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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Laziness, Anxiety, and My Neglected Blog

So I'm sitting here at my computer tonight and came over to my blog. I am so sorry I have been neglecting this blog for so long. I am making a personal challenge to myself to keep it up. Life has been so hectic. I do plan to post more on my blog and keep up with it.

Let me start by telling you guys about a personal journey that I've been through over the past year. Last year in January, I was diagnosed with Panic and Anxiety Disorder. Actually writing it out is an embarrassment to me; however, I was told by one of my greatest friends Natasha Neagle that blogging about it may help. So here goes.

My anxiety started with a single panic attack that was so horribly bad, I felt like I was dying. I remember telling my husband, I think you should call the ambulance, I'm having a heart attack. Needless to say, he recognized the symptoms as panic and help to calm me down. That single panic attack that night left me feeling totally drained over the next few days. I felt as though I was walking around with a horrible hangover. It made me very afraid that something was physically wrong with me as I had never felt that before.

I visited my doctor who did numerous tests to find out if there was a physical problem. It turned out that I was healthy. I remember the words "I think it's all in your head. I will refer you to another doctor who can help treat panic disorder." I WAS IN SHOCK! What? Why me? I have nothing to panic over I kept thinking. In between the first attack and subsequent others, going through medical tests with no result of illness threw me over the edge. I became agoraphobic...not wanting to leave my house, had anticipatory panic (which is the supreme fear of having another attack) and felt like my insides constantly wanted to jump out of my body for weeks. It was not a great feeling.

I remember sitting on my bed one morning with my husband looking on helpless and realized that this was "REAL". What I was feeling needed to be treated. I took my original doctor's advice after 3 weeks and saw another doctor who has been treating me for anxiety and panic disorder. I have good spurts and bad spurts. I have just recently come out of a bad spurt about a month ago.

For me it is so debilitating. After 3 panic attacks in one day, I feel as if I cannot function for a week or two; however, I have to keep going. I have to go to work, I have to take care of my daughter and my husband, and life goes on.

I understand that this is totally unbeauty related (if there is such a word), but I thought keeping track of it here, and opening up this personal side of me may help my anxiety levels. Just know that letting you guys know this is a huge step for me. It is something I have been thinking about a lot because to let you know this, lets you into a personal piece of my life. It opens up a side of me that you may not have known existed. For me it is a crutch, and I really need to get out of that way of thinking. So there you have it.

I'm wondering if any of you have ever had a panic attack...
How did you feel?
What brought it on?
Do you still have them?
Do you have any advice for others who go through this?
How do you feel about knowing I have horrible anxiety...does it not phase you at all?
Let me know


Anonymous said...

I have never had them, but my mom has. She was diagnosed when I was 14 with a rapid heart beat, believed to have been brought on by panic attacks.

Life is very stressful and our bodies handle it differently. I am here for you to help you on this journey - let it out here! I am here for you as are those that really love you.

Congrats on making that first step!

I ♥ you!

Sock Knitter said...

Oh, hon! I can so relate!!! PLEASE do not allow it to take you over...That is what I did and I have been a prisoner to it for the past 15 years....Have not gone out of the house in that long, and at the beginning even the doctor had to come to ME because I would not even go there! That was at a time when I was having about 100 panic attacks a day - I don't know how I survived it because now one does me in for WEEKS!

GOOD FOR YOU for fighting back!!!! Hang in there and please know you're not alone!!

Shaynna2787 said...

Honey I am so proud of you for letting it all out like this. You are so strong and I know you will end up being alright. I love you so much, Toni!

I've never had a panic attack but I do get horribly stressed at times. To the point I just can't do a god damn thing but run into a bathroom and cry. I kinda know how you feel. Just know that I am here for you. Any time you want to call me just do it. I love you!


Teresa said...

Hi I am Nat's mom.I love my child but she doesn't know everything about my health- she needs to ask me sometime about how I am feeling.

The hospital, probably 15 or so years ago, thought I had panic attacks. I would be in the car, and my heart would begin to pound and I thought I was going to pass out. I had to stop the car and just sit there trying to slow down my heart.

I was admitted to Southside Comm hospital in Farmville, VA and they couldn't get my heart rate down with out meds.

Then, I wore a heart monitor 10 years ago when I was first hired in Henrico. I am sure Tasha (Nat) forgot all about that). The monitor recorded an incident that gave me the tachycardia diagnosis continuation of heart rate meds.

Five years ago, my heart rate went down too low so I was taken off the heart rate meds.

Lastly, 2 years ago, my kidney specialist insisted I go back on heart meds since my heart rate was going too fast all the time. The meds has been increase about six months ago since my heart rate was still going too fast. I have had tests run, and physically I am ok, except for the too fast heart rate- so I have to take medication.

Toni, I really understand the feelings of frustration you have and as a Christian I will add you to my "need healing" prayer list. Otherwise, you have done the right thing by recognizing you have a problem and then doing something about it.

God Bless you. You are a lovely girl.
Teresa, Nat's mom

Natalie said...

<3 My heart goes out to you Toni. I've always thought of you as someone who is strong and believes in herself. That is what you must remember as you go through this; believe in yourself and know that you are stronger than any disorder or debilitating factor in your life.

I fully support you updating us on such a personal issue. It must be really hard for you to put this out there and I have to say I really look up to those women who are older and wiser than I am who do what is right for themselves and don't let what other people think bother them. <3

Keep us updated you have so many people who love you and look up to you and just want to help!

(: -Natalie (NatalieBeeDreaming)

Morganaa said...

I was wondering why I wouldn't see you again on blog or youtube. I did have panic attack (still have sometimes) about the idea of going to my University, see people (agoraphobic all the same) that leads me to miss a lot of classes but I'm thankful That I'm really smart, so I could keep up XD I didn't find some miracle cure, just trying to put yourself through it, by thinking after all it's not a big deal, you can do it. Sometimes it's enough, sometimes not but I'm trying my best to free me from this fear

Elizabeth Aldinger said...

I just discovered your blog! Where have I been? lol

I was on meds for a few months for panic attacks/anxiety disorder but stopped taking them when I got pregnant (back in feb 2006).

When I would have one, I would feel extremely nervous/anxious and sometimes sick in the stomach. My heart would race and my hands, feet and even my nose/cheeks would go numb.

I don't get them much anymore (maybe once a month) but I tend to avoid things that used to cause them. For instance, I always tend to have one in restaurants, so I now avoid eating out or get something like Chinese or Pizza so I can bring it home.

If you ever need to talk, you have my number : )

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ana said...

You can get it all out here. We're all here to make you feel better.

marie.tieu said...

I never had a panic attack but i do feel like my heart is racing at certain situations and i get sweaty. The only thing i can say is to breathe, listen to your breathing, focus and tell yourself in your mind to be controlled, and try to keep it consistent. i am not a judgemental person at all. i'm actually a very caring and understanding person so when i read this it was ok to me.

Beatriz said...

my brother suffers from panic attacks. there are alot of programs/accommodations that can be made. for example, when he was going for his license he was really nervous about being in a room full of strangers and my mom talked to the teacher - he was able to come during the day and be the only student and he got his license in 2 weeks!

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