Panic and anxiety reared its ugly head. It started Friday. I’ve been doing well. Moving more at work, exercising a bit, venturing out. Then came Friday. I met with Therapist. I was cold or rattled during the session. I do not know which. We were discussing my step-son. That’s always a hot button. She gave me some helpful tips and suggested based on my descriptions, he may suffer from.aspergers. I read some information and signs later. He sure could be a poster child. Anyway, we ended agreeing to visit in a few weeks as we both felt I didn’t need weekly sessions. It had been a month since our last and I was doing very well. I left there and went to whole foods. Spent more than I planned or should have. Got ready to leave, found something else, got in line and waited. I was reading a gum label. Went to pick it up and had a short run of extra beats. It stunned me and I instinctively put my fingers on my neck to determine if it was truly extra beats or stomach grumbling because those with irregular beats do have dual issues. I’ll just say it…Gas can cause PVC/PAC beats. Any kind of gas. You feel a flutter then feel bubbles moving around or the other way around. It’s actually very reassuring if Youve been told your healthy and the ectopics are harmless. Anyway, I must have been there a few seconds because when I snapped out of it a clerk next to me was directing me to a clerk behind me. The customer she was with was also looking. I was a bit dazed. Then, afraid. I reasoned myself all the way home. Dizziness set in. Which, as we recall from earlier posts is a symptom of anxiety/panic for me. I got home and put things away, of course ran my blood pressure and listened to my heart rate. I had gotten so much better I lent out my pulse ox machine for a.few days. I was silently cursing this decision. So, I couldn’t check that stat, but seemed to be fine. I continued to have dizziness while I cooked dinner, but did it. My spouse came home as the symptoms had begun to subside. Yesterday at work I had a dizzy moment or two. Waves really. My dizziness isn’t typically room spinning rather wavy blips. I got home, had ice cream and a few mini kitkat bars – remember, I haven’t been eating processed sugar really… Last night at bed, I started having waves of panic and anxiety until I finally fell asleep. This morning I woke up and appeared to be doing well. Relieved, I suggested we go to breakfast. A few waves but I’ve decided it may be neck tension acting up again. We get about 5 miles from home and the waves become more noticeable. I fear them, panic and anxiety set in and we are no where near our destination. I’m worried about passing out. We get to our location, get seated and I’m all but in a full blown attack. For those that don’t suffer from these terrible things its a little something like this: Everything feels like a 3D movie. You’re seeing it, but not really a part of it. The noise is maddening but you really can’t make out anything specific. Your mind is on overload thinking about how you’re not breathing right, you feel dizzy, almost faint but why…you begin running down the possible reasons as you sit and try to focus. Everything close up is more blurry than usual. You’re trying to read a menu but now evaluating the blur, mind you, you’re still running checks and balances on feeling dizzy, hearing chaos and activity around you while fighting heart and soul to appear fine….. But you’re not fine. Your spouse is talking and you’re doing your damnedest to interact but only offer nods, grunts or yes/no responses. (It’s all you’ve got. Your mind is busy analyzing two or three other things attempting to determine if you’re in life/death danger or in anxiety/panic, and if so…what caused it and how to cure it) You feel guilt stricken because you’ve had to talk with your spouse about being in the edge of a full blown epic melt down. The waitress wants your order but now You’ve gone from hungry to nauseous. You have to eat, you choose the least offensive. Oatmeal. As you wait for your order to arrive, your spouse tries to keep conversation moving to take your mind off of the world and thoughts and emotions swirling in and around you. Your food comes and you eat what your body will allow, which is very little. You’re fine with it. Your guilt wells and you wonder your spouse will get sick of it all and leave you for something you just cannot help. You quietly think “I wouldn’t blame you if you did…but….please….please don’t…” It’s freezing in here, which makes it all worse. I cannot tolerate being cold very well. Your spouse sees your duress and offers to pay for everything and take you home. You lurch inside. You would LOVE to do that! But guilt keeps you seated. You just can’t do that to them. Your mind wanders to the possibility and its then, you realize, “I think I’m okay, I’m just in panic and anxiety.” It doesn’t cause it to cease, but it does cause it to quiet down a little. The deafening roar of the other diners quiets down, the visuals going on around you make more sense, the blurry vision becomes a touch more clear, your breathing is less of a struggle and your spouse is having a larger response from you. But the guilt…humiliation…. It stays. We eeked through a few errands by agreeing that I will go here…and then decide if we need to go home. I’m okay so…I’ll go here….then decide. I sat in the car for most, but at least my spouse was able to accomplish what they wanted to and I had time in the car, in the sun to pray and try to find some centering. We get home and everything feels a bit better. The dizziness is there but absent is the terror and fear of suddenly passing out along with images of EMS rushing in. I’m able to rationalize that I have been laying in a positon for the better part of two weeks that hyper extends my chin toward my chest. I relax in the bath this way, I’ve laid in bed many times this way, all the while knowing that previously, this position caused cheek and jaw numbness along with dizziness. The exact symptoms that have me reeling. I further recognize that I carry tension in my neck and shoulders. If Youve read previous posts, you know my job drives me to the brink on a daily basis. My tension is crazy. I clench my jaw and suffer from symptoms of TMJ. This is a fact. TMJ has dizziness as a common symptom. On top of all of that, I haven’t been drinking as much water, ate sugar, haven’t been getting as much sleep as I need, sit on this silly phone in a poor posture and SWEAR I do/don’t do all of this innocently. It’s a tornado of events that single handedly could provoke the issues I have had since Friday. Yet, to a panic/anxiety sufferer, it ALWAYS means demise. Always. So, what to do? Well, I took 3 ibuprofen, I’m hopefully sitting back in a more neck friendly position, though it likely isn’t. I will get off of this phone and stop looking down. I am considering ice on my neck but truly detest being cold. It provokes an odd form of anxiety for me. I will CONSIDER a massage but, the last one caused a pinch nerve that forced me to deal with the very facial/arm numbness I fret about right now. I’m fearful it will aggravate the condition. I ponder a chiropractor for a minute. I just don’t know what’s best…. Most importantly, I’ll continue to pray for guidance and relief, along with the world, people I know, and don’t. So for now, my panic is gone and “all” that remains is the anxiety of guilt, fear of panics return and worry over which method will alleviate my numbness and waves of dizziness. For those that read this and know EXACTLY what I’m writing about…hang in there. We have to support each other and do things when we are able while not beat ourselves up when we just can’t. The sun will come up tomorrow and maybe THAT is the day we walk away from this forever!