Panic Attacks and Uses for an Old Rope

March 20, 2017

Sunday was my only day that I didn't have to work last week.  I ordered my groceries ahead just so I could soak up as much relaxation as I could.  I ate a nice salad once I got home and then 30 minutes later, that pain in my gut started, and the dizziness.  Geezy Creezy, a panic attack?  Really?  I take a Xanax, and start my breathing exercises...what set this off?  Breathe in through the nose, for a count of five, hold for a count of five out loud, and breathe out through the mouth...I repeat this, first standing then bent over the couch, then I feel myself slowly go to my knees all the while trying not to panic and burying my face in my arms as the pain continues to tighten in my rib cage as my diaphragm has what I can only describe as a charlie horse.  I walk slowly to the bathroom, increasingly aware that if I don't get down low I may pass out and find myself grateful to be hugging the toilet bowl and now puking my guts out because m diaphragm won't stop constricting.  Once I've vomited anything and everything in my stomach, I'm still dizzy and now wondering if I'm having a heart attack so I get the big idea to take my blood pressure.  I try sitting on the edge of the bed but slowly slide down to the floor where I wrestle with the arm band and hear the machine as it starts to fill up with air and I close my eyes to wait for it to finish and then...I find myself waking up on the floor completely unaware of where I am, what just happened and even what day of the week it is.  Where is Tommy?  What just happened?  I crawl to the living room, as walking is not an option right now and call my husband at work and plead with his voicemail to come home.  Now the cold sweat starts...will this end?  Am I dying?  And then, 30 minutes after it started, its gone.  The pain, the inability to catch my breath,  the dizziness is now replaced by extreme exhaustion and thirst.  

This was a panic attack.  I wasn't pussing out of something I needed to do, my body just decided that then was a good time to have one after holding things in all week.  They are frightening, but even more so is that they don't usually travel alone.  Another one is going to rear its ugly head soon, so the trick is being in a safe place when that happens.  God please don't let this happen to me at the grocery store.

May 29, 2019

These "panic attacks" were something I'd become used to. I know now that I wasn't haven't a panic attack. It's possible that some stress presented itself, but the passing out and puking was a gallbladder attack. I ended up having them for about 11 years until the last one got so bad I knew it had to be more than just anxiety. They say depression hurts, so I assumed that all my physical symptoms were side effects of my anxiety. What caused the above attack was the salad I mentioned eating prior to it. It was probably the feta. Oy vey.

I've gone so long thinking my physical pain was a part of my anxiety that I'm sort of now in a place where my anxiety doesn't have a fail switch anymore. Now that my gallbladder is gone, my anxiety just keeps spiraling faster, and gets more intense. I almost wish I had my gallbladder back to put me in the corner when I'm freaking out. Now I'm just left with a strange grief. I don't know who I am. I am biologically different than I was. I'm missing a part of me that I really didn't need, but that when I was about to blow up, it shut me up. It made me forget what was bothering me. It rebooted my emotions. Now I'm stuck with them.

I wish someone with gallbladder issues had read this before I added this part. Maybe they could have given me a clue. People can't believe that I didn't figure out I had a gallbladder issue. All I could report was what an ER doctor, a doctor's care doctor, and three primary care doctors told me it was and their suggested treatment: take your Xanax and try to relax.

I wouldn't wish the pain I experienced from my gallbladder attacks on anyone. I know now that I should have spoken up for myself. I shouldn't have been hurting like that. Emotional issues don't hurt like someone is stabbing you in the gut. If your doctor has been waving you off and telling you that you are just stressed out but you are waking up at night with acid reflux or battling heartburn all the time, or have pain in your right side that makes you throw up, or even pass out, have them check your gallbladder. MAKE THEM PUSH ON YOUR ABDOMEN. I shouldn't have accepted my pain as all in my head.



P.S. Old rope makes good zombie hair for zombie dolls.



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