My name is Josh (27yrs old) and Iíve been dealing with anxiety / panic attacks and mild depression since 2007. My first panic attack was while driving home after work on the expressway. It was like Mike Tyson himself had just punched me in my chest and followed up with a gut shot. I couldn't breath, my heart was racing, and my whole body felt like it was 150 degrees. After I pulled over and settled down I drove home, called off work the next day, and then set a doctor apt. My primary care doctor did a EKG and did some blood work and everything came back great and the conclusion was a anxiety related panic attack. What triggered it you might ask? I have no idea. So from there I was prescribed xanix and was told to take my meds 3 times a day to prevent any panic attacks from coming up again. That only worked for a little bit. Driving was still the fear and overcoming it and facing it head on was super hard. It got to the point where I had to give up my greatest hobby and possible career, Golf. I was a great golfer that played competitively on a ammeter tour in my state trying to work myself up to the Hooters Tour or Nationwide Tour at the time. Dreams crushed because I couldn't get to the tournaments. Just being in a vehicle driver or being a passenger creates anxiety for me and because of that Iíve just stopped leaving the house. I was unable to be with my dad when he passed away because I could leave the house to be by his side, I couldn't go to my best friends wedding or his daughter birth. Lets fast forward to current day.
Iíve gone almost 3yrs without any major panic attack till August 1st 2014. What and where was the panic attack? In my car :-( once again! Lets go back one day to the 30th of July. That day I was scheduled for surgery at my dermatologist so I drove to the hospital area with my wife as a passenger and on the way there I was having little panic attacks (you know what I mean) so I took .50mg of my xanix when In the car and then when we got to our detonations I was still wound up so I rushed in got in the elevator placed my head on my wifeís shoulder (shes my comfort zone) to help keep me from freaking out in a elevator with 8 other people. We get into the doctors office and all is well Im sitting waiting to be called back. About 15 min go by and I get the call. The doc comes in the room and takes a look and what needs to be done and I start feeling myself get jumpy so I take another xanix since Im going to be awake for the whole thing. After I take my meds the doc starts doing his thing. He gives me a shot to numb my neck and starts cutting (I had a cyst for like 4yrs that needed removed). While he was doing his thing I was 100% perfect. Wife by my side the doctor taking care of something Iíve wanted removed for years and Iím not freaking out. The wife and I leave with me feeling like I just hit the 100 million dollar lottery so on the way home I drive and feel great, I feel AMAZING, so we don't go right home. I stop by a friends house I haven't seen in 3yrs and say hello to him and his family, we drive to get food, and then we go home. Happy :-) So now lets go to the next day 31st of July. Since the day before I was feeling great and had a amazing time driving around with the wife I suggested that we take our son to the pet store to see the animals. Se we pack up get in the car and start driving. I get down our road in the neighborhood, down the service drive and BOOM Panic Attack while driving. The wife seeís it in my face. It feels like my heart is sinking in my chest so I turn around. I drive past our road trying to fight it but it was so overwhelming that I turned around once more and we went home. After we got home I felt terrible, sad, depressed like I let down my family or Iím a failure because I couldn't even drive them to the pet store thats no more the 5miles away. That night is when the big panic attack hit.
That evening while my brain is all over the place with emotion I find a way to work myself up to have a full blown in your face panic attack. At the time I was standing up with a class of water. I was so overwhelmed that I ended up throwing that glass of water downstairs. Needless to say my wife was upset with me and didn't want to speak with me witch lead to me feeling even worse. After about 15min I ended up calming down where I could function. While sitting on the stairs watching my wife clean up the mess I made I felt once again like a let down. That night I slept in the bed and her on the couch. The following morning Iím still having a racing heart and freakout about it and call 911 for the first time in all these years Iíve had this problem to have EMS sent to my house. This is 6am August 1st 2014. The EMS come take me into the ambulance and do what they do. They check vital signs and did a EKG. The said that everything shows normal and its my options if I wanted to go to the hospital or not and I said no. They were able to talk me down and help get my heart to stop racing and we went on our separate ways. So that day I set up a emergency doctors apt to speak with my doc about getting back on my meds that I haven't taken if over 3yrs (I should have stayed on them). I go to the doc driving WAY over the speed limit because Im freaking out (in a vehicle duh) and when we get there they resubscribe me the meds that I used to take, 20mg of Celexa, .50mg of Kolonipon.
So here we go back on my medication again and 3 days later BOOM 911! I call EMS again because of my panic attack. I know it takes a could weeks for the medications to fully kick in and I was kinda expecting something to happen (shouldn't have been thinking about it) so it happen. EMS once again said Iím NOT having a heart attack or a stroke and talked me down again. So I keep taking my medication and do my normal daily thing that a stay at home dad does and the weekend roles around and I notice the lawn needs to be mowed. I go out get he lawn mower start it up and start going. The next thing I notice is my heart is RACING so I shut the lawn mower off and sit down and take my pulse. My pulse was just over 170bpm so I let it settle down and I start back up and get most of the lawn mowed till I fill I have to sit down because my heart is racing. While this is happening Iím not short of breath Iím breathing fine and my chest doesn't hurt so my wife and I figure Iím just out of shape because Im not really that active. I play videos games with my son or alone and make Youtube videos every now and then. A couple days pass and I break the number one cardinal rule for anyone that has anxiety or panic disorder, I Googled info about heart rate. My resting heart rate is between 65-75 and that great but when I stand up and start moving around it jumps to 150-160 and then after walking around for a couple mins goes down to about 115-120ish. With all that being said I came across something called P.O.T.S that I think I have but I really doubt. The reason is because what I read about POTS. I already have a bad eating habit aka I dont eat much, Im not that active and I dont drink much water. All these things are related to heart rate and can make it increase to the levels that that hit.
Now were present day August 26 2014 and Iíve been more active, drinking more water, taking mens one a day vitamins because Im not eating much and I feel ok. My heart rate still jumps when I get up from laying down and thats normal from what I read and Iíve been going up and down our stairs as a workout to start getting back into shape. Cardio is key and I figure the more I do the better my heart will be and my heart rate will lower and no longer be around the 150-160-170 range while walking around the house or running up and down the stairs.
Thats my introductions and Im happy to say I have a doctors apt Friday to have a official EKG done and talk about the possibility of POTS.
Thanks for reading and best regards everyone.