Thursday, January 24, 2008

3 Panic Attacks!!

A couple of Mondays ago, I had two panic attacks while driving. One on the way to where I was going, and another on the way home. This happened to me once this summer while I was on this Prednezone power pack, but never had any issues since. This time was completely different. Not only did I have the two while driving, but then I had another one at midnight at home!!

I was lying in bed when I felt it come on and I felt like I was going to faint, my limbs were freezing, and I started shaking uncontrollably. Since my husband was out of town, I called my in-laws... at midnight. Bless their hearts, they came right away. In the meantime, I called a doctor who did not think I needed emergency care. My father-in-law (a Fire Chief) thought I had exhaustion.

The next day, my parents came from Iowa to stay with me until my husband could come home early. I felt fine as long as there was someone in the house and I wasn't driving. There was no need for my husband to jump on the plane instantly. He cut his trip short by 4 days, which was perfect. In the meantime, I saw a doctor who said I had exhaustion which triggered an anxiety attack. However, he said it was not simply a 'body rest' situation I had, but a 'mind rest' situation. He referred my to a mental health professional.

My first reaction was, "what? my brain is fine." But while waiting for my Dad to pick me up I realized I needed this mental health professional if I was going to be independent and driving again. When I called to schedule an appointment, the first thing they asked me was, "Do you want medication or no medication." No medication, please! So that puts in one-on-one therapy. They got me in right away, first thing the very next morning. I found myself really looking forward to meeting with her.

I got there, the place was packed! A lady who was with me in the elevator and also in line kept talking to me- trying to figure out if I had something worse than her, presumably. Or, maybe I was just self-conscious and she was just being nice. I'll go with the latter.

When I met with my counselor, I think the first thing I said to her was joking, "I should've been here years ago." She laughed. I was uncomfortable at first, but she was very easy to talk to. It wasn't like the movies at all! She interacted, she shared little stories of her own, it was like talking to a friend... but better! This friend could actually help me!
Since I opted for no medication, she prescribed a relaxation & wellness CD from I bought the one she recommended and another that was just for panic attacks.

On Saturday, before receiving the CDs /downloads, I tried driving on the highway. My heart seemed to be racing with the speed of the engine. I made it to one exit ramp... about 4 blocks. Then had to take side streets home. See, that's the thing. I'm fine if I'm driving less than 40 mph. It's the highway that was triggering it. Anyway, I couldn't do it. I came home in tears I was so frustrated and angry that my brain would limit me like this!

It's now been four nights of listening to the relaxation and affirmation CDs. I'm going to try driving today. I'll let you know how it goes...