Sunday, December 10, 2006

In which I admit I'm crazy.

A while back I began having dizzy spells. And shortness of breath. And sometimes chest pains or headaches, but most worryingly, a general wooziness that made me think I might pass out cold. After one rather long lasting spell, I decided to go to the Doctor, and since there were no appts available I was sent to the urgent care.

Here's a confession: I was scared to go, because I was afraid they wouldn't find anything wrong, and they'd think I was crazy. I waited until the symptoms were so bad that I was just sure they'd find something. How could I feel this bad, and they not find anything?

They did an EKG. They took x-rays. They took blood. They listened to my heart and lungs. They didn't find anything wrong.

The Doctor was so kind. He didn't say I was crazy. He didn't say I should relax and forget it. He said I should see my regular Doctor so we could get to the bottom of it.

I did not make an appt. I did not want to go through more tests so they could tell me nothing was wrong. I figured at some point it would get worse. I would actually pass out, or some symptom would become visible and then I would have something tangible to show a Dr.

But the good Dr was thorough, and my Doctor's office called me and told me I really should come in. So I did. And my Doctor looked at my tests, and he looked at me, and then he had me hyperventilate on purpose. Did that feel like my woozy spells? Yep. Then he had a diagnosis- I was having anxiety attacks. But, says I, I didn't feel anxious and panicky when they happened, just woozy. He said that's why it's a disorder.

Recap for the ironically impaired: So I delayed going to the Doctor because I thought they'd think I was crazy, then I went to the Doctor and found out I was crazy.

I have been exploring this notion carefully. I would prefer not to go on meds, seeing as how I'm a walking milk bar right now. Can I control my crazies just by thinking different thoughts? I'm apparently so stressed that my body is having unhealthy reactions to it, but my conscious mind is unaware. Would I feel better if I got my conscious mind to recognize the stress I was apparently under?

I have been trying this for about a week now. I have discovered that I am mainly worried that I just can't get everything done that I need/want done. Therefore I have been trying to get help when I need it. I have also been trying to be my own cheerleader, reminding myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I'm getting into new helpful housekeeping habits, and am trying to sucker the guys into some too. It appears to be helping.

I feel ashamed though. Simon gets stressed, but he doesn't have anxiety attacks. Lots of people are stressed and they aren't freaking. I feel weak and lame. Broken.

Perhaps if I can get my act together without medicine then I can call my brokenness fixed? Instead of thinking of myself as weak, I can call it a momentary weakness?

Of course, when I think of other people who have problems with anxiety or panic attacks, I know their troubles are much worse than mine. Their problems are valid, and chemically/genetically based. And totally not about weakness. Their problems are real. Their problems are nothing for them to feel guilty about, only I can do that.

Hey, I don't have to be rational, because I'm crazy - remember?


Doing just fine, really,
ephelba

1 comment:

Esereth said...

Anxiety attacks suck suck so hard.

Drugs just cover up the problem, making sure it will eventually return (although they can help the cognitive fight).

Your plan of identifying the causes of your anxiety and working with them, that is the way to go.

I have lots of book suggestings if you want them. Glad your attacks aren't too severe.