Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It was My Own Fault – Stupid Me…

Yesterday afternoon, I got so excited about my fast food Monday and my diet Cokes – like a kid in a candy store.  The excitement sent me over the edge, though.  I drank all three 20oz diet Cokes in short succession and would later regret it immensely.  It set into motion an anxiety attack of the highest order – the kind of my nightmares can only conjure.  The tingling of my body started as I sat at this computer – a sensation of confusion.  I continued to drink the caffeine laden Cokes like some heroin addict in the back alleys of New York – the slums where the homeless hang out and where the addicts shoot up.  Then my vision went all wonky and weird.  I shakily stood up and raced for the bed to lie down in my efforts to stop it before it got to going good.  My heart started to pound in my chest as the room began to spin.  My body felt all cold and clammy, and I curled up in my warm comforter.   My feet were freezing.   Online literature says anxiety attacks should only last 20 to 30 minutes, but mine belie that.  Mine last for an hour and a half to two hours.  I lay in the bed doing my best to calm down for two hours metabolizing all that caffeine I had just imbibed. I had to turn off all noise and stimuli.  Just the sound of Maggie stirring on the bed made my heart rate increase. I’ve began to experience severe dehydration, psychosis, and extreme paranoia during my attacks and that is disconcerting.  I was so worried that Charlie or dad would arrive and I would still be mid attack and acting weird.  This sends my paranoia reeling and can send me into a tailspin.  Dad will search my house for beer and Benadryl on such occasions because of my strangeness and it will send me over the edge with paranoia – extremely exacerbating my attacks.  It was my own fault.  I should’ve known better to drink all that caffeine when I was already experiencing lots of anxiety.  You live and you learn.  I just had to drink the Cokes, though. 

Charlie stopped by with supper last night.  He didn’t stay but just a minute, but he did take time to see Maggie which thrilled her soul.  He told me he loved me as he was leaving and that meant so much to me.  I had never heard him actually say that before in the open.  It was a very special moment for me after such a disconcerting two hours.  On the plate he brought was a huge portion of roast beef, macaroni and cheese, garden tomatoes, butter peas, homemade pickled cucumbers, stir fried and spicy baby asparagus, and cornbread.  It was delicious and I had just recovered from my attack when he arrived and was starving as usual after such an event.  My anxiety attacks give me a terrible case of the munchies.

Dad arrived around 9:30pm.  I was ready for my medications – my body spent from what happened earlier. I felt so exhausted. So tired.      

“Tomorrow is your Risperdal Consta injection,” dad told me last night. “Do you want me to call you in the morning to make sure you are up?”

“Yes,” I replied. “You never know with me.  I might be asleep or I could’ve been up since three.”

“Be sure to shower, shave, and put on nice clothes,” he told me.  “Don’t go out in public looking like a homeless person.”

Dad then asked me how I felt.  I told him of my earlier attack and how relieved I was it was over.  I asked him what he thought was making me have so much anxiety.  My suspicions are that it’s a medication issue, but I wouldn’t dare tell him this.  He is rabidly pro medication.  He had no answers despite being the pharmacist.  We talked of medications I could take to alleviate the anxiety, but they were all addictive like Xanax, Klonopin, or Valium.  Dad told me my psychiatrist would be wary in prescribing them to me with my past history of substance abuse.

“But you give me my medications and control them,” I said with an air of pleading in my voice. “Surely, he would trust you. Tell him you will make sure I don’t abuse what he prescribes!”

Dad shrugged his shoulders and said we would see when we went to see him tomorrow.  Dad then turned to look at me and said, “Cry.  Put on a good show.  Have an anxiety attack in his office.  Act crazy.  Stand up and pace the floor while we are in there. Then maybe he will prescribe something that helps.  Tell him you are miserable beyond reproach.”  I hated the thought of all that subterfuge, but it might just work.  I don’t know if I can conjure up tears or an attack on a whim, though.


reaganalabama said...

Maybe a long-acting xanax? I take xanax XR and it works very well against my anxiety. Konopin 1mg qid helps, too.

C.A. said...

