So I had a panic attack last summer.
Room spinning, hyperventilating, feeling like I was hot and cold, nauseous.
I took me a week to feel normal again.
My Dr. suggested I get on an anti-anxiety medicine.
I wanted to change my eating, sleeping, exercise habits first before committing to medication.
(I sheepishly felt like somewhere in the world, Tom Cruise was standing on a yellow sofa cheering me on...and that, oddly, was unsettling).
I went to a psychiatrist for a second opinion.
He asked how I had been feeling.
I told him I felt fine. Tired, but fine.
Oh, and I had kinda lost motivation for doing things.
And cleaning and cooking.
(But really, how far of a fall were the last two categories?)
And that I had spent a lot of the month of July just watching TV.
He asked if I thought I was depressed.
"Oh no, I actually was quite happy watching TV."
(Note to self: best not to kid around with newly met medical professional who is evaluating your mental state. Now I know.)
"No, I'm not depressed."
Then I had another small panic attack last winter.
In the spring, I started feeling very tired.
Like really tired.
And I started to feel restless.
I would sit down and feel like I needed to stand up and do something.
I would stand up and then feel so exhausted I needed to sit down.
(At least I was getting some exercise.)
I've had trouble being around loud music for years.
I started avoiding crowded areas.
(But really, who likes loud noises and crowds?)
In the Apple store (which has to exceed fire codes on most days by the sheer number of people packed into the place) my face started going numb.
"O.k, this is new.....Kids, I need to leave."
My 3 boys jumped up from the computer station and walked out of the store immediately.
I should have been impressed with their obedience and compassion.
However, it made me realize that maybe this kind of thing was happening more often than I thought and they recognized the signs of my anxiousness.
I was able to do school with the kids and get things done that I had to.
But all the other stuff, the 100 things a day that I needed to do but didn't have to do, started to slide.
For the past year, just opening my e-mail made me feel tired.
I resigned from being a Garden Girl at Two Peas in a Bucket.com, even though I love love loved designing for them, because it felt like a weight on my shoulders to always have something due. But mentally, I knew it wasn't un-doable or hard.
Everything started to fee like so much work to accomplish.
While diving Max to drum practice this spring, I had what would sound like a heart attack to most people.
Shooting left arm pain on top of aching pain, sharp pains across my chest, pressure on my chest, heart palpitations, nausea, and my face like it was going to sleep around my mouth.
(The mouth thing is important because that happens a lot during anxiety attacks.)
It is important to note that my heart is fine. For a 38 year old, I have had my heart checked a lot because I have mitrol valve prolapse.
So now I was having different kinds of panic / anxiety attacks.
When I mentioned to my husband that I hadn't read a Pride and Prejudice spin off book in weeks, he suggested I go back to the Dr. I think that was the clue something was really wrong.
Except for watching Murder, She Wrote episodes on instant Netflix, I really was loosing interest in things I had previously enjoyed. (What can I say, Jessica Fletcher soothes me.) It made me wonder - could I be drepressed even if I wasn't sad? Because I wasn't sad. I have a great life. I love it.
So I started on the lowest dose (10 mg) of Paxil 8 weeks ago.
I slept for the first 2 weeks.
It made me feel so tired that I didn't even drive anywhere.
Then the Dr. did some more lab work. My iron is crazy low.
So iron + Paxil and I am mildly tired all the time and mildly anxious
I will switch in 2 weeks to a different anti-anxiety medicine.
That is where I have been and what I did on my summer vacation.
It isn't horrible.
It is annoying.
But in the scope of things I could get - I would volunteer for this way before most other ailments.
If you have had any experience with anti-anxiety medicines or panic attacks or anything like that - I would like to hear about it. Wait. I mean, I'd like to hear ideas about what helped, etc. I'm not wishing that there are lots of people who have them or anything.
Thanks for all the e-mails:)