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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How I Got Here: Part Three

The Lexapro attack was what would continue to fuel the rest of my attacks. It has been really scary for me to be in a public place, where I felt like I couldn't explain to anyone what was going on, while having the attack. Of course at the time, I didn't know it was a panic attack. But I would soon figure this out.
When I talked with the Nurse Practitioner who worked for the psychiatrist, we not only switched my medication but she also gave me a prescription for Clonopin for the panic attacks.
I wasn't sure I needed them until a couple of weeks later. My husband and I went to eat lunch and I couldn't make it through our lunch. I started having a panic attack in the restuarant and found myself dreading the thought of waiting until our food was delivered. I wanted to get OUT. I tried holding my husband's hands, breathing deeply... it didn't work. I finally had my husband get our food to-go so that we could get out of there.
On the way home, I picked up the clonopin prescription.
For the next 2 years, I would carry that prescription everywhere in my purse. It became really helpful when I had to drive the 2 hours roundtrip by myself every time I went to and from my classes. (The fall after my brother passed away, I started classes to finish my Bachelor's at TWU, whose campus is 45-60 minutes away from our house).
I started having panic attacks driving to school, but was able to get them relatively under control. They were triggered by obvious stressors- Driving in the pouring rain or snow, etc.
Eventually, it got to the point where I didn't want to drive if the weather was bad. So I started avoiding class if I knew it was going to be really inclement weather. Then that turned into obsessing over whether there would even be a *chance* of bad weather. I never went to school without checking the weather multiple times. I hated that the fear of having more panic attacks was controlling that part of my life, but there wasn't much I felt I could do about it. Besides, at least I still had everything else under control.
I spent two years doing this. And this fall, the fall semester of 2010, I was prepared to finish my last couple of classes before student teaching and graduating with my Bachelor's in Early Elementary Education. I had worked so hard for it for so long. I had sacrificed so much. I was ready.
But it wasn't 2 weeks into the new semester and the panic attacks were back. Driving home from my evening class, I had one. And then another. And then driving to school. And then another and another and another. One night, I bawled half the way home because I was so tired of the attacks overtaking and controlling me. I couldn't get to school. I couldn't get home. I was spending the whole time I was commuting on the phone with friends, just trying to distract myself from the fear that was overtaking my body. I was spending the whole time I was in class just waiting to get out of there so I could get back home, where I felt safe. It had gotten out of control.
Finally, I pulled out of my classes on campus. I knew it meant putting my career and everything I'd worked for on hold, but I had no choice. I obsessed over it for weeks. During those weeks, I lost a man who used to be a dear friend of mine. He was my first boyfriend in high school and I had been close with him and his parents for many years while I lived in Tennessee.
At the same time, I was working 4 different part time jobs and taking 4 university courses. I was getting everything in order to student teach and finishing my resume so that it was ready to hopefully help me get a job in 2011.
Together, it was all too much. I found myself not reacting well to my friend's death at all. And during all of this is when I started having sporadic panic attacks. On the way to preschool to pick my daughter up. At the grocery store. At the pediatrician's office. On the road. And finally, at home.
My life felt out of control. My body felt out of control, and my mind felt out of control. I thought I was losing it. ALL of it.
I've already talked about going to the doctors. And how I chose to ignore their advice. But I'm glad I went. Because if I hadn't been through all of this, I probably wouldn't have been so adament about SOLVING these problems... as opposed to putting a band-aid over them (which is what the medications the doctors recommended) would have done. And if I hadn't been through such extreme issues, I wouldn't have realized that I have physical issues (and probably have had for years). You see, I thought this was ALL about panic attacks. I had no idea that I had underlying health conditions that were only making it easier for my body to have anxiety and panic.
Treating the health conditions has been the hugest first step in helping me get over all of this. But I still have a long way to go. Because I have had a lot of experiences that have left me with a lot of stress and anxiety.
I didn't just wake up one day, terrified to drive in the rain or sit in traffic. 5 years ago, I had no problem driving 2000 miles by myself in any kind of weather. And I did.
But this is all how where I got to where I'm at. That's how I got here. But by the grace of God and faith in natural medicine, I'm reversing so much of what I've gone through over the last few years. And I can't wait to blog about more triumphs over all of this that I've been through.

