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Author Topic: Bad Night... anybody out there?  (Read 160 times)

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Offline manda093080

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Bad Night... anybody out there?
« on: July 12, 2014, 08:11:01 PM »
I’ve only posted here once.  I wish things were different.  I’ve had anxiety since adolescence—I’m 33 now.  My anxiety manifests itself in worries over my health.  I have high blood pressure, and a family history of early heart disease.  I’m very overweight… it’s so stupid.  Such a changeable thing that might even reduce some of the anxiety.  But I stress eat like there’s not going to be a tomorrow.

I recently had a baby, and was diagnosed with post partum depression.  I’m sure the diagnosis is accurate—until very recently (my daughter is now seven months old), I have been unable to bond with her.  Most days I grieve for the life I had before all the dirty diapers and spitting up and crying… but I love her.  I want her.  Sometimes I have to remind myself—but I really do want her in my life.

In any case, the depression has somewhat settled.  And the anxiety predated my pregnancy by over a decade.  Right before I got pregnant, my anxiety started to flare up again.  I went to the Emergency Room time and time again for suspected heart attacks.  (Shortness of breath, jaw and neck pain, muscle fatigue and weakness, tightness in chest, and utter mindless terror).

During my pregnancy, the anxiety got out of control.  Right around six months in, I was convinced (CONVINCED) that I had malignant melanoma.  Pregnancy does weird things to existing moles, and even makes new ones.  Some of my moles were changing color… so I made an appointment with a dermatologist.  While waiting for my appointment, my worry absolutely consumed me.  I did nothing but think about skin cancer.  I googled pictures of what malignant moles looked like and became certain that mine looked the same.  A few days before the appointment, I was in such a state of agitation, that I just left the house.  I wandered down the street crying and praying and fearing… The doctor thought my moles were fine when I was examined, but on my insistence, she still removed three.  All of which were fine.

Lately I’ve gone back and forth between gastric issues and heart health concerns.  I’ve had multiple EKG’s at the hospital.  I’ve had a cardiac CT scan, and two cardiac ultrasounds—all of which were “normal”, though what normal is was never really explained. 

Every single day I feel fatigued and light headed.  I’m exhausted after very little effort.  My stomach hurts any time I eat anything… but then again, what I’m eating is mostly garbage.  Things that make me “feel good” for the moment, but have me on a heating pad hours later, groaning.  (Or running to the bathroom on a consistent basis).

Today during my shower, I became extremely short of breath.  It was a shower—I wasn’t running a marathon.  I worry that my body is trying to tell me that something isn’t right.  I watched my Nanny (grandmother) die.  She fell right on her living room floor and never got back up… heart failure at 59.

I see a therapist weekly.  We talk a lot.  Sometimes we do yoga.  I take clonazepam daily.  I don’t sleep without medication—and I have to be pretty drugged, because the night is the absolute worst for me.  That’s always when I feel like I need to go to the ER.  That’s always when I start obsessing over the pain in my head, or in my arm or in my back or neck or wherever.  My husband stays awake until I fall asleep, always keeping vigil… over what, I’m not sure.  It’s not like he could ward off a heart attack if I had one.

Every thing I’ve read says the only way to face this fear head on is to be WILLING to have a heart attack, not go to the ER, and miss it.  How am I supposed to be willing to have a heart attack?  I’m simply not.

Last week, my husband took me to a super fancy four star hotel downtown to watch fireworks.  I’d never done anything like it in my life.  Room service, and spa treatments.  Little hand towels that you throw into a hamper rather than paper towels in the bathrooms—(and TV’s in the bathrooms, as if you might miss something important)… employees at every corner handing out bottles of water and helping you carry things that really don’t require help.  It should have been an amazing trip… only, that evening I took my usual sleeping pill.  It got stuck on the way down, and I literally spent the rest of the trip worrying that I’d aspirated the pill into my lungs.  (As if I wouldn’t KNOW)… I mean, if I can wonder if maybe I’d inhaled a pill, probably I didn’t inhale it.  But that bit of logic meant nothing, and I spent hours on Google… (Dr. Google, as my husband calls it) asking what would happen if I inhaled a Unisom.

I don’t know how to stop this.  I feel isolated, because no one immediately close to me understands this.  They know I have anxiety, and it’s sort of a running joke when I think there’s something wrong based on mild symptoms… but it isn’t funny.  It’s lonely and terrifying and sometimes I’m just so tired of it.  I want to feel healthy and normal.  I don’t want to be afraid.  I don’t want obsessive thoughts of death ruining the moments I have—because tomorrow might now come anyway.  And I’m wasting today worrying…

I’m having a “am I having a heart attack” night tonight.  So I thought I’d write a bit to see if it helped.  I’ve taken my clonazepam and my unisom.  I’m drinking water, and maybe I’ll have a bath.  Then again, maybe I’ll go to the ER… I just want these thoughts OUT OF MY HEAD!

Is there anyone out there who feels this way?  I wish I knew how to make it go away for good… but I don’t.  So here we are.
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Online sixpack

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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 08:10:05 AM »
I had post partum issues following the births of two of my kids.  It can certainly be miserable.  SoI understand how  that can make you feel.  It takes a long while to get to feeling better.  It is even longer hike when engaging in reactive behaviors--like going to the er all of the time.

this is what I did to get to feeling better

http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,67619.0.html
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state. 

