And JUST when I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse!

After the roadside ambulance call-out on Friday, I was (although slightly shaken) VERY confident that I'd hit my peak, and that it was all uphill (in a good way) from here! I'd had a professional medical check in the midst of attack, and been given a resounding all clear. Just a couple days to go 'til I was off to the Doctors for some medication and to book therapy and that's it. Road to recovery!

NOPE.

As I commented on my previous post, it was my Father's birthday on Monday. I'm at my Mum's the majority of the week (simply 'cause all my stuff is here, I get on extremely well with my Mum and Dad equally) and visit my Dad and his side of the family regularly. He was going out for the day and then we were all going for a meal at my Grandmother's late afternoon! Lovely! They both live pretty close, it's a 15 minute drive to my Dad's and another 2-3 minutes to my Gran's. Although after the events of Friday I was rather nervous about the journey, I felt confident that once I got there and the Champagne/ food/ banter started flowing, I'd becompletely fine!

Unfortunately, I was EXTREMELY incorrect.

The MOMENT I sat in the back of the car, everything went to sh*t. My stomach knotted up, my body went tingly and shaky, and the breathlessness kicked in with a vengance. Before we'd even pulled away I was going to give up but the idea that I'd be alright when we arrived kept me going. But no, the 20 minute journey was a 20 minute full on fight with my body and mind to not completely lose it. I got out of the car when we arrived expecting relief but instead came an extreme and very sudden exacerbation of everything I'd felt on the way. I walked in and gave my Grandma a hug and said I had to "go to the toilet". She knows very well about my problems and asked if I was okay but at this point I could barely speak.

My brother (who's had very similar issues in the past) came to me after about 20 minutes to try and chill me out. The breathing (or lack thereof), lightheadedness which meant I could hardly lift my head up and shaking by this point were completely out of control. I managed to get up from the chair in the bathroom and stumble to my Gran's spare bedroom where would spend the next 3 hours in meltdown. Shaking like I had parkinson's, tingling and numb all over, weak to the point where moving felt horrible, tense to point where it hurt, heart and thoughts racing, CONSTANT hyperventillation and 100% convinced that this was the end of my life. Despite family members regularly coming in to comfort me and try and get me out of it, there was no hope. My stepmum who is extremely good with health anxiety (her mother was disbled by it for about 5 years) was in with me when the final wave hit and I beddged for medical help. She phoned my doctor who said as it had been going on for so long, I should go to A&E (or ER) where they can give me something to calm me down and perform all necessary tests to rule out anything more sinister. FINALLY a hospital check-up after nearly two years of being convinced that I'm dying! Amongst the absolute hell that I was still going through, I was very excited!

After about 10 minutes I managed to gather my things and "walk" to the car. Luckily my Dad's car is large so I had room in the back to lay down and brace for the 30 minute journey to Hospital. Surprisingly for most of this I felt considerably better! I was still stuck in hyperventilation, shakes and extreme tingling, but could actually construc a sentence and managed to speak to my stepmum all the way which helped (Obviously my Dad would have come with but it was his birthday and he had my 5 year old brother to get into bed soon!)

The 1st nurse that saw me there was amazing. We only had to wait 5 minutes after arriving by which point I was nearing another full-on attack. She explained to me that she'd seen this with someone else just days ago, where they'd been stuck in absolute debilitating panic for hours and hours. This made me feel immediately better as I thought it could never last more than like 30 minutes! I explained in great detail what I'd been through and she looked very relieved and said it sounded like a textbook severe panic attack. Checked my sats which were fine and blood pressure, which was high (160/something) but was not concerened by that as my bassline is 135/90 and panic can easily cause BP to shoot up! Throughout my 5 hour stay, I had 3 ECGs (all perfect, just fast!), multiple blood pressure readings laying, sitting and standing (all higher than usual but again, they didn't seem concerened at all), a blood test for sugar, electrolytes, minerals etc. which was perfect and some other basic physical exams which were fine! My temperature was pretty high (like, near-fever) but they put that down to the fact that I'd been wearing a wooly had for the entire duration!

