June 16, 2017

Panic Attack

Today was a scary day. As I was leaving work at lunch for an appointment, and walking toward the door, something happened that I never experienced before. My hands and fingers became numb, I had a sudden loss of hearing and my legs felt like lead. I knew something wasn’t right so while clinging to the wall, I walked to the opposite end of our building where the Skyward clinic is located.

Unfortunately, the clinic was closed. I began to feel nauseous and as though I was going to pass out. Fortunately, right across the hall was the human resources department and I knocked on the door to ask for help.

I was able to sit down and that’s when I had trouble breathing. It was almost as if an anvil was on my chest. I was struggling to take a deep breath. I thought for certain I was having a heart attack, even though I didn’t have any pain. I was sobbing and trying to stay calm. My mind was racing and I felt like I wasn’t in my own body. I was almost certain I was going to die. It was terrifying.

They called an ambulance. A fire truck came with it. And when four paramedics walked toward me I freaked out. It was overwhelming (and embarrassing). I had a strong instinct to run away from them.

They checked my vitals; blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar. All checked out in the normal ranges. I described the experience and my symptoms and how it came on so suddenly. They took a picture of my heart to rule out cardiac arrest. My heart was fine.

They then stated I had a text book case of a panic attack. I was starting to come out of this and they asked me if anything was happening in my life that was causing stress.

Let’s recap: thunderstorm, power outage and basement leaks, Murphy’s passing, a family friend passing away, searching for new daycare (which we finalized as of yesterday! 🙂 Thank goodness!), my van needing more repairs and having to only use one vehicle, not sleeping more than 3 hours each of the last three nights, failing to eat breakfast this morning, lack of water, and drinking caffeine before lunch (to halt an impending headache and perk me up from exhaustion).

It was the perfect cocktail for an anxiety/panic attack. The paramedics urged me to go home and rest/recover. I’ve managed to get some sleep but feel drained which I was told would happen.

I’m so very grateful to everyone who helped me today. Tiffany and Cheryl in HR, Marie, our security guard, my supervisor, Mary….they are so kind and understanding.

To the four amazing EMTs, Pete (my cousin! 🙂), Travis and the two whose names I can’t remember, you calmed me down and assured me I wasn’t dying or going crazy.

To my dad who came to the rescue and drove Doug to work to get me back home, thank you. Dad you are my hero. Doug, my knight in shining armor.

I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me through a very scary experience.

Posted by Dana @ 9:49 PM • Health and Wellness   

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Dana began her Mom career in 2004 with the birth of her first child. A mother of three boys, she spends her days putting out fires, climbing mountains and chasing monsters.
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