Saturday, October 19, 2013

Panic Attacks

I am going to try to tell this as accurately as I can remember.

So, I wrote the other day about how I had a panic attack on Tuesday afternoon and that after taking some medicine and getting a priesthood blessing I felt better. Well, they came back that evening and never quit.

To go back the beginning, I had lice Tuesday morning and took care of it. Then Tuesday afternoon I had a panic attack. I was watching something on TV and suddenly I just felt this wave come over me. It started in my back and I felt hot and cold and tingly. It spread all over and I felt nauseous and anxious and just really hopeless. Some people have trouble breathing, but that has not been an issue for me. I think I get shaky, too. Since I could not take Xanax I took some Tylenol PM and it ended up calming me down. Our bishop came over and gave me a priesthood blessing and I felt optimistic and even hungry. After that I went to bed.

I woke up in the middle of the night with another attack. I asked TJ to take me to the ER. I was hoping there was something they could give me, but with being pregnant there really isn't anything that is not harmful. The doctor said I could take another Tylenol PM and that increasing my Celexa dosage from 10mg to 20mg (the highest you can go while pregnant) might help, but would take a few days. He said I should check with my ob/gyn first. He also gave me a prescription for Zofran to help control the nausea (and gave me one at the ER). I went home, took another Tylenol PM and slept for awhile. Woke up with another attack and pretty much had them all day. Luckily TJ was home and did not have to work. I did not go to work as well.

The nurse at the ob/gyn said it was okay to up the dosage of Celexa and that I could take Tylenol PM every 6 hours. They also gave me the number to Pawnee Mental Health Services. I called there and was able to go in that afternoon for an initial interview. The girl was very nice and even checked with their nurse to see if there was anything else I could take, but there wasn't. They scheduled me for an intake interview the next day so I could get placed with a counselor.

That evening I also went to the church to talk with the Bishop. Talking things out with him helped, too and he gave me another blessing. I went home and went to bed. I felt better after taking Tylenol PM and even when I woke up in the middle of the night I still felt good and took another dose just in case. I also took Celexa at midnight. I woke up with more panic attacks.

Again, I did not go to work, but TJ did. At about 8:30 I asked him to come home and they let him. I was pacing the house and on my knees praying. Crying a lot, too. When it was 6 hours I was able to take another Tylenol PM and get some rest. I was also able to hold off taking anymore until after the intake interview so I would be fully alert and able to describe what was going on. After that I also felt hungry and was able to eat some McDonalds. Prior to this I had only had a few crackers and gingerale since Tuesday night. It was now Thursday night. I lost 5 pounds. I was going to try to wait an hour to take Tylenol PM again, but I had a headache, so I took it. Felt good again and slept all night. Well, I know I woke up to take Celexa after midnight.

On Friday I slept most of the day. I was still getting panic attacks, but with less frequency. TJ was able to go to work, but I wasn't. In the evening I wanted Taco Bell. I ate that. I also lengthened the time between Tylenol PMs to 7 hours. In the evening for about to hours I was able to eat, play on the computer and watch TV while feeling calm and hopeful. No panic attacks. And I was not drugged out on Tylenol PM (I had passed the 6 hours) I did take another dose before bed and was able to sleep all night. I did not take Celxa at midnight OR another dose of Tylenol PM.

Saturday -- woke up with a panic attack. However, I had now gone 12 hours since taking Tylenol PM and had waited until morning to take a Celexa (which is when I want to start taking them). I took Tylenol PM again and held onto TJ's hand until it kicked in. He went and got me pancakes for breakfast. Then a new problem arose. In addition to the anxiety I was now feeling agitation (which may just be another way the anxiety is manifesting). Both were causing depression and I was feeling a little hopeless again. I cried and then forced myself to get up and take a shower. Then a friend from church came over to visit and talk. She has been through the same thing and she told me it will get better. In the 2nd semester you can take Xanax (the ob/gyn nurse told me that, too) and overall you just feel better. She said the agitation was coming from the hormones. I think it was also because I had gone so long between taking Tylenol PM and Celexa. Talking with her helped me a lot. Then I got on the computer and started chatting with another friend and writing this. Both have also helped. I am now at 7 hours since my last Tylenol PM dosage. I wanted to try to stretch it to 8, but I think if I start feeling really bad I will take it.

So that is it for now. Tomorrow I will talk a little bit more about how the panic attacks feel and how I am doing. And how it is not just easy to "relax" and "get over it".


iowajewel said...

oooh, i am sorry you are gong through all that! hope you feel better with each passing day. have you tried breathing exorcises? they will teach you them in birthing classes but i think you need them now. my dentist had me use them when i was stressed (terrified actually) of getting a shot in my mouth. try it the next time you fell an attack coming on. it really helps a lot and you can do it all the time without worrying about taking pills. it is so simple:
breathe deep in through your nose, hold it for a second or two and then out through your mouth exhaling as deep as possible. repeat as many times as needed until you feel better. also it helps to center your vision on one object in the room as you do the breathing. it is amazing how wonderfully it works. xoxox julie

betty said...

(((Robyn))) I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time with the panic attacks, but I'm glad you are trying to be proactive as you can with dealing with them, as tough as they are to go through. I was going to suggest that you go and see someone to talk to (i.e. counselor) so I'm glad the ER doctors suggested that. I'm also glad they gave you Zofran; I was going to suggest that too but I didn't want to play doctor.

I am also glad you talked with someone who has "been there, done that" so to speak and experienced the panic attacks, etc. It helps to know you aren't alone going through this and it helps to know that things may get better the 2nd trimester which is rapidly approaching!

Take care of yourself!