How I Got Here: Part Two

Fast forward a little more than 2 years later. On April 29, 2008, I lost my baby brother to an accidental overdose. He was 19 years old. The ways his death affected me and still do are too numerous to put down on paper.
My parents and I started seeing a grief counselor and she was great. She waited about a month until she finally referred us to a psychiatrist. She didn't expect us to be better, but she didn't feel we were in a healthy place either. It was time for medication. And the psychiatrist was quick to put us all on it. *Insert a giant eye roll right here*
He put me on an antidepressant called Lexapro. And it was going okay for probably a month or two. But then one night I got off work and I was really, really missing my brother. There was a bottle of Crown at our house and I decided I'd take a couple of shots. They went down really smooth and easy and I didn't feel anything... at first.
I skipped my medicine that night because there was no way I was going to mix it with liqour. (I swear I don't have a drinking problem, despite what these blogs may otherwise portray! ;))
The next day, I went ahead and took my Lexapro after lunch. Later that afternoon, my grandmother invited Abbie and I to go get icecream. Sure, I said, and off we went. On the way, I started to feel funny. By the time I got Abbie out of her carseat, I was shaking. We went inside and ordered, all the while with my heartrate going up and up.
Finally, I went to the bathroom. Again, I thought this pill I'd taken was having an adverse affect on me. I thought it was going to kill me. I put cold paper towels on my neck and tried just breathing, relaxing, and praying.
I went back to my seat and still felt awful. Back in the bathroom, I again tried to get the medicine or anything else out of my system. I remember throwing up the lunch we'd ordered that day and wondering if I was having food poisoning. I ended up going to the bathroom 3 times at least, terrified it was the only place I could try and treat my symptoms. Again, I had no idea what people around me were thinking. But I didn't care. I thought I was dying.
Finally, I told my grandmother we had to go. I asked her to drive home, despite the fact that I never had her drive with Abbie and I (she's a good driver, but she's elderly and has arthritis and vision problems). By the time we got to the parking lot, my body had done a 180 and I could drive home.
I had a good family friend (and convenient neighbor) come over and help me with Abbie while I laid down, still shaken, nauseated, and exhausted from the ordeal at the ice cream place. I felt as if I'd been run over by a truck. I was still shaking and so sick.

To be continued... ;)

