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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Riding the Waves

So, this week has been a bit crazy.  My mom has been sick with a horrible flu, so bad that I truly thought she might have pneumonia.  (She is 66, has asthma, and has had pneumonia twice before.)  Just so you don't think that was simply my anxiety talking, I was finally able to convince her to go to the doctor on Tuesday (as she had been sick since the previous Thursday).  The doctor did and chest x-ray and sent home a container for a sputum sample.  He also proscribe a cough syrup and a very strong antibiotic to fight the lung infection.  Unfortunately, he didn't look at the precautions for the antibiotic first.

At lunch, my mom took the first dose of that antibiotic.  About 20 minutes later, I read the package insert only to find that my mom should NEVER have been prescribed this medication.  My mom has a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome which is a type of arrhythmia.  It's something we both have.  This antibiotic she was prescribed has a tendency to worsen this, which can lead to fainting, abnormal heart rhythm, and even death.  Also, this antibiotic was not to be used by anyone on diuretics (she's on two), anyone with low potassium levels (which she has to take potassium for), or anyone on corticosteroids as the combination can contribute to tendon rupture (and she's on steroids for a muscle disorder and also has a patellar tendon that was rebuilt less than two years ago).

Needless to say, I made my mom call in immediately and talk to the nurse about it.  She only told them about the heart issue and asked if this was safe for her to take.  The nurse said she'd speak to the doctor and get back to us.  About twenty minutes later, my mom started to feel very sick.  She tried to go lay down in bed, but started to feel very dizzy, nearly passing out.  These are signs of issues with the Long QT Syndrome.  I've had these before.

I helped her to bed, and stayed in the living room where I would be able to hear her if she needed anything or tried to get up.  About 90 minutes later, she was starting to feel slightly better.  I wasn't!  The nurse still hadn't called back.  When the nurse finally did call back, hours later, she said the doctor wanted to change the medicine.  My mom told her it was a good thing and described the symptoms she'd had.  The nurse made sure she wasn't alone and told her if she had any more of those symptoms to go to the ER immediately.

So, I had to run into town to get the new prescription, all the while worried about my mom at home alone.

That wasn't the only stress of the week.  That same day, my dog was sick, waking me up at 5:30 am and causing me to have to strip and wash my bedding.  When I went to take her out, a neighbor's massive dog was in our yard.  I had to immediately grab my little poodle as soon as we came around a set of plantings.  She was going nuts, I was trying to get the neighbor's dog out of our yard, and the neighbor's dog just kept coming toward us!!!  (For someone who was bit by a neighbor's dog at age six, this definitely sets off a whole set of fears.)  Finally, the dog starts across the road, but then stops, right in the middle, with a semi coming.  So, I get the "Don't let the dog get hit by that truck.  If it gets hit it's all my fault being I was chasing it out of our yard." thing going.  Luckily, the semi honked it's horn and the dog moved before the truck got to the point where it had been standing.  Still, it wouldn't leave from that spot.  So, my sick dog couldn't go to the bathroom in our own yard!  And all the commotion woke up my poor sick mom!

And....I was dealing with all this while fighting yet another two week migraine!

So, it's been a tough week.  Then, Rachel canceled my therapy appointment, because she came down sick.  It's already been three weeks since my last appointment being I'd had to cancel the week before due to the migraine.  Now, due to scheduling issues, it will be five weeks between session.

Still, with all this, I felt relatively good, happy, much better than I'd usually have been.  Until yesterday afternoon when I was finally hit with the wave of emotions that comes after that much suppressed anxiety.  I was feeling sick, battling the same bug my mom had, and was getting ready to take a nap when I knocked a glass of water out of my own hand, spilling it all over the floor, and covering myself with water in the process. That was all it took for the flood gates to open.  I just couldn't hold it back anymore and the wave just came crashing over me.

This isn't unusual for me being I'm a stuffer.  What was different this time is that I knew exactly what was going on and why it was happening, which makes it much easier to accept.  The emotions are still there and knowing me, they'll probably be there for awhile, but I'm able to deal with them, to cope with them.

 I will get through it, and I'll come out the other side with a better understanding of myself and the way my emotions work.  So, I've come to the conclusion that when the waves come and the surf's up, there's not much I can do but hang ten and enjoy the ride.


  1. You really are my hero :-)

    You handled everything really well this week!

    You couldn't have asked for more triggers and stress if you tried and you dealt with each situation as it came up.

    I am so proud of you!

    1. Thanks, Lizzie. I know there are some things I could have done better, but I also know that overall it was a huge improvement over where I was at six months ago. : )

  2. What a week, and how well you handled it! I hope your mother is feeling better, and I hope you are over the bug too.

    That is so great that even though the floodgates opened, you knew what was going on. There's so much healthy acceptance in that. I'm glad, too, that you can see the improvement you've made. That's hard to do sometimes, to realize that the small steps are adding up.

    1. My mom is back at work today, definitely feeling better but still not back to 100%. (This week is state-wide standardized testing, so she really had to be back for that.) I'm feeling much better other than the sciatica, which just is what it is. There's not a lot I can do about it right now.

      I think that being able to realize and understand what is going on when my anxiety or depression are high is one of the biggest things I've gotten out of therapy so far. It really does help me not feel so "wrong" when it happens, which really does help with everything else. It helps me know how to deal with things rather than being lost in the emotional whirlwind or crushed by the wave of depression. I can now step back and say, "This is what this is, now what do I do? How do I deal with this?" It's still hard sometimes, especially given the delayed processing, but it's getting better bit by bit. : )

  3. Wow, ok, I would have had a total meltdown. I think it's really amazing how you got through everything you had to. You were really there for your mom. I think it's totally cool to cry out your emotions. It's sure better than holding them in. I am always surprised by the relief I often feel after crying out my anxiety. It's like, ok, well, now I can go on through the rest of my day now that I got that out of the way! Two week migraine? That's really rough. Hope you are feeling all better very soon

    1. I would normally have a total meltdown as well. I'm still a bit surprised that I didn't. When the wave hit, I did recognize it and felt like having a total meltdown cry, but then I realized all that would do would be make me even more stuffy than I already was. LOL

      I totally realized what was going on and thought to myself, "Why cry? None of it was that big of a deal on its own. None of it really deserved a cry on its own. It was just a combination and the fact that I'd let it build up." Then I realized that I could just let it go. It was past and what it was. I couldn't change it. Crying wouldn't change it. I just had to accept it and allow myself to decompress and feel each emotion separately for what it was. It was a very interesting moment for me to experience. I'm not sure I've ever felt that before.

      Oh....and the two week migraines are getting old. I totally think they're a result of the Zoloft amplifying my normal migraines.'s something I definitely have to address with Scott at the end of the month when I go in for my med check.


Please leave me a comment below. Feel free to share your stories and struggles with anxiety or those of your loved ones. Please show respect when doing so. : )