3rd "panic" attack since March 9th!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    :anxious: Today about five minutes from therapist and psychiatrist appts, difficult child who had been in the back seat of the van for about one hour stated, "Mom! I am scared! My head just got really really weird!" He was terrified and could not really explain what just happened. The closest we could get was that his head blanked out and came back very quickly. So, I am calling this an "anxiety/panic" attack for lack of a better term though I really can't accept it as one. It doesn't feel right!

    As we were checking in for the appts, difficult child threw up. This is the 8th time in 24 days including 3 non-school days and this afternoon. So facing school is not the issue. difficult child asked that I go back with him to the therapist appointment. therapist stated that this could be how difficult child's anxiety is manifesting itself. difficult child left feeling much better.

    Then to psychiatrist appointment. As we reviewed medications (will discontinue Propranolol which is not helping, increase Flouxetine to 20 mg per day and add .25 to .5 mg of Xanax as PRN to panic attacks and stressful events) and how difficult child was feeling, psychiatrist stated that there is a possibility of seizures triggering the anxiety (based on how he is feeling and no major stressors.). So, we will reschedule the 48 hr EEG that was cancelled last Spring.

    difficult child was to have a 48 hr EEG Easter Monday last year but his symptoms (very short seeing spots) had disappeared and there was no other indication of seizures so it was cancelled. At that time, he was also on Clonazepam which I believe is a seizure controlling medication. I thought if there were issues in this area they would come back once off the clonazepam. He went off in June/July and no symptoms in this area until March of this year.

    Needless to say, by the time we left psychiatrist's office, difficult child was in tears. Poor thing - he is almost hoping they find something with the 48 hr EEG. Although I know everything will work out fine, my heart breaks to see him so scared especially since there is no need to be that scared. I think he is also just so tired of how he feels every day.

    So, maybe when all is said and done, it will be anxiety but I feel good that docs are ruling things out and not just assuming at this point that it is anxiety.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I agree wholeheartedly on that, you have to rule out medical stuff without a doubt. I'm sorry he went through that and you, especially when your driving i've been there and that can be rough to manage.

    I'm glad you were able to review medications as well. You don't have to be brave and say you know everythign will work out, it's scary stuff when their anxiety can peek like that to such an unmanagable level.

    What gets me when i read your pm is what he says something weird happened with my head and it is followed by him throwing up. I have never experienced that with difficult child. When her anxiety is at it's worst she is not ab le to be totally verbally with-me she is zoning, detatching from reality as many do when they have panic attacks.

    did you go make tea for yourself?? how is he now?
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Poor guy.

    "So, maybe when all is said and done, it will be anxiety but I feel good that docs are ruling things out and not just assuming at this point that it is anxiety." Good to hear. I hope they find an answer soon.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm glad they are going to rule out the neurological possibilities. Either way, you'll be one step closer to sorting this all out. Poor guy -- that has to be very distressing.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry he has had another attack of whatever. It is hard enough when this happens, it is even harder when you are driving!! I am glad though, that it happened on the way to the docs! You couldn't have had a better destination, could you?

    I am wondering if the funny "blanked out" feeling and then throwing up could be some kind of seizure. Do I understand correctly that they CANCELLED the EEG? I wasn't sure I read that correctly.

    I don't know about all seizures, but I know when Jessie has a longer than normal seizure she sometimes vomits afterwards. It isn't like she is sick with a virus, it just sort of happens out of nowhere. Not after a typical absence seizure, where she just isn't "there" for a few seconds, but after the longer seizures, where seh isn't there for over a minute and then she is left with a very panicky, frightened feeling.

    Not sure this is typical post-seizure behavior. I do know that it seems to be hard to catch this on an EEG, our neuro said he was very surprised to see it and asked to use it as an example when teaching at the medication school.

    It is just a thought. I am sorry he is having ANY panic attacks. They are so scary for everyone involved. I am glad they gave you xanax to help with them. It was very useful for both Jessie and I when we had panic attacks. It is also helpful if you can find a scent that is soothing for use during and right after panic attacks. jessie and I used lavendar, and we also used Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer Tea. I opened several bags of the tea and mixed it with uncooked rice in a cloth rice bag (I make them out of the sleeves of knit shirts we no longer wear - long sleeves of course). Then we got the scent every time we heated the bag in the microwave. For the lavendar scent I mixed lavendar flowers with the rice. You can get lavendar at Wild Oats or other health food stores. Essential oils are also helpful.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    First off, is he hyperventalating? THAT can cause dizziness, numbness, tingling in the extremities, you can even black out. I've ended up in ER due to t hat before I learned to control it. I hadn't had any idea I'd even been doing it.

