Last night

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by GuideMe, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    So last night it came to a head for me personally. Right around 10:00 pm, I started to feel extremely dizzy and had a very hard time breathing. My heart beating out of my chest. Feeling like I'm really about to die. You know panic at its finest.

    I really had trouble breathing. Being able not to breathe properly and losing your breath has to be one of the most terrifying things on earth. So , even though I knew it could be a panic attack, I didn't want to take the chance. I've had only 4 panic attacks in my life, it's not something I've always had. I do have several health conditions so you never know. So I called the ambulance to come get me. While I was waiting I felt like my lungs were going to collapse. Turned out all my breathing test came out really good in fact and it was just a panic attack. Jesus those panic attacks make everything seem so real.

    So basically, all the drama over the last several months took it's toll last night. I know I need professional help, unfortunately can't afford the good kind right now.
  2. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I'll be ok though. I am going to try to stay positive today. Have a beautiful Saturday folks

    P.S. just realized I didn't put this post in the Water Cooler where it belongs. Sorry about that. I really thought I was in the Water Cooler.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hey, I'm sorry!

    I can give you a tip before I take off for work (yep, it's my weekend to work!). Anyhow, I have read that when your emotions drive your body, you panic and freak out. When your breath drives your body, you can't help being calm. It's biological. I've had panic attacks on and off all my life so I tried this deep breathing when I felt anxious last time. It is absolutely true! If you let your breath control your body, your heart slows, the dizziness goes away, the tenseness relaxes and you can clear your head and avoid the ambulance (I've been in ER for panic attacks myself so I understand. I tended to hyperventilate).

    If you breathe in through your nose and let your diaphragm expand then allow your breath to be released slowly through your mouth, you'd be amazed at how calm you get, especially if you do it for a long time. Another trick I learned is to tell your muscles to relax, one by one. Start with your feet, if you like. "Toes let go of tension." Then "Knees let go of tension." All the way up to your skull. There are imagery tapes to help too.

    I was in ER once with tingling on my left side and I thought, "It's a stroke for sure." Well, it was just a panic attack. Hyperventalation is NOT YOUR FRIEND! It causes all sorts of weird symptoms. Until you can afford therapy, there are a lot of relaxation tapes on YouTube and not all are just meditation.

    Remember...let your breath drive your body. Gotta run. I wish I didn't have to work today. My daughter is in from college, but oh well. I hope you have a great day. You sound like you are doing better. Find the peace and beauty of the day...those natural things that cost nothing and that nobody NOBODY can take away from you, no matter what.

    Hugs to my earlybird board sissy who got up later than
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  4. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    You too MWM! Have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for the tips!!
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Absolutely right.

    Concentrating on the breath in this way switches our physiologic state from fight or flight (a state brought on by our brains revving up and circling over the same hurtful things, things that have no solution or we would already have dealt with them) to rest or digest nervous system in charge. This switch from the survival nervous system in charge to the rest or digest nervous system being in charge is one benefit of a meditation practice.

    I am glad you are alright, now. That must have been so frightening.

    This is a simple, easy to remember meditation process designed to switch the body from the fight or flight nervous system response to the rest or digest nervous system response.

    Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose, repeating to yourself: "I breathe in." Breath out gently, evenly, and steadily, repeating: "I breathe out, gently."

    You will feel a difference within about five breaths.

    I still do this, when I need to.


    When I awaken at night to those worries circling, or to those horrible images of what is, repeating the Serenity Prayer is helpful. I was told I needed to read it, or to repeat it, until it worked.

    It does work. Read it until it does. Repeat it until it does. You know what they say: There are no atheists in foxholes. We are fighting for our lives and our sanity, here.

    This is real.

    Use every tool at your disposal to make your way through to the other side.

    The Serenity Prayer is one of the tools (along with the simple breathing meditation noted above) you can learn to employ at will to know how to help yourself during the times when you have already done everything you know to do.

    These tools have made it possible for me to function, to go on, to keep going.

    I am sorry this is so hard, Guide Me.

