Daily struggle


My life is a daily struggle. I suffer through out each day and night, fretting I won’t see the next.

I start to do better and then have a chest pain or dizzy spell…and backslide I go.

I had been trying to climb out of my latest hole. I had chest pains a few weeks back and called the cardiologist. He brought me in, did another echocardiogram, with a stress test. Nothing. Brought me back a few days later for a CT scan with dye. Awful. Results inconclusive. As soon as the dye hit my heart, it went wild. They couldn’t get what they needed. Wasted test and time.

On to now, one week ago, I was doing pretty well. I was having some good days. I came home, plopped down and watched.some movies. I had an event with my heart, as I always do, and ran a bp as a way to show myself everything is fine. Later, another except this time my bp was 98/56 and I freaked. Since then, my new panic is a low heart rate (low 50s) and fear of low blood pressure.

I’ve read a lot. It’s likely I’ve induced symptoms of bed rest as I sit on my ass day after day refusing to move much. Fear you know….

So a form of hypotension is possible. It takes up to 2 months to resolve. If that’s what I have, Shameful.

So, again a goal of exercise daily. I need to even just walk. Something…

It’s ironic that the very thing you fear, heart disease or death, is exactly what you’ll cause by being too afraid to move….yet, you have no ability to control or conquer it. Anxiety has rendered you nearly disabled.

I “white knuckle” my way through each day hoping I will find ME again. So far, I have seen fleeting glimpses but nothing real reassuring that ME will return full-time, any time soon.

I’ve lost myself and I think that is the core problem with anyone that is afflicted with this terrible ailment.

I visually look okay. Unless you know me. You may ask if I am alright or feeling poorly because something just isn’t right. But, unless you take the time to get to know me, I seem ordinary. I seem fine.

I’m far from fine.

In my mind, I am sobbing and begging God to please remove this burden and pain of anxiety, depression and panic from my life. In my head, I am constantly checking and re-checking how my body feels. I am in tune with each and every ache, creek or abnormal event my body experiences every minute of every single plagued day.

It is draining. It is painful. It is CONSUMING.

I have read and reread every single thing I can about my heart, vessels, rhythms, electrical impulses, PVC, PAC, A fib, svt, orthostatic¬†hypotension, stress tests, echocardiogram, stress tests and echos together, CT scans, angiograms, MRI’s, GERDS and arythmias….the list is…..endless.

One might ask why it all doesn’t reassure me, it does, for a bit. Then I am right back to it.

A different or recycled worry, a panic, a constant check and recheck of my body, vitals and understanding of a particular worrisome ailment.

I wasn’t always this person. I used to be secure. I used to be productive. I used to be….ME.

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Still employed


My spouse was home when I got home last night. I’m not going to sugar coat it, I thought we had been fired or walked out.

It wasn’t either. The day ended early. I was so relieved.

The place is great, the manager is amazing…..now we meet the Assistant Manager today and we are apprehensive.

I don’t recall starting a job hoping I will like everyone. I would just go and hope I do well. Everything else was secondary.

So, I listen with a watchful eye on any complaints or judgements.

In my own job world, I was turned down for even an interview for an internal position. Awesome. I’m still stuck. I’m still dreading going. I’m still clinging to my house before its time to leave.

Again, I hate that my job has turned me into a shell of my former self!

Employed


My spouse is headed for the first day of work since February. I feel panicky. Anxiety filled and a little sick.

It could be also because I have to go to my job today. I’m putting it off as long as I can. I don’t want to go.

I wonder if its possible that even though last week things were good, doing a different job, different place…around the director and others, if I’ve just put up with so much bunk over the years that I am going to be stuck like this forever.

I hope not. I just really would like to get back in my bed and stay there.

I hate my job and what its done to me….turned me into….stolen from me……

12 days SEEMS like longer


I looked at my posts and saw July 29th as my last one. Unless you count the one hung up in drafts, but that’s gone. I thought “WOW!!” Thinking it was like a month or something. “I am REALLY doing better!” I looked on the calendar. Okay, maybe not AS well, but 12 days is good.

I neglect to include the 10 minute melt down out of the blue Sunday. It was 10 minutes. I argue that it shouldn’t even be included. But my mind disagrees. Whatever. It controls EVERYTHING anyway, I guess its right.

