Friday, 04 February 2005
Posted by: als7130 on Friday, February 04, 2005
I was 29 when I had my first and only child. She was born in October a totally beautiful and healthy baby. We started construction on our new home in November and were scheduled to move in Feburary. I should have been on top of the world. A beautiful new baby and new house. However, the night before we moved, I had my first panic attack. I was lying in bed and all of a sudden, for no reason what so ever, my heart started jumping out of my chest. I was trembling uncontrollably and could feel my pulse actually below my sternum where my aorta would be and I thought, "I'd better get to the emergency room, NOW." I thought I was having a heart attack or an aortic anurism. After a full night in the ER and every test imaginable, they determined there was NOTHING wrong with me.
Ok, so I was just having a little stress. Nothing I couldn't deal with. I was fine for a few months until my world came crashing down again. The second one hit one morning. My husband was out of town and my baby was sleeping at my mothers so I could get up and go to work for a few hours. That morning, I woke up about 15 minutes late. I was rushing to get ready and it started. This time it was different. I had never felt anything like it. My head was swimming with dizziness and my heart was beating about 180 beats per minute. I had numbness and pin and needles in my hands and arms. I felt like I was going insane. I was shaking with fear. As I laid on the floor I remember praying to God to just take me and get it over with. There was no doubt I was dying this time! They were wrong at the ER. I definitely had heart problems or cancer or something else they missed! There was no way any healthy person could feel like this!!!
I laid there for about 2 hours before I found the strength to make a phone call to my mother who rushed over.I finally calmed down and saw my doctor the next day. More test for thyroid conditions, etc.. and a full physical. Again, totally healthy. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorter and Panic Attacks. It was a hard thing to accept that this condition was all in my mind but it was causing REAL LIFE PHYSICAL symptoms. My doctor put me on Celexa and Klonopin to control the attacks. I have to say that the medication took a full month before it kicked in, but it did help me.
This was 5 years ago this month. I still live with my PA's. I can be fine for a while, then "bam" they start again. They are much more controlled now, but every once in a while I'll have a bad one. The difference now is I know what they are, and realize that they can be controlled. It takes A LOT of understanding of the problem. I read everything I can about them. I realize that there are others like me who have the same problems. I am taking a proactive positive step to being a survivor. When I start having them, I have to remember to change my thought pattern and not dwell on when the next one might strike. That is when you lose control of your life!!
As I grow with this disease, I become more aware of how to deal with it. Hopefully someday, they will stop altogether. Until then, to quote the movie Finding Nemo, I will "just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.....