How I Got Here: Part One

The last few weeks have been such a blur of revelations, trials, and so much more that I realize I may not be being completely clear as to what is going on with me.
My biggest issue is that I am suffering from a panic disorder with agoraphobia.
What does that mean? Well, the panic disorder part is pretty clear. Agoraphobia means that my panic has, in a way, taken control of me and it now scares me to go places.
You may wonder HOW this happens. Well, it's pretty easy actually. About 4.5 years ago, I was single (not for long, but still technically. I'd start dating my husband shortly thereafter, but that's another story). I was working as a server at a restuarant and enjoying life. Well, one night my future husband took me to a Dallas Stars game. And I had a little too much to drink. Problem #1.
The next morning, I woke up, showered, and got ready for work. I ate a waffle and took my stacker (a highly caffienated diet pill) like I always did before work. Problem # 2. You see, these were diet pills but I used them to keep my energy up while I was waiting tables.
As I was driving to work, I had to stop by Jeremy's house to pick up something. I was feeling funny, and I chalked it up to needing more food with the diet pill on my stomach. Being the bachelor that he was, Jeremy didn't have any. Oh well, I thought, and proceeded to work. But my heart was racing by this point and I was beginning to get scared.
Finally, just less than a mile from work, I pulled over into a gas station. I had to get this pill out of my body. I thought it was killing me. I ran to the bathroom and did all I could think to do- start trying to make myself throw the pill up. Nothing came out of my stomach, so I rushed to buy some candy. I thought surely I was dying. I texted my best friend. "Pray for me" I said. I was going to die here in this gas station. My parents and brother would be a thousand miles away in Tennessee and I would die here. I took my Twix bar to the counter and started eating it right there. In fact, I may have opened it before I even got to the counter. I was desperate. I needed food to soak up the diet pill that was ravishing through my body and sending my heart rate through the roof.
Finally, I spoke to the clerk behind the desk. She was a young girl with her baby there at the gas station with her. "I think I need an ambulance," I said. I just knew she thought I was on drugs. I think I explained to her what was going on, but I'm sure she still thought I was drugged up. She told me there was no point in calling an ambulance, that the hospital was right around the corner.
Ok, I said. I'd go. I got back in my car, rushed to the hospital, and parked right in front of the ER (I would come back later to move my car :-P).
As I filled out the paperwork, it was a miracle my chicken scratch handwriting could be read at all. My hand was shaking so tremendously it was ridiculous.
But my heartrate did go significantly down just being in the waiting room. And it decreased even more when I got back to see the doctor. I remember him telling me that he usually took 4-6 of the pills I'd taken each day he worked. While it seemed like the stupidest thing in the world to me (he was quadrupling the dose I'd almost died off of?!?) it calmed me, too. It made me realize that these pills were not as harmful as my body had quickly become convinced they were.
They put me in a room and Jeremy came to be with me. He brushed the hair out of my eyes and took amazing care of me (why I didn't agree to date him right there, I don't know).
After an hour or two, they discharged me, diagnosing me with an elevated heart rate and explaining that my body had had the reaction it did because I was so dehydrated from drinking the night before.
I went home, completely exhausted.
And for the next few weeks, being in my car was a little scary. Sometimes, I'd get to work and wonder if something else could trigger that type of fear.
But within the next year, the fears had gone away. I had much bigger things to focus on. Jeremy and I had started dating, had fallen in love very quickly because of the great friendship we'd already built, and were having a baby together.

To be continued... ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celebrating Normalcy

The last couple of days, I have felt normal. Normal is WEIRD for me (no jokes please ;)) You see, when I'm driving down the road, it's not very often that I feel calm and focused. I often feel light headed and like my eyes can't really focus. So to be able to feel really focused when I'm driving is great. To be able to calmly deal with my daughter's tantrums is not something I have the energy to do on most days. And to wake up withOUT a racing heart is awesome.
All of these are just kind of things a lot of people probably take for granted. But they are things I have not been able to enjoy for awhile.
So today, I am celebrating normalcy. I know I have rambled on about what's going on with me and what I'm doing to treat it. But what I want to make clear is that this is still a very unclear "thing" that is going on with my body. And by no means have all of the answers been found. But I think it's important for other people to understand that this is not just about panic attacks. This is not just about stress. There is an imbalance that has been going on inside of me for a long time. And that imbalance and the effects it physically has on my body has lead to the panic and anxiety attacks.
I can't tell you how happy I am to be treating ALL of this, though. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to not just have some prescription drugs thrown at me to zonk me out as opposed to having panic attacks. Two weeks ago, I wasn't going anywhere or doing anything. And now, after one trip to a natural supplement shop and another to a doctor of Chinese medicine, I have gotten my life back. And I feel NORMAL again. I think that's absolutely worth celebrating :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Good News...

So I've talked a lot about how the supplements I started taking have been working awesome for me. And they have. But I had been playing with the idea for awhile of seeing what my uncle (a doctor in Chinese medicine and acupuncture) had to say about what was going on with me. So I did on Friday. :)
He was able to run tests on my pulse, which were incredibly revealing. (Remember that, while the natural supplements have been awesome, they were more treating my overall symptoms. I have yet to meet with the naturopath doctor who runs the shop. The muscle tests I had done were just informal) This pulse test was very easy and somewhat informal too (compared to western science tests), but it was able to reveal a LOT more.
I was able to see on paper which of my organs were functioning really well and which weren't. I was able to see SO much about what was going on inside of my body. It was really amazing. And then my awesome uncle was able to make me my very own supplement that was geared towards all of the troubles my body is having. (Some of my problems include low circulation, an elevated heart rate, as well as stress and anxiety).

