Okay…that’s it


Ring….Ring….Ring….

“Hello?”

“It’s stress calling. I don’t plan on talking to you now, I just wanted to upset you. I’ll do it again tomorrow. See you then!”

That was my day off. Can’t wait.

My heart has been skipping and thudding all over the place. PVC and PAC’s suck. Ask anyone that has them. Sometimes they only scare you. Other times they hurt and scare you. They suck either way.

So that boot I talked about a few posts ago? The one they like to hang in the air over your head? Remember? They don’t bother with shoes as they prefer dropping boots?

Yeah, it’s going to be dropped on my skull tomorrow.

My company…..just adores a good ambush.

What they love more?

A pre-planned – pre-warned ambush is something they cherish even more.

If they can call you on a Saturday night and tell you of a planned meeting for the next Friday at 4:00pm, without any idea what the meeting is about….even better!

That’s a little extreme but….it happens. Mine was a little over 24 hours advance notice. No hint, no response when I asked what it was about….

I’m pretty sick of that stuff.

I don’t steal, don’t treat people poorly and don’t do things that are any where near those lines. I don’t cheat, lie or anything else. What I do actually do is ask questions or talk about how situations are a problem.

I’ve been told I need to shut up and do what I am told. Don’t ask questions, don’t question anything – just do it.

No opinions, no response. Just be the robot they want.

Okay. But can you not call me anymore?

Oh….wait. That was a question.

This will take some practice.

My response is okay.

That’s it.

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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.

Outta the Blue


Like a hawk diving on its prey, anxiety sweeps in and kills the day.

 

My morning started out great. A little tired, a little stressed from the trials and tribulations at the job but I was trying to push that all behind me and enjoy a nice sunny day with beautiful weather.

We were driving on the highway having a conversation about a creeper blowing past my boundaries when I felt like my blood pressure dropped crazy low. Twice. I was driving as I always do so it startled me for my spouse and me.

As we continued on our path I kept telling myself it has happened before. It isn’t real, its anxiety.

That doesn’t work today.

Symptoms erupt.

Hands and limbs that don’t feel like they move right. Tightness in my chest. Foggy head. Fear.

This one person and their actions touched off a firestorm that has demolished my day….so far.

We started the morning with plans. We talked about how beautiful it was outside. We talked about our first “date” and our future. I was feeling pretty good and relaxed. I turned to my spouse and said “I think for the moment, I am doing better.” I had hope.

Within the hour plus, I am home and checking my blood pressure. My hope has been smashed.

I feel wonky. Out of sorts. I keep trying to push my brain and body to pass these symptoms off as anxiety but they refuse to accept it. It doesn’t matter that “we” have felt this way at different times for over a year.

Part of my resistance is down because of work. I know they are trying to drive me out and I am doing my best not to let them. At some point, they will probably win. My concern is at what cost. They almost killed me the last time. Will they succeed this time?

I ask questions and get no response. No acknowledgement of even have asked the question. My emails go unanswered. Its like communication has been severed. Are they getting ready to fire me? Maybe. Hope your documentation is better than all of mine from the last decade.

I am exhausted from the stress and cleaning up what was left. When I get too tired, anxiety is hard to fight. My symptoms can erupt at the slightest provocation (like today) and it takes me hours or days to manage them back to tolerable.

It is days like this that I wonder if I will ultimately become disabled. These days make it very hard to live. I feel bad for my spouse. A day of promise dashed. I’m sure its getting old.

I have been trying to manage my work stress. It isn’t easy. It is almost like they see you floating and keep throwing more and more bricks at you to try to get you to sink. If you pop back to the surface, it seems to make them mad and they try even harder.

I hope I am wrong. I cant imagine wanting to sink someone. I wouldn’t want that on my conscious but again, I have one. A few of these people don’t.

I’m really trying to keep things in perspective but all of these unknown factors make it terribly difficult.

If they fired me tomorrow, I should probably thank them. Sue them, yeah, but thank them for putting me “out” of my misery they have created. But, who wants to be fired? I have a family to support.

I was told once that I will never amount to anything at that company because I wasn’t liked. I said what I thought and tried to do the right thing. (This was a VP) Because of those things, the key people in charge of my area were never going to allow me to move forward and were probably at some point going to combine forces and destroy me if they could.

