By now readers you are aware that I have an issue with anxiety and the occasional panic attacks, which sometimes come out of the blue and knock me for 6! I’ve been having a few worries of late which has been playing on my mind, a good friend has an illness that’s on-going, and my car has been playing up to the extreme, so my mind has been buzzing with all of this crap for quite a while.
A few days ago. I developed painful neck tension which was going up to my head and giving me aches galore. I kind of deep down knew it was tension because of the way it feels and I’d had it before. So the pain starts running down my left arm (alarm bells start ringing!), and my back starts to ache too. So, me being me, which is about as daft as a brush, begins putting all these symptoms together (health anxiety sufferers do this), and I convinced myself that I was having a heart attack.
So I jump out of bed at 11.45 pm and get into my car to take myself down to the A&E. I enter the building shaking like a leaf, crying like a baby and feeling scared to death. I was having a panic attack and they’re absolutely horrid. I can’t describe how they begin, but it’s just an overwhelming fear of being totally out of control, so you feel the safest place to be is with the ones in the know. It also doesn’t help if you are alone, which I was.
Anyway, the staff at the hospital were fantastic as always, (this same thing had happened 3 years ago), and I apologised profusely for wasting their time, nevertheless, they were understanding and saw that my anxiety and panic is a real thing that can affect you in so many ways. They gave me an ECG, because of my symptoms, and I had to wait a few hours for a Doctor’s observation. The nurse put my ECG reading into my notes I was holding, which for me is the worst thing that she could have done. So while I’m sitting there, I’m having a nosey through them and noticed that it was written as an abnormal rhythm and I was looking at the blips going up and down and noticed one with a funny bloody pattern and thought my ticker was on its way out.
The worse thing in the world is to self-diagnose and spend the next few hours worrying that you’ve got some incurable disease without a Doctor’s say so. After the longest wait in history, I go in to see this Doctor who I also apologised to for being such a wimp. He was lovely and giggled at my attempts at deciphering my ECG records which were actually normal, but abnormal in the sense that my pulse was racing, due to my heart rate accelerating, due to my panic issues.
He advised me to check my fridge for a calm down sedative by the name of ‘Processco’, but I didn’t have any, so I had a mug of hot chocolate.
I know this is quite a personal post but I wanted to share it with you. If you suffer from anxiety and panic disorder, it can be very debilitating sometimes and you can feel guilty for losing control and letting irrational thoughts consume you. It’s not my fault I have this, it’s just a part of who I am and I’m working on it so that eventually I’ll overcome the problem.
In the meantime, if you do suffer from this yourself, get support from your GP and health care professionals who will alleviate your fears and move you in the right direction to get the support you need.
PS…Do not self-diagnose, ask your Doc
PPS…Processco does calm you down, I had a glass or two the next day