For the last 7 years, I’ve suffered from severe anxiety attacks. It’s a genetic predisposition – mom suffered from it terribly – and it is debilitating. I don’t mean the “oh – I’m a little anxious. That makes me sad” kind of anxiety disorder. I mean the “OH FUCK!!!!! I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!!” Kind of anxiety disorder. This morning, I was hit with one of those. I hadn’t slept well, brain was going a million miles an hour but that’s not abnormal. I had my daughter here, so got I up and went through the morning routines to get her to school. Off she went across the garden to meet with the two (older) girls next door to walk to school. This is one of the primary reasons I moved to this house. That walk to school is a wonderful thing. She loves it, and especially loves that she can go without me and with her two new friends.
That weird, all consuming sense of your body running out of control started up. It’s difficult to describe, the closest I can do is saying it’s like your body is filling up with jangly stuff from the feet upwards, and when it hits your chest you know it’s serious. When it hits there, you feel like your heart is going to give out there and then, which amplifies the sensation tenfold. Strategies for reducing that sensation at that stage of severity are tough to come by, but start with very deep breaths, walking outside and if that doesn’t work, head to the ED. So I packed up the recycling while breathing deeply, walked it out to the recycling bin and dumped it, then walked back. Still feeling like imminent collapse, it was into the car and a slow drive with the window open and radio blaring through town to the ED.
Now hospitals have become much more security aware in the last few years with good reason. The amount of nutters out there with firearms and nothing better to do apart from getting roided up and heading to the hospital to shoot up a bunch of SICK PEOPLE!!! Is astonishing. So most hospitals are pretty security conscious. My ED was staffed by a truly compassionate woman who was in exactly the right job for her. I relayed the story “anxiety disorder, massive attack, can I sit here until it calms down please?” She was immediately sympathetic and off I went to sit and read. And read. And read. Then call my doctors to get a tranquilizer prescription but get run around their IVT system (which should ALL be abolished right now by the way) And read some more. After a couple of hours, this started to do the trick and the worst of the attack started to subside. Things were looking up. I packed up and headed out.
Life has a nasty habit of throwing curve balls at you, and mine this time was the ice storm that had started while I was inside contemplating imminent death. The sidewalk, road and car were covered in that oh so wonderful Vermont specialty, the thick sugar coat of ice sealing everything and rendering all walking surfaces slick as a 50’s haircut. As it turned out – this was wonderfully distracting as I figured out how to cut ice off windshields, doors, mirrors and wipers while balancing on unbelievably slippery icy surfaces. Eventually I managed to actually get in and start it up and made my way along the bobsled track which was the parking lot and access roads an hour ago. Again – a wonderfully focussing experience.
My attempts to reach my doctors had finally born fruit and they’d promised to call it in to my nearest pharmacy. Of course that hadn’t actually happened. What is it about basic medical systems that do not allow them to function? Why do we just expect them to go wrong? A discussion for another time. More phone calls and I am the proud owner of grade A narcotics which I know from prior experience will knock me out for about 8 hours, hence rendering them utterly useless as I am now 5 hours away from having to pick my daughter up from school. That just about sums up my life right now. I can’t even schedule a fucking breakdown. FML as the kids say.
Temperature up (no matter what the gas bill does), eat something, drink something, get under a blanket and put on comedy shows from netflix to distract. Of course – that isn’t the end. I needed to write about it all, which is why your reading this. If you don’t see any more posts from me, just take comfort in knowing I was thinking about you all, and there’s a rather tasty 2002 mountaineer in the garage. If you’re going to take it though, please just hop into the house and grab my decaying ass and throw it in the back, then dump it somewhere so I don’t stink the place up. Thanks.