At the time I agreed with the moving forward. They would never allow it. But I found the destroying me thing a little out there. Now, not so much. I do think it is in their top 3 goals. I represent some sort of discomfort of fear for them. Maybe they fear they have told me too many secrets that I can share and it would be easier to get rid of me. Maybe I bother them because I refuse to quake when they come near or refuse to treat them as if they are royalty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am respectful and try to do the right things but I will not cave and act like they hold the moon and stars. They are no different than anyone else and the rules apply to all of us. Equally. They don’t care for that so much.

SO, here I am on my day off, worrying about worry and fretting about work. Chicken or the egg? It is hard to say.

As far as the creeper goes, it was a terribly upsetting situation and I think it has come to an end. Almost. I just need to give it a little bit and then I can break free. Ultimately this situation (began at my place of work….of course) will resolve but apparently will crack apart my day first.

My plan to wrestle with this anxiety?

Drink some water in hopes that helps the feeling (and actual) slipping of the blood pressure. Read, study and do what I can, when I can.

I know I need to push, but no so much that I go from a 5 to an 8 on the freak out meter.

I had coffee today. I shouldn’t have. I was feeling good and branched out. Too much too soon on a day when I am reeling from my week. Moderation.

That’s the key.

It’s all gone


It’s become overwhelmingly too much to endure any longer.

The pain of fear. The agony of it all day after day after every damned day.

Today wasn’t bad. I had my reservations, but it wasn’t bad. I thought, as I have in the past that for a minute, things felt better. Different. Perhaps I was leading my way (or after massive amounts of prayer..BEING led) out of this darkness.

Then…in it creeps.

I make a split decision that I regret to my soul and it starts flooding back in.

First with disequilibrium. The feeling of walking on a moving surface. It only lasts a nanosecond but within that nanosecond, panic is let out of its cage.

Then comes the tingling either in my left cheek, jaw or deltoid. This provokes worry. Stroke? Oh God, please help me.

Then it all starts to unravel from there.

If I were talking with the crazy me, I would say “Crazy, listen, this has happened countless times over the last 11 months. You’ve been fine. This is probably from you clenching your shoulders and neck.”

I would try to reason.

There isn’t any.

A pain is a clot. An extra or skipped heart beat (which I have on a good day or bad day and has been checked and double checked) is the sign of impending death.

The strain in my neck is blocked vessels, which is likely partially true exempt its probably caused by tension.

Here come the actual panic attacks. It feels like that very moment when you’re at the top of the highest roller coaster and your stomach drops as the air gasps from your lungs. You’re now flooded with terror.

You reason that this is exactly what panic feels like. Crazy rudely tells you to F-off because what if you’re wrong!

You cry. The terror mixed with the months long guilt and constant fight have taken their toll. You cry a lot. It’s a deep sorrowful sob. It clearly comes from your soul and your soul is wailing.

You pray a string of begging, pleading, promising words as you try not to scare your family.

You apologize repeatedly to your spouse who has had to resort to continuing to watch tv. One hand on the remote while the other pats you. Occasional “You’ll be okay” is spoken and you’re crushed with guilt, remorse and every other emotion that indicates issues.

You’re panic is too much today so you take a full dose of Ativan. Something you never do but, you’re tired. You’re worn out. You look at your spouse through a heavy downpour of tears and squeak “I think I’m going to have to go into the hospital, and I don’t want to.”

Speaking those words out-loud causes you to unleash the wailing of 10,000 wounds that you’ve inflicted upon yourself. The wails of someone at the end of their coping scale. It’s a sound that brings tears to anyone that hears it because its so deep, so sorrowful and so painful, you unwittingly share in it.

You lay next to your spouse who tries to comfort you, but there is none.

The Ativan starts to work a touch so the tears shut off-ish.

You are cold. Cold gives you anxiety so you head to the bath.

You remind yourself that a bath is always a sign of panic and anxiety.

Crazy doesn’t cuss at you because Crazy agrees.

While you let the warm water sooth your spirit and warm your body, you pray. You ask for forgiveness. You try to calm Crazy down some more.

