Saturday, September 08, 2007

Panic: it creeps in around the edges

Just when I thought panic attacks were a thing of the past I got a nice taste of one on Tuesday. Here’s how it played out:

It was my day off from work so I fed the dog in the morning then went back to sleep. Kelli was working the late shift from 10:30am to 7:00pm so I rolled out of bed about 10:00 with just enough time to kiss her goodbye and wish her a good day.

I had a project in mind and I discovered an essential ingredient was missing so I took the dog for a quick walk around the block and then jumped into the car and took off to the store. Without eating anything for breakfast.

It started with a sneeze. Halfway to the store I sneezed and had that momentary light-headedness one might get from sneezing. But it didn’t go away immediately.

That’s pretty much all it took. Last December I had that thing where I caught a virus which caused myocarditis and the first symptom was a fainting episode. Eeek.

See the thing about panic is that it isn’t the trigger which is the problem, it’s what happens when you’ve been triggered that’s the problem. In my case it’s light-headedness and serious and sudden fatigue. And since I fainted last December I couldn’t help but freak out a little.

I was pretty sure it was “just a panic attack” and probably low blood sugar since I hadn’t eaten anything but… well one just never knows.

I went into the store, managed to buy what I needed (it sounds so mysterious but it was t-shirt transfer paper) and a sandwich but I had to use all the panic tricks to maintain.

On the way home (yes I felt safe to drive and wouldn’t have if I didn’t) I called Kelli who luckily was able and willing (bless her) to meet me at home. A half a Xanax and some chicken soup later and I was feeling a little better (sandwich went into the fridge uneaten). Blood sugar was fine, blood pressure was a little low.

I went to the doctor, at Kelli’s insistence, who did an EKG just to be sure and an A1C to make sure my blood sugar wasn’t all wacky long-term. By that time I was feeling just plain ol’ sick with a bug. My doc chocked it up to a virus with the low blood pressure causing the initial light-headedness.

That was Tuesday and today was my first day back at work. I’m still a little illish but overall I just had a virus of some kind. EKG and A1C came back fantastic.

I’m fine but… the panic thing isn’t permanently cured.

I hate that.


John Cowart said...

Yes! It's a real pain to think you're over something, only to have it crop up again long afterwards.

Hang in there.

Jas said...

Good for you that you recognized it was happening, and took steps to not further the episode or endanger yourself. (or others)

I think it is important to remember that you won't be cured. It will be like living with psoriasis, it is always latent inside you, it may crop up, or it may not. You might see it, you might not. Others might see it, or they might not.

All in all, know that your family and friends will support you in any way that we can to ensure that your episodes are not caused by us. And if we happen to be with you, we can and will help out.

(I promise I won't buy tickets for concerts in the last damned row of the arena....)

Lucky Lady said...

have had panic attacts for about 25 years i don't think they ever go away completely i take 4 xanax a day so i won;t have them but still have one evey now and then for no reason it just happens the breathing helps in to 10 oout to 10 good luck