After thanking everyone massively for their help, we left. It was about midnight so I was extrememly tired but felt otherwise completely fine ๐Ÿ˜ŽDidn't even need anythig to calm me in the end, the reassurance was enough! My stepmum (who I've bought a bottle of wine and a card for helping me out) dropped me back at my Mum's who was waiting up for me which was lovely! Had a chat and a cup of tea with her and went to bed feeling great.

Anyway. There's my "little" story all about what was probably the worst day of my life! ;L I know it seems stupid writing all my posts in novel form but it REALLY helps me to get it all down in detail like that! Plus it means that any reader who's been through a similar situation may find greater reassurance so it's a win win!

I went to my Doctor tuesday morning obviously and I'm now on medication for the 1st time! Sertraline (or zoloft, starting at 25mg 1st week then up to 50mg) and 10 Diazepam to help me through any rough times (which I haven't needed YET). I've just taken my 3rd one (well, about 2 hours ago). 1st day was fine. Side affects after about 2 hours were a slight increase in nervousness, minor nausea and feeling a tad shivery but overall I felt really good! Yesterday not quite as plain sailing. Woke up feeling very on edge and very shaky! Took my 2nd and had breakfast and within an hour-ish it wore off but I still felt pretty on edge until the evening! Again this morning I woke up (very late, like nearly mid-day) feeling very tingly, shaky and nervous but I'm feeling pretty good now. I guess this is all just the tablets doing their thing!

If anyone has had there kind of affects it would be great to know as although I haven't fully panicked, it's obviously slightly worrying!

I'm going to try and post more regularly on here from now on with how I'm getting on with meds etc. Maybe then they wont all be 300 paragraphs long as well! ;L Thank you all for continued support and look forward to your comments ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Š x

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  • Cherry_mvff, You explained what happened perfectly. I felt as if you were right there talking with me and the others on the forum. I'm sorry for the experience you had and it was quite an experience. However, I'm not surprised. The design of what would happen was already set up for you when you got in that back seat. The memory of what had happened when your friend's mom was driving you home, came flooding back big time. And that happens a lot with anxiety. Once we experience a memorable event with anxiety, it tends to hang onto our subconscious mind making us vulnerable to the next time you are in the same situation.

    Now you will have to work on knowing (and I think you already have an understanding) that it is not the back of the car that caused the event. Had it had happened in a grocery store, you would have felt that way when going back. The "what if" alone is enough to light the fire under the anxiety already present.

    It sounds like you have a very support/loving family behind you and that means a lot. You got good care at the hospital. Your doctor understands your emotional pain and started you on medication. I am happy to see you realize that the meds may give some side effects to show they are working. You've got everything going for you and in the right direction. The Diazepam will be your security blanket. You may never have to take it but just knowing it's there will be comforting.

    The Sertraline will begin to work in 4-6 weeks when it reaches full efficacy. It sounds like mentally and physically you are in good shape. I would suggest one more thing to go along with the medication and that is to have some short term talk therapy which will allow you in working with your med by finding alternate methods to use in addition to the medication. There are a lot of options out there the biggest one is knowing and accepting this as not harmful. You have been reassured physically now it will take some work on your part to make your mind assured as well.

    Keep in tune with the forum. Use it as your support arm to lean on when struggling. Pick up all the ideas and suggestions that others use that may work for you as well. More importantly help others who are going through the same thing, support them, encourage them. That is the best medicine of all knowing you are not alone and can actually make a difference for someone else.

    All in all, Cherry_mvff, it was an interesting birthday for your dad and knowing you went through all you did out of love and respect for him, meant a lot. I hope you can leave all this behind now and go forward. Forget what happened, there doesn't need to be a repeat. Wipe the slate clean and start anew with your medication, your positive approach to getting back control of your life.

    I wish you my best and remember you are never alone and that we are always here to help each other. :)

  • I'm waiting for the paperback version to come out.