Crazy is unruly. You see, we really don’t know Crazy that well. She is odd. Crazy is shifty. She’s fundamentally the same person but changes almost daily.

Yesterday you could reason with Crazy where today, there is no reasoning.

Crazy practices self-abuse. She’s not a cutter or addicted to drugs but Crazy seems to look for any reason to propel a worry into an anxiety attack.

Her knife is Google. Her drug is The Mayo Clinic.

She feels a twinge, Google fix. “What’s that sentence?” Click.

“Serious risks are involved when”
“Side effects are”
“Symptoms such as these are associated with”
“And in some cases resulting in death”

Crazy will research and read so much that a simple quick sharp pain in the body unleashes a storm of checks and balances that would fry even the most powerful computer.

The checks and balances continue until a diagnosis is formed.

It looks much like the scene in War Games when the computer is flying through possible scenarios to win.

No one wins this game. Ever.

So Crazy settles on a diagnosis and then rechecks with Google, Mayo, WebMd…even Wikipedia.

Crazy reads every single line looking for the sentence that concurs with the findings and then Crazy will pour over it again and again, drilling the prognosis in deeper and deeper until she is certain death is at hand.

A cough is a blood clot. A neck pain is stroke. Numbness in the arm is stroke or heart attack. A headache is cancer. Wait! Recent MRI eliminated that. It’s either a clot or….a headache.

Crazy camps in the tub. Isolated. Wondering if her family would check on her in time to save her from death. She wonders how long she would be in the tub before they would wonder if she was okay.

You shake Crazy and tell her to stop. You can’t do this any more.

The Ativan is working a bit more and Crazy quiets down. You’re left to ponder your next move without Crazy pushing you.

In-treatment looks like its a front runner. Your episodes are bigger but less frequent. Crazy stirs and you stop and wait for the ability to continue.

You evaluate all you’ll lose. How can I go to a facility? I’ll lose everything.

And you will.

Post 9-11 and pre-weapon banning frenzy, your mental health medical records are an interest to about everyone. There will be background checks that include this information. HEPA who?!

I can’t lose everything. But if I don’t….I’m going to lose everything.

Rock and hard place.

You have counseling tomorrow. You hope you can sort out real from fear. Recent upsetting events from normal anxiety.

You dread going to work. You don’t know how you’re going to make it through the day!

Your heart sinks. You tear up. You see your life slipping away. It’s painful.

You’re tired. You’re sad. You’re hopeless, helpless and worn out.

You’ve got very little, if anything left.

Suicide isn’t an option. I do not agree with it or condone it, but I sure as hell understand the reason it happens. (If you feel this is YOUR solution call the Hotline at (800) 273-8255 right now. They can help.)

If you’re not one to commit suicide, what do you do?

I don’t do drugs or drink. I don’t smoke or have a vice. Where is my out?

I guess I’ll have to wait until Crazy fights her way back through the Ativan curtain so she can Google it and find out.

In the meantime, my spouse is left alone. Left to wonder if Ill ever return.
Left to deal with the tormented soul that is so filled with guilt plagued self loathing that I’m sure is torn between wanting their OWN life back and wanting to honor our vows….in sickness and in health.

I would be there until the sun was shining again, but can we really ask another to do the same?

Guilt and shame washes over me every minute of every single broken regret filled helpless day.

My ability to stand strong is gone. My ability to fight this is gone. My ability to reason with Crazy is gone. My abilities to really, do much of anything…are gone.

It’s all gone.

Dont poke a stick at it


So I begin today. I wake slowly a few times through the morning. Today is a day I am able to sleep in and I absolutely do not want to wake up at my regular time. I drift in and out enjoying the quiet and sighing to the fact that I am actually able to stay in bed.

Reality starts to fade in and I wish it would stay asleep too. Flashes of the day before start to intrude on my bliss and before you know it, the last 45 minutes of what could be quiet, calming sleep, are assaulted by blips of discussions, incidents, fears and fretting. Now, I, am, awake.

My spouse was upset yesterday because the new job is difficult. The supervisors pulled my spouse in to the office and had a 30 day review. As a manager myself I think, ut oh, as soon as I hear the news. My spouse starts to, with great stress, relay the meeting.