What amazes me about my uncle, though, is not just the insight he was able to give me. I have heard testimonials about he and his partner (who is a medical massage therapist and works side-by-side with him) for years. My grandmother, at 77 years old, has started seeing him for macular degenration of her eyes. And her eyesight has stopped degenerating. He's treated cancer patients, women with infertility issues, patients with anxiety and depression, migraines, and too many other diseases to count.
Just another testimony to how my opinions are being changed about medicine and the medical world in general. And another resource for anyone out there who may be looking.
God Bless!

Melissa

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This wasn't as hard yesterday...

So I went for my afternoon snack this afternoon. And my body was screaming "Carbs! Carbs! Bread! Bread!" That would have all been well and good... But as of last night, I am going gluten free for awhile (minus the cookie I accidentally snacked on earlier).
I mentioned yesterday that I came across a great article on adrenal fatigue. Well, the doctor who wrote it apparently has an entire business dedicated to this topic and is a great resource. I'm loving reading her articles, especially since (although being an OB-GYN) she offers an all-natural approach to healing adrenal inbalances. :D :D :D
Well, the 1st thing she recommends is going gluten free. Gulp. And that didn't seem so scary yesterday. But now, almost 24 hours into this commitment, I'm realizing what that really means.
Having to make or specially buy my own bread. No waffles or pancakes or pasta. No pasta?!?! I won't cry. I won't cry.
So my next project is to figure out how to make or buy those things so that they're GF. Wish me luck. Better yet, pray for me!
Melissa

Why I Chose To Ignore The Doctors

One week ago today, I was having one of the worst days of my life. I woke up anxious, emotional, and just a mess. I was ready to go to the hospital.
Instead, I went to see two people in the hopes of trying to figure out what was going on with me.
The 1st was a counselor. He was a very nice and Christian man. And he listened to all that was going on and what I was experiencing. His diagnosis (so to speak) was that I had a chemical imbalance (aka, in my brain).
I asked him about hormonal imbalances. He wrote that off, but said it was a possibility. He insisted this was all chemical and told me to not bother buying any "over the counter" supplements. I found that kind of odd, since homeopathic supplements can only HELP, not hurt, me.
Ok... so how do we test the chemical imbalances he was sure were affecting me? He told me we couldn't. It costs so much money that, even if I were a multimillionaire, I probably wouldn't do it. He told me to go see a psychiatrist because they're the only ones who could put me on medications that would even out these chemicals.

I walked out feeling defeated. I KNEW I could get my hormones tested and my insurance would cover it. But he wanted me to take his advice and treat an imbalance we couldn't even prove I had? With more drugs that are addictive and hard to get off of?

Knowing I had to do something, I went ahead and saw the psychiatrist. Even if my husband and I HAD liked his demeanor (which we did NOT), I would have had a hard time taking his advice seriously. He wanted to put me on more drugs (surprise, surprise!) including a social anxiety prescription and Xanax. He told me we would probably end up upping the social anxiety meds in a couple of weeks (joy!). He also told me Xanax would not make me sleepy (not sure where he got his MD, but even *I* know better than that).

A week later, I am feeling so much better and I haven't done a single thing (Short of going to the doctor like the counselor said to) either one of these men recommended. The prescription sample he gave me will be thrown in the trash today. I'm looking forward to seeing the look on his nurse practitioner's face when I tell her I completely ignored everything he told me.

You see, my body is NOT missing Xanax. And my body is NOT craving more medication it's never had. It is trying to get balanced out. It is trying to get back in balance after a long-standing battle with stress. It's trying to replinish nutrients and to get back where it naturally would be.

Couple that with the fact that veterinarians actually learn more about the human body than MDs do, and I don't regret ignoring the doctor and counselor one bit.
I did it my way and sought out natural supplements to get back my hormones back in balance. And it's working beautifully.

So all of these, among other reasons, are why I chose to ignore the doctors. And will continue to do so. In fact, I've had such amazing success with these natural supplements that I can't really ever see myself going to a "regular" doctor for anything ever again.