I forget about these silly moments spent fretting over stroke. It’s being anxious, not in a panic. It shouldn’t count either.

In reality, I am doing better. I think about earlier this year and remember that nasty closed in fear from hell I fought every minute of every day and want to hug God for letting me get away from it.

A quiet hot bath is my coping mechanism when panic is out of control. I was in and out of the tub so much I should have had fins.

I take one, maybe two a day now. Not usually because of terror but because being clean matters and I decompress a bit.

I’m mostly off my blood pressure and pulse ox monitoring. I do it once in a while but not all day every day like before.

I still Google health worries but not as many, as much. However, right now I’m fretting over stroke…again.

I have a new eye twitch with some mild numbness in my left eye. Some mild numbness near my ear and cheek. It automatically creeps to stroke.

My health is very good. I have next to no markers FOR stroke and always suffer tight neck, shoulder and back muscles. I get Twitches with stress and my water and diet have faultered this week. I had a pinched nerve in my back that had a mild numbing in my face and arm. I’ve irritated it and that could also be a source as I feel the tension and strain in the same spot. If I stretch it and isolate the area….twitch and numbness. All signs point…..

Many OTHER reasons to engage that are NOT stroke related…but…to me, stroke is on my radar and that’s it and I’m anxious.

My spouse has finally found s job after months of trying! You would think a huge weight was lifted but until the work weeks get going and I hear its enjoyable or at least tolerable, I worry. It’s in leasing which is a no mercy field so again, until we establish that closing ratios are not a big push, I worry.

Leasing gives you maybe 6 months to survive if you are not a seller. My spouse is NOT a seller.

So, I hope this is a place that shares the closings so my spouse will still be employed years from now….

I have started seeking solid leads to employment out of my department but within my company. I have an app out right now for another position. If I am not chosen, at least the execs know I’m looking and maybe that will spur a positive change for me.

I was exposed to the Senior Director (whom I’ve known for years but until we mini bonded over issues with the director or some concerns about the company, she didn’t have a very favorable reaction to me, which I am sure was by design of the director), working with her was fun. I was also with the Senior Directors sibling who actually hired me years ago. She hated me (still can). The Director was there, my boss (who follows after the director like a mean girl fan club) and my co-workers.

I dreaded it all last week. It actually was good for me.

I had one incident where my boss was deliberately being an asshole to me in front of everyone but I’m trying to blow that off as her trying to impress the Director.

The Director was awkward but not over the top as she has been. She bum rushed me yesterday to pay me for boot camp. So weird since she tells people how terrible I am…

Anyway, it was enjoyable and good in that we were all exposed to each other so maybe the myth of me being what the Director has told everyone can be torn down.

So, its time to start my day. I’m supposed go be off but have to go in to work. I promised my spouse the Farmers Market and immediately felt pressure because my spouse wants to make a plan for the day. I am still not on solid ground.

When I expressed that I wanted to do the market and needed to drop in to work but more than that felt like being pressured, I saw clear irritation. When I addressed it, I was told everything was fine. But, we spent the rest of the night pissy.

I can make a few plans now. But not an entire day. I fear ruining the day with an attack and having to come home.

I get that my spouse starts work Monday and I can see that shopping is what the true desire is but honestly? My spouse has SO MUCH shit that my bedroom looks like a wreck. We have one room I can’t use because clothes and crap is all over.

I used to keep things neat but there is so much, I gave up.

My spouse is like Pigpen from the Charley Brown strip. Messy, unorganized, verging on hoarder.

Sometimes I wonder how much money we’ve spent shopping for shit we don’t need. I also know my spouse is much warmer when we shop and is chilly when we don’t. I’m told that I’m imagining things, but I’ve tried it out. It’s true.

I don’t like shopping. There is too much extra in this house. If that were all gone, my spouse kept things tidy and we needed something then fine.

So, as anxious as we were to start the day yesterday, we are still asleep.

I wonder how spouse will do next week when we have to be up for work….

What is NORMAL anyway?


Sitting in my swiveling, rocking deck chair on the porch, enjoying an early morning that is beautiful as well as quiet…my heart starts to pound. I’m not startled, I’m not rocking or swiveling like a crazy person, I’m sitting.

This is the life of someone with palpitations. We are attacked at any time, during any events for no reason.

Needless to say, solitude moment, done.

