Sunday, February 3, 2008

Shock Attack

Speaking of symptoms, apparently I jinxed myself.

I've been coping pretty well with my challenges lately. My physical symptoms have been restricted to intermittent insomnia, bouts of sweatiness, and occasional shaking hands. The best cure is deep breaths, yoga, and not allowing myself to get into a downward spiral.

Last night, however, after a particularly upsetting conversation with a member of my family regarding my parents' separation, I didn't get off so easy. After I hung up the phone, I noticed that my heart was beating rapidly, but I got myself calmed down and went to bed.

2:35 am: I wake up with a need to visit the facilities. I get out of bed as always, when WHOOOOOSH! The floor starts tipping under my feet. Woah, head rush. I must have gotten up too quickly. I sit my butt back down and wait for my blood pressure to adjust.

I wait a reasonable amount of time, and try again. Again, vertigo attacks. I get myself to the facilities and back by clutching door jambs and chair backs along the way. By the time I'm on my return journey, my heart rate has sped up quite a lot.

Ken's still up watching TV on the sofa, but I don't want to worry him. I get myself back into bed. I figure it's just some kind of nighttime weirdness and if I can fall back asleep it'll be gone when I wake up again in the morning. But I can't fall asleep. My heart races faster and faster and my whole body start to shake. Very quickly I start to feel chilled. My hands and feet become icy.

I call for Ken. By the time he shows up by my side, looking concerned, my teeth are chattering uncontrollably. The vertigo is still having its way with me, despite the fact that I am lying flat on my back. The room spins. What is going on?

Ken piles blankets on top of me and brings me a hot water bottle, but my teeth are still rattling away. He fetches his furry winter hat and sticks it on my head. No help. I'm thinking that this is probably one of my show-stopping psychosomatic symptoms, so I ask him to bring my trusted homeopathic cure: Rescue Remedy.

I know that not everyone believes in homeopathic medicine. In my experience, it works. If you want to call it the placebo effect, go ahead. I'm a pragmatist. As long as I feel better, that's good enough for me.

I instruct Ken to get four drops of Rescue Remedy into my mouth. This is something of a challenge for him considering that my jaw is opening and closing at a rate of about 10 times per second. But he manages. Within seconds, my body relaxes. The shaking becomes a series of twitches, and then stops. My teeth get in a few last clickity-clacks, then stand at ease.

I'm still feeling faint, nauseated, and dizzy, but the worst is over. I think I can fall asleep now. So I do, under a mountain of blankets and wearing Ken's shapka.

Through the rest of the night I woke every 90 minutes or so with a racing heart, and took another dose of Rescue Remedy. I survived. It's morning now, and despite still feeling a little shaky I'm well enough to sit up and type. I'll be spending the rest of the day on my sofa, for reals.


Aurora said...

Ugh, fainting is no joke. I'm glad you're okay today and Ken was there to help you out.

I heard somewhere that if you tense up your legs and cross them it brings blood back up into them and so you don't faint. Ah, here it is.

virtual hugs!!

Karen said...

I hope you are feeling better soon. Maybe it is a touch of the flu...sounds like it could be. Whatever it is, just take the day to rest and relax.

Sending you posiive vibes.

Jenski said...

Sounds like a nerve-wracking evening. I'm glad you made it to the facilities and back safely! Take care of yourself and try to relax for as long as necessary!

Keera Ann Fox said...

That is the panic attack from hell! Nice to hear that Rescue Remedy does work (and who cares why).

jameil1922 said...

wow!! i'm glad you feel better!

R.E.H. said...

Sorry to hear you're not feeling good. That sure sounds like a bona fide Panic Attack. I've had a couple of them myself (once rushed to the hospital, as I was certain I was having a heart attack).

Rest up, feel better.

Sparkling Red said...

Aurora: That's a very helpful article. I'm going to keep that tip at the top of my mind. :-)

Karen: Thanks! I've been relaxing all day and I'm feeling almost back to my normal self again.

Jenski: Thank you - I promise to take care of myself. :-)

Keera: Amen to that. I *heart* Rescue Remedy.

Jameil: Thanks! So far, so good. :-)

R.E.H.: For reals. I can easily see why you'd think you were having a heart attack. One thing that took me by surprise: I never knew that one could have a panic attack from being fast asleep like that. I must have been having one helluva stressful dream just before I woke up!

Anonymous said...

That is freakin crazy! Did you check out WebMD to try and self-diagnose? I'm so curious as to what could have been going on! Good thing you made it careful and take care of yourself, Red!

Maxie said...

I hope you're feeling better! I take homeopathic medicine when I get sick and it seems to work for me. My town is pretty big on it-- we have a distribution center here and everything. It's one of our only industries...weird.

Take it easy today!

Sparkling Red said...

Binky Ink: Thanks! I'm already more or less back to my old self. I guess it was just a temporary affliction.

Maxie: Homeopathy is one of the only types of medecine that works for me, since I get side effects to almost every pharmaceutical product. I'm always happy when I hear that not everyone is a skeptic.

Kell said...

Holy Cow! That does sound like a panic attack from hell, and yes, you can wake up and have one. Actually, it might have been one of the things that woke you up but you didn't realize it. Glad the Rescue Remedy helped. I'm sure yoga and meditation help, too. Scary story. Glad you're feeling better!