Sunday, April 27, 2008

Oh Chrissy!

Chrissy posted "Where's the pic of the rabbit?" and would you believe I was totally stumped for a minute? What rabbit? Ah yes - I remember now - Oceana Rabbit, eating her carrot. Sorry - did not get that picture!

On another note. It's 1am. I've been up for 45 minutes with a ---- panic attack ---- I know, another one.

Well, judging by my posts over the last few days, its no wonder. But it's still scary, and uncontrollable. And it makes me wonder what else I can do. A nurse-friend of mine suggested I buy some mild sleeping pills for when I have attacks - so I can relax quickly. Good in theory, except she mentioned that three weeks ago, I forgot, and here I am again. Without pills.

Heck if I'm driving anywhere right now. And anyways, nothing's open. I guess this enormous jug of Raro (Koolaid) next to me will have to work. Tea is a good idea too, but it's hot - or at least I am when I have PAs.

Ladies and gentlemen, whoever you are out there who I don't know - I'm being brutally honest. I hate Panic/Anxiety Attacks. I cannot control them. I cannot make them stop. I cannot grasp reality. During PAs I have no grasp of numbers (what numbers are what) or temperatures, I get dizzy, confused, shaky, and my head spins. And there's nothing I can do to stop them.

I guess I should just ring a doctor or something.


  1. I can sympathise. Adam is going through these at the moment. He hasn't driven in over a month now. But he is coming out of it, slowly, bit by bit. He's driven a few short distances on his own, longer with me in the car, but he still can't handle night time driving. He tried that about a week ago, and a normally three minute drive took him 20 minutes.

    I would suggest a doctor, sweetie. Are you seeing a counselor at the moment? If not, I'd reccomend you looked into it also. Not saying your loopy or anything, but the attacks could be an outworking of your grief (everyone say *duh*) and they could quite quickly become dibilitating. Adam's are from suppressed depression, and mucking around with his meds years ago. About a month ago, when they got really bad, he thought he was going to end up being taken away in a white van with a custom fitted jacket. Seriously. And the stuff he gets all worked up over is so bizarre... like that he's going to give us AIDS, even though he doesn't have it, and he KNOWS it's not possible. Truly.

    I'll pray an extra special prayer for you tonight dearest.

  2. A couple things that helped me have been to go do something simple, like empty the dishwasher, all the time telling yourself, "Look, I'm going about a normal task, all my body is working as is my brain..."

    The other is to rate the panic from 1-10 constantly. The thing is, it only goes that bad for a little bit, mostly you never get past 4, and never stays high very long - it's always just the FEAR that it will that is so bad...

    Hope this helps.

  3. Susie, I can sympathise with the panic attacks. I suffered from them in the past and it is horrible. I am praying for you and hoping you have a good day/night.

    Michelle in Houston

  4. Hi Susie, my name's Allison, a friend of Bryce and Christina here in VA. I struggle with panic attacks seems like they sneak up on me, and can be debilitating, and then in looking back I can see how different events and stress build up cause them. I am also like you in that I don't deal real well with expressing emotion, or being in touch with which emotion I'm actually the whole anger/sadness thing. For me, making the decision to talk to a professional counselor (as hard as that was) was definately worth it, especially in helping me to figure out the tangle of thoughts and emotions that make me feel totally helpless. It's empowering. I don't know if you guys have considered it...but it seems like counseling could only help. I wish I had some secret about how to get out of the only solution is to stop them before they really get going with a med that I was prescribed. Just know that none of it makes you "crazy"'re dealing with all the normal stuggles of being a mom/wife/woman, with the extra burden of grief! Hang in there,

  5. Panic attacks are terrible... I've always thought that taking a SLOW deep breath in and a slow deep breath out while counting to 5 helps... (a little) I'll pray specifically that yours goes away and that you get some needed sleep.


  6. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with panic attacks on top of everything else. I have them really bad from time to time, and unless you experience them for yourself you have NO idea just how horrible it is. I remember being little and my mom having them, and just thinking "yeah right, it can't be THAT bad-get over it!" Then I started having them when I got older, and realized just how awful it was. I hate taking meds, but every once in awhile I have to take a xanax to calm down. My mom gave me a deep breathing/relaxation CD to listen to that helps sometimes. Being alone makes it a lot worse for me...because I feel so out of control. I hope you can find something that works for you to make the panic attacks better.


  7. Firstly....I REALLLLY understand where you are coming from...panic attacks are horrid. I resisted for a while, but decided to try a little "better living through chemistry." I wish I had not resisted. I started to feel more like my old self...I coped better.

