathize a bit with some of what you're feeling. :hug: for now, and extra :hug: for whenever you need them.
     
  10. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior Premium Member

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    Thank you @ladee for responding to this thread....it means a lot to me to hear from you! You are a dear and loved friend who has offered me selfless support and encouragement and I treasure you as one of my many blessings. I am sure I will find some peace and comfort, if I persist.
     
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  11. The Albatross

    The Albatross Product of decisions rather than circumstances Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    Just like there are "stages of grief"... there are phases of adjustment for living with a chronic or even an acute illness. This article gives them, may be you'll find it assistive: Life Esteem - Wellness Matters Newsletter - Living with a Chronic Illness
    The worry about dying in your sleep is reoccurring for you. I expect that the process of adjustment has likely been disrupted due to your grief for your mother and is complicated by your sister's illness.

    "Every night when I lie down, I worry that I will stop breathing in my sleep and pass away,.. not knowing I am dead,, my spirit/soul will then be trapped and unable to process the experience." - I am quite confused by that statement as I have never heard anything quite like it. What belief system suggests that what you're worrying about could even happen? Is it fact based, something in your spiritual beliefs or is it an irrational belief?
     
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  12. ladee

    ladee I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    You are loved. And this is a real issue. And with bad health, it is more to the forefront of our minds. You will find your answers. and your peace about this.... in your own way in your own time..... sending gentle hugs to soothe some of the anxiety.
     
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  13. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior Premium Member

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    Obviously no one knows what happens when we die. We assume that dying in our sleep is an easy transition yet, no one knows for sure.

    What is death like if one is not awake for it? I guess one can't really argue facts, when no one knows for certain what death holds for us.

    I suppose only the likelihood of death from COPD and Sleep Apnea can be discussed with any true accuracy and I am hoping to get educated on those subjects (soon). I see RT in 2 weeks and hopefully this will ease my fears.

    The basic fear is that I will stop breathing in my sleep and not start again. This is a common concern for people with OSA and my obstructive sleep apnea is complicated by COPD. When I learn more about this disorder I will update the thread to add that information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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