Hi all. Let me just say I'm thinking of writing this from the angle of someone reading it, so if anyone finds comfort from this and or it helps, that's great. If not, sorry
Apologies in advance for any woeful spelling or grammar.. Not to mention the endlessness of it all
Right, let me just start in saying I've been suffering with anxiety from around the age of 12 in varying degrees. I remember my first panic attack like it was yesterday (hehe). I woke up in the night thinking something was terribly wrong with my neck and what followed was a night filled with panic and madness. If you, like me, remember your first panic attack then I shall call you a Veteran, pat yourself on the back
In 2010 I got D/X with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) following some rogue virus, the rogue virus in question had me hospitalized (segregated) but it was like a pleasant holiday for me as I got some nice X-rays, blood tests, attention from multiple doctors which was fantastic. Sadly after 2 days I got sent home. I remember leaving I was SOO dizzy, wobbly and scared. I said to the Doctor "why am I being sent home, I've just topped up my internet allowance for the night?!". Not really, I asked "Why am I being sent home, I'm dizzy, in pain etc". The reply was simply, "you're fine, go home and rest". Which I did. In fact the next day I entered a Go-Kart race, don't know why, maybe self rebellion, got told I wasn't allowed to drive
. Anyway lets remember what the doctor said to me, as I was fine, in a month or so. The Go-karting put me back at least a week but it was exciting
Moving forward to this year, I was working, dealing with my paniciness in the only way I knew how and that was to ignore it, push through it, pretend it wasn't there and generally come home at night feeling so tired and so bad that all I could do was sit on the sofa, crawl into bed and pray tomorrow was going to be a 'good day'. Well, generally speaking it wasn't. It was horrible but I didn't moan, only to my doctor, every week, on my day off (Monday). This is no way to live.
Fast forwarding to around a month ago, I got ill very quickly. I remember being at work and I was so lightheaded I could of cried and trust me I don't cry, I'm a man. (The only time I've cried was in 2002 when my mother passed. Now this isn't exactly true but you get the point.) I was in pain, pain I've not felt before, it was springing up all over, different places, I was cold, mainly in the hands and feet, I had a headache. I told work I had to go, I don't feel right. Unfortunately I had a 1 hour+ drive home so I sat there shaking, struggling to eat my lunch in the car, basically choking until I was so frightened I started the car, engaged 'this is a company car, fu*king get me home mode' and raced off. Around 10miles into the drive (in which id performed more overtakes than most racing car drivers experience in their careers and equally not changing gear unless the rev needle was firmly into the red) I hit traffic. At that moment I was prepared to get out the car, accept my fate while calling the Ambulance but I couldn't do that, the ambulance would take me to hospital back where I came from, 10miles back down the road, then id still be 1 hours drive away from my family..
I decided to call a friend, a friend who also suffers from anxiety and in essence what followed was around an hours worth of him telling me "you're alright, its just panic". It did give me some minor comfort but it didn't really help, I was certain I was dieing. I remember my leg shaking so violently on the clutch pedal it must have looked like I was a wannabe gangster bouncing his way through the traffic. I was searching for alternative routes but none were available, I was in this small 'twined with Germany' village in the back end of no where, I could do nothing but talk constantly with my good friend. Amazingly I made it through the traffic, simultaneously dumping the clutch pedal and my telephone conversation, you've never heard a 1.4Ltr Diesel car go so hard in your life, I was a man on a mission, that is until I got three quarters of the way home, I was now calm, the weight had been lifted and I was driving like a sane person. I felt numb but I was fine with that.
I arrived back at base (work, closest to home office) some 20minutes later and I sat in the car park calming eating my lunch pondering what had just happened. I must have sat there for 20mins until I saw my manager pulling into the car-park. So I pretended id just arrived and ended up working a further 3 hours in perfect happiness. Although that was weird right, I didn't understand what was happening, Ive not had it like this before and I sure didn't like it. Anyway this was a Friday and upon the arrival of Monday, after a relatively normal weekend, I was faced with work. I couldn't do it, couldn't face it! So I did what any self respecting man would do, I text my boss explaining that I was ill and couldn't get in. I know its impersonal but don't worry I E-mailed him too
. Just like that it all came back I was: Lightheaded, dizzy, in much pain in various
locations, I couldn't see right and much more.
Two weeks passed feeling like this when I accepted my illness wasn't going and resigned my job (via email of course). Well lets fast forward to now (3 weeks further down the road) and lets put this into perspective. I've had 5 ambulance visits, 3 trips to A/E, a doctors visit almost every day in which I would run in, sit there shaking, then run out hoping I made it home before passing out. I also had 1 black poo
. Sometimes I would even ask for the doctor to phone me on the same day so I could tell him how I really felt, in the comfort of my own home. This didn't change the prognosis, they still blamed panic and quite frankly I was livid almost every time. Like a teenager driving down the road with 8 lads in the car, smoke pouring out the windows, wondering WHY the police always pick on them!? I couldn't understand why they treat seemingly terminal patents in this way. I have had though, at least 5 ECG's, 5 lots of blood tests, testing almost everything and every time they come back perfectly normal.
Today was interesting, I decided not to visit the doctor and by Christ it was hard but I made it though the day with relative normality. In fact I lied, I have had terrible abdominal pains all day, I managed to convince myself it was an aortic aneurism or AAA. Not good I know, what I decided in the end was to visit an 'out of hours doctor'. They don't know me, they have no records, they will evaluate me like a 'normal' person. So I arrived there on time, ended up having to wait around an hour while my patients was tried by everything from man moaning about
is "swollen" leg, to a baby screaming in apparent pain. I'm not heartless, I have a daughter, it just hurt my head. Bless it.
Finally after a GOOD hour of waiting, he called my name, this shining beacon of UN-biased wonderment. I walked into his room like a man on a mission, like I would finally be treated normally, i was happy. upon taking a seat in his office, he asked... "So, how can I help" .... To which I replied ... "I have severe central abdominal pain" ... there was a brief pause
The answer took me by surprise... He said " you suffer with anxiety don't you!?"
well I do, but I was in a Zen like state of calm, he didn't know me and boom, hes now sounding just like my regular Doctor. I could do nothing but joke, so I said "Google says I've got a aortic aneurism" (more cheese than the whole of France, I know). I can only assume after that, that he started speaking Greek as he reeled of many "possibilities". Naturally, I got my check up, I was fine, not having what I was fearing all day. I still had the pain but I was calm, still 'Zen like'. I drove home in the continued Zen like state and it certainly has made me think.
So now I'm working hard to get well, you never know, it might
be 'terminal' but lets assume not and work towards getting normal. Perfect is unachievable. Normal for me, will do just fine.
If you've made it this far, I apologize for my seemingly pointless ramblings but I thought that if I lay everything down on the line, people may be able to draw some similarities and feel better.
Take care all.
Post Edited (Panic'in) : 5/12/2014 4:20:19 PM (GMT-6)