    Stress and life changes effect us all. You have had many MAJOR and highly stressful changes....there is just no way not to be shaken to the core. Never mind a stressful pregnancy, labor, delivery, hormone changes, a HUGE loss, a 2 year old, a move, your parents and brother leaving, a job, a vacation, a house, a all takes it toll. Just THINKING about it makes me think I need to take a pill! :P

    Even if you think medication is not the road for you....just kind to yourself. You have gone through so much. And journeys of stress and strain are lonely ones. No matter how much support you have, no matter how much all of us in Blogland love you and are praying for is still a journey you need to take. So do whatever it takes to navigate through this especially hard time. You know we're all here cheering you on :)

  8. Panic attacks are awful. I had them for several years after my best friend died. I hope they subside sooner for you.

    God Bless

  9. Susie,

    I'm sorry you are dealing with panic attacks, as if everything else isn't enough. I've had several throughout my life. They are no fun. Talking with DH during them helped some, he's my rock. Praying for relief has helped too. We'll be praying for you.

    Stay strong and courageous!

  10. Panic attacks are exactly that...panicking about the panic...which only perpetuates the whole episode. That probably doesn't help, but at least you know that in the word of panic attacks, it's perfectly normal. A natural approach to try to ward them off would include daily exposure to sunlight and regular sleep patterns. Best of are in my prayers.

  11. Hi, You don't know me but I'm certainly glad to have found your blog. Your honest telling of your life warms my heart.

    I've suffered on and off from post traumatic stress disorder for about ten years now... Not sure if this will help you but whenever I feel a panick attack building, I close my eyes and focus on my heartbeat. It doesn't always stop the attack, but it does help me to come back from it sooner.Hope that helps.


  12. Susie, can you get into the bath?

    Do ring your doctor, but don't start self-medicating.

    Can you pinpoint what triggers the attack or what's happening when you finally come out of it?

    Did you wake your husband up? Can he help you by talking you through it?

    Do an online search about panic attacks and see what you can find out about them and about helping yourself through them or what various treatment methods are.

    Above all, remember that you have very good reasons for having these attacks. You are still strong, even when you don't feel like you are.

  13. I have been checking on you regularly by reading your blog but have never left a comment before. I am a female doctor, my husband has panic attacks (he is also a physician), we have four boys, one with congenital heart disease that required emergency surgery and was nearly fatal, and we have lost five babies. So I can relate on so many levels and wanted to help if I can. Please get to your doctor. Ten percent of women have postpartum thyroid problems that can present like many of your symptoms (I had it and did not figure it out the first time for three months!!) so that needs to be checked. Panic attacks are often the result of physiologic changes in our system as a result of extreme stress and there are ways to rebalance the system so they go away and medicine to stop them until things are straightened out. You are in my prayers!

  14. Susie,

    Panic Attacks are horrible to have to deal with. I first started experiencing them when I was 19 and I have it under control with meds now. One thing I have found that really helps aside from talking it out with someone (I know at 1am this isnt an option w/o waking someone up...which at times you should do if its severe enough) is breathing. Close your eyes, sit back and try to relax...take a deep breath from your stomach (deep breathing). In slowly for five, out slowly for five. Focus only on the helps me calm down pretty quickly.

    I will be praying.

  15. Praying for you Susie!!! Praying you can get some sleep and that these panic attacks will subside.

  16. Susie,

    I've suffered panic attacks on and off for many years and I wanted to add a couple of ideas to the great comments above.

    1. Make sure you're getting a little exercise every day, even if it's just a walk (will she go in a stroller? You need to walk faster than a toddler). Even half an hour a day. It will help you sleep better at night, and the panic is much worse if you're not getting enough sleep.

    2. Make sure you're getting enough calcium and magnesium (easy enough with a supplement) and potassium (bananas/potatoes).

    Those things help me a lot, along with deep breathing, and they don't require a prescription! But I have also had short-term medication, and that helps as well.

  17. I've never met you, but I heard of your blog through a friend. I have suffered panic attacks, and i saw a christian counselor. She was so helpful. She recommended at least 20 min. of some form of exercise daily(which I absolutely hate but have grown to love). Even if you have to talk yourself through each step, it is very much worth it. It helps all the nervous energy come out. I used this time also to listen to music that I loved and just pray the whole time I was walking. Hope this helps some. We are all praying for you.

  18. I took myself to the ER with my first one years ago, and the doctor was less than sympathetic. I honestly thought my heart was beating too fast and that it was the start of some sort of attack, but it was all a panic attack instead. Finally, I found a doctor who would listen and help. Xanax did wonders for me, even though it was such a small dose. I just had to be careful not to take it all the time, nor to depend on it, because it could have made the depression I was dealing with at the time worse.

    I recently had another form of panic attacks, with a real heart arrhythmia that could be detected. They still haven't found out if it is part of the panic attack, or just an additional stress related symptom. This time through, I've been learning how to breathe through it, and have leaned on my husband a lot for support in talking me through it. (Sometimes he even sings to me while I'm going through it.)

    I am so sorry you are wrestling with these. You'll be in my prayers, and I hope you find something that works for you.

    Blessings, Sara