Xanax Sustained Release might do the trick, but in my experiences with it, you don't get that "ahhhhh...I feel better" feeling quite so fast. It's more of a slowly dissapating thing.

I hope you find some relief my friend. It pains me to think of you in that state. What does Maggie dog do when you are suffering an attack?

I hope this day finds you at peace...



This IS The Fun Part! said...

Maybe I'm living in the past. Why can't you just tell the doctor the complete truth about exactly what happens with the anxiety attacks and the paranoia?

There was a time when that was what the doctor expected - and what he would base his treatment on.

However it gets done, I hope you get some relief from these attacks soon. I've experienced them and it's not a good time.

Luck and love,

Mary K said...

I had to tell my doc that I was experiencing extreme anxiety for him to prescribe anything that helped. Oddly it's the Trazodone that seems to be helping with my anixety and depression.
Good luck, I hope your doc can offer you some relief. Anxiety really, really sucks.

KathyA said...

Keep us posted. Think twice about drinking that much caffeine again. I think that would have sent me over the edge as well!

Sharon said...

Be honest with the doctor. Tell him about the severe anxiety and how it makes you feel, the coldness, the dehydration, etc. If it IS a result of the medications you're already taking perhaps the dosage needs adjusting? Or he might decide to add something else. But unless he has all the information he can't make an informed decision on your behalf. Whatever the results I wish you luck. Hang in there!

Cheryl said...

I'm with the friends who say, tell the truth. The doctor knows that your dad dispenses your drugs, so he/she should feel confident prescribing the right meds. Your dad knows that too :)

Too much caffeine! It gives me a thrill too, you know that. We have to moderate.

I hope today is a MUCH better day for you. I will think that thought for you today.

skinny minny said...

IF the diet cokes a causing the worsing of the anxiety attacks why not go caffeine free diet coke? or I like the cf diet dr pepper better... alll that caffeine will also dehydrate you as caffeine is a diaretic (spelling?) hope your doc can help.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Sorry you had an anxiety attack. Hope you're feeling better today and that the doctor can help you.

Happyone :-) said...

I'm with skinny minny saying how about the caffeine free diet coke.
I too would tell the truth and let the doctor decide. Good luck today - hope all goes well!!

Anonymous said...

Andrew as a nurse Im telling you just be honest with the doctor. Tell him everything that is happening, if you dont want your father to hear have him leave the room.

He knows that your father gives yor medication so I think that he would be inclined to give you the meds you need if you are honest and forthrite with him. Also maybe you should start cutting the cafinated soda with the decafinated. slowly my friend..rome wasnt built in a day, and your life takes a whole lifetime to lead.

all my prayers

Moohaa said...

I am so sorry about your panic attack. I remember them well. I'm on Buspirone for my attacks and it works well. Its not addictive (the clinic I go to doesn't prescribe anything addictive.) I hate hate hate panic attacks and hate feeling like I will die in the midst. I also agree that they do NOT last 20-30 minutes. Mine are always at the minimum, an hour.
Know you aren't alone. I told my doc the truth. I went in with a list of dates of when I had the panic attacks and she prescribed something right away. Since you don't have a list, just describe what it does to you.
Hugs my friend.

glittergirl said...

i really do think that the high amounts of caffeine you're drinking are triggering the panic attacks, 100% if you charted it by the hour, and kept track of when you drank the soda, how much you drank, and when the anxiety started, i bet it's completely a reaction to the caffeine.

i speak from experience. i have over done it with the starbucks a few times. i limit my caffeine intake to 1 drink in the morning, then switch to decaf. it really helps!

i agree with the advice to try to cut back slowly. you'll have a wicked headache if you stop the caffeine intake cold turkey.

Irishcoda said...

Hi, it's been a while since I've been able to visit. I just wanted to chime in to agree with everyone about telling your doctor honestly what's happening, including what happened when you drank the diet cokes. I've had panic attacks last way more than a half hour or subside and then return over and over for a couple of hours. It's awful and I feel for you.

About the caffeine...I have a similar problem with it raising my anxiety but I can't stay away from it. It's so darn hard.