Anxiety, it feels like you're dying
Earlier this year, in Feburary, I learned rather suddenly that my mother was afflicted with severe dementia. We had all noticed my Mom had become a bit forgetful but attributed that to some powerful pain killing drugs she was on, and old age creeping in.
When I say suddenly, I mean suddenly. I received a phone call from my Dad during lunch time, all he said was "your Mom wants to talk to you'. That was wierd, my thought was couldn't she call me herself? My Mom came on the phone and burst out 'is it true, that I am married to this man and I have three children with him?" She said a few more ridiculous things and I told her I wanted to talk to Dad.
My Dad came on and told me she had been like this all morning. I told him I would come over and take her to the hospital to be checked out. My Mom wanted to go look for her husband when I got there, so I told her we would go find him.... instead I took her to the hospital.
After about 30 minutes, she was back to her normal self again, while she waited for the Dr. She appeared to be dehydrated and had a yeast infection in her mouth. No bladder infection, which can sometimes create temporary dementia.
She was able to go back home. I kept a sharp eye on my parents after that, making sure they were both eating and drinking well. However.... my Dad had been hiding her symptoms for a long time we have found out.
A month later, same scenario... back to the hospital, more tests, and again, she appeared to become herself after an hour or so. However, she had become physically aggressive towards my father now. She was allowed to go back home after 2 days.
Fast forward to April, it had become apparent to all, except my father, that my mother has a form of dementia. Irreversible dementia.
April 25th, Dad called me again, said he needed my help, that Mom was on the floor and refused to get up, she had been doing that all night and he was exhausted. When I got there, she was indeed on the floor, and apparently wanted to stay there.
I told my Dad, I would call the Paramedics to take her to the hosp, and that she would have to stay there now, that her dementia had gotten to a point where he could not care for her at home.
My Dad reluctantly agreed. The Paramedics, with police standing by, convinced my mother to get onto their stretcher where they strapped her in and took her to the hospital.
Long story to short, that is where she still is today, living in a hospital room, waiting for a room to become available in the Long Term care (attached to the Hospital) facility. Since then, my father has become a bigger problem, suddenly in denial about his wife having dementia, stole her out of the hospital one day, police were called to bring her back etc.
He too is showing signs of dementia according to the nurses who have to deal with him every day he visits my Mom.
Where am I going with this? Anxiety. I have been in more than a few family crisis in my lifetime, but this is a doozy, let me tell you. Early May, I started having trouble breathing, my heart would race and skip, my blood pressure would go through the roof, my stomach would bloat.
My insides felt like I was burning, my throat and chest would tighten, it felt like I had iron bands around my rib cage, my heart would vibrate and then shiver, the shivering began on my insides and then soon I was shivering uncontrolably on the outside too....there were too many symptoms to all mention here. Sounds like hell right?
I was taken to the ER twice in one week by the insistance of my husband, who was understandably very worried about me. The diagnosis was anxiety and panic attacks. I had heard of this before, but never gave it much thought as to what it might entail.
I felt weak. I felt like a disappointment. I felt like a failure. I thought I was strong? What was happening to me?
My own Dr. 2 weeks later, was very sympathetic, he confirmed the ER Drs diagnosis. I got the strong impression that my own capable doctor, had suffered anxiety and panic attacks himself at some point. This actually made me feel better.
I found out my sister in law had also suffered from this, during and after some particularly stressful times with her daughter. I've since discovered many other people who have as well.
My Doctor recommended some literature on anxiety, recommended some phone apps to learn to relax and breathe, and gave me a prescription for a drug (used for anxiety and depression). The drug would take 3 weeks to kick in for anxiety, and might even make my anxiety worse for short periods as my brain chemistry changed.
I didn't like the sound of that. Changing my brain? Increase my anxiety? I didn't think I could take any more anxiety that I already had! I have not taken a single pill to date.
I chose to use EFT tapping, I chose to use herb combos for anxiety, lots of Vit C (helped my asthmatic symptoms) . I leaned heavily into prayer. I also use magnesium, in liquid form, rubbing into my skin to absorb the magnesium. Taking magnesium by mouth was giving me more heart tremors, not less.
I learned to release a lot of emotional trauma from my childhood, through EFT tapping. I had to stay away from stressful situations for awhile, including my websites. Working on my websites, increased my tension and accelarated my anxiety. I had to stay away from my father, as dealing with him, was shooting my anxiety to super high levels. Even now, I only text him, the sound of his voice still slightly increases my anxiety.
Oddly enough, visiting my mother does not generally increase my anxiety, but I am often sad afterword, seeing how she has changed and is still changing.
I have shed a lot of tears during EFT tapping, lots of tears at other times, and I have discovered that crying releases the anxiety the best of all. You may notice that my ranking here in WA, has gone from 84 all the way to over 1002, an indication I have not been working here.
My trauma began, with that first phone call, when to my shock and horror, I heard dementia in my mother's voice. Tapping on that memory, brought out nausea, shivering and more sobbing, but I definitely felt better afterwards.
I have come a long way in recovering, in a relatively short period of time, even though it feels like it's been forever. I really need to work on my websites (two of them) and have only been managing one post per website, per month.
I no longer have panic attacks, but still have the shortness of breath and tightening of my throat and chest at times. However, these symptoms are more of an annoyance to me now, than the terrors they were before.
Ironically, my website page rankings have gone up during my absence, and that has given me a little bit of ambition to work on them. I am sharing this story with you, in the hopes that it can help someone else that is going through trauma, through anxiety and sees no hope.
There is hope. I am proof of that.
So right after I publish this blog, I will be getting down to work on my newest website, there's an article in draft, waiting to be finished. Take care of yourselves everyone. God Bless You.