    Prozac can actually make you MORE anxious. It did me. It was horrible for me and I have those nifty panic attacks like your son does (I had them so bad that MY son, who also has them, likes to talk to me and only me when he is having one so I can talk him down...lol). My guess is it's a combo of the medications and his own panic disorder. People with panic/anxiety problems tend to overfocus on our bodies and we don't do well with ANY side effects--therefore often medications are less effective until the psychiatrist can find one that doesn't give out side effects and really DOES ease anxiety. Prozac CAN in some people, but to me it made me manicky, nervous and I had he worse nightmares I'd ever had in my life. Upping the dose in my opinion may make things even worse so watch him closely. When they upped my dose, it not only exaggerated the anxiety, but made me depressed. Remember that medications don't necessarily do what they are supposed to do--it's very individual. I hated Prozac and Zoloft, but Paxil is great for me. I have no idea why. It's trial and error. I was ready to give up and was seriously thinking of a suicide plan when the Paxil kicked in. It shocked me because nothing else that was supposed to work had ever worked--OR I'd have toxic effects and have to quit the effective medication.
    Hang in there. I'm guessing it has something to do with the Prozac, if he's suddenly having even more panic attacks. Certainly check him out physically, but be calm. If you indicate to a person with hypochondriasis that you feel they may be sick, it will make them SURE they are VERY sick.
    Good luck!
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you!

    Last year's EEG was cancelled. He stopped having the symptoms that led us to that test (2 - 3 second auroas) . I really feel that if he does have seizures, the clonazepam was keeping it in check and nothing would have shown on the test anyway. I am more hopeful that if there is seizure activity it will show up this time. I will need to call the middle of next week to get the new date. This one we will go through with.

    The 1st panic attack on March 9th was from a migrane headache. difficult child did not follow his coping skills (had done so well for many many months that he forgot what he was suppose to do). I understand that one. That one was a fear of death. Then with the floodings in Fargo, we could not get into the docs to help get this under control again.

    The 2nd panic attack was on March 29th. He was riding bike away from home toward a wooded area. I understand that one. That one he had difficulty breathing.

    Those two I feel were panic attacks. He started medications on April 4th and ever so so slowly, we are both seeing an improvement in his anxiety. He does not whine so much going to school anymore. He is feeling stronger. He was on Flouxetine last year -up to 30 mg and it did help immensely.

    This one, I feel is more like Susiestar described Jesse. It feels to me more like a seizure than a panic attack. (Though the others could have started as a seizure activity, they definetly ended as panic. This one did not have the panicy feel to it - terrified but not panicky if that makes sense. Maybe because we were facing therapist and psychiatrist at the time difficult child was not as afraid - he knew help was at hand) He did not hyperventilate. Just out of the blue mind blanked out and came to which sounds so much like a seizure.

    Midwest, you are such a great resource to me. Your understanding of what difficult child is experiencing helps me to keep to the plan and learn how to handle without adding to the fears. You are so right about not telling him that something is wrong. He was crying in the psychiatrist office. He just doesn't understand the process of looking and that whatever is found will be managed through medications. psychiatrist also told him that we KNOW that whatever is going on is not lifethreating that he has to hang in there while we figure out the best medications.

    Susiestar, as Midwest leads the way in helping us find our way through the anxiety part of this, I so welcome your insight on the possible seizure side. Your words are making so much sense right now. It is nice to be able to say, "Yes, that is what seems to be happening here. Now I can start putting it into words." When difficult child threw up, I was so surprised that the receptionist suggested that he had the flu. I would think that they would see kids who throw up due to anxiety from time to time? I told her no. He is not that kind of sick. Maybe because after the very first visit or two, they have never seen difficult child upset except for maybe twice but he never threw up. Your insight on the anxiety side will also be helpful.

    We have to keep telling the professionals that difficult child does not have an upset stomach when he throws up. It just happens out of the blue.

    We are also starting the process to assess the need for memory testing. difficult child states he does not remember what he reads. He also does not recognize people (me included) or other things at times. We are starting with giving the school a School questionnaire. This is a side note for now but I will keep bringing it up at each and every psychiatrist appointment. until it is addressed fully. psychiatrist outlined a process for that which includes a referral to a specialist who will work with that.
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Glad you are going to have the 48hr EEG. difficult child had that done a year ago due to passing out. Loss of consciousness. Tests for us were normal.

    Our insurance fought us saying it was not necessary. P-neurologist wrote a letter stating it was necessary. However the insurance would not pay for someone to READ the test.

    It is scary, but on the other hand would be nice if you can pin point what is causing this.

    My difficult child told me the other day he had an anxiety attack in the middle of the night. Woke up and was really scared, felt tingly and like his body was frozen, cold in side. He was proud of himself because he contained it. therapist is really helping him with breathing exercises and helping him realize anxiety/panic attack. Plus, he started the lexapro about a month ago. Maybe it is helping some.

    Does xanax work when your difficult child has an attack? Mine won't take the xanax. Afraid he'll have a bad reaction and die!!!

    Good luck.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you KJS!

    That is great news that your difficult child is starting to understand and accepting how his anxiety is presenting itself. Our therapist states that my difficult child's anxiety may be presenting in the weird head feelings, the instant disconnects, etc. difficult child seemed to accept that as we left that office and headed into psychiatrist's. Then when psychiatrist decided to do the 48 hr EEG, difficult child got scared again! *sigh*

    I think difficult child is starting to understand that it could be anxiety but has not started to accept that it is.

    difficult child has not had a Xanax yet. It is a PRN for the next panic attack or if he is facing anything really stressful. I will let everyone know how this effects him the first time we give it.