Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Panic Attack

This morning we had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to get Apollo and Tesla. I had to stop to buy dog food and a new office chair for my aching body. We were hurrying, and left the house. I had not eaten breakfast, but did have two cups of coffee. Typically my coffee is half caf. I make it that because I don't want a full caffeine hit.

Right as we get into the car, I feel woozy. I figure it was because I hadn't eaten. We had to drive to Bob's work because he took our van by mistake, and I had to swap cars. By the time we made it a mile and a half, I told Thomas I felt funny.

We drove through McDonald's. I got an Egg McMuffin so I could get the protein--greasy, high-fat, but protein nonetheless. I also got a Diet Coke.

So as I'm driving, I just felt uneasy. Five miles down the road, I started envisioning my Dad. Yes, the scene at his kitchen table. The scene where we were sitting, I looked up, and his head was bobbing, he was unconscious, and in the throes of a heart attack. That scene played over and over and over in my mind. I couldn't get it to stop.

Driving down the road further, I had to roll the window down. I needed fresh air. It was raining. I still had to have that fresh air hit my face. About 15 miles after I started, I pulled in to a gas station. I took 1/2 of a Xanax and called my husband.

When Bob answered the phone, I started bawling. I hadn't recognized it until the very moment that I spoke with the love of my life. It's amazing to me that I didn't recognize what it was: I just had the fear I was going to pass out like my Dad did.

Bob told me to walk around, get some oxygen in my system, and let the Xanax kick in. I did. I went in, used the restroom, and noticed I was shaking violently. I bought a pack of gum, because I always feel compelled to buy something when I use a restroom.

Thomas and I walked around outside for about 15 minutes. The Xanax started to kick in. My shaking subsided.

The symptoms were: woozy feeling, impending doom--I was just sure something was going to happen, and the shaking.

I finally felt safe to drive. (BTW, my doctor informs me the only concern with driving after taking a Xanax is falling asleep. It's not a case of driving under the influence. If I take a whole Xanax, I do fall asleep. That's why I cut several up and have half pills in my bottle.)

We made it to the big city, bought the dog food, got an office chair, which thankfully the nice cute young man (I'm officially old now, those twenty-somethings are young!) put it in the car for me.

We then drove 20 miles further to get Apollo and Tesla. Apollo had a raging ear infection! Poor thing, I had no clue. So we have medication for that. Both dogs came through their surgery just fine. Both dogs were fitted with Elizabethan collars because they were licking like crazy. Both dogs look absolutely miserable and pathetic in those collars!

Thomas sat in the back with the boys on the way home. The dogs went straight into their crates and slept. They were pretty tuckered out.

Thomas had a birthday party to attend, so by the time we had the dogs taken care of, and I had talked to my sister about Dad's estate, it was time to get back in the car and drop him off. By this time I was almost shaking again -- not from a panic attack, but from a physical draining in my body that made it feel as if I could barely walk.

I called Bob and asked if he would pick Thomas up at 5, so I could lie down. Bob said he was working until 5:30. I did something I normally don't do. Normally I am fully supportive of Bob and his work, because it is of utmost importance. This time I just started bawling when he told me he couldn't. I don't know where it came from.

I was an absolute wreck today.

Bob called back 15 minutes later and told me he'd go get Thomas and just go into work early tomorrow morning. With that great news, I wiped my tears and put on my jammies. Then I discovered that Aunt Flo had come to visit.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That big panic attack I had in Denver, where I ended up in the hospital overnight, had a couple similarities to today. One was lack of eating. I've read low blood sugar can bring a panic attack on. More importantly, I have learned that I am prone to panic attacks at the onset of my menstrual cycle.

I was really shocked by it, because I've been feeling a lot better. The recent contract on Dad's house had me a little emotional, but overall I've just been more myself lately. This panic attack this morning came from left field.

So, tomorrow I'll make an appointment with my doctor. It will be a good six weeks before I will be able to get in. I am going to keep a daily diary of my mood, physical symptoms, sleep cycles and period-related issues so I am fully prepared.

I hope that we can find some kind of relief. This was scary to me. I'm sure it scared Thomas a bit, but I tried not to let on other than I felt woozy.

We ended up not getting any school done today. However, Thomas has agreed to have a make-up day on Saturday, bless his heart. He did do biology with his Dad tonight, while I slept.

What a sucky day.


The Cooking Lady said...

Life is homeschooling, he learned a lesson in seeing how you handled your attack, so rest easy.

The diary is a 'grand' idea. It may determine what triggers your attacks, or at least point you in the general direction.

My sister recently had a panic attack that now has her in rehab(long story), but suffice it to say, if she had not had that panic attack she would not be on the road to recovery(different issue entirely)

Hope you get some answers.

Meg_L said...

You shouldn't feel bad about anything. You got off the road safely and figured out what to do and then didn't break down until you 'could'.

I agree with the cook, homeschooling is life and there is more to education then what comes in a book. Learning to deal with health issues is important.

Mama B said...


someone is going to search google one day after an awful difficult day like yours and end up here where they will find a bit of an answer and the comforting knowledge that they are not alone.

The diary is a great idea. I tracked my stuff back when I had out of control allergies making me think I had IBS or something. After a couple of weeks I knew what I needed to eat and when to avoid certain symptoms. While tedious it was very helpful to me and I still use that knowledge today.

Anonymous said...

Sending a hug...

the GA peach ;-)

Bonni said...

Frankie, thank you so much for sharing! I find that after I hit 30, strange things started happening to my emotions and moods - of course, if I think about it, it is usually connected in some way to my cycle. Please know that you're not alone. Thomas will be all the more sensitive and caring with the women in his life because of days like this.

Have a better weekend...