Those without anxiety or palpitations shrug and wonder why we can’t just move on. You’re normal, what do you know.

We struggle with finding a comfortable spot to live our lives in. We long for the ever absent peace and tranquility.

Comfort within the walls of our bodies and mind is always just out of reach. We get just close enough to see it, to just about touch it but not close enough to breathe it or embrace it.

We dream of the days (and nights) when we will finally be still. Our thoughts calm and soothing while our bodies are relaxed and we finally, at last, feel  comfortable in our own skin.

My vision of normal is being easy going. Taking good days and bad days at face value. Having a healthy spirit, mind and body. Taking disruptions with a grain of salt while remaining strong in your beliefs, your values and your ethics. Being proud of your accomplishments as well as your failures. Being humble but assertive. Serving the greater good while enhancing your own life. Honoring your faith while respecting the faith of others.  Being normal is living your life to the best of your ability while enjoying the process and enriching the lives of those around you.

My goal is to be my version of normal.

New hope old behaviors


Monday I felt like I had a new lease on life. Tuesday I felt like I had a renewed lease on life. Wednesday I felt like I had an extension on life and today, I miss having my life.

I haven’t reverted back to complete toiling but I did resort to taking my blood pressure and pulse ox several times last night.

Yesterday was very stressful for me. I had my interview with another department. I had to work in the heat. I had to be where the Director works and I had to juggle priorities like crazy.

Because of the chaos, my PVC, PAC activity was very pronounced. Not as much as it could have been, or has been previously, but still very alive and well.

It hit me more when I got home which is typical of palpitations, ectopics, PVC, pac….what ever you want to call them. They typically go wild for people after the day is over and its time to lay back and rest.

It’s a creepy feeling having your heart leap and quiver. Flop and roll or thunk and flip. It’s unsettling. You should never, ever feel your heart. Ever.

For those that suffer with these (by the way, the majority of the population has or has had skipped and extra beats, you just don’t feel it) the sensations can be so alarming that it disables a normally fully functioning and active person.

Once you’ve been thoroughly evaluated by a cardiovascular specialist and deemed healthy with “harmless” skips or extra beats, you are supposed to ignore them.

That’s hard to do.

Stress brings then on, anxiety, panic, heart burn, not enough rest, too much rest, exercise (for some), sugar, salt, bending, gas, bring startled….the list is endless. Really, anything causes it.

If you haven’t felt it, its like going down a really big hill, like a roller coaster. That moment when your stomach drops? It’s like that but with your heart. Terrible thought right?

It’s not just the once usually. We typically feel it constantly during peak times, or intermittently and without the clear cue of an amusement ride provoking it. We ARE the amusement ride.

So the millions that suffer psychologically with this “harmless” intrusion into our psyche, really have no outlet or cure. We can try beta blockers or abulation (intentionally scarring the heart where docs believe the short circuit occurs) but from my research, the palpitations return eventually anyway.

Beta blockers are not an option for me. I have an athletic heart rate (47-55 bpm) and blood pressure (105ish/60 ish). A beta blocker would likely cause me to pass out. I’m not sure why I would risk that.

So with palpitations being at the crux of my panic, ill need to learn to live with them which is silly since I’ve been aware of them off and on for 23 years….but its only been the last 9 months that I’ve been worried about them.

The last 9 months have been very trying. I have concern my marriage won’t be in tact by next year because of the tremendous amount of stress we have faced individually and as a couple. We both have had major upsets in our individual lives that also have an impact on our lives together.

Extended unemployment is rough when things are good. New anxiety/panic disorder is rough when things are good. Combine them at the exact same time, mix in your child’s drama, its recipe for total chaos. Months of chaos is hard on a relationship.

I’ve noticed I don’t feel as warm. I don’t feel as loving. I feel distant and almost on guard.

Intimacy? No thank you. It’s not you, its me. I think this panic has been so hard on my system that I can’t share intimate moments. Get your mind out if the gutter. I’m talking about basic, soft, touchy, gooey type emotions or actions, let alone the other.

I think panic just saps it all away. It steals your joy, your security, sense of safety, self-worth…everything.

It’s a two fold uphill battle. You have to battle the fear and the effects of fear. A double threat.

So I think about my day and hope I can push forward. I’ve been deemed very healthy. So let’s tackle the day as a healthy person.

You should too!