Friday, November 1, 2013

My first panic attack ER visit.

I've heard and read that lots of people who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks find themselves in the local emergency room at some point, usually at the start of their illness; most often with the first panic attack.  They go, believing they are having a heart attack and need help immediately, only to find out that it was "just" a panic attack and they are perfectly fine.

Well, since I had my first panic attack over 4 years ago now, and then suffered my intense panic and anxiety starting a year ago, I figured I was well past the 'go to the hospital thinking you are having a heart attack' stage.

Wrong.

The day after my last post, I did, indeed, go to emergency fearing that my heart was failing.  I went early in the morning, let them know about my back/chest pain that was sharp, then dull and lingering.  I let them know about the racing heart and shallow breathing that woke me up the night before I went.  I let them know that I had experienced panic attacks in the past and that this was nothing like them.  I let them know I am taking anti-anxiety medication. 

My feelings were hurt a little when I noticed the nurse wrote in my file that I over exerted myself at my gym class two days before.  I told her that my chest hurt a little then, but that I routinely go to the gym and get my heart rate way up almost every single day.

I had the ECG.  I had the bloodwork and chest x-ray.  I sat for two hours waiting for test results.  I was at the hospital for a total of five hours.

Everything came back looking fine and dandy. 

I know I should be thankful.  I AM thankful.  But part of me is disappointed.  Disappointed because I wasted time sitting there.  Disappointed because I misjudged my body.  Disappointed because this happens EVERY time I think my life is in jeopardy.  Nothing really is.  I mean, I lost 25 lbs very very quickly and as a result I got really sick - mentally and physically.  And my bloodwork did not show a thing.  My gastroscopy, breathing tests, chest x-rays...nothing.  How does this happen?

I am a week and a day past the ER visit and just today my chest pain is finally slowly subsiding.  I've taken this time off working out, and that makes me sad too.  I just don't feel like myself anymore.  Three weeks ago I felt fabulous!  Healthy, energetic, strong and proud of my body and mind and recovery.  Excited about leading a busy and full life again without feeling sick and tired and anxious.  Today not so much.  I just feel...disappointed.

Monday I plan to start back at the gym, and I hope that it will be a new season of health, energy, and strength for me.

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