Not so good news. They like you…but. There it is. The lurching but.

Now, the fact that I am in the midst of a back slide in my own deal-eo, does not make listening to this any easier. I am trying to focus on what is being said as numbness drifts to my left arm and face. I start to panic a little but try very hard to hide it and remain neutral. My spouse is now crying stating that they feel like a failure as I fight to remain in the here and now, and not concentrate on my impending sudden death.

I try to comfort my spouse because after all, there are real issues there too. My spouse has suffered from anxiety and depression for years. Disability was the only source of support until my spouse didn’t send the paperwork for the review back and was dropped off. I was furious when I found out.

My spouse doesn’t do well at work. Never has and we have been together 14 years. I hear about all of this success pre-melt down and am amazed its possible. People skills, great unless you are someone my spouse does not care for and then its all over. Forever.

So as my spouse is talking about having trouble seeing the forms and completing the work, I flash to a month from now and realize, my spouse is going to be fired.

I am angry yet understanding. It is a weird mix. You want to be compassionate but by the same token, you want to freak out. Computers have never been a strong skill for my spouse and this job requires some basic computer skills. Eyesight is an issue and macular degeneration runs on the paternal side of the family so, I worry this is something coming along as well.

Now, before I continue, let me just make this statement. I am truly a kind hearted person who loves my family. I am giving and believe in a world with Good and God. There are things in this world and life that sometimes people just cannot help.

Having said that….

I am frustrated. I see a near future where I am the only income. Again. Now we are worrying about the limited vision so that means no driving for my spouse. So, I am now the only income and the only form of transportation that my spouse will have. What about doctor appointments, the grocery store, outings and other things? It is a lot to fret about.

For better or for worse. I embrace that. I do. But it doesn’t keep me from being fearful that I am not in a position at this time in my life to handle the for worse part, because right now, I am in the midst of my for worse and I want to get away from ME!

Lets also ponder for a moment, other posts where I have relayed conversations where my spouse has been just short of a jackass with my for worse part. I am sure it is unintentional but jackass is jackass, even if it is by mistake.

Dont get me wrong, I am not divorcing my spouse because of a job loss or loss of vision. That is crazy talk. I am ranting that in the midst of the worst now 7 months of my life, I don’t know if I can cope with big drama on the other side right now. I am fearful that a job loss or devastating news about my spouse will seal my fate and I will be forever loony.

The same can be said for my prison of a job.

I had a phone interview yesterday with another company. I will have a face to face interview at the end of the month for a job that pays almost 16k less a year but has a rep for a great place to work, great benefits and would actually have me OFF on the weekends. I would also not work later than 6p. However, 16k less a year when the spouse is likely going to be unemployed before the first snowfall…..I may be chained to my current hell for a longer period. Of course, that’s unless they get rid of me first. I am sure with every review and every increase they think they could get someone cheaper and that hasn’t lost heart. Because frankly, they have stabbed me in mine so often, I really have nothing left.

I wonder, if I left, will they care? Will they know I am leaving because of how I have been treated all of these years? Will it matter? Likely not.

The Director has been normal lately. Pleasant really. My boss has been absent for several weeks. Not from work, just from my work. It has been nice as I was ready to pop with a weekly or bi-weekly visit to drop in and say the same things. Now if visits happen, I am sure it is when I am gone.

I think about losing that job and wonder if I will care. I wonder if it will actually send me over the edge. It may or it may actually bring me back from the brink. It is such a hostile environment that it amazes me that the people in the ivory offices are really SO out of touch that they don’t see it.

Then I wonder, should I just leave a sue them? Should I sue them for $1 just because I need to make a statement about how terrible they treat people? How they have turned me in to this absolute shell of who I used to be or could have been?

I am irritated that they treat people the way they do and think it is okay.

They fire some people for ethical lapses that yes, should have been fired, no mistake about it. Then I wonder if they are evaluating WHY these people, after SO many years are making these terrible decisions?

Do they understand that beating people down day after day, having as many changes as our company has had over the last few years, demanding more more more with no understanding of the burn out it causes, do they think just MAYBE some of this may be why people with 8 or 10 years of tenor are taking a path they have never taken before?