  • Jeff, you are so funny. Thanks for the laugh. As you can see, I'm no slouch either :)

  • Hahaha ffs Jeff1943 I'll send a signed copy your way when they're printed bud ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Agora1 what can I say. You've done it again. Funny isn't it how a few paragraphs of text on a computer screen from someone you have never met and probably will never meet can literally make your day! If it wasn't for the fact that my eye is already watering due to a lash being stuck in it, that would've brought a tear to my eye ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰ I'm glad you like my narrative way of writing as well! It really brings me comfort being able to express what I've been through on a personal level, rather than just listing my issues down! Feels more like I'm actually talking to someone in real life and the fact that you get that is ace!

    I definitely get the whole thing about significant events staying in you subconscious. My 1st ever bad "episode" back in January last year was in a supermarket, where I had to literally drop my things by the checkout and leg it outside! Since then I've really struggled with shops in general however it has got a lot easier over time. Like I said I knew as soon as I sat down that it wasn't going to be plain sailing but I just didn't anticipate how quickly it would get out of control! I would have been fine once I arrived at my Gran's had my brain not been firing worst case scenarios at me the whole way but I was so out of it by then I couldn't stop. The whole situation has been hugely reassuring though as now I don't just "guess it's probably anxiety", as there's literally NOTHING else it could be! There's no horrible physical disease that I know of that is triggered by sitting in a car! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I've cut down on the "what if's" hugely since Monday, and despite the side-affects and residual anxiety symptoms, I'm genuinely seeing a difference in my rational thinking already.

    My family are absolutely incredible indeed, and the friends of mine that know about what's happened have been amazing too! Seriously the combination of family, friends and this forum have been my saving grace during this whole ordeal. The last 20 months would have been unbearable without any of them and you lot and I can't thank you enough for it! So many potentially awful situations have been avoided by a 20 minute visit to this site it's unreal.

    It's very comforting to know that I have medication to help me now as well. Sure the side effects aren't great especially in the morning but I've been assured that there's virtually no risk with what I'm taking so I'll get through it. Having the Diazepam as a fall back as well is in itself helping me not freak out. Chances are I won't even touch them but knowing they're there is very comforting especially while the Sertraline starts to work. A very close friend of mine was on it last year for a similar problem and she had every side effect I've had so far so I ain't worried about that! I'm definitely feeling very mentally strong and generally happy at the moment in spite of what has happened. I've never been the kind of person to dwell on anything which is obviously a massive help in situations like this! Physically in good shape I'm not so sure about haha ;L At least I know all the important parts are working properly!

    I'm booked in for CBT and EMDR in a few weeks when the meds are working, and I'm hoping that that combination will be enough to get me to the point where I can do the rest "on my own"! The physio and respiratory therapy should definitely help as well! It's all looking good from here on out ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    It certainly was an interesting birthday for ol' Father haha but he's happy knowing I'm happy and other than "that" had a great day anyway which makes me feel better! He was delighted that I made the effort to come knowing what had happened on Friday! I'm spending next week at his to make up for it and we're going to have a nice meal there instead which'll no doubt be awesome (he was a head chef in a 5-star seafood restaurant for 16 years ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰). I think that'll make "pretending" Monday "never happened" a lot easier for all of us!

    Like I said in my post I'm going to try and be much more active on here from now on. It's always a huge relief and I don't know why I post/ comment so infrequently! I get the same comforting feeling from helping others definitely so I'm going to be doing more of that as well. That feeling of knowing that someone is going through the same thing as you and then being able to reassure them that they're not the only one is incredible!

    Anyway, I shall stop rambling. Thanks so much as always for your help! I'll keep y'all posted with how I'm getting on over the next couple of weeks ๐Ÿ˜Žx

  • Omg its like ive just read a book about myself!! Full on panic attacks, laying in the back of the car to go get help etc etc. 6yrs on i am still on meds for depression and anxiety but i work and can do things on my own now. Still suffer but have learnt to tell myself to shut up and get on with it! Good luck to you on your recovery! I know its easier said than done but you must try and get out of it NOW. Get all the professional help straight away as i left it too long and fear that its too late to get rid of it completely. A bit of advice... you will NEVER die from a panic attack. They just dont feel nice lol.x

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