God Bless! Have a great day!

Melissa

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Brand New Discovery

I called the natural health shope where I got my consultation and supplements today. I wanted to ask the wonderful woman who'd helped me about the fact that I was still waking up anxious and with a racing heart. She said it defintely sounded like my adrenals and recommended a couple of things (throwing in an extra Stress Relief capsule if I wake up early and anxious, as well as Vitamin B b/c I'm so "weak". No, that word doesn't offend me. She tested my muscle strength. If she says I'm weak, I believe her.)
But the word "adrenals" struck a chord with me and I started googling. Immediately, I came up with an awesome article that I will be delving even more into. I wanted to share it because it pinpoints EXACTLY how I feel and what I've been through (I am the 'worst case scenario' in this woman's article).
Here it is: http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalfatigue/stresshormones-worry-anxiety.aspx

No More Train

Today is a rough day. I woke up again this morning with anxiety and a racing heartbeat, just as I have for the last week or so. I went downstairs and made Abbie and I a high-protein breakfast. I took my supplements right away because I was so anxious. I finally asked my husband to wake up and take Abbie to preschool because I just wasn't being able to focus on anything. I laid in bed for awhile (well, about an hour or more actually) and finally got up and took a shower.
Yes, it sounds awful. But here is the truth. I'm much further along on this bridge than I was a week ago. A week ago, I didn't see any hope at the end of this battle. Instead of a light at the end of the tunnel, there was a train barelling down the tracks straight towards me. Today, I see all of this as something I can beat. Something I can fix and something I can overcome.

I think part of my anxiety is coming from my "new role". You see, up until just recently, I had many roles. I went to school on Wednesdays and was taking my last 12 hours of coursework. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I was responsible for taking and picking up our daughter and/or working. I might have been substituing at the preschool where I worked FT for awhile. I might have been babysitting for a friend. Or I might have been working on Mary Kay business at home. On Fridays, I cleaned houses for extra cash. On Saturday and Monday, if we weren't busy, I tried to fit in schoolwork. And on Sundays, we spend a good part of our day at Church.
I have since cut out cleaning houses, teaching, and on-campus school work. Yes, that still leaves me with an at-home business, 2 online classes, a house to clean, and a child to take care of. But nonetheless, I feel idle.
So I'm trying to wrap my head around this idea of REALLY being a stay-at-home-mom. You see, before it was okay if I didn't clean the bedroom. After all, I had 600 other things to do. But now I realize that I can actually take the time to dust our dresser. But it's still weird to realize that I can take part of my day to do that.
It's all a process. And I absolutely believe that the supplements and choices I'm making have made a huge difference. A week ago, I literally felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Absolutely everything felt overwhelming. And that was the scariest part of all. But by the grace of God (and natural supplements), I do not feel like that anymore.
I wanted to write this down because I feel like it's important. But I'm gonna go now because my hair needs drying. And after this rough morning, I am going to make myself get in the car and take a drive. It's a choice. A choice I'm making today to get over whatever this is that's going on with my body. And to beat it.
God Bless!
Melissa

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The 1st Day

Today will be my 1st whole day on my new supplement routine. I should add that 3 out of my 4 supplements are Chinese Herbal Supplements and are produced by Nature's Sunshine.
It is only 10 am, but I wanted to go ahead and blog because already I have seen results this morning. I woke up about an hour early, just as I have been for the last week or so. I couldn't go back to sleep, but my heart rate was not near as elevated as it has been when I've been waking up.
As we went through our morning routine (getting Abbie ready for school, etc) I noticed I was much calmer than I usually am. My heartrate did go up a little bit and I had a little anxiety as we drove to school (I had not yet taken any of my supplements b/c I wanted to eat more). Back at home, my anxiety kind of hit a peak. I had already started making breakfast, so I ate part of it and took my thyroid supplement. Immediately calmer. Total reversal of my mood.
I'm beginning to believe more and more that so much of this anxiety/panic (etc) has to do with my thyroid.
More to come :) Have a great day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Discovery #2: The proof of homeopathic supplements

