Giant step coming up today - can't avoid it

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percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/11/2008 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
All,
 
Baby steps are best, but I have a giant step coming up today and tomorrow that I can't avoid.  I have to go to a business conference this weekend, and there are two small presentations that I have to make.
 
In the past, I've had trouble with my anxiety when I travel.  Mine centers around health: some shortness of breath and a sense of throat closing up leave me feeling that I'm going to suffocate and die.  All kinds of trips to doctors, including specialists, have turned up only acid reflux, which fits the situation very well.  Nothing else bad is going on with my body, just that.  In fact, after my diagnosis a week  (that short a time?) ago, I've already returned to my ENT for reassurance that nothing is going on that can kill me.  A visit to a pulmonologist on Wednesday will likely have the same result: he saw nothing to worry about, but I still have questions -- or rather, I still need to hear him say certain things a second time so that I can try to make them stick.
 
So anyhow, I am very nervous about this conference.  What if I have an attack before one of my presentations?  I've planned it all through, and somebody could cover for me if needed, plus I think I'll be within walking distance of a hospital, but I'm still scared.  I'm scared of the physical sensation of not being able to breathe, I'm scared of the anxiety that I have to fight, I'm scared of being embarrassed in front of colleagues.
 
In the past, ativan has helped some, but during the past 2-3 weeks, I've gotten very bad rebound anxiety after taking it.  So I don't really want to take some today, only to have Sunday or Monday become intolerable in the exchange.
 
I guess I just need some moral support, a reminder that my doctors are now sure there's nothing life-threatening going on with my body, and that the anxiety itself can't hurt me either.
 
HELP!
 
percycat

wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 4/11/2008 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Percycat,
 
I think all of the feelings you are having right now are valid and I'm happy that you are making sure that there is nothing wrong with you physically, aside from the acid reflux.  Although the reflux can make you feel like you can't breathe and are going to die, it won't happen (I've had it for years and have felt the same way, but I've never stopped breathing). 
 
It sounds like you have thought this all out in regards to your trip and presentations.  I think you are going to do great with this and although it's a test for you, I really do believe that you will get through this and do a good job at it.  Do you have time to see your doc before your trip and maybe try another anti-anxiety med?  Maybe it will work better for you without the rebound effect.  Please let us know how the conference and presentations go and remember that the reflux is NOT going to cause you to stop breathing.
 
Take care,
Wen

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

Every little bit helps, please donate to HW if you can!   http://www.healingwell.com/donate 

I am in no way a medical professional, any advice given is purely on an amateur level.

Please seek professional advice from your doctor.

Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea

Rx: Abilify, Flexeril, Lamictal, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin LA, Rozerem, Valium

“People have two ears and one mouth for a reason; you need to listen twice as much as you talk.”

Top Fuel pro - Bob Vandergriff, Jr


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/11/2008 6:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Wen,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm hitting the road right now, but your reply has helped. Besides, if you can be strong enough to go to Walmart and peacesoul can be strong enough to go to work, I can be strong enough to go to my meeting.

percycat

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/11/2008 7:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Percycat
Cait had rebound effect also from ativan she is now taking another med
Maybe you should talk to doc this med has got a rep for this very prob
YOU will make it you just have to kep in mind we are here and rooting for you we know that you have the courage in ya and the family here is praying for you
Cannot wait till you get back and let us know

I am on my way to quitting smoking after 40 yrs ......so now if I can do that my friend you got this wrapped ...........and the plus side is I am not even grumpy ......lol
Wishing you all the best..........
LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
 
   
 
                   
 


badgenetics1
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 4/11/2008 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Percycat,

about 25% of my job is presentations. In the past I would sweat and shake and feel like I was going to faint. Several times I have taken Klonopin before a presentation and it was very helpful. Its weird because I would not be particularly worried prior to it, I thought I was prepared. But as soon as I started talking I had all these physical problems. So, if you need to take a pill just to get through it, it may help you in the long run.

Good luck!

K

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/11/2008 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   

percycat,

Good Morning my friend and I know your feeling well.  I called it plain old stagefright for years but together with my therapist I have learn that I have anticipatory anxiety and it is shared by millions of people so your not alone.  You belong to a great group of members who have this very problem.

Anticipatory anxiety is the anxiety one feels before a performance, a speech, or some other task that is to be undertaken. Some also call this performance anxiety although this term is usually reserved for the anxiety felt "during" the task in question.

Some medication such as beta blockers can be used to reduce the adrenalin and stop shaking and the physical symptoms of nervousness. I know physicians that use Inderal before giving a presentation. 

SSRIs and Tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax do not really change how you think, although they may be useful to some extent. These are future ideas to discuss with your PCP. 

The best therapy is experiencing anticipation and realizing it doesn't come to anything, then it will decrease.  Just keep telling yourself you are OK, you will be fine. 
 
I always ask myself, what is the worse that could happen...............and then remember by this time tommorow this task will be history. 
 
I believe in you.  Do you use a podium, I love to hide behind podiums. If the audience can't see me, they won't see how anxious I feel..............now how great of sense does that make?
 
 
Sending good vibes your way.
Kitt
 



 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/11/2008 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
THis si all great advice and input

Lil sis ..you hiding behind a podium I cannot visualize..........

