Legal Chest Pains


I have been worried about my heart the last few days.

Having PVC & PAC activity is always disturbing but it seems a little different lately. More episodes, stronger extra beats or like this morning, two quick episodes of sharp pain with them.

I am sure I have had pain in the past. A faint memory is lying there but I can’t wrap my full attention around it.

When you have sharp chest pains and you are someone with “health anxiety” (the polite term for hypochondriac) then it sets off all sorts of warning alarms that I have mentioned in past posts.

For those not familiar, it goes a little something like this:

Minding my own business

Pain or dizziness – something out of the norm – could be a twitch or twinge

All systems stop in their tracks while the mind and body “listen” for anything else to happen. If it does, that occurrence is analyzed fully and completely.

Analyzing an occurrence goes like this:

What was THAT?

It was a…..<insert symptom here>

I wonder if that is a problem!

<Insert symptom here>

There it is again!

Okay, it was a sharp pain. It was in the center of my chest.

OH MY GOD ITS A HEART ATTACK

~ Launch all systems GO evaluation~

Blood pressure cuff – on and inflating (please be normal, please be normal….)

PulseOx meter attached (DON’T look at it for 10 seconds because it is always off while it calculates. DON’T LOOK YET)

Blood pressure results – within normal ranges (Thank goodness….)

PulseOx within normal limits (Thank goodness)

Pause……

“I wonder if I did them right.”

Relaunch check of symptoms

Within normal ranges

“Oh thank God! But…what is that pain? I’ll just look it up on the Internet….”

FAIL

As someone with health anxiety (don’t be rude, that is what we are calling it. YOU can be a hypochondriac…I am NOT!)┬ásearching the Internet for what ails you is the kiss of….well…..anxiety or panic…we CAN’T say the other word or it provokes nervousness.

If you are not in a full-blown attack then, you will be within a few minutes of clicking and sifting through the best terrorizing medical information the web has to offer.

The thing is? We KNOW this yet…we do it again and again.

I did it this morning after my bout of chest pain. “I can’t go to the doctor so I almost HAVE to rely on the Internet, don’t I?”

Um, no but that doesn’t stop me.

I sit down on the edge of my bed facing the window. This is where I go when I start having anxiety. That SHOULD be my first clue but it never is.

I bring up the search engine. “Tell me what my death sentence is Dr. Google” I almost say as I begin my sifting.

One thing I have learned is to stay away from WebMD as it will ALWAYS tell me absolute death is impending. Paper cut? Can become infected leading to death. Hang nail? Seek emergency medical attention as you may die.

We stay away from WebMD but Mayo Clinic is my golden child of the “What am I dying of today” world.

Mayo Clinic tells me the facts but almost leans toward not telling me enough. They always throw in when to seek medical attention but it doesn’t seem as ominous as WebMd does.

So far it could be spasms in my digestive track, PVC/PAC activity just causing pain or…brace yourself, it could be anxiety.

So, I launch another round of vital checks and determine that if I am going to die today, I need to accomplish something worthwhile.

Instead, I start writing.

What I have learned over the last year of my life is that I have become a VERY anxious person. I was always a Type A personality before but never full of twists and turns like I have now.

My previous employer shares much of the blame of the creation of the mess we all see before our eyes.

Years of being treated poorly and differently than my peers took its toll but nothing like the last and final month of my employment after returning from FMLA. The torment elevated to amazing new heights as they clearly felt the need to retaliate for my absence and then plotted my departure.

I have YEARS of excellent service to that company and needed time off to put Humpty Dumpty back together again because I was torn down from all of your games and demands and you couldn’t get past the time off I needed so you termed me? Makes total sense.

I am being told that my life will be better without my involvement in that company, in that department and certainly in that toxic environment but while I wait for that “bliss” to hit, I am left worrying about medical insurance, life insurance and of course, the almighty dollar to pay my bills when I did everything you asked me to do.

