Anxiety is a chameleon

Just a quick update for you lovely people out there who, by replying and/or liking a post, create a strange, invisible safety net for the psyche and make one feel just that bit less alone:

My OH had the op yesterday - and lived. Contrary to the vicious little thought imps that sneak around in the brain and whisper frightening things in the darkest, pre-dawn hours.

And better than that, he wasn't yellow and sunken-faced and suddenly old, as those intrusive thoughts had sniggered at me in the night.

Actually, he was grinning like the Cheshire cat, stoned out of his brains, if a little pale, but almost compus mentis as he floated around the ceiling in a purple haze, sore but very much alive. Muttering things like, 'nice drugs' and 'this catheter's great - don't need a wee' and 'if I took a naturist's funeral would I have to be naked?'. Don't ask, no idea.

But here's the interesting thing. I have been waking up in the early hours, with a heart rate that reverberates through the mattress like the hoofbeats of a bolting horse, for the last couple of weeks. However this morning I awoke at around 6 (as opposed to around 2 - 3.30) yet with a calm and steady heart rate. Go figure.

What's prompted this stream of consciousness is that last night, whilst whiling away the last bit of wakefulness that was dogging my desperation to sleep like Dobby the house elf mythering Harry in the Chamber of Secrets, I watched a programme on A&E on TV.

This woman woke at midnight with a hammering heart and severe chest pains. She had six paramedics around her (one of the luckier plebs - since ordinary people seem to be being starved of critical services) who found, on ECG, that she was experiencing some sort of sinus arrhythmia (must be improving to be able to spell that right first time).

Cut to the chase, it was anxiety. Her dad had died a couple of years before, and her mother had died of a heart attack at the same age this woman had now reached. Mind you, I knew it all along, of course. It was blindingly obvious to someone sitting on the bed of a hotel room, having been upgraded to the best room in the house - complete with a rooftop terrace with a second, outdoor, rolltop cast iron bath (in Manchester, in a gale) because the room I had been in had a problem with the plumbing so the bathroom stank like a navvie's crotch. No offense to navvies. And not that I've smelled their crotches. But one can imagine. Not that I have, necessarily, but the subconscious link may have been made by the preceding programme DIY SOS...

But I digress. There I was, sitting on this queen-sized, munching on a custard tart with a cup of tea and shouting at the screen, "it's just anxiety, you silly b**ch," (very compassionate for a therapist) without a hint of 'if the cap fits...'

My point is, I think, at least in part, that the waking up at unspeakably early hours with a heart bolting out of my chest like something out of Alien may have had something to do with my OH's little health issue. That is not to say that my adrenals are completely tickety boo - need to get them checked out. But ... damn. Anxiety can be a master of disguise, can't it? But so often, when it is cited as a potential cause of physical distress or illness, it feels so bl***y insulting,. Yet anxiety is one of the most powerful drivers we have. Tricky beast, though.

Actaully, while I think about it, it's brought up another little thought. I read in the paper yesterday that scientists have discovered an early indicator of Alzheimer's: rambling sentences that don't get to the point concisely ...

Oh Cr*p. There goes my sleep cycle again ...

28 Replies

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  • Great to hear you are both doing fine. Thank you for another wonderful post at a difficult time ..... 😊x

  • PM's you - seems I lost the b****r! Thank you, Marzbarz!πŸ‘

  • That's what happens when you eat Custard Tarts sitting in the bath outside in a gale !!

  • Indeed! And that's not all - my nipples may never recover!!

  • Good news! Glad you're both feeling better. Great post as always. Best & all that x

  • πŸ˜°πŸ‘

  • Schenks,

    Intrigued about whether one would have to be naked for a naturist's funeral :O

    I'm glad your husband is doing well. It's really very selfish of him to have caused you so much anxiety.

  • πŸ˜„

  • Oh crumbs!We both do that rambly thing,& being over half way through our sixties,I can now obsess about that nugget of info.But if it wasn't that,I'd be worrying about something else.Ho hum...

  • I'd never admit to being half way through my anythings!

  • Leaving aside your nipples Schenks 😱 it's good to have you back .

    So glad OH has finally had his op and is hopefully " on the mend !

    Where are your lovely doggies ?

    X Pp

  • Pinkypoo! Hi there! And what is wrong with my nipples, then? πŸ˜€ Thank you for your good wishes

    The Boys are on holiday in the countryside, with new and stinky walks daily and a bath on their homecoming day! πŸ•

  • Lovely , bet they're missing you .

    You take care of yourself x 😘

  • 😘

  • Hi Schenks,

    Great to hear that hubby and you have the dreaded Operation behind ye.

    Onwards and upwards my Dear.

    J πŸ€β€οΈ

  • Hi, J - I PM's you too...looks like yours didn't get posted either. Very annoying, especially since it takes AGES on a phone.

    But moaning aside, thank you my dearπŸ˜‡. Will catch up πŸ˜˜πŸ€

  • No Problem at all S.

    We can catch up when you are home again.

    J ❀️

  • 😘

  • I used to wake up in the middle of the night with racing heart and feel sick. It was thyroid. Once regulated, that stopped. But I still get anxiety/panic attacks out of the blue. I take Xanax as needed which is now infrequent.

  • I used to just get trembling anxiety out of nowhere before dx. Thought it was caffeine, sleep problems etc but resolved on levo.

  • My one doctor said I have ptsd that kicks on the panic attacks. There are many things in my past that make that a possibility. Something on tv or in my dreams could trigger it. That seems plausible.

  • I hadn't even got to Go Figure before I was saying 'it's anxiety' to myself. Been there, done it, had the t-shirt. First worrying about a friend and then my own health. I knew it was anxiety, but that didn't stop it and I was awake from 1-4.30 a.m. every night without fail, then good for nothing during the day. GPs were useless. By the time I got to see an endoprat, I had been on HC and then weaned myself off.

    I'm relieved to hear your husband is ok - thanks for letting us all know. And thanks for your sense of humour in your posts. Now go have another custard tart and relax. :)

  • πŸ™‚πŸ‘

  • I love the way you you write and describe things, paints a real picture. You should write a book! Glad it all went well 😊

  • Thank you πŸ™‚

  • I only ramble when I can't find the word I need, so I dismissed that article about Alzheimers! Glad it is all over. Best wishes for a full recovery.

  • Glad you've got over the worst part, as the anticipation can be worse than the actual thing we anticipate. Good luck to both of you and best wishes to your hubs for a speedy recovery but only after he's had his fun w the good meds. :-)

    My only problem w the anxiety diagnosis is that they lay it on you after they do whatever they're prepared to do to make sure you don't pop your clogs on their shift, then if they find nothing it is anxiety. I had the world's worst anxiety before uat diagnosis and it resolved on levo.

    Interestingly enough, my mum, who is the earliest practitioner of cbt I know (she did hers in the early 80s, for anxiety and phobic stuff) also went to the gp w terrible anxiety and that is when they found out she was hypo.

    So in a sense everything and anything could be anxiety. If they're not prepared to treat you for it, lucky them, it is yet another filmy passing cloud of a non-diagnosis. And we are all prone to get it, life being the unpredictable bu88er it is...

  • Thanks for your good wishes, on. And I so agree with you. It's another bucket diagnosis, and once given, it acts like a tint on the lenses through which any and all other practitioners view their subject. I mean, once tainted with the label, then a vast spectrum of other illnesses can also be mistaken for it, and if it's the earliest go-to suspicion, then one is, indeed, bu88ered. (I like that approximation of but****d!)

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