just chill.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's up ya'll? I'm in serious need of some advice. I just went back through my recent posts to link to when I first shared my recent health issues, but I can't find it. So apparently I never told you anyway. I'm shocked considering how on top of things I've been lately (no really, not at all). Alas, here it is.

About a month ago now I experienced a really weird sensation as I was literally sitting in a meeting at work. Weird head pains, cold spreading through my body, numbness and tingling... you know the usual. I left the meeting, called my mom & we went to acute care. They tested me for signs of a stroke, which were normal, obviously, and scheduled a CT scan. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, we had some bad experiences with acute care from the moment we walked in the door until a few days later when they had scheduled the wrong procedure for me. So, we decided that going to see a neurologist and getting testing done via them would be the best route. And we did, waited a couple weeks for the appointment, meanwhile these instances of sharp, stabbing pains continued many, many times a day. Met with the neurologist, talked him through the symptoms and an exam, then scheduled blood work, a brain MRI, and an echocardiogram (to rule out some pre-existing heart problems). And so a lovely Tuesday morning was spent hungry (because I had to fast), being admitted to the hospital, and having panic attacks in the MRI machine. Oh and then going to work for the afternoon... blech. But we made it through it (mostly with the help of that hot ham 'n cheese mom) and waited for the results......

Now we're up to last week, our follow-up appointment with the neurologist and test results. Brain MRI was normal. Echocardiagram was normal. WONDERFUL NEWS. Blood work had a couple of weird things that we will watch, but in general was good. Neurologist diagnoses me with a reallylongdoctorstermthaticantremember, lamens term: jabs & jolts syndrome (yep that's sure what it feels like). It is basically a form of migraine, unrelated to the regular ones that I get, that effects you everyday, several times a day, in the form of a jabbing, stabbing pain all over your head. Definitely bells ringing here. And so, he sent me off with a prescription and a follow-up appointment next week. I'm on day 4 of the medicine right now and still no change, and in fact some pretty bad pains at that. But I'm biding my time and crossing my fingers that it will begin to work.

However, all of this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ has not done wonders for my stress level/anxiety/panic attacks. These problems, combined with some scary new stuff at work, has led me to have TWO panic attacks so far this month. For someone who used to suffer from them regularly (this is scary stuff folks) and kicked them to the curb back in September, this is very frightening to me. I actually woke Brian up in the middle of the night earlier this week to make sure he knew how to give me CPR. Because I could. not. breathe.

And so. Here I am. Explaining all of this because yes, I want you to be aware, but because I need your help. I am a very high-strung person and I know this about myself, but I can't live like this anymore. The panic attacks have GOT TO GO and I would like to be more relaxed in general. I have really been working hard on this and the fact that it hasn't done me any good so far is so discouraging. I need some new ideas. I know a lot of people deal with this sort of thing and I would love some encouraging words, methods, ideas, thoughts that you have. I am going to try to incorporate some yoga and breathing strategies into my life and hoping that that will help, at the very least, in the midst of a panic attack to help me to breathe. But I would like to begin changing my lifestyle altogether to prevent all of this. But I am honestly at a loss. I research this all of the time and nothing that I can find seems to be working for me.

But as for right now. I am drained. And I am off to relax with a book and a candle and a cup of tea. Now if that doesn't sound relaxing I don't know what does.


Also, listen to this song.


Joi said...

I'm thinking of you, C. Having health scares is no fun and I hope you get some relief soon. I don't suffer from panic attacks, so I'm of no help, but you are in my thoughts.


nancykate said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. I know how scary the attacks can be. I've gotten a pretty good hold on them in the last few years with some of the techniques you've mentioned. Now, if it's creeping in - I recognize that it's happening, acknowledge to myself early on that I'm not, in fact, dying, just having a panic attack, and slow my breathing (sometimes I even induce a vagal reaction, like bearing down - it's the anti-sympathetic nervous system)... Yoga on a regular basis, even just once/week, is wonderful as well. I agree with you in terms of lifestyle changes - caffeine is a trigger for me, florescent lights, being over tired. Take care of yourself physically, put good things in your body, and work on getting to a better place in your mind through yoga, meditation, or prayer. It won't happen overnight, but you'll get through this.

Alice said...

I get panic attacks quite often. I get easily overwhelmed when one thing goes wrong and my mind just travels from one thing going wrong to end up believe that the whole world is out to get me. My method is trying to separate myself from the situation. An example was when i missed the bus to class. I just thought Darn it, Alice you always miss the bus why do you keep missing the bus? But I've learned to look at it as There I go again being angry about missing the bus. Recognizing the emotion before it overwhelms me is key to how I handle my stress.. Instead of just being in the emotion I notice it and recognize that it is just an emotion and that it's only temporary. Recently, my boyfriend has been helping me a lot. I misplaced a mug once and it was the last straw for the bad day. And he helped me calm down by saying "it's just a mug." "When you pass away all the mugs you own will be gone" Another method I'm practicing on is self-enlightenment books particularly Buddhism. Just seeing how monks think and feel help me feel more zen and less stressed overall. I hope these help and I hope they made sense. I'm in a rush this afternoon but I saw your post and I wanted to give you my two cent. Hope all is better