Thursday, August 21, 2008

High Anxiety

I had a panic attack today.

The last time I suffered a panic attack was about two years ago in an indoor miniature golf course lit by black lights. I was with W and N at the time. I felt it coming and told W about it. He distracted N so that N never knew, and I managed to hold it together well enough to finish the game and get out of there.

Today was different. I didn't hold it together -- at all.

The day started fine. I had taken the day off from work as W is gone today and tomorrow. N and I slept in. He came and woke me around 9:00, but we laid around watching Ellen, a rerun from Presidents' Day, until almost 10:00 when I finally got up, showered, got dressed, and went downstairs. I did some chores that needed doing. By noon I was ready to go out and get some errands accomplished. I wasn't feeling well; I had a killer headache plus my leg was swollen and sore making me wonder if it was infected again. However, I thought that getting some lunch would help me. I took N with me, and we set out. So far so good. . .

We went to a local restaurant for lunch, a little mom and pop place with old style menus and old style home cooking. We ordered drinks -- coffee for me and orange drink for N. When the waitress brought the drinks we ordered lunch. My head was pounding. I drank the coffee in hopes it would help. My head hurt so bad it was making me nauseous. I felt like throwing up. My salad arrived. I felt myself breaking into a cold sweat. I felt a lot like I felt prior to passing out a few weeks back. I felt myself getting close to throwing up so I excused myself to the ladies room. I puked in the toilet, not a lot because my stomach was basically empty except for the coffee I had just drunk. I returned to our booth and sat down. I tried to calm myself. I tried to be rational. I couldn't. I was in a full blown panic attack. I could see N was concerned about me so I tried to be strong for him, but I was losing it. When the waitress brought our food I asked her to box it up to go as I wasn't feeling well. She was wonderful, brought the boxes, boxed up the food for us and even had the cashier come over and take the check up for me. The waitress said to me that she used to have panic attacks (so I guess she recognized it in me because I hadn't said anything other than not feeling well) and understood how debilitating they can be. She asked if we lived close and if I thought I'd be okay to get home. I told her we did and I was.

As we left the restaurant I burst into tears, sobbing with ragged breaths. I called W to see if he had left town yet. I wanted him to care for N if he could. He'd already left town so I had no choice but to take N home with me. I drove home, repeating over and over "It's all going to be okay" for N, but really for me. When we got home N took the food inside, put mine in the fridge and ate some of his. I took some Advil for the headache and laid down to take a nap. I called BJ in spite of knowing I couldn't reach him, but at least I could leave him a voicemail. I wished for all the world that he could come and take care of me, but I knew he couldn't. I was convinced I'd never make it through the afternoon.

I took a long nap, and when I woke up I felt fine. No headache, no anxiety, no nausea. It was like it had never happened. Except that it had, and now I was scared it would happen again. I was afraid to leave the house so I took N out for dinner. I had to. I had to prove to myself that I could go out in the world without having another panic attack. The great thing is, I did it! I went out and everything was fine, not even a hint of a panic attack.

So now I'm taking N to my parents' house tomorrow. I feel the need to be somewhere safe, and we were planning on heading down to a baseball game there on Sunday anyway. I just want my mommy and daddy to take care of me for a couple of days. I want N to be somewhere safe, where people will be there to take care of him even if I go round the bend.


Sailor said...

I'm glad you got N home, and think it's great to be able to go to your parent's place. What a wonderful thing, to have a safe haven, with people you trust to care for N just in case.

But, even better, is your getting past it so quickly, and being able to get out again right away is tremendous.

Those attacks can be so horribly debilitating, I'm impressed with your handling of it.

Desmond Jones said...

I had a couple panic attacks associated with my 'depressive' episode of a couple weeks ago - just like all hell was about to break loose. Like you, I just had to 'talk myself down'. . . Weird to be feeling that way, and telling myself, 'it's just a panic attack; it's not real; it's gonna pass; it's gonna be OK. . .'

Pretty bizarre. . .

Glad you got past it; good for you. . .

Bunny said...

I'm so sorry you went through this. I gotta say - I think I love that waitress. What a darling person, to recognize what was happening and be so good to you. I'm glad you got through it and that N is okay.

I hope being "home" will help and that panic attacks will become a thing of your past.

Hugs, hon.

Stinkypaw said...

Strange... glad you managed and that N was fine.

Take care of yourself.

Fusion said...

Never expeirenced one, or know anyone that has, but I'm glad you weathered the storm TS, and hope your time at mom and dads is just what you need.

Take care!


Val said...

I've had [fortunately only] a couple of panic attacks; geez they are HORRIBLE aren't they?!?
Breathe deeply & do what you need to do to take care of yourself...

Trueself said...

Sailor - Safe haven is a good description of how I felt about going to my parents' for the weekend. It felt safe to be there, and somehow it helped me get back my bearings.

Des - Very bizarre, isn't it? Hard I think for anyone to really understand who hasn't been there, done that. Sorry to hear that you too suffer occasionally with them.

Bunny - I love that waitress too! She was a Godsend.

SP - Thanks for your concern.

Fuse - What I'm going through is nothing compared to what you are dealing with. Hang in there my friend.

Val - Truly and utterly horrible.

freebird said...

This sounds awful TS, I hope you're feeling better now.

Trueself said...

FB - Yes, it was awful, but I am doing much better now.