Panic No Picnic

Have you ever had an anxiety or panic attack?  Not fun, right?!  In fact, downright scary. 

Well, right after I had Emrie I had a couple anxiety attacks.  I actually felt like I was dying.  They would sneak up on me in the middle of the night.  Poor Brian didn't know what was going on.  I was pacing the house like a crazy person, turning on lights, trying to catch my breath and calm myself down.  The first one only lasted about 15 minutes but that was 15 minutes too long.  I called my doctor first thing the next morning and luckily she had mercy on me.  I wasn't crazy about taking meds while I was nursing but she assured me they would help.  And they did.  After a couple of days my hormones stabilized and I was able to stop taking them.  

Move forward a year and half…I'm in bed Saturday night.  It's 2am and all of a sudden I wake up in sheer panic.  I have no idea why but I knew exactly what was going on – ANXIETY ATTACK!  I turned on the lights and woke Brian and asked him to sit with me.  He was great.  He held my hand and prayed with me, read some scripture about being at peace and trusting God and basically just tried his best to calm me down.  I was a basket case.  I kept telling myself it was all in my head.  I wasn't having a heart attack.  Everything was okay.  I was okay.  I even tried walking outside and getting some fresh air.  Nothing worked.  Finally, after almost two hours of this I started to calm down.  THANK YOU, GOD for answering my prayers.  I firmly believe in crying out to Jesus in time of crisis.  He is always there. 

I was finally able to catch a couple hours of restless sleep and when I woke up I wasn't in total panic mode but I didn't feel like myself either.  I decided to go to church.  Brian stayed home with the kids because Emrie was still sleeping and I didn't want to wake her.  On my way to church I called the nurse hotline which put me in touch with the on-call doctor.  He told me that I couldn't take any of the anti-anxiety meds I had taken before and I would have to wait to speak with my OB/GYN.  That put me in total panic mode.  I went to Sunday School a sobbing mess.  Thank you, God for the wonderfully understanding friends in our group.  The lifted me up with prayer and consoled me.  I made it to church but was having a hard time sitting through the service.  I just kept thinking about having another attack which I was afraid was actually going to trigger another one.  It really is a vicious cycle.  God was watching.  One of my friends in the choir noticed I was having a hard time, came out of the choir loft and sat with me.  She was great. 

I went home and tried my best to distract myself by cleaning house and playing with Emrie but I always felt like I was on the edge of an attack.  My sister-in-law gave me some breathing techniques which got me through another sleepless night but it was a long one.  I made it to work on Monday but barely.  Thank you God for good friends and co-workers.  Two of my closest friends in the office recognized that I was out of sorts and immediately came to my rescue.  They continued to call my doctor until they got a nurse on the line.  I spoke with the nurse and then with the doctor who once again came to my rescue.  She immediately prescribed some meds and assured me that that they were safe for me and the baby since I'm in my second trimester.  Thank you, God for the miracle of modern medicine. 

I filled my prescriptions, took the pills and went to my sister-in-laws to take a nap.  I was comforted to know that the meds would help but not feeling good enough to be by myself.  Thank you, God for understanding relatives like Kimberly who let me crash at her house for a couple of hours.  Monday night was a better night and Tuesday a little better still.  Today it is Wednesday and although I don't feel 100%, I do feel way better. 

I know this seems like a very personal thing to share but I'm hoping that there are other people out there who may benefit from it.  It is not in my nature to be weak or needy.  I have always been a do it myself kind of person and I pride myself in being able to swing two jobs, a baby, a house and so much more – so coming to terms with this has been difficult for me.  I want people to know that IT'S OKAY.  It's okay to ask for help.  It's okay to let others share some of your burden.  It's okay.  And, when it seems like no one else understands…God does.  He will never give us more than we can handle.  AMEN.

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