So I have figured for a few weeks that my hormones are out of whack. And today, I finally walked into a natural supplement shop run by a natural doctor. The woman at the counter greeted us very nicely, and I began to tell her what was going on with me. She immediately felt my low immunity, weakness, lifelong fatiuge, high metabolism, etc. could be contributed to a thyroid problem. (I had just started researching the same theory this morning).
She pulled a supplement for that (Target TS II) off the shelf. She then did a muscle test on me. She had me put my pointer finger and thumb together and press as hard as I could. She then proceeded to put them apart over and over again. My arm was not strong enough to keep her from effortlessly pulling them apart.
Next, she handed me the thyroid stabilizing supplement and had me hold it to my head in the other hand. I held my fingers together again, but this time they weren't coming apart. She did this on a couple of parts of my face/neck (pressure points I believe is where she had me hold the bottle). Just holding the bottle to my face was enough to strengthen my arm so that I could hold my fingers together and they wouldn't be pulled apart.
It was truly remarkable to watch. There was no trickery or anything to it. She used the same, simple force each time to pull my fingers apart. And I could feel the difference in the strength in my arm when I held the supplement to my head or neck. My mom stood by with her mouth open. And Abbie.. well, she was trying to find something to play with.
After lunch today, I took my first thyroid supplement along with mood stabilizing supplements. And I am feeling much healthier already. I'll keep updating over the next couple of days as to how I feel and how these supplements change everything that's going on with me.

Discovery #1: 5-HTP

I really can't say this supplement was my very FIRST supplement to prove successful in lowering my stress/anxiety. 2 years ago, I'd been introduced to a multimineral that contained magnesium and I've taken it on and off ever since.
But about a week ago, I ran out and was too drained to drive myself the 7-10 miles to the store to go get more. And a few days later, of course, I was nearly hospitalized. :(
A woman I know had told me about a supplement called 5-HTP. You were supposed to take it at bedtime. She called it a sort of "natural anti-depressant" and swore it had changed her husband's life.
So on Thursday night, my husband went and got me a bottle of 50 mg. capsules.
On Friday, I was able to get out of the house, walk all 3 of our dogs, enjoy the gorgeous weather, go grocery shopping, and run errands. And all with regular blood pressure. :) :)
Yes, that may seem silly. But it's not something I've done in weeks.
Saturday and Sunday had their ups and downs, but were better overall. We're wrapping up Monday now and it's been a pretty good day.
I can defintely tell a difference in my moods since starting this supplement.

How this Started: Part Two

So my girlfriend came. And she was terrified for me. We both knew I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I could not see myself doing anything in life: not going to get groceries by myself or loving my daughter the way she needed to be loved... or anything. And realizing that only made it worse.
My girlfriend wanted to take me to the hospital. She couldn't fathom that I wasn't going to have a breakdown without going. And I kind of agreed.
But we didn't know if there were mental health specialists on staff at the hospital. So I called a counselor and he happened to have a cancellation. I had already called my husband, told him I'd probably be going to the ER, and he'd come home. So all three of us trekked to the counselor's office. I was miserable, but glad to have my husband and good friend by my side.
He listened to what we had to say and to what I'd been feeling. He asked questions. And then he told us his opinion. Either go home and ride it out and be miserable or admit yourself to a mental hospital and let them medicate you until you're balanced.
I cried. Both of those options seemed utterly hopeless.
He also recommended I see the psychiatrist who'd first put me on an anti-depressant after I lost my 19 year old brother 2.5 years ago. And so I did.
That appointment was even more awful. He tried to pawn us off on somebody else before rushing us into his office and not listening. He shoved more medication down my throat and rushed us out of his office. He also told me that I wouldn't be eligible to get checked into a psychiatric portion of a hospital.
All right, we realized. So even if we really WANTED to take a prescription drug route (which we didn't), doing it in a controlled environment wasn't an option. Instead, we went home and took a nap. And when we woke up, my awesome husband went to the local whole foods store and got a supplement that had come recommended to me by a holistic life coach. I started taking it that night and ignored everything the counselor and the psychiatrist had told me.