    You will make it through.

  6. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thank you guys. I forgot to mention that I do have slight asthma and gastric reflux that has caused breathing problems for me. The gastric reflux has damaged some of my bronchial chords which has led to slight asthma. Very beginning stage of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as well. So I do have slight breathing problems already that I never had before. So I wasn't totally wrong about having some breathing problems last night because they were acting up, but they were not dier, not even close, thank God. It seemed the more I tried to concentrate on my breathing, the worse it got super fast. The first panic attack I ever had, I went through hell, but after learning it was a panic attack, I was able to talk myself out of the next three. However, I could not talk myself out of this one. Once you learn how to conquer panic attacks, the panic attacks become tricker and tricker and sneak attack you in a different way, know what I mean? They did give me breathing treatments last night which really helped. To be honest with you all, remember I told you I picked smoking back up last month after almost a year of not smoking? Well, that's what probably did it. I feel awful because I know better than to smoke, especially with my existing breathing problems. I have officially stopped smoking again. That's the only good thing that came out of this. Came home and threw those ciggs right down the garbage disposal.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    In an attempt to lighten your mood, I have a funny panic attack story. (Really, it's funny.)

    As I may have mentioned, Jabber is my second husband. The first, difficult child's biodad, was just an ass. He nearly ruined me financially, cheated on me, threatened me, etc. Never worked, spent all my money every months, wouldn't even watch our son...I had to get daycare! After all that HE left ME. Of course, I wouldn't let him come back, but still.

    So I was terrified of getting remarried. Poor Jabber was a saint. He'd come home to find me crying hysterically and saying I couldn't marry him because of all my financial problems, etc. I made him swear he'd just divorce me if he wanted someone else. I made sure he understood how many kids we might have (ONE!). We couldn't move far from the apartment I was already in so I would be near my friends in case something happened and we broke up! And the wedding! I stressed over every detail! The only reason I wasn't a bridezilla was I did all the work myself!

    The day came and I was completely calm! Smiling, happy. It was awesome. Then during his vows I started sobbing hysterically! LOL You can hear me on the wedding video sniffing snot and I started thinking, "Next time I get married I'm bringing tissues!" Then I thought, "OMG! I have to kiss him and my nose is running!" Which made me start laughing. What a trip. But that wasn't the bad part...

    Two weeks later, we've been home from the honeymoon a week, I'm back at work, and I spend the entire day for no reason at all, feeling like someone is sitting on my chest. It just doesn't go away, so I go to Urgent Care after work. They do an EKG, normal. They do a breathing test, normal. They give me this quiz, come back, and say, "You're having a panic attack. Here's a prescription for Lithium (or something like that)." I LOST IT. I started just laughing and laughing and the doctor was quite taken aback. I explained that, first, my wedding was two weeks before and the stress was actually over and second, I was the first woman my husband had ever dated that didn't take some type of mood altering substance and I was absolutely NOT going to keep that streak going. With that, I balled up the Rx and tossed it. LOL

    I've had panic attacks since then. Every once in a while someone sits on my chest again. Really, I try to remember that day and it makes me feel better.


    I've been sick since last Sunday. I kept smoking, not many but still, through Wed. Thursday I was coughing my lungs up all day and didn't even think about smoking. Yesterday, I said, "You know, this is a good time to quit." Jabber agreed so we gave difficult child our last pack of smokes. Today, after difficult child drama, Jabber bought an e-cig, I've taken 2 puffs and don't really want it.

    I once quit for 8 years!!! And started again. How stupid is that?
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  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    It was Xanax honey, not lithium. Lithium is what my one ex was on that went streaking at the truck stop!!
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    So sorry you are having such a tough time. Good for you that you threw out the cigarettes.
    The library is a good resource for self help books. Also, start giving yourself positive affirmations every day.
    Hang in there and I hope you have a better day tomorrow.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm pretty sure Jabber's ex was not ON Lithium at the time she went streaking - and ended up in "care of the state". :runcirclsmiley2:
  11. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Lol. Xanax, Lithium, ecstasy. All the same to me! hehehehe
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    This is a great story.

