To hell and back.
It's no secret, if you've been around here before, that I have clinical depression. I had some tough stuff to deal with in high school and that lead to a chemical imbalance and a slow functioning thyroid. Through a year of therapy and medication, I've been doing pretty darn good since then. Rough patches along the road, but nothing major. Even after the kids, when my post partum depression was really bad, it still wasn't AWFUL. I always knew it could be worse, but never really thought about it.
Until last week.
Last Wednesday, I didn't sleep more than 1 hour. I woke up in tears at my normal time and continued to cry for 36 hours. I was a mess. Shaking, sweating, nauseous, trouble breathing, chest pains...I was in the midst of a full blown panic attack. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't pull myself together enough to do anything.
I was such a mess. Now, a week out, I'm perplexed how I ever got to that state.
Thankfully, my sister is a Physician Assistant. One call to her, and through my sobs, a 1 minute explanation and she was in action. She called my mom and my dad. My dad was at my house in a few minutes.
I ended up in the ER that night. I was prescribed Ativan to help calm me down. I'm sure it works great for some people but for me it wasn't what I needed. One of my anxiety triggers is the fear of throwing up and the ER Doc said it could cause nausea and vomitting. That's all he needed to say in my fragile state...I was instantly sick to my stomach and it didn't go away for 2 days. I won't take Ativan ever again.
My in laws graciously took the kids over night and all day Friday so I could rest. I wasn't able to rest much...here's how antsy I was: I couldn't even watch Grey's Anatomy because it made my skin crawl with anxiety.
That my friends is more than normal depression/anxiety issues.
Around 3:30 on Friday afternoon, I started coming out of it. I was able to eat some real food, my breathing improved and I felt calmer. I slept really well Friday night, thanks to Tylenol PM, and woke up Saturday feeling much more human.
I'm writing all this out to you, in a scattered way, I know, because panic and anxiety disorders are not to be taken lightly. I know taking medicine to control things like this aren't everyone's cup of tea and that's okay. For me though...medicine, prayer and quiet time, therapy and exercise all have to be combined to make me feel relaxed. There was no specific cause to my attack. This is the most stressful time of year for me and I think I just cracked under all the pressure.
What did I learn? A lot. I'm making lists, asking for help and prioritizing. I spent the weekend doing what I loved and what I wanted. I taught 2 classes, went on a date with Dave and we took the kids to a little zoo. It was delightful. I was happy and relatively stress free.
I am happy. I'm not sure what else I can ask for.
Do you have issues with depression, anxiety or panic? Email me! kateundercoffer (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm not a doctor and can't offer medical advice but I can tell you what has worked for me in almost 10 years of struggle and offer encouragement to help you along the road!