30 Posts Challenge: #8 Me and Anxiety, part 1

Uh Oh…. where do I begin with this one. This is a subject that makes people nervous (all pun intended), whether they are the ones experiencing it or the one witnessing it. Many people are uncomfortable with the subject because they don’t understand it, believe in it, or have a clue how to deal with it. I was a stranger to anxiety, without even the awareness there was such a thing. I was in for a rude awakening.  As I speak with you on this matter, I am sharing MY experience and MY limited knowledge. I wouldn’t dare try to tell you I have learned everything, know anything, or claim to be the one to educate someone on anxiety. Though anxiety and I have been acquaintances since I was a teenager, I struggle with new surprises every day.
When anxiety first invaded my body, I was 18, in the hospital, and just had a caesarean section (C-section). On the 2nd day, I was laying in the bed peacefully drugged, when I suddenly felt my heart racing. I calmly called for the nurse and told her what was going on. She placed her hand on my arm, smiled like I was a child afraid of something so harmless. “It’s okay, dear. It’s just anxiety. You THINK you feel your heart racing, and once you are anxious it is racing. But it is all in your head.”
I asked if it could be the medicine she had just given me. I was not use to taking medicines, being in the hospital over night, and the only education I had on a C-section was a brief Lamaze class. She kept laughing and assured me the medicine was harmless. I asked if I was supposed to take it with my damaged heart valve. When she had no idea what I was talking about and just kept laughing I became alarmed. I didn’t scream and carry on. I  just refused to take any more meds. They called the doctor in charge. He first told the nurse to quit laughing. It wasn’t funny. Then He listened to my concern. When he said that before I even got to that part, I at least listened to him.
He, too, had to check the chart about my heart history, and said the medicine could have very well increased my heart rate, but that it wasn’t harmful, that I just wasn’t used to it. He tried to get me to take meds again because they said that my body was in shock from having a C-section and that it was too much trauma for the body to heal on it’s own. I wanted to believe them, but couldn’t get past that everyone, including the doctor, who took care of me while I was out cold didn’t even know what my chart said, nor looked before administering meds. And the laughing! Treating me like I was a child, or mentally incapable of understanding simple English. I still refused.
On day 4, the doctor said he would not release me until I took meds for 24 hours. So we agreed on Tylenol 3 pills since I was knew Tylenol. He watched me take the 1st one, but with the other 2, I had seen in a movie how to put them under the tongue and look like I had swallowed. It worked. After they left, I spit the other 2 out, and did the same each time I took it. I went home the next day.
I started having spells where my world suddenly turned upside down. I was told I was taking too much iron. I developed this unrelenting headache, and was given a shot for what was diagnosed as a severe sinus headache. My headache got so unbearably worse that I could not raise my head for 3 days. Soon after, I ended up in the ER yet again for chest pains. While he saw the damaged heart valve, he didn’t think it was the culprit. He advised me to seek counseling. It seemed odd at first to just talk with someone and assume that would do something for a physical ailment, but I guess it worked because I was ok for several years. There was a moment when my 7 month old ended up in the ICU and a 4 day hospital stay. I was so stressed I was got physically sick. Believing I was taking an antibiotic, they convinced me to take a valium. Later in years, I began to have panic attacks that led to hyperventilating. Again counseling played a huge in my healing.
As I started learning more about my anxiety and that my health played a huge role, I was able to control my fears. I would either face them, or educate myself on whatever was happening. When I had an illness, procedure, surgery, or doctor that I did not understand, I would ask questions. It made all the difference in the world. But whenever I had an illness the doctor’s didn’t understand it was always my anxiety that got the blame. So for years they pushed for me to take an antidepressant. I refused As my health has got worse, they pushed more.

One thought on “30 Posts Challenge: #8 Me and Anxiety, part 1

  1. Pingback: 30 Posts Challenge: Follow Up – gaillovesgod

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