I am still going through the process of attempting to make sense of all these physical symptoms I am having. Yesterday I saw the neurologist and was ordered a few tests to make sure there is nothing with the nerve interventions or muscles that are causing the muscle tremors as well as a sleep study to determine why I am not sleeping through the night. Finally I feel heard! I have met a doctor who was not quick to see the diagnosis of PTSD and blanket all my symptoms under it with little investigation. Don't get me wrong, I would be more than happy to have it all ruled as PTSD, that would mean I was not dying or had a tragic disease. But, reassured only after a complete panel of testing was done to rule out all causes. Some would say I am a total hypochondriac, to those I would say "so what". So what if I am, that is what this fear of eminent danger has created. I don't see any harm in having everything ruled out so I can more calmly move forward with regaining my life and have that reassurance that everything IS going to be alright.
So now today...I started my morning off sitting in traffic on my way to the cardiologist in hopes of making sense of these flutters I am feeling from time to time. Oh traffic.....a person with anxiety or PTSD's favorite place to be stuck. (severe sarcasm) To someone who struggles with anxiety or PTSD traffic means you are stuck! You can't go anywhere no matter the symptoms you are having. That urge to flee and get to a safe place is literally being withheld. You have no choice, you have no control! I try to listed to the radio, but the pounding of my heard is too distracting. I try to call a friend to talk about my fears, but they are all at work and can't be bothered. I am left with nothing to distract me, just my thoughts and fears overwhelming me. What if I pass out right here on the freeway, can the ambulance get through the cars to get to me? Who would call 911, what if I throw up, what if I can't catch my breath...these are just a few of the thoughts that take over. My heart starts pounding harder and harder and I try just as hard to stay calm. I take deep breaths and exhale to the count of 5 like I have been taught. I try to distract myself with my surroundings such as the river I am crossing or the fresh green grass beginning to grow. All of these are just a temporary solution, and don't take the fears away completely.
I can see the Heart Clinic on the horizon. The reminder that I am going to a heart clinic...there could be something wrong with my heart! It's the "could be's or the what if's" that are the worst! What if my doctor hears something and is alarmed, what if they hook me up to a machine and alarms begin to go off, what if I pass out right there, WHAT IF I AM DYING? This is my greatest fear. One that has been literally beat into me. The fear of loosing control of what is happening to me.
When I was attacked I had no control over where the next blow was going to hit. No control over loosing consciousness, no control over laying the the hospital bed with alarms going off and doctors standing over me. I felt helpless.
All these fears are flooding back as they hook me up to a halter monitor and perform an EKG.
The only solace I can muster is I have been having these symptoms for 5 years now and even at their worst I have still overcome them! Even at their strongest, I have been stronger! Today I am going to muster the strength to be stronger than the fear!~