How this really all started...

So I've told you already that this whole journey (and it really already has been a journey) started a few weeks ago. That is when I was just starting a new semester of school, juggling babysitting, 2 self-run businesses, a part-time job substitute teaching, and of course taking care of my 3 year old. And although I've been prone to stress-induced panic attacks over the last couple of years, I felt I was ready to tackle my last semester at school and go on to student teach next spring and take a job in the fall. That was the plan.
Well, apparently God had a different plan. Because it didn't take long before I was having panic attacks every time I drove to and from school. And I was taking medicine to make them go away. And practically deep-breathing through my classes until I could get out, get to my car, and get home where I felt safe. I ended up pulling out of one class, and then the other. No more student teaching in January. No graduating in May. No job next August.
So I resolved to stay home for awhile. I couldn't wrap my head around it, and neither could my husband. But I didn't know what else to do. I phsyically could not continue my education. My body was shutting down.
And as I stayed home, it got worse. And my anxiety grew. And my fears grew. And my panic attacks got more frequent. I felt like my hole of a life was getting more and more narrow. The walls were closing in.
And on Thursday of last week, the whole world seemed to crash down. I woke up practically terrified. Of nothing in particular, just so anxious I couldn't even sleep anymore. It was Abbie's trick or treating day at school and I cried for an hour because I couldn't bring myself to take her. I kept her home and tried to get through the day, as miserable as I was. But panic and fear set in, and I had such an awful anxiety attack that I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance.
Thank God for good girlfriends, because mine came over to be with me. She hugged me, sat with me, and talked to me.
And the rest of that day would teach me a lot. But we'll save that for Part Two.

Why I'm Blogging.

I have never felt "healthy". My whole life, I have had issues with being overly tired, easily fatigued, and sometimes just feeling weak in general. I can take a nap every day and I cannot function if I work for more than 6 hours at a time. I have always chalked it up to possible anemia or lack of nutrition because I don't eat green vegetables. I have bought different supplements, vitamins, etc. and some of them have helped. But I still have never just felt "healthy".
Sometimes my blood sugar drops. This has been going on for years. I remember being a child and I'd have to sit down while my mom was curling my hair because I'd get lightheaded. Being an RN, she'd often have a blood sugar tester on hand and she'd test me. It'd be low. She'd give me orange juice and I'd be better. As an adult, I have learned to deal with my symptoms. When I drive or study, I often feel unfocused. Sometimes I feel in a fog or like my eyesight might just blur up. I just feel weak a lot of times.
My metabolism also works very fast. I better have 2 meals in me if I'm going to drink a cup of coffee. And if I'm working out/cleaning house, I'd better have a stash of high calorie/high sugar snacks with me. These are just things I'd learned to do because I just thought it was who I was.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I started having really bad anxiety. It got to the point where I couldn't drive the 2 hours roundtrip to school and had to pull out of my classes. Then I didn't want to go to work. Then I didn't want to go to the grocery store. Or take Abbie to preschool. My anxiety had gotten out of control and I started seeking answers.
It wasn't until weeks later... today, specifically, that I started connecting the things I've been through my whole life: fatigue, weakness, etc. and my anxiety. For weeks, I'd wondered why my body seemed to be shutting down. I couldn't understand why I wasn't being able to handle stress anymore. Why didn't I want to drive anywhere? Or do anything? It never occured to me that I had an underlying condition that might be getting worse and manifesting itself through anxiety, fear, and panic attacks.
But, after weeks of living in my own personal hell, that is what I found this morning. You see, I have spent the last month or more going to doctors, talking to anyone and everyone who might help, and all but going insane. So when God placed some good research and the information for a homeopathic doctor in my lap this morning, I took both.
And I'll talk more about that later. But all of this is why I'm blogging. I'm blogging because, for the last few weeks, I haven't felt like I would ever get my life back. But today I feel like I can see a light at the end of this tunnel. And I want to share what I'm doing, what I've been through, what's working, and what's not.