    I am happy you and Jabber found one another ~ and that you managed to make it through the wedding ceremony!

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  13. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    It is a great story Lil. I can relate to it a lot, believe me.
  14. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    GM -- So sorry to hear that events took you to the ER. But smart, smart, SMART that you did call! Really. One just never knows what all may be going on on top of a panic attack. I'm glad there were no other diagnoses to cope with. A panic attack is enough, right?

    While I haven't had a panic attack like that, per se, I have been "panicky" enough at some situations that I have become aware that my breathing was off. It's a bizarre sensation, for sure. But I have felt PTSD-like symptoms and am currently seeing a counselor for it (around difficult child issues, specifically) and he's been very helpful. FYI --- My counselor looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman, so I'm feelin' a Hunger Games vibe from it sometimes! LOL!

    But I digress.... :D

    I, too, learned some breathing/relaxation techniques which are helpful and I use them periodically. But I've now added Yoga and, I'm tellin' ya, Yoga is wonderful! And a HUGE part of it is breathing. I like it so much I'm doing it near-daily now as a mind/body/soul health measure. I start every morning with it and it "resets me" every morning.

    GM --- Have you ever tried or considered Yoga? I can't do the pretzel-bending thang (just ain't happenin'!), but I do what I can and it just feels great alllllllllllll over! Just a thought....

    Lil, Jabber, dstc_99 ---- Thanks for the morning laughs! Great stories!

    GM --- Thinking of you today and hoping all settles down. I'm a LOT like you in that stress stuff doesn't always hit me at first. But when it does.........BAM! It's delayed, but it's powerful and can take me down a notch for a day (or more). I once wrote down all of the hardest incidents we'd faced with difficult child (there were 30) and then noted that 21/30 had been police calls (to our home, to school, to rec center, etc). That's a lot.

    We are survivors! Let's face it, some of our experiences would make a box-office smash hit in their intensity. And we are the protagonists in the film........seeking the best outcome for all. :)

    Take care, GM!
  15. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thanks HM. And thank you for mentioning the delay factor because that's how I always been and talk about it quite often. I have a very delayed reaction to things. Actually, very severely. If I am approached with traumatizing news or situation that directly effects me, I go into total shut down mode, like I didn't even hear it. I can keep talking and smiling like I didn't even miss a beat. I certainly do not cry right on the spot (most times, once in a blue moon I do). It takes me a LONG time for something to hit me and when it does, it hits hard and fast and I am not just talking about the panic. I am more talking about the sadness, anger, so on and so forth. I feel like these personality quirks that I have are the reason why I don't have a lot of friends or people in my life. I act so weird and no one gets me. Trying to change it though. So , next thought:

    I wanted to mention everybody who treated me that night were absolutely cool and funny. The paramedics were great, the nurses and doctors were great too. It was such a good vibe in ambulance and the hospital. It was like I hit the medical staff lottery. I guess with my awful luck, I'm bound to strike good luck once every millenia or so. What's the saying? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while?
  16. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    GM -- All responses are valid: immediate, delayed, gradual, sideways, etc. We all have our own styles of coping. In the immediacy of police calls, I always valued my ability to "keep it together" during crises. I still value that. When it hits me more emotionally (usually within a handful of days), I'm in a better place to deal with it. I like quiet/private time during those recovery periods. I think it's great that you do whatever works best for you. And the great thing is, if you ever feel like you want to change your style (for whatever reason), you can. :) We support you!

    Awesome about the medical staff being so cool! I tell ya, medical staff (from top to bottom) make sure a caring, comforting difference in our lives! When they're professional and personable (really caring), they not only change quantity of life, but, also, quality!

    Wishing you all the best today, GM!
  17. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Love this, all of it, but especially this. I do sometimes feel things right on the spot. It just depends on what day it is and thank you for the well wishes. I know you are going through it too HM so best wishes to you as well.
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