The ugly truth

6 Oct

It seems you hear a lot about Postpartum Depression (PPD) in women after having a child, but not much about PPA, Postpartum Anxiety.

Hi, my name’s Lindsay, and I have PPA.

I’ve never quite admitted that up until a couple of months ago. I have had anxiety my whole life. I used to get pretty bad panic/anxiety attacks in junior high. I went to see a psychiatrist and he taught me how to breath when I felt one coming on. The breathing technique would help it go away. That worked for me, back then.

I was fine in High School and after I graduated all those years. But then something happened about 4 months after I had the baby.

I got a panic attack. A really, really bad one, seemingly out of nowhere. The breathing techniques did not help me at all. I called a family member who gets them often and she was a great help.

For the next few months off and on I would get them more and more. Nothing relating to the baby, or anything in particular for that matter would set it off. I would just get one suddenly.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t handle it by myself. I sucked it up and went to see my doctor a couple of months ago. I explained to him what was happening to me, and that nothing in particular was triggering it. I told him I wasn’t depressed, my baby can scream and cry and throw a fit ((if he even did stuff like that- he’s a total angel 😉 )). My doctor then told me: Yes, I did in fact have a form of PPA and with my history of earlier anxiety attacks, it’s just something that can happen.

He asked me what I wanted to do about it: Go to a psychiatrist, put me on meds I can take everyday, put me on meds I only have to take when I feel one coming on. I chose the last option.

For anyone that doesn’t know what a panic/anxiety attack feels like- you are very, very lucky. It’s honestly something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. You feel like you are having a heart attack. You start breathing rapidly which causes the light-headed and dizziness. You’re hot, you’re cold. You start shaking. Vision gets blurry. You think you’re going crazy. ((Among other numerous, horrible symptoms.)) Sometimes when I get them I feel like I’m choking and I can’t swallow food.

And today I had the worst one I have ever had, hands down.

I was driving B to his doctor appointment. It was going on 2 and I still hadn’t eaten anything all day. I picked some food up on the way and noticed that I felt on edge, which is the feeling I get when I know I’m probably going to have an attack. I wanted to wait it out, breath deep and see if it passed. Yet, 5 minutes went by and it wasn’t getting any better, so I took a pill. Now, these aren’t magic pills- they do take a good 20-30 minutes to kick in.

BOO.

10 minutes down the road and I’m dizzy. I tell myself I should pull over and chill out. I keep driving. My arms start to get tingly, yes- my arms are going numb. No less than 2 minutes later and I can’t move either one of my hands. Mind you I am driving WITH my baby in the car. I can’t move my hands, my fingers, which in turn makes me freak out even more, which in turn makes the symptoms worse.

Luckily I am only a few minutes from a family members house. I pray to God to please make it go away, to please make this attack stop. I’m having the absolute worst time concentrating, my paralyzed hands and the fact that I have my child in the back seat are all I can think about.

“This is it. I’m having a heart attack.” I think this is something that a lot of people who get panic attacks thinks. No matter how many you have, you think to yourself, “Well this isn’t normal, this one has to be a heart attack.” And again- thoughts like these don’t help the situation. In fact they worsen it.

For anyone who’s wondering why my hands were paralyzed and not cooperating, it has to do with the racing heart and the blood flow and how all the blood and oxygen will leave your limbs to get closer to the heart. Much like when you’re cold and your hands are the first to go numb.

As soon as I got to my family members house and got out of the car within about 10 minutes I was starting to feel more “normal”. Partly because my meds were kicking in, and partly because just getting out of the car and walking around was better. “They” say to try and think about something else to get rid of the attack. Look at the tree across the street, or sing a song (HA!) But when your symptoms get out of control like mine were today, it’s hard to think of anything BUT.

But I hate this. I hate this stupid thing I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. There are times where I’ll have to take a pill 6 days in a row. But then there are weeks where I won’t have to take one at all. Some day I might decide to see a psychiatrist to talk about it and see if there is a subconscious trigger, because as of now, I see nothing in particular setting them off. & that’s what really sucks.

6 Responses to “The ugly truth”

  1. loveruels2011 October 7, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    😦 I am sorry Lindsay, what about hypnosis?

    • ellejay419 October 7, 2010 at 11:27 am #

      Uhhh, well- did I ever tell you my family member that tried that for anxiety attacks & she thought it helped a little- but I guess the guy was a creeper.. and he’s the only one around here that does it.

  2. bekah October 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    I know the feeling well, but just not as often as you. They are horrible, Im so sorry. Id talk to someone if you can. Or maybe try to learn some meditation techniques just to see if you can help clear your mind more? I have no idea if that would help.

    • ellejay419 October 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks.
      Yah, I def. don’t have a problem taking meds if I HAVE to, but it’s not my ideal choice. I think if it continues on the way it is I will try to find an alternative to the wonderful Xanax 😉

  3. Brianna October 8, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear that. I had anxiety in college and would get panic attacks every once i a while, but never to this extent. I hope they are a passing thing for you and are gone for good soon.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hi (High) anxiety « - October 21, 2011

    […] love ya Al, aka: Alprazolam, aka: Xanax. But if I could make a suggestion: Like I said before- when I’m having a panic attack I tend to have trouble swallowing… maybe you could find […]

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