Friday, December 30, 2011

Don't panic, be happy

It's been a rough couple of days.

But before I get into that, a funny story....

Yesterday afternoon, we took the kids to see TinTin. It was a good movie. Andreas has TinTin comic books so he was thrilled at the idea of going to see the movie. He also has all week off from work (thankfully) so it was the perfect time to go. The theater was pretty full and so we had to sit waaaay down in front, and we didn't even get to sit together. The girls sat in the very front row and we were a couple rows up.

After the movie was over, we stopped at the store so Andreas could pick up something for dinner. I said I should probably go in with him because I needed to get some "girly items". I'll get them for you, he said. I told him he'd probably end up getting the wrong thing and you know, we are pretty particular when it comes to that stuff. Just explain it to me, he says. So I explained it. I even found a picture of the box using the internet on my phone.

When he was done shopping, as he was walking towards the car, he pulls out the blue box of "girly items" and with a giant evil grin on his face, starts waving them around in the air. OH. MY. LORD. If I could make myself disappear, that would have been a great time to use that power. Oh well, at least he got the right kind ;)

This week has been one of the worst weeks of my life. A week, maybe week and a half ago, I had a panic attack. In the middle of the night. It woke me up. It was the weirdest thing. A few days later, I had another one. And then a couple of days ago, I had the MOTHER of all panic/anxiety attacks. It woke me up at 12:30 am (I'd been sleeping only about an hour and a half) and it lasted ALL NIGHT LONG.

There were peaks. I would get this horrible throat tightening feeling where I couldn't swallow, I couldn't breathe, my heart was racing....basically I thought I would die at any moment. Then the worst of the panic would subside but I would still have trouble swallowing, I was shaky, and nauseous and worst of all, SO AFRAID that the worst of the peaks would come again. Basically, I could think of nothing else which makes it impossible to come down. I wandered alone downstairs in the dark, watching the hours pass by, in agony. So tired, so afraid.

I was trying everything to calm myself down. I would breathe into a paper bag when I felt the shortness of breath. I would squeeze play doh in my hands. I tried playing xbox games to keep my hands busy. Games on my phone to keep my mind busy. I tried breathing exercises. I walked around and around and around....just trying to breathe normally. Hours and hours went by. I couldn't believe how ridiculous this was becoming. How could it last this long????

Then, when morning came, I had calmed down some but still had the swallowing problem. I couldn't swallow unless I had gum in my mouth to produce saliva. Every now and then I would get a burning in my chest, sort of a tingling, reminding me that a panic peak could be just around the corner. I couldn't eat, which made me weak and shaky. I was so tired. But every time I felt myself drifting off, I would jolt up, gasping.

Finally by dinner time, I was feeling almost normal. Just incredibly tired. I ate. Then I laid down to just relax and enjoy feeling normal. I was able to sleep 6 hours. I woke up at 5am feeling happy that I slept, but also wondering if I was about to have another attack. I started to feel the tingling sensation and I just thought "NO!" I am NOT going through this again. I wasn't able to fall asleep again but I didn't have another attack. I was so tired all day though, I couldn't really function normally. When I decided that I would try to go to the movie with the rest of the family I had one stipulation, I had to sit in an aisle seat in case I had to bolt out. As I said that, I thought, "Oh great. Now I'm one of those people. People with severe anxiety and can't go anywhere." Well, I refuse to be a slave to this. I made an appointment with the doctor and if I need to be medicated to calm these attacks so be it.

I just don't know why it's happening all of a sudden like this. And why always in the middle of the night? Waking me up from sleep. Maybe I have sleep apnea and that triggers them. Supposedly stress can cause them but I don't feel stressed out at all. Whatever the reason, I need it to stop. It's debilitating. It literally took two days of my life from me. Two days spent panicking and recovering. NOT fun. And knowing I have to wait until next Wednesday to see the doctor has me a little worried.

So today, I'm battling a severe headache. As I type this, I am finally feeling the medicine doing something. But the dull pain is still there. I just want to feel normal. It seems like it's been a good 2 months since I've felt really good. Can't wait to feel like myself again.

On a brighter note, it finally snowed. The ground is white. Too bad it wasn't like this a week ago. Because now "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas".


Carin said...

I am so sorry you are experiencing those Damn things! I hate them also and totally understand. If I miss my medication or feel like I don't need it and stop taking it I have them non stop. I always feel so stupid that I have them. I still get them but they don't last nearly as long. Hopefully you can get something to help. Miss you tons but fully understand if you are not up to going out right now. Love ya!

BTW...Eric and I totally want a Christmas card like you guys did this year. We loved it!

Charlotte said...

Thanks Carin. It's good to know that medication can help it. I can't wait to see the doctor and get started taking something before I have another one!