One of the things about the culture I worked in was that they pushed “We will provide you with all of the tools you need to do your job effectively” yet when I reminded them that I don’t have the tools, I was written up. When I didn’t quit as they thought I would, they fired me.

 

As your employee you promised me that you would lead me with all stops removed, to the type of manager you wanted me to be. I did as asked, when asked and usually much better than I was asked to do it, and then you let me go?

That just doesn’t seem ethical. Considering the source, that isn’t a shock.

So today I am fighting my way through the worry that the after effects of your poor and tortuous treatment of me have caused permanent damage.

I pray. I hope and I know that God will take care of me but I also hope that I don’t “go” before I have something important to leave behind. I am not ready and hope God allows me the chance to do something of value for Him, and me.

 

 

 

 

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Unreasonable cant tell time


Time heals all wounds.

I hope that’s true!

Today is a waste to this stupid ailment I have been wrestling with for almost a year and a half.

I spent the day at home trying to be productive but couldn’t.

I had someone tell me once, “Don’t be a victim?”

They were right. The problem sits deep within. Is anxiety just your soul being a victim? I don’t know. Maybe.

There have been times I have been super determined not to let this crap stop me. My “Stepping Forward” or “Guide” entries show what happens when I demand to live my life anxiety free. Epic bad days.

There have been times I’ve been on a good track, like this morning. Feeling great…and then I tumble.

It’s so random. So awkward. One minute you feel stronger, life flows again. I laughed and smiled!

The next minute I am racing home fearful my blood pressure is bottoming out.

The day was sunny, perfect temperatures and I was with my spouse having a great time.

A subject came up that I find unnerving and that was it. The beautiful day – another one in the stick pile – gone.

You sit and wait like you’re dying.

After 1 1/2 years, you’d think there would be SOME medical indication.

There is no reasoning with unreasonable.

Hi Ho


It’s here.

Today is the day I reenter the same business world that just about drove me over the edge with stress, game playing and maliciousness.

I wish I didn’t have to go.

My fear is that I’m not ready and I’m making a huge mistake.

My worry is that they have gotten worse and I will, once again, pay the price.

My terror is that I will be standing in the middle of it all and fall totally and completely apart, like a worthless used up human version of Humpty Dumpty.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Should I be excited? I think apprehensive is understandable and advised.

Truth be told; I feel like a battered and wounded vet being sent back to the POW camp as a “guest”.

Upsetting, unnerving and disappointing.

I have to have a job. It’s what I do but I’m still not me. I have productive moments followed by bouts of swirling rooms and other scary symptoms.

Sure panic isn’t prevalent but anxiety has made itself at home.

I wait for the familiar ring of the alarm telling me its time to go to…….

To be determined

Saturday Derailment


Yesterday started out to be hopeful. Minor but symptoms, something you can live with.

Within a few hours of feeling like maybe I have a chance of moving from 90-95% bad days to the 80s or, dare I hope, less…

I had a negative and creepy interaction with someone and it flipped my day upside down.

My symptoms rolled in with a vengeance. The room wobbled. My heart pounded. Fear of death swirled over my head and the stench of fear filled every room.

I sat wondering (again) where I had gone. Where is that strong person?

I have spurts of big productive moments. I can do a lot in an hour. Nothing physical, just mind work, but it is massive.

Once that hour is over, I am depleted and left still trying to patch this broken soul back together.

My return to work draws closer and my symptoms have grown with each passing hour.

Fear of the return of bigger and more overwhelming symptoms. Fear of being driven permanently (if that’s not already the case) into a crazy state.

Lets not forget that this is the same place that cared so little about me as a human-being that I ended up in the hospital with wires attached to every place possible.

Lets not forget the demeaning games the Director played (I amusingly write that as if it is past-tense), the lies the Director told and the fact that I went to Human Resources and the Directors boss with the end result being within a few months I was called into a meeting with HR and MY boss and reprimanded for treating an executives son (my employee) poorly, even though every employee can attest otherwise.

