It was Tuesday night, December 16th. I could not go to sleep. You know those nights when you lie there wide awake? Yup - one of those nights. After an hour or so of tossing and turning I decided to head to the recliner so I wouldn't disturb the hubby. He had an important meeting early the next morning. I'd been there about 1/2 hour - just enjoying looking at the Christmas lights - when BAM!
My heart started doing somersaults. Seriously. It felt like it was violently flopping back and forth in my chest. Then I got an intense pain around the sternum area. I thought I was having a heart attack, so was going to call out to the sleeping hubster, but suddenly I couldn't get my breath. I was nauseous and dizzy and had a difficult time getting out of the chair. I made it to the hall closet where the medicine is kept and took an aspirin. They say to do that if you are having a heart attack.
Now, this is where you DON'T do what I did next. I could breathe a little easier and my acrobatic heart had slowed down considerably, so instead of waking up my husband and heading to the emergency room or calling 911, I decided to head to the computer. Yup - that's what we all do when we think we might be dieing, right?! Guess I should have written my final farewell while I was at the keyboard. Instead I googled heart attack symptoms and really, it didn't seem like that was what was happening to me. So I googled panic attack symptoms. BINGO! Every symptom - I just checked them off one by one. By this time I had decided that I wasn't going to die, so I popped one of my pills for anxiety and headed back to the recliner. Within 20 minutes all symptoms were gone and I felt much better.
I hope to NEVER have another panic/anxiety attack. It was seriously the scariest medical situation I've ever been through.
I had made a major decision to quit my job, which I knew would alleviate some of the stress I was having in my life. Our little family has experienced a lot of stressful situations this last year. Some of them were really wonderful - like a new grandbaby being born, a daughter and her family moving into their own home, and another daughter moving back 'home'. Some were really difficult - like my husband being put on probation at his job unjustly and everything that went along with that including a quick emergency flight home to be with him; opening up a new school with double the student population and everything that goes along with that, including spending time in classrooms once a week. I'm not a teacher. I wanted to be a teacher once - long, long ago. But after that first practicum experience, I knew that I would be eaten alive by those children so I changed my major. So this experience of being in the classroom often left me in tears in the nearest bathroom when I was done.
In hindsight, I can tell you some things that I've learned.
- If something is being overly stressful in your life - don't play the martyr and stick with it because you don't want to feel like a failure.
- Don't worry about doing everything, all of the time. It's ok to let some things go and not be perfect. Why is it that we sometimes feel we have to be the 'superwoman'? That's just wrong!
- Be honest with your feelings and talk with someone about them - be it your spouse, a trusted friend, your doctor or another professional.
- A strong relationship with your Father in Heaven can help you through really difficult times.
- Studying the scriptures can give you insight and strength and help you feel the love of your Savior.
- "Those that be with us are greater than those that be with them." 2 Kings 6:16. I believe that the adversary is working overtime to make us feel that we have failed and that we are of no worth. I also believe that we have a loving Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ who know us personally and love us perfectly. Through the gifts and blessings of the Atonement, we can be succored and strengthened through the Savior.
- When you are having a medical emergency - don't google it! Get professional medical help immediately.