Monday, May 17, 2010

Breathing is Overrated, or Why I've Been Away

I haven't been around much lately. I was just too exhausted, scared and short of breath to do anything. Plus, I'm tired of myself being this way.

It all started a few weeks ago, when I had that fb debacle, and I began having what I thought were panic attacks at night. I would wake up gasping for air, my heart racing, feeling like I was choking. My throat felt like it was closing off, and I had muscle spasms in my throat and tongue that were like massive cramps for days. I stopped eating, because I felt like I was going to choke, and also because being so freaked out totally took my hunger away. To make a long story short, I went in to my doctor, who I really like, who said that I needed to take some Xanex, and that I should take allergy meds because I have junk in my throat which could be pairing up with sleep apnea or something. I took one right after, and the second at bedtime, only to wake up gasping again, but this time also was completely confused and disoriented, which was even more scary. I felt like I couldn't wake up.

The next day, my heart rate went to 120 at rest, which, paired with the continuing feeling that my throat was swelling or there was something stuck in it, sent me right over the edge into near-constant panic. So, I took another Xanex. A few hours later, I was covered in hives. Turns out the rapid heart rate and dizziness were an allergic reaction, not a panic attack. Enter Benadryl, which also made me disoriented when I woke up in the middle of the night, but at least I know I'm not allergic to it, and the next day my heart began to calm down, and the hives began to go away.

It's been over a week since then, and I've started eating again, only because I was getting really shaky and weak, so I've been forcing myself to take bites and swallow them with a lot of water, because my throat is so dry it's hard for me to get it down. The sleeping problems have continued, and I wake up several times a night, feeling like my throat is swollen, but it's gone on for so long that I no longer have panic about it, just a sense of resignation that OK, I've jerked awake again, watch TV for a little while and try again.

I did some online investigating, and saw some seriously scary shit that this all could be, but what I think it might really be is something to do with reflux. I saw that there's a kind that can cause all of these things I've been feeling, including swelling of the vocal chords that results in a 'lump-in-the-throat' feeling. So, over the weekend I started taking a course of Prevacid, just to be on the safe side, figuring that it can't hurt, and it's what doctors use when this condition happens (although I read that usually a doctor will put you on a double-dose to get rid of more severe cases). I have actually felt a little better since I started taking it, and I have an appointment with an ENT tomorrow morning first thing. I have noticed that I have had some reflux in the past few months, but have never had heartburn, so I didn't think anything of it. Turns out, you don't always get heartburn. My throat has been sore, though, and I can see that it's red when I look.

As you can tell, I'm kind of praying that this is what's going on. I really don't think that it's panic, just that my initial stress over just everything in life kicked off whatever's going on with me. I don't feel terribly stressed, just exhausted from not sleeping. I was supposed to go on Patrick's field trip tomorrow, but had to back out due to my dr appt; to be honest, I wouldn't have had the stamina to do it, anyway. The lack of sleep has made me barely able to do a regular shopping trip. Josie has a school camp field trip tomorrow through Fri, and DH was supposed to be staying there with them as a full-time chaperone, but he called the school today and told her teacher what's been going on, and that he's concerned about my being alone at night, particularly if the doctor starts me on a new med, since I've been having allergic reactions to the last two new prescriptions I've been put on. So, he'll go for the day, and come home to sleep, just in case. I started crying when he called and told me. I feel like such a wussy invalid, and I hate that I feel like I'm screwing up everyone's lives. Josie doesn't mind that he's not sleeping over (he'd be in the boy's bunk, anyway), but I still feel like crap about it. I could cry now telling you about it. I guess it's the over-exhaustion. Anyway, cross your fingers that I have reflux. That, I can deal with.

7 comments:

AndreAnna said...

Thinking good thoughts for you. Keep us posted

Shelly Overlook said...

Good grief, woman. Just what you didn't need was some health-related drama, esp pertaining to YOU! Here's hoping it is all resolved quickly and painlessly.

d e v a n said...

oh no! I'm so sorry. I hope you figure out what's going on!

Swistle said...

PANICKING

Rebecca said...

You've been through so much lately! I hope things smooth out very soon for you!

Bring A. Torch said...

Oh my gosh, how scary. Hope you get relief ASAP!

creative kerfuffle said...

here's hoping it's reflux. i'm sending positive vibes your way.