Could I have trained him differently? Perhaps. He was unmotivated and did things I or anyone else would have been fired for but, that’s not for me to say. It made it difficult to get him where he needed to go.

This is the same place that refuses to allow me to be who I am, rather than who they perceived me to be 8 years ago while doing the difficult job of restoring order to some of the most chaotic departments I’ve ever seen.

In doing my job, I’ve been threatened, had a drink thrown on me, stalked, harassed to the point of having to change my number and block others, I’ve had to call the police, had my car keyed, called despicable names and been left menacing notes on my car.

That’s just by ex-employees and customers.

By supervisors I have endured isolation, exclusion, lies and sabotage.

The Director, as my direct supervisor told me I wasn’t allowed to be friends with a former employee (I moved locations and was told not to speak to anyone at the old location anymore). This former employee and I are still friends despite my direct order.

This from the same person who befriended several of her employees and co-workers and who still socialized with them on a regular basis.

So, as I write, I’m taken back to where I left off. The confusion and hurt feelings, anger, resentment and sense of betrayal.

It’s like I never left.

The difficulty is in managing this swirl of emotions, the fear of not being capable all mixed with the anxiety that rules my minutes.

My greatest desire is to beat this disorder. My greatest hope is to be seen as the person I truly am and my greatest wish is that life becomes worth living.

I want to make a positive difference in this world. Nothing else is acceptable.

Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up


You’re outside when a car drives slowly by. The driver makes eye contact and nods. The car pulls over just up a ways from your house and as you keep an eye out, you note that they never exit the vehicle. You see them holding a paper and as you make your way closer, they leave.

To a normal person this might be a nothing in a normal day. To someone with hyper vigilance; this is a five alarm fire.

I’ll be “on watch” for months, unsure of what I’m watching for.

I often wonder what it would be like to be “normal”.

Having normal responses to this type of situation. Feeling normal when you wake up or having a normal life.

My world has collapsed and I can’t seem to put it back together.

For the first time in my life, I’ve fallen and I can’t seem to get back up.

Abyss


Ask me what I did today….I can mention a few things but mostly, my day is an abyss of minutes.

Nothing really significantly accomplished. Significant anxiety and significant depression.

Today I feel like I am just “here” in a distant detached way.

Lets hope for a better day tomorrow.

Good Days Don’t CureYou


Yesterday I had an amazing day at work. Skeptical, but really, I should have been on cloud nine.

I was asked by Directors boss to come up with some solutions to our crisis…that childish non-professional behavior has faced us with…hmmmmmmm…..I WONDER where in the world THAT could have started…..

Anyway, Director was there with the others.

I developed a fairly extensive plan. In a day and a half.

They are implementing it completely. Right now.

So…..why the anxiety?!

It started Sunday. I wasn’t feeling great and decided to take a homeopathic remedy called Sedalia. It worked like freaking magic. Within MINUTES I was feeling so normal I was just about giddy.

The Directors boss called me Saturday and asked for my help/opinions. Really pumped me up. Confided in me, kept telling me I was their only hope to fix our departments mess. I was worried they were so upset. I like Directors boss. I don’t want Boss to fear unemployment and I think that’s what’s happening. So, as always, I’m happy to help but felt a HUGE sense of responsibility. It was now MY problem to come up (in a couple of days) with a solution to fix a problem my supervisors have created over the last few years. I was overwhelmed but really wanted to come up with a workable solution.

So Sunday i was bubbling a bit from anxiety and, i was tired so, I tried this Sedalia. It worked VERY well. I felt like myself. I could relax. I didn’t think about death every two steps. I wasn’t twisted with worry, panic or….anything.

8 hours of absolute bliss on 1/2 of a pill in a packet of 60….it would last me forever and it was safe. No drowsiness, no side effects. Is what the box said.

Then

8 hours later happened. As fast as the “new me” was replaced by the “old me” that morning….the “new me” flipped back in. Like someone turning on and off a switch. As fast as it left, it came back.

More so.

