Thursday, October 20, 2011

Post 9: Stress is an ugly monster.

So, this week I had all kinds of fun plans. My plan was to "be normal." Everyday was going to be great! I was going to eat whatever I wanted, go for bike rides, play with my family. Have loads & loads of fun and just enjoy myself before the surgery. Good idea, right? I wasn't aware of this ugly monster called stress that took over my mind and body and made me feel beside myself.

Phillip, my mom, sister, and I planned to take Elise to a pumpkin patch and have lunch this past weekend. I was super excited the day before and ready for my fun weekend ahead. Well, Friday night I couldn't breathe. I felt like I just couldn't get enough air no matter how deeply I took a breath. My heart was pounding, my body hurt. Head was spinning, my face and hands went numb. What in the world was going on? I had no appetite. This can't be happening! I had plans to eat a giant steak and brownies and ice cream this week! I have to because I won't get to eat for a while!! Of course the thought of my "plans" being ruined made me panic more. This continued on and off throughout the weekend between little trips to the pumpkin patch and throughout the day. Yes, we went. I refused to ruin our weekend! I slapped on a smile and tried to enjoy myself between the "crazy moments." The fun must carry on!!

Here are a couple of pictures of Elise we took at the pumpkin patch! This little girl cracks me up and makes me so happy!

Even though we had some fun at the pumpkin patch, I was still worrying too much. Since I had so much trouble breathing, I convinced myself I was getting sick. Oh no! I must have bronchitis, or what if I'm getting pneumonia!! Oh NO!! The doctor told me that if I was sick they would have to reschedule the surgery. NO! I can't be sick!!! My mind kept spinning. Well, with all of this worrying, I eventually made myself sick and couldn't keep any food down. I ended up going into a full blown panic attack and crying like a baby. I felt like a crazy person. I have never had a "real" painic attack. Lots of anxiety? Yes. But a full blown attack?... This was new and scary. For those of you who deal with panic attacks on a regular basis. BLESS YOU. I don't know how you fight this everyday. This is a whole other ball game. My mom kept telling me. You're ok, you're having a panic attack. I google everything. I know, I know. You should never use google to diagnose yourself. All of the symptom charts lead you to make you think you're dying. So I disciplined myself and limited my google search to "symptoms of stress." Aaahhh. I see now. This is why I feel like I am going nuts. Stress is just horrible. It will literally destroy you and make you sick. The mind is a POWERFUL thing. I keep reading the syptoms daily and remind myself, nothing is wrong with my lungs. I CAN breathe. My worrying is making me not able to breathe. Easier said than done! Yes, I still have been having panic attacks this week. No, I have not brilliantly cured myself of my crazy thoughts. I'm only human, right? But I have given myself permission to lose it every now and then. Sure, it is ok to lay on the floor and cry like a blubbering baby. But then I get up, brush myself off and try to push forward.....Or my husband makes me :) I love him! Bless him, he has seen a whole other side of his wife this week! Knowing the physical symptoms of stress and behavioral symptoms helped me realize I'm not getting sick or going crazy. (Maybe just a little crazy :) I am going to get through this and be ok!

Everyday I am reminded of how lucky I am. Aside from having the most wonderful family and friends I could ever imagine, I have the best principal and co-workers ever (who are also wonderful friends). They treated me to a massage yesterday since I've been wigging out. I have tried to keep it together, but they could probably see the twinkle of crazy in my eyes :) It was the best massage EVER!!!!! I tell you, afterwards I felt like a new woman. My spirits were lifted. My body felt better. I felt like me again. Now the massage therapist warned me that I would be all knotted up again in a day or so. Darn. I know the stress may not subside until all of this is over. But hey, a night of good sleep and relaxation did me some good! It's amazing what a little treat like that can do for you. So thank you to my sweet family at Dewar Elementary! It truly did work wonders. A little name dropping here.... Natalie Miller (massage therapist) at Anthony & Company is a miracle worker. Maybe I shouldn't have said that, because I don't want her to be booked up al the time :)

So, my lesson I learned this week. Stress will turn me into a blubbering, crying, pile of mess. Thank you to all of my family and friends who have helped me keep it together and have picked me up when I lose my mind. Three days till surgery. Thank you for reminding me....this too, will pass.

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