the Incredible Mr David, that I had an anxiety attack on Monday night after David got home. I had never had such a thing before but since I was able to talk myself off the proverbial ledge and calm myself down, I figured that is what it was. The funny thing though is that I really haven't considered myself "overly" stressed, so I just didn't think much about it. I figured I was more tired than anything and just needed a good nights sleep.
Jump ahead to Wednesday. I met a friend to talk over a possible project. Immediately after leaving her, I was driving in Wichita and I suddenly felt a wave of heat start at my toes and climb my body. As it hit my face I also began to feel nausea. NO it was not a hot flash. I have been dealing with those for years and I know this was not one. Then I started feeling my chest tighten up and it felt as if I couldn't catch my breath. I was actually almost hyperventilating and everything felt tight and a bit painful in my body. It really kind of scared me.....ALOT! Of course my fear only exasperated the situation and made me feel worse. I felt inside like I was just having another anxiety attack, but there was that little voice saying, "But what if it is more? What if you are having a heart attack?" Mind you I was driving while all of this was happening. Luckily I was just a minute or two away from the ER and I broke all land speed records getting there.
Blessedly as I walked in, drenched in sweat and apparently looking horrible.........there was NO ONE in the ER. I could have cried with joy. When I told them what was going on, they had a wheel chair under me and were rushing me back immediately. As I lay down on those oh so comfortable ER beds, I could feel my body cooling off and the nausea beginning to go away. My heart rate was high (130) and my blood pressure was (160/100), so I immediately became a heart patient with wires being strapped to my chest and a thousand questions coming my way. I forced myself to breathe deeply and focus on the questions and as I did, both my heart rate and my blood pressure started dropping. Soon the tightness was gone as well as the all over pain.
After 5 hours, them taking half of my weight in blood, several EKG's and having to wait to hear test results around the critical patients that were arriving, my heart rate was (85) and my blood pressure was (120/70), the doctor came back to talk to me. Basically I was told that I was suffering from extreme stress and anxiety. The cure? Don't stress and relax more! As he said this, I felt my heart rate jump as I wanted to reach over and strangle the stupidity right out of him. After all that I had told him, he tells me to relax more. I will get right on that......between hospital visits, broken appendages, fights with social security and insurance, trying to fix my finances and getting Z graduated. I assured him though that I would do my best. And although he really doesn't believe it is my heart.....I promised to see a cardiologist in the near future. It will have to wait until Spring Break though.
So that was the bad. As bad goes....not the worst but still, anything that causes me to go within a thousand feet of that stupid hospital is never a good thing. However.....now onto the good.
I am not going to give a lot of details here just yet about my "good." Instead I am going to touch on the experience, but trust me....soon you will hear details. A bit cryptic....right? So the other day, I got a call from my old boss from a few years back. She asked me if I would like to help her plan an event for a non-profit. It would actually be a fund raiser and she wanted me to meet her and the person who ran the place so that we could get some ideas. Of course when you are working with non-profits, 75% of everything is volunteer work and that is what I would be doing....volunteering my time and services, but the idea really appealed to me. First off.....what an amazing way to pay things forward. Second.....I really need the distraction. I need something that doesn't involve waiting for our next ER trip or hospital stay!
We met Wednesday evening (before the anxiety attack) at the non-profit. It was a place I had no idea existed and when I was told of its purpose, longevity and the work it does.....I was in love with the idea of being involved. As we began to outline and plan I could feel my mind come alive with ideas and possibilities. Before I knew it.....those ideas were leaving my brain and racing out my mouth. My old boss just smiled. I have a feeling she knew this is what would happen and maybe that is why she called me. For the first time in months, I was really excited about something.
I have planned events before on both a large and small scale. The big one that I did was something that stretched me and tested my abilities. I did not disappoint either myself or the non-profit that I planned for. I loved every second that I worked on it and I could feel all of that coming back as we talked about this new venture. Next to my passion for writing.....event planning has to come a close second. I was over the moon and the planning ideas have been filling my head ever since. In fact, as I lay in the ER that night, that is all I could think of. I am on a mission. As I said, you will be hearing much more about this in the weeks and months to come!!!!
So there you have it. The good and the bad. Now I am moving forward. The bad was a wake up call that I am internalizing everything and holding on to my stress and anxiety. The fact that I really didn't know how stressed I was is likely why it hit me so fiercely. I also realized yesterday that I had not been eating much either. I made myself eat actual meals yesterday and I could literally feel my body feeling better. Now if I can just find time to go to the gym I can take any residual frustration and anxiety out on a the elliptical. Finding the time to get there maybe tricky though. I think I just need an elliptical in my living room! As for the good, I am excited. It is a new adventure that will allow me to use skills I know I actually have and other than the occasional meeting....I can do a great deal of the planning right from my home. The opportunity to help others and give back is beyond amazing to me and for such a wonderful cause....well that is just icing on the cake.
I guess food, exercise and a new project are just what the doctor ordered. The highs and lows of Wednesday made me realize that these first three months of 2014 were nothing but more speed bumps. Soon they will be behind me and there will be nothing but straight road, clear skies and I am moving forward......full speed ahead!