Offline patmob

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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 08:18:08 AM »
I'm sorry you're going through this.  I too am a heart worrier and spent a good part of yesterday fretting over it - I had spent all day on the compute (really lost track of time) then my flash got flushed and it felt like my BP went up and I freaked out.

The problem with worrying about your heart is there isn't a symptom you can come up with that isn't also a symptom of a heart attack.  Heart attack symptoms are so vague and widespread that it's overwhelming.

 But you've been checked out by docs and given the all clear so that's great news!  I think the next step really needs to dietary - no matter how good it tastes going down  it's not worth the impacts later.  I know because I've been through this as well.

For whatever reason, a couple of years ago my body (I was 225 lbs at the time) just decided it HATED sugar, processed foods and carbs.  If I ate even a sandwich I felt like I was going to die - I'm not talking indigestion I mean my heart rate would sky rocket, I'd have panic attacks - it was awful.  So after a trip to the ER for a heart attack that wasn't there (thank god!!) I changed how I ate.

No more processed foods, Additives, sugar, high fructose, etc.  I started to eat with 3 rules (1) if it wasn't available to my great-grandparents then I wasn't going to eat it and (2) vegetarian for breakfast and lunch every day and (3) beef nor more than once a week.

A couple things happened - first I very quickly lost weight.  Now down to 178 lbs.  And when I say quickly I mean quickly - lost so much so quick my wife made me to go the doc to make sure hi didn't have cancer lol.

But what also happened is that I felt better, physically, emotionally and in my mind - panic attacks became much less frequent.  Now, I enjoy the way I eat and don't miss anything I used to eat.  Every now and then I take a bite of something and it's usually so distasteful I spit it out and  give it to the dog.

I still need to work on getting exercise - I am amazing lazy - but that's my next step and am working towards it but as you know heart worriers often fear exercise.  I still get panic attacks and often have chest pains which make me think "this is it" but it's so much better than it was.

I'm just telling  you all this so you know that you're not alone and that I can sympathize with what you're going through.  Anytime you need to vent, just post - someone is always here and is going through or has been through what you're experiencing.


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Offline manda093080

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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 08:45:34 AM »
I didn't end up going to the ER.  I had a bath with lavender oil, and fell asleep while my husband played old school Krono Trigger... or something like that, on the Wii.  I slept all night, and I think? I might feel better this morning.

I try to remember that I've had these symptoms countless times, and by morning I'm always okay... no one has ever found anything wrong.  I just fear the doctors might've missed something--it happens.

This morning I dug the prize out of my Prize Candle, so that was momentarily distracting.  I think I will try to eat better (but I always say that, and end up falling off the proverbial wagon).  Thank you for replying.  It feels good to have someone say "I know how you feel", rather than roll their eyes and say "Oh, Amanda.  You're FINE.  You're so dramatic."

Hoping today will be a little better for everyone.
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Offline JER2911

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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 09:48:38 AM »
Hi there!

Sorry you are in a battle right now. We've all been there.

I thought this old post of mine might offer some help, or at least some perspective.
Make sure you read the entire thread. Good stuff in there :)

http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,74589.0.html
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Matthew 6:27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Offline JER2911

  • Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 09:49:46 AM »
Let me know if the link doesn't work. It pasted weird.
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Matthew 6:27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Offline manda093080

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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 12:43:02 PM »
@JER2911 Hey, thank you for taking time to post the link.  I'm going to read it now.
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Offline manda093080

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Re: Bad Night... anybody out there?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 01:09:06 PM »
@sixpack I really like your idea of jewelry making.  I think back on times when my HA? <-- that seems to be the term, was at its lowest, and it's always when I'M busiest.  I thought I was completely cured for nearly six years (I did worry occasionally, but never went to the ER and mostly ignored my symptoms) when I was working full time. 

I quit my job to have a baby... and I swear I thought it would be the same, because goodness knows I'm doing just as much work!  :spineyes: but, I didn't account for how isolating caring for a newborn is.  And even now, at seven months, it's so much easier to stay in the house than it is to pack up a diaper bag and food back and toy bag, and then hope the disruption in her schedule doesn't cause a massive public meltdown (which ALWAYS triggers my anxiety in a bad way)...

So I've stopped going out, even with my husband to help, because I get so embarrassed when she's inconsolable in public.  I feel like EVERYONE is looking at us and wondering why I can't comfort my own baby.  (I was guilty of just that kind of judgment before I had a child... and I still feel like people don't go out to dinner to hear someone else's baby throwing a fit).  So, I'm home all the time.  Alone here, with her... my husband works, and runs his errands, and occasionally plays in tournament games of Warhammer.  (It's a geek thing... one of my favorite things about him).

Next week, that's something I'm going to work on with my therapist.  The dreaded "Going Out".

And I do fear death.  I think worrying is just a useless attempt to control something I have no control over.  My husband and I are religious, and I don't know your convictions, so I don't mean to offend -- but he once told me that I worshiped death rather than God.  At first, it was a shock to hear it... but I realized that I do.  I fear death, I am preoccupied with thinking of it, I devote a good deal of my time to it, and for what?  I'm going to die.  I have to accept that.  And like so many others have said, it could be while crossing the street.  Unfortunately, they don't make a medical test for: freak accident.  ::)  because I'd be the first in line at the doctor's office willing to let them poke me wherever they needed to.

I want to be better.  I want to live healthier, for my baby and my husband.  I want to be creating memories during this precious time, instead of wasting it!  Thank you for the link.  I appreciate it.
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