Wednesday, July 25, 2007

SOO Not In Colorado....

Here I sit. There are no snow-capped mountain vistas out my window. There is no cool, crisp, mountain air refreshing my lungs. I have no vague sensation whatsoever of being in a higher altitude than my midwest plains brain is accustomed to.

Crap, I am still in Iowa. Where the air is humid, the temps are brutal, and there is a lingering under-scent of corn everywhere you go.

Despite all my brash talk of not being a slave to a little bit of a fast heart rhythm, I ended up in the emergency room again last Tuesday night (that's five days after the first ER visit). I had massive recurrence of palpitations, accompanied by profuse sensations of total-body flushing and impending doom. At first I thought, "Great! I can get this taken care of before we go to Colorado!" Alas, it was not to be.

Right off the bat I found out that my palpitations are not abnormal beats. They are just my normal heart beat speeding up. This leads them to believe there is another cause for my tachycardia. As a cardiac electrophysiology nurse I heartily agree with the diagnosis and mutter a simultaneous, "rats!" as I know this leads to much more testing, etc. Well, there goes the trip to Colorado. Some of the tests they are running can take up to 2 weeks to result. TWO WEEKS. That is a long damn time to wait when you are wondering if you might end up with a very bad diagnosis.

In the mean time I was sent home with a couple of different drugs to help my tachycardia and flushing symptoms. They worked ok, but I still had breakthrough symptoms. I finally saw my doctor yesterday and after talking to her I felt much better. She has me on a prescription that seems to be doing the trick, until I find out what the tests show.

Now here's the interesting part: one of the "differential diagnoses" that she is working with is panic attack or panic disorder. Now I had to scoff at this. Anyone who knows me knows I am Type B personality....with a few type A traits. But really, I am as mellow and even-tempered as they come. JeepMan actually complains sometimes that I don't get worked up about ANYTHING, that I am too laid back and it sometimes seems like I don't even care about some things. Which doesn't fit into the panic-attack stereotype to me.

Until I started reading about it. Apparently people who are otherwise "normal" can have panic attacks. Out of the Blue. Unprovoked. They are called unanticipated panic attacks. But still.....can you have a panic attack without panicking? Well, it appears that many symptoms of panic attack are overwhelmingly physical!!

Which just totally goes against everything I thought I knew. So you can be just a regular, mellow, person and WHAM!!, get socked by a panic attack when you weren't even anxious about anything, and then not realize it was a panic attack.


Hell, it's a better diagnosis than the two tumors that they are working me up for (shudddddddder).

The most interesting thing is that today is the second day on the depression/anxiety/panic medication that she put me on...and I feel almost NORMAL again. Let me tell you, I was wondering if I would EVER feel normal again for a couple of weeks there.

JeepMan said it's been like living with a stranger or a cardboard cutout of me, until today.

So here's to hoping the tests for the bad things come back ok, and that I am just psychotic. At least there's a pill for that right?

So how's about it? List a few things that make YOU panic, no matter how silly they might be!

Here's mine:
Death - anyone that I love but especially a child
Dying and leaving my children without a mother
Flying in airplanes (small spaces and fear of heights)
Heights, especially if I feel I could fall (no kidding, even a 3-step ladder makes me queasy)
Small spaces
Crowds, even in elevators
On a boat, the stomach-turning awareness of how deep the water underneath you is
Trying to comprehend enormous things like millions/billions of years, the vastness of space, eternity - I try not to think about them because I do get a little panicky
Losing track of my child even for a second in a crowded area (not weird, just mom-ish)

I'll try to make the next post not so morbid, but this is a litte snapshot of my life right now and I gotta put it out there for what it is...


Monnik said...

Haha. You crack me up, because for a self-proclaimed 'type B, laid back, nothing bothers you' personality, you sure have a lot of fears and phobias. :) But it's why I love ya.

What makes me panic:

-debt. hate it - must abolish it from my budget forever.
-extreme messiness - i'm not a neat freak, but i will panic if i have a TON of housework to do
-loss of control - if i feel powerless in any situation, i get panicky

That's all i can come up with at the moment.

Be well, my best bud.

It's hotter than two cats scrogging in a frying pan out there.

Monnik said...

I found something else that makes me panic:

Yesterday, I got a ridiculously stupid email from a less than smart coworker and forwarded it on to my friend with a snarky comment. For a split second, I had that horrible panicky feeling (heart racing, body flush, etc.) that I hit 'reply' instead of 'forward' with the email.

If you're feeling that all the time, I am so freaked out for you!!! I hope you find good answers soon. Keep me posted.

T2K said...

My biggest fear at the moment? The thought of going back to stay at Casa de in-laws for any length of time with the sister-in-law's family there. Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Yeah, it's almost exactly like that forwarded/replied email feeling. Over, and over, and over again....It sucks.

I'm feeling pretty good today though, so that's a plus. Going out to Red Lobster tonite for Plato's birthday - his favorite place. That kid is a crab leg eating machine...

krobzoo said...

Jeepers girl. What a scary time for you, and that can't help the panic attacks. Take care, I will say a prayer for you.

Losing the kid - awful -happened to us at Adventureland today. Jack was lost for about 10 minutes. I knew he was with Gary and my dad, I was walking ahead quickly with Katie to meet a friend. Jack ran ahead and Gary thought he caught up to me. When Gary caught up to me a few minutes later, he realized Jack had not found me. It was SO packed, and I was SO scared. I RAN through that place, literally jumping over a couple strollers. You should have seen his little face crumple when he saw me and mine did as well. IT WAS AWFUL! Even now...
(also scared of heights and small spaces)

krobzoo said...

OK, so how are you doing!? Been thinking about you...