Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anxiety becomes me?

I've never had a full blown attack before, but came toooo close this week. I spent a few days down at my mom's with the boys. Jay stayed home to get some renos done. There were some last minute changes on Tuesday morning and we ended up leaving to come home around 8 am instead of noon. My mom had to leave at 6am to go get my brother at the airport, so when the boys got up and we were all ready, we left early.

Pilfered tomato from Nanny's garden

I took them to a wilderness park I went to lots and lots as a child. It's secluded, off the side of a back road. In the woods. Very beautiful. But I was nervous pulling into the empty lot. I was cautious when we started walking the trails. What if someone came after us? No cell coverage. No one knew we were there or had even headed in that direction.

At the half way mark, I was sucking in deep breaths, trying to release the painful tightness in my chest. Felix snapped a twig and I froze. It was awful. I was panicking, picturing all sorts of horrible things, thinking I was going to collapse right there and scare the boys... I couldn't wait to get out of the woods and the boys were having a blast. When we finally left, we needed a pit stop at the outhouses at the other end of the lot, so I tossed the boys in their seat (without buckling them in) and coasted 50 feet to the path to the bathrooms. Then hurried the boys up as much as possible. Elliot decided he had to poop, of course.

Then I bundled everyone in the car and locked the doors before getting ready to leave. It took a while for me to settle.

WTF? Yes, I'm normally an anxious person, and my imagination does get the best of me but this was just craziness. I don't know if I was picking up on possibilities in the air or what. I have heard of anxieties cranking up like this after you have kids, because now you've got their little lives to worry about, too. But wow.

Also, I'd slept funny the night before and had a sore spot on my neck. I tried to massage it out as I drove and it was feeling a bit better. We stopped for lunch over 2 hours later, went into the food court at a grocery store and I was hit with blinding, stabbing pain in my eyes and head. It throbbed - a combo migraine/tension headache, I think. I fumbled through getting the boys settled - all the while holding my head - and then ran over to the pharmacy across the store (I could see the tops of their heads the whole time) to get some advil. I thought I was going to puke. I couldn't eat anything. It was almost an hour before the pills kicked in. By time we got back to the car, I was crying and shaking. The boys were afraid. I sat with the air conditioning blasting and sipped coffee and water until I felt ok to drive. Surprisingly, I was fine for the rest of the day.  Which was good, since I took the boys to a farm on the way home!

So, dear readers, what do you think? Was the headache related to the panic attack?? Brain tumour? Stupid stress from driving and being pissed at my husband for not coming with us and actually going in to work on his vacation week? (And mine too - I planned all this when he found out - months ago - what lone week he'd have off this summer. And now he's taking 1 day off - maybe) ??? But I digress...
{Edit: ok, so I stand corrected - it's a "hiatus" week, wherein there's no work for most of the employees, but since dear hubs is in management, work came up and someone has to do it. Still pissed at the situation, but whatever.}

In other related news and backstory, I'm still weaning off my antidepressants. Taking them every 4 days now. (Tuesday, or DoomsDay -  would have been day 3, in the first 4-day stretch)  Oh, and apparently weaned Felix this weekend as he hasn't nursed since Saturday. Plus, with my period due this week, I'm a total perfect hormonal storm.
Image taken from

I did manage to get in to see my doctor yesterday. Had both boys with me, too. Lovely long wait to see her. They were in fine form when we got in, so she got to see what I deal with. Hehe.

My thyroid levels are fine. Keeping the synthroid dose as is, will do blood work and re-eval in 6 months.

She advised against the switch to every 4 days for my ADs right now. So I'll stay on every 3 for the next few weeks and see her again in a month. And we'll talk more about my health: weight, etc, then, too.

She is against me switching to the IUD. She feels that it won't be enough of a drop in hormones from the pill and since I'm already anxious about the IUD that it's not right for me.

She gave me a referral to the psychologists who work in the practice. And she's going to try to get me back in to the mental health division at the women's hospital - but only if she can get me directly to the good psych, not the crazy unprofessional twit I saw last time.

So, I'm holding. I'm looking at a few other options, too - like frequent massages and a yoga class. And getting back into meditation.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I don't really have many words of wisdom, but I hear you and can identify with much of this. I get ocular migraines, which don't generally cause so much pain, but mess with my vision, which is super disconcerting. Doctor says they are stress related, so maybe your headache was too. I also get headaches when I don't drink enough water.

I stopped taking the Pill after 17 years about a year and a half ago and while it helped some things, it makes the time before my period...uh, much more noticeable. On the Pill, I was almost cranky. Off it, I'm generally more pleasant...except for a few days to a week before my period when I'm ridiculously sensitive and emotional. It's annoying.

I see this post is older (I came here from the Lightning Bug) so I hope things are better for you now.

Rainyday said...

Thanks... most of these issues have resolved, I have lingering and random anxiety but am completely off the ADs. Caffeine was playing a major roll in my crankitude, so I'm off that, too. Work in progress!

May said...

I never had anxiety in my life until menopause. I believe it to be very closely tied to my hormone levels and notice that it is most likely to occur around the time my period would have. Regular walks and getting enough protein in times of anxiety both help me so much. Just my personal observations.

I feel for you. It is just there and taking way too much control of your life. Can be miserable and humiliating.

Wishing you the best.

Rainyday said...

Thanks, May. I've always been anxious and I hate how I let it rule me. Thankfully, it's mostly/usually under control these days. Mostly. Sometimes.

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