I am new to anxiety for the most part. Since I have been a child I have experienced it, sure, but only in a panic attack because I have a 103* degree temperature and expelling all my bodily fluids to the merciless attack of the flu kind of way.
I lost my father to cancer on December 19th, 2012 and I am 27 years old. My Dad died, after battling cancer for 10-12 years. My dad was my hero, I did everything with him. Grew up working on the farm by his side, we started the business I still run today together, bought and developed rental properties together. His loss was devastating to me, but I have always to my detriment been an ignore and redirect kind of person. When Dad first got prostate cancer I think I was 16. He was a 9/10 and they gave him a year to live. Perhaps that is when I first started burying my head in the sand. I remember lying in bed at night crying because I didn't want to lose my parents, but with all the bravado of a 16 year old boy out to conquer the world and impress any girl I might meet I figured out how to internalize it.
With the right diet, lots of prayer, radiation treatment my Dad beat prostate cancer. Then the skin cancer that followed. Colon cancer followed 5 years later, and with surgeries and removal of 12'' of colon we moved on. Chemo helped, seemed to help. My mom had trouble letting go and I think that is why my Dad continued to do chemo when he was always comfortable with the long trip home. He was never sick in the traditional sense, he was a fearless, tough individual who rarely showed pain in any traditional sense. Cold / hot bothered him. More surgeries followed, lymph nodes were removed. Finally Dad developed a fairly rare cancerous tumor condition that manifested all over his body.
That's the one that got him, or helped get him. The chemo had destroyed his heart, but not his mind, and never touched his glorious soul.
We sat in the living room the week before he died (at home, thank you Jesus) and talked like two normal people talk to each other. I probably have some guilt I wasn't there more at the end, I never saw the end coming with Dad because he was always so strong, he always persevered. Finally on the morning of December 19th, I held his hand while he died. It wasn't pretty, it was actually horrific in only the way that someone taking their last breaths can be.... some of you may have experienced this with a loved one. I sat with Dad as he left this world, with my Mother and my wife (who was 8 months pregnant, some of Dad's last words to me were an apology he wouldn't live to see my son Ethan and to call me scruffy because I was growing out my beard) and the local on care nurse.
I told my father there was nothing left in this world for him to do and it was his time to go, and that I loved him. And he went.
And we grieved. Oh how we grieved. My whole family comes for the holidays and I was the only one of my siblings present with my Dad when he died, even though all my other siblings were racing to the farm. We banded together over Christmas and the funeral, and I dove headfirst back into work after the holidays. Poured everything I had into work.
January 24th, we had a beautiful baby boy which as it worked out I ended up delivering at home in our bathroom because the midwife didn't make it in time. The wife labored for only 4 hours... something about a t-shaped uterus that makes other women instantly dislike her for her birth story. He was perfect and still is our amazing little boy and an answer to so many prayers.
I continued to pour myself into work and remodeling apartments. Over the spring / summer / fall I bought another property, renovated it completely and also renovated two other apartments that needed to be updated. In addition to that I ran our company of 5 employees and we bought and moved our business into a new building. Life was very good and we have been very blessed with smart investments and great employees, I don't thank God enough for that.
Sometime around November, my wife's mother went into the ICU for a botched gallbladder removal. She almost left us when an artery burst and was a very stressful time. Perhaps a combination of going into an ICU, and the idea of losing a loved one gave me what I would describe as my first panic attack. From there it just got worse, but within the last month has been when the anxiety has gotten worse, and worse. I have sought counseling from my pastor, and been to see a professional who loosely diagnosed me with PTSD.
I've lost about 15lbs since this all started and struggle mostly in the mornings. I have been taking homeopathic medicine with has helped a lot, but I struggle with almost no appetite and constant nausea. I feel like I am slipping into depression which is something I never would have described myself as having being the over-achieving, leadership oriented person that I see myself being.
Anxiety attacks have been pretty common, although as I write this it's been a few days since I have had a full blown panic attack. I think I can attribute that to a whole lot of prayer by and for me, as well as the homeopathic medicine.
I still can't help but feel like the overall condition of my anxiety is getting worse. Should it get worse before it gets better? I am supposed to fly to Nebraska (from Virginia) for a 5 day job moving heavy equipment and preparing it for transport. Is that the worst idea to leave my comfort zone and support network? Or would it be good for me to get away, I keep thinking I can be anxious anywhere... but the nausea and lack of appetite really worries me because I am starting to feel the lack of energy from not eating enough.
Thanks in advance for hearing my story.