We make it to the hospital, but I’m freaking out a bit since I don’t know whether I can walk to the door or not, but I don’t want to have to use a wheelchair because that’d mean something major was wrong.
I check in, and I feel a bit calmer. At some point in my packing to leave, I began chewing on a piece of gum and can no longer distinguish between the numbness and the minty tingle on my tongue.
I haven’t been to the hospital since my artery dissection and small stroke fall out from the injury almost 2 years ago.
The heart palpitations started after I get triaged. Those are a daily occurrence, so it’s more of an inconvience than anything else, and I feel a bit better. Still dizzy, but calm. If I have a stroke here, at least my chances are good.
I spend an hour in the waiting area. The hubs is being a trooper even though I’m ruining his plans by making him sit with me through all of this. My anxiety claims just as many of his days as mine.
Everything is fine until I notice a man come in with a trash bag. He’s a loud puker. When it hits me that that’s what the bag is full of, my body freaks the hell out. I go up to registration because I can’t sit still. I’ve got one finger in my ear to block out the man while I ask the lady as politely as I could about when I’d be getting back.
Apparently, I’m next, but my fingers and toes are tingling again and there’s a ringing in my ears. I use the bathroom … again. When I come back out, the man has somehow gotten louder and another woman is wheeled in with a puke catcher in her lap. I fall to my chair, pretty positive I’m going to pass out now. The hubs is trying to keep me calm, but he’s got his own issues with hospitals, so we’re a real pair.
It seems a better option to just go home and if a stroke comes on … well I tried.
Instead, I’m called back. Once away from the puking man and the lady with the bucket, I’m exhausted. I tell the doctors about my symptoms, we go through the stroke tests, I get a CT scan, and I spend six hours waiting around for tests and results. But it’s not too bad most of the time. Having two panic episodes in one day takes the fight out of me. I’m not anxious anymore. Just tired and hungry.
The results come back negative for any artery dissections or stroke. I'm thrilled. I really didn't want to relive that experience.
When I get home, I eat a bowl of soup and pass out, completely ignoring the dizziness that comes with lying down, and sleep for 11 hours.
After all that, I have to admit, it wasn’t that bad of an anxiety day. Maybe a 5 out of 10 on the type of panic-y days I can have. Most my anxiety revolves around my health, so as long as I’m feeling good, I don’t really have a problem at all.
It’s obviously a lot worse for some people, but I wanted to share my day with people who maybe don’t understand. I know a lot of my reactions are blown out of proportion, seem extreme, and crazy, but when I’m in the midst of my anxiety, logical thought is impossible. My sole concentration is on feeling better and panic ensues when that doesn’t immediately happen.
It’s exhausting. Anxiety is exhausting.
A good resource for learning more about mental illnesses is the National Institute of Mental Health.