I thought for a minute that it was just being hypersensitive because for the first time since February, I was me again. Truly me. But then, it kept growing into full bouts of rolling panic attacks.

I fell asleep only to be woken with panic, which has never happened before.

I would repeat “this is panic” in my head and it would calm only to influx again moments later. This went on for hours!

I had 8 hours of bliss and 8 hours of sheer agony!

NOT WORTH IT!!!

I contacted the maker who of course said it was impossible that it was their product. Yet I’ve talked to 3 people highly trained in natural/homeopathic medicine who say yes, it sounds like a reaction. Albeit a rare occurrence, a reaction nonetheless. I contacted them to see if it was normal. That’s it. They rolled up the sidewalk and shuttered all of the windows because I’m sure they assume I’m seeking restitution.

Sure, I’d like my money back but I’m not looking to buy an acreage in the middle of Beverly Hills. I would just like my $9.99 plus tax back and thats not even why i contacted them. Jerks.

So I was told to drink a small amount of caffeine or inhale some mentholated scents like Tiger Balm.

I did both. Within minutes, it was much better. I guess homeopathic medicine is very weak. It can be derailed by those types of things. Who knew.

So I was better. But, I was not feeling well. Like a truck hit me. No sleep. Like I should have a fever but didn’t. That kind of thing.

My spouse felt the same way so we think it was coincidence that I felt so poorly the next day, but the trauma from the panic probably added to it.

So, on through the week. I did okay. I had what I kept trying to remind myself was “normal anxiety”. I was still ill at work Monday. I pushed through. I thought Boss and Director would be out that day. They couldn’t make it. So I figured it was normal to be anxious in this case. I still believe that.

Tuesday, nope. Can’t make it my boss was out ill. Wednesday boss out ill again. Finally, Thursday morning they came. Boss, Director, my old boss the Directors minion and my new boss (who actually hired me years ago and was my first boss here)

I pitched the idea and they embraced it. Very well. Unusually well. Like, suspiciously well…..

There is much speculation within my companies execs as to why they came to me, and why they embraced my plan. Without reserve. Without a power struggle. I gave it, they took it and IMMEDIATELY implemented it.

One theory is, they are all in the fire. The Boss and Director are on the chopping block. Our department IS that bad off….maybe.

One theory is that there is another opening in their group and have been told it WILL be filled with me so they have started to try to make me less resistant to them…..maybe.

One theory is that the position is open and they want to fill it with their suck up friend (who by the way is dressing better and trying to appear all boss like lately) and in order to do that, they devised a plan to keep me in my current position but make me a “training” manager where I pump out trained people that go to other stores. A constant morning, noon and night headache for me while the other managers sit back and enjoy the trained people…..that way I’m out of the picture and Suckup can be slid in…..LIKELY scenario.

However, what my bosses are not aware of is, the Executives are not going to allow that plan. It’s already blocked.

So, I never got to celebrate my “win” for proposing something I hope helps.

Instead it was shrouded in mystery and speculation. Boss didn’t tell their boss that I was coming up with a plan. Didn’t tell Bosses Boss that I was even approached or that the plan is being put into place.

Lord, when did it all get so….odd?

So, I fell asleep…anxious. Sad. I woke up the same.

Needless to say, I fear death a bit again. I think it’s my go to anxiety. I had disequalibrium yesterday after the meeting because speculation started immediately. I had to remind myself I’ve felt it before…a lot.

This morning….I just wish I would sleep until I have to go to work.

Spouse is STILL struggling at work. Making mistakes. Starting to act out. A matter of time before spouse quits or is fired. Pretty sure.

Irritating. Just do your damned job. Look what I have had to endure this year. You can’t do reasonable requests?!

But, I’m trying not to unleash. Thus, MORE anxiety.

So now, I’m going to try to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill. I’d like to start getting more exercise but I’m still afraid.

I’m not sure how NOT exercising will help me beat heart disease but….there is no reasoning with anxiety. It does what it wants.