I have been there 8 and I have been beaten to DEATH by them but no, I would never steal. I wouldn’t do the things that others have done but I also couldn’t care less about them. I care about my employees and their well-being but as far as the oppressors go, it wouldn’t phase me if they left and never came back. It wouldn’t upset me if I made a job transition to another company for the same income. I would fill by box and book it out the door yelling “SEE YA!” on the way out.

So with all of this going on, it is no wonder my anxiety and panic are back to manifesting themselves in worry over my health. That is how I express my fret. Health anxiety. I highly recommend staying away from it because it will drain you fast!

So today, I get up, go about my duties that I have to meet and then return home. I gave myself a haircut. (Do not assume that I went Brittany Spears, I have cut my hair for years and never chose to go bald but thank you for your concern)

I showered and came in my room. My goal for the day has been to NOT lay down but stay seated or moving. I decided I was having anxiety so I am writing instead of obsessively checking my blood pressure and pulse ox. It is like an addiction. If I want to get out of the habit, I have to stop doing it.

Besides, I am functioning. I am tired and want to nap but should go in to work. I don’t want to and am considering just starting my new-found resolve to stay busy, tomorrow.

When you are functioning okay, limited dizziness, some “unreal” feelings but over all, functioning, it is silly to take a blood pressure and risk undoing what is functioning. I WANT to take my bp, but then I think about last week when I did and how I took an okay week and turned my life back into constant panic and worry.

If you are functioning, don’t poke a stick at it. Continue to function until you can’t. Then, poke the stick because you’re already down, whats more going to do?!

So, as I finish my ramble, I have glimpses of hope that I can be productive and get my homework done today. Of course it would involve actually DOING the homework for which at this second, I am too tired to do. I think I will see if I can take a nap. If not, homework and maybe work it is.

For the rest of you who have the affliction that I do, I pray that you find peace and calm. Even if it’s just for a few hours. I am praying that your hours lead to days, to weeks, to months and to years.

This world is in shambles and life is not easy. With prayer and luck, maybe, just maybe we can get back to normal. We can feel good. We can experience true joy and happiness.

Those are my prayers for you. And me.

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.

CT Scan with Die


Yes, die.

I had a CT Scan with contrast dye today. I had a moment where I couldn’t breathe and my heart was going to explode. I hated it. Panic attack you ask?

Well, let me hook a tow truck up to your heart and see if you have some panic.

Apparently I had a “mild” reaction. Intense symptoms for a few minutes apparently constitutes mild.

Well, me and my MILD symptoms will never do that again. My heart rate went from 66 to 120, my heart was flipping around like it was trying to leave my body. Quickly, but was hung up on some ribs.

The tech called the doc down. I was trying to tell her my hear was all over but she left the room. Nice. I was weekly saying “Hello? Hello?” nothin.

As I recover, she mentions she pushed a bigger dose through because my heart rate was heading toward the 80’s. I’m medication sensitive. Thanks for trying to kill me for a minute.

My body is pissed off. I’ve been in a funk all day. Pushing fluids but it doesn’t seem like enough so now I worry I’m not getting the dye out like I should.

I hear I’ll feel better tomorrow. That’s good because this adventure has set me back in my anxiety and panic.

Dizzy spells, wanting to run home and be in my safe spot. Only 1 bath today though.

I’m hoping for good news from the doc tomorrow. If I’m not at risk for anything, meaning no sign of heart disease or other nasty things that appear with a CT Scan, I’m paying off my bills and quitting my job.

No job, no paycheck is worth what I went through today.

My employers culture is one of suspicion, fear, politics and nepotism. It’s toxic an I know it will be the death of me if I don’t get out.

I hate to have to start over. I don’t think I should but what else am I going to do? Unless you’re related, favored or got dirt, you’re at risk. That’s no way to live.

I’ll say it again, that company will be the death of me if I don’t leave.

I feel victimized every time I pull into the parking lot.

The sr. Director is worthwhile but the people below her? Wouldn’t last a second at another company in those positions. They cheat lie and try to intimidate whomever they can. It’s disgusting. Not for profit clearly doesn’t also have to mean moral compass.

I’ve had SO many signs from God that it’s time to save myself. God is watching over me, I know.

I wish they could be what they preach they are. Shameful.