- Mental Health»
- Anxiety Disorders
The Panic Attack
Just prior to bedtime, I felt a trickle from my nose and thought -- "oh boy, here we go, a cold coming on". But when I checked in the bathroom mirror, I noticed that there was blood running from my nose. Now this wasn't normal and I thought to myself, "what the heck is this"?
At 2:00am, I awoke on this same night and sat up quickly in bed. Something was awful wrong! I couldn't breathe or at least I felt that I couldn't breathe. Racing down the flight of stairs to the front door, I frantically opened the door and starting taking deep breaths to get air from the outside. To my surprise, I still felt like I was suffocating. My heart was beating faster and harder than I can ever remember before. I was having a heart attack or so I thought, but there was no pain. My head started spinning and felt as if it was on fire. What was happening to me! Do I call an ambulance? Someone Help me! I was scared --really scared. I never felt anything like this before. I yelled upstairs to Judy that something was wrong with me. All I heard back was a really low moan and something like -- "o.k -- nigh night". This was a person that needed 10 sticks of dynamite to wake her up. A little heart attack wasn't going to get her out of bed at that hour of the morning.
And so, I stretched out on the living room couch about 2:30am and just lay there, straight out. My hands and feet were frozen, my heart was pounding, my head was spinning. Was this the end? Was I really going to die?
At 8:00am, Judy and the kids eventually navigated their way down the stairs and then they saw me -- a white sheet still laying straight out on the couch, still with the same pounding heart, cold as a fish and really dizzy. Judy asked me what I was doing there. I just responded with " Oh nothing -- just having a heart attack, but don't worry about me"!
"Well, you better get up because the tax guy was coming in an hour". "What", I yelled out. "What day is today?" Oh, My God! The tax Auditor was on his way over to read through my books. The books were always kept up by the book-keeper so I had nothing to worry about, but ---"Oh My God" - I was never audited before!
My hands were ice cold when the Tax Man arrived and when I shook his hand, he could feel the sweat and clammy hands against his. I thought I saw a little smirk appear in the corner of his mouth like -- "Got Ya!" But everything went fine and when Mr. tax man had gone, I felt a bit of relief, but not much.
Two weeks later, I saw my doctor and told him what was happening to me. The symptons were still there but now not as strong, even though I was still having trouble breathing. It felt like something heavy was sitting on my chest and just wouldn't get off. The Doctor said to me - "I've checked you over thoroughly and you're fine. What you are experiencing are panic attacks". Panic Attack. I've never had those before and asked him if they'll go away. He said that they may in time with a little leisure time, relaxation and trying breathing techniques for this sort of thing. He prescibed something for me called Alprazolam, better known as "Xanax", which at the time was not considered to me a narcotic. Now it is a narcotic and extremely addictive after just a few weeks of taking this pill.
I remember taking half a pill when I got home. I didn't want to take the whole thing because I never had to take pills like this before and so, I took half and lay down on the couch. Twenty minutes went by and I felt this weird sensation come over me. It was like a warm flowing, very pleasurable ecstasy type of feeling that started at the top of my head and began sliding slowly down to my feet. It was quite a wonderful sensation and Presto -- I was cured.
But alas, it came back the next day and so I took the other half. I was cured. Hallelujah! Twenty-two years later, I'm still taking them but at least I can breathe right.
Now on to Pill #2:
About two years later, I was driving down the street and came to a red light. I stopped and was waiting for the light to turn green when all of sudden, this wave of nausea and sudden fainting like feeling spread over me like a hot blanket and it was as if I was on fire again. "What the Hell is this"! I was still taking the Xanax which was controlling the panic attacks but this was something completely different.
I'll keep this really short now for you, my tired reader and perhaps someone that's going through the same thing right now at this very moment in time. After many more episodes, I was referred to a head doctor, a specialist --alright, O.K. -- a shrink. That's it. I had gone Nuts -- flipped out --off my rocker. Here I come - Mental hospital. But it didn't end up that way. After a year of not being able to drive a car because of the light head, nausea and spinning sensation, I changed doctors. I went to a different family doctor, an Indian fellow who was just starting out with his own practice. I had been reading up on all these symptons and needed a doctor who was a little younger and was fresh out of medical school who was up on all the latest stuff and medications.
I saw a Neurologist, a hypnotist, a throat and ear doctor (dizziness) and my own family doctor. I was doctored out. An appointment was made with this neurologist because I awoke one morning and thought I had been hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat. I could not even touch the hair at the back of my skull without feeling pain. I went through brain scans, blood tests, X-rays, reflexes, they put fluid through my body with dye in it and followed it as it flowed though my veins. At the end of it all, nothing was found --Nothing.
I went back to my doctor and told him I wanted to take a fairly new drug which was on the market now for a few years -- a drug that I had done some research on. The Dylantin I had previously taken had no effect. But then again, that was for seizures and I wasn't having those, so I figured -- alright, I'll try Prozac. This new young doctor I chose said "fine" and I got the prescription. When I went to bed that night, I was hoping something good would happen this time and you know -- something did.
I awoke about 7:00am the next day and opened my eyes. Hmmnn -- I sat up -- hmmnn -- I stood up. You know what -- my eyes didn't feel crossed any more, my head was feeling great and my mood was way out of this planet, This little tiny pill --this miracle drug they named Prozac, had cured me. It had really cured me.
Weeks passed and I was able to drive again and go about my day feeling like I was twenty again. It is now twenty years later and my head is good, my hands are warm, my feet are warm and I feel Great.
If any one of you readers right now is experiencing symptons like I had,
I hope that this publication will help. I went through Hell with
this but it can be beat, maybe with a little help from a drug,
but it can be beat or at least masked in order for you to function again.
What I went through was termed to be a chemical imbalance that was fixed very easily with a little thing called Prozac.
Thank God for Canada and Free Healh Care or I'd be broke and probably in a mental hospital.