Luvs to all
Big sis
Lyn
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
 
   
 
                   
 


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/11/2008 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear friends,

 

Well, I've made it through Day One.  The presentations went fine, but it's now evening, and I'm exhausted and feeling a bit on the edge of an anxiety attack.  I worry that my body won't function correctly, that I won't be able to breathe, and that's terrifying.  It's become hard for me to go to a strange place if I don't know where the nearest hospital is, in case I think I need emergency help.

 

Thanks for all ofyour encouragements and good thoughts.  I actually don't get nervous about being in front of people.  My fears are all health anxiety related.  I've had so many times during the past three years when I've felt I couldn't breathe, and even though we now know that it's caused by acid reflux, not some failing of my lungs or throat, I'm still terrified that it will happen again - and be worse, or kill me.

 

Right now my throat is a little tight, and I am scared.  I know my doctors have been very clear that nothing is wrong with me that can truly hurt me, but three years of uncertainty and dashes to the ER are very hard to erase.  I'm sure the intensity of my conference and the fact that I'm tired right now are contributing.  I'm also sure Wen and others with reflux would remind me that stress/anxiety contributes to that flaring up more and therefore causing more symptoms.

 

It's just so tiring being scared, being always on the alert to whether my body is having a serious problem or not.  I haven't taken any anti-anxiety meds today (I only take them as needed anyway), but maybe it would be wise to take something tonight, so that I don't have to keep fighting at this same level all day tomorrow.

 

I'm going to catch up on the day's postings now.  I do hope you all have been having a good day.

 

percycat


nyliz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 4/11/2008 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Percycat,

Have you ever heard of a book called "It's Not All in Your Head, How Health Anxiety Can Be Making You Sick". If you haven't checked in out, I recommend that you do. It's excellent. I read it and keep it close by in case I need to remind myself that I am able to create all my symptoms through fear and stress. I think that health anxiety and anticipatory anxiety go hand in hand. The fear of something that's killing us, and the anticipation of what will happen when we are delivered this news"

Or maybe that's just me, ha ha ha. Good luck to you - I'll be sending peaceful thoughts your way :)

Liz

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 4/11/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   

PercyCat, wow..you are doing it tough this weekend.  I think you are amazing for having such insight into what is going to help/harm you..

Maybe ativan isn't the right med, but for now that's not the issue..Can you check in the phonebook wher the nearest hospital is?? just for reassurance...(I do that when I travel)

As Nyliz pointed out, anticipatory anxiety is the pits, you will probably be amazed at the end of this how you managed to stay in the momenet and deal with the anxiety..but for sure it doesn't help now.  I wish you all the very best of luck percy and I hope all goes well. Please, please let us know how you go

 


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/12/2008 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone,
 
Well, I survived.  Today wasn't so tough as yesterday, but I did give in and take an Ativan at around 9:30 this morning.  Unfortunately, that made me so groggy that I blew off the next hour and a half of meetings to nap.  I felt better after that though.
 
The health anxiety is such a drain on my energies, though.  I felt like I wanted to go to bed as soon as things wrapped up this afternoon.  I don't seem to have the same energy I did before this latest bout with anxiety hit, and that's odd, because usually my anxiety makes me frenetic rather than tired.  And of course, my health anxious brain takes that as a sign that there's something else wrong with me, rather than -- more sensibly -- as a sign that I have been awfullly anxious for 3-4 weeks straight recently.  Physical exhaustion's not surprising under those conditions, but I can't seem to accept that that's all it is.
 
Anyhow, tiredness is making me ramble.
 
Thank you all SO MUCH for the good wishes and advice and support this week.  It definitely helped.  You all are great!
 
percycat

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 4/12/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Percy cat...you are making me cry .. you have worked and tried and been the very best that you can be (and I personally think you rock!!)
 
What a trying time, and you made it through, big yips and yaps to you!!! Maybe ativan is not for you (sure it put me into sleep land every time) but you have done soooo well.  You deserve a big backslap of happy...come check out our poker game and join in the fun!! Hugs to you percy xx
Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/12/2008 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   

Percy Cat, You deserve a standing ovation..................cheers to you.  I have the Gerd too and I will wake up out of a sound sleep choking on regurge,  Scres me to death but I know what it is so I try to sleep on 2 pillows.  I also try to avoid acidic foods within so many hours of bedtime.

You have so much to be proud of and sweety, don't worry about where the ER is, call a cab or if you feel your in dire straights call the O on the hotel phone.

Or come here and write it down. 

As far as the Ativan, 1/2 your dose and if you need to rest, give yourself permission too.  I do all the time........hey I am worth a good nap.

You are awesome.........keep it up and hugs to you.  :)

Kitt


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 4/13/2008 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Percycat,
 
You are doing wonderful!!  You haven't let the anxiety beast beat you and that's great.  I would definitely talk to your doc about maybe changing the dose of the Ativan or maybe trying a different med altogether. 
 
Congrats on doing such a great job!
 
Take care,
Wen

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

Every little bit helps, please donate to HW if you can!   http://www.healingwell.com/donate 

I am in no way a medical professional, any advice given is purely on an amateur level.

Please seek professional advice from your doctor.

Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea

Rx: Abilify, Flexeril, Lamictal, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin LA, Rozerem, Valium

“People have two ears and one mouth for a reason; you need to listen twice as much as you talk.”

Top Fuel pro - Bob Vandergriff, Jr

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