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I am mom to an 18 year old boy and identical twin 9 year old boys. I am the wife of a wonderful man. I have had celiac disease for 18 years, and love to share recipes I find or create!

Jan 9, 2013

Have you ever had an anxiety attack?

I haven't posted in awhile, because I'm trying to better organize my life and find a way to carry less stress around. Yoga is helping a lot.

I've had these odd breathing attacks since I got pregnant with my twins five years ago. My chest would feel like a belt was tightening around me, in the beginning I would hyperventilate, I broke out in sweats and hives, and it felt like a heart attack. They would last a minute or two, then I would get this euphoric feeling and feel like I had just participated in a triathlon. They came and went, and seemed to be brought on only by me doing too much strenuous exercise. At first, it was if I worked too hard in the garden. Then, I would get an attack if I walked up the stairs too fast, picked up a heavy laundry basket, or picked up one of the kids. Well, this summer it became a week of 8 to 13 attacks every day my week of pms. I even had attacks sitting perfectly still. I would wake up out of a dead sleep stuck to the sheets having an awful attack. One happened while I was teaching my oldest, I was just sitting at the table not even talking, and it lasted almost three minutes. I was stuck in that chair, moaning in the worst pain I have felt since childbirth. That made me decide it was time to talk to a doctor.

I apparently have anxiety. I don't bite my nails, or pick at things, I don't over organize things, I am not a clean freak. The only symptom of anxiety that I have is the anxiety attacks that randomly hit me. I will say I do a lot within the confines of each day, but I have always been like that and it's just "me". I teach three kids, I keep the house pretty clean, I keep up with house chores, I take the kids on field trips and to classes and to parties and such. I help deal with the occasional broken bone or laceration, eye appts, leaking dishwasher, etc. I coupon and match sales to save as much as I can at the grocery store. I manage our budget and pay all the bills. I was the president of our HOA board, and I have been scheduling and organizing field trips for a homeschool group I sort of started. I make a lot of food from scratch because of our celiac disease, but even that I have always done, I just changed my ingredients to gluten free.

I went to my regular doc, who gave me klonopin for when I have the attacks. It's a tranquilizer and holy cow does it make me stupid. He sent me to a cardiologist because my heart skips a beat once in awhile. Turns out that yes, that's all it is and it's ok that it does that. The cardiologist said since it follows my pms so much I should see a hormone specialist. Mind you no one had mentioned anxiety at this point. So, off I go and after what seemed like all of my blood going into vials my hormone levels are perfect. Off to my gyno, to see if there's some tumor growing or something funny going on. He said he too has anxiety attacks and immediately recognized that's what I was going through. He agreed the klonopin should be for horses, and told me to try wellbutrin. I had never been depressed in my life until I started taking wellbutrin. It made me want to do nothing but stay in bed all day. I stopped cleaning the house, I stopped caring about schooling, it was awful. So, I stopped taking it. The doc said to try out lexipro, and bam - it is doing it! I haven't had one attack since I started taking the lexipro, I have felt a few coming on but have had a ton of crap to deal with lately and honestly I expected to have attacks. I was pleasantly surprised that a simple pill could help me so much!

So, I now am on a six month plan for myself. I want to be back off the medicine within the next six months. In the meantime, I'm learning how to relax. I quit the HOA, I'm letting others organize homeschool get togethers, and I'm starting to do yoga. I'm trying to ask for help when I need it (I'm a very independent person), and I have changed how Big Kid and I work at school. I still teach him social studies and math, for everything else he gets a weekly assignment list for each subject and can ask anytime he needs help. Fridays we go over the week's work, and as long as his grades are good and his work shows effort we'll continue the new schedule. Big Kid likes it because he can get a week's worth of grammer for example done in one sitting, and can work harder to have a day off if he wants it. I like it because it has freed me up SO much during the week! I can now work with the twins so much more (who love any school related anything), and it has given me time to sit and just relax. I am being completely honest when I say I have only recently started taking the time to sit and do nothing for five minutes during the day. I'm beginning to see that I do too much each day... hard to admit to yourself tho, it sort of feels like admitting failure!

Now you know why I have been away from the blog, I hope reading this helps at least someone who has suffered an anxiety attack in their life!

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