Driving Anxiety : My Last Big Panic Attack

So here it is.  The story of my last big panic attack that I keep referring to.

I take  wellbutrin to help me with my anxiety.  It has been working.  I need brand name because the generic makes me puke and I don’t stop puking even after an “adjustment period”. Every single time my prescription runs out and the pharmacy requires a new one from the doctors office they give me terrible trouble and try to get me to switch to generic.  So much I could say about their nonsense but the result this time was that I was almost out of pills and they were taking their good old time in approving the new RX.  I started stretching the pills out.  You don’t just quit taking these pills, you have to taper off of them.  I didn’t want to do that, I was just trying to spread them out until I got more. And it was taking forever!  I finally got the refill and started back in taking them again as normal.  That was my first mistake.  I didn’t think about the fact that I was weaned off of them pretty well by now.  About 3 days later I was a nervous wreck and it took me a while to realize it was because I overloaded my body with the wellbutrin too quickly.

Of course that was the day I had to drive my daughter to the ortho.  I had been sweating all day.  My hands had been shaking.  At times that day my heart felt like it was beating so hard I was sure people could see it popping out of my chest.   I took 2 ativan to help me calm down and then I picked my daughter up from school.  I had the window down in the car. The cold air helped even though she kept complaining that she was freezing.  We were talking a lot.  I was trying to distract myself and focus on her instead of how I felt.  That worked for a while.

Then we started talking about my brother and his wife who are trying to have a baby.  That turned into a conversation about sis-in-law’s sister who died from a brain tumor shortly after her twins were born. That is an emotional story.  Oh my.  I hadn’t thought of that in several years and it hit me.  I don’t like medical stuff.  It makes me feel queasy even on good days.  Well I was not having a good day anyway and the emotion of those memories put me over the edge I guess.

Here it was.  The panic monster had come for me.  We were stopped at a red light and I was trying hard to refocus.  I changed the radio station, looked in my purse for nothing really, checked my phone.  Oh my.  I couldn’t shake it and the black spots were there and they were big.  I was terrified I was going to pass out at the wheel of my car!  The light was red for what seemed like forever so I put the car in park, figuring that would be best in case I actually did pass out.

The light turned green and I was shaking so bad but put it in drive and went.  My daughter was worried by this time so I told her I felt very sick and that I felt like I was gonna puke any minute.  There was no where to pull over.  There was a lot of traffic and I was in a middle lane.  Thank God that there was a left turn possible at the next light.  We stopped at the light and I put it in park again and waited.  You have no idea how badly I just wanted to get out of that car!  I pictured myself getting out of the car and walking across the traffic and sitting down on the curb.  I just wanted out!  When the light turned green, I went and pulled into the first parking lot we came to on that road.  I got out and just kind of walked back and forth pacing.  Taking deep breaths and being thrilled to be out of the car!

She was worried about being late for her ortho appt.  Last time we were late the lady was not nice at all and upset kid2 so much she cried when we left.  So she wanted me to hurry up and get back in!  Wow I wished she was old enough to drive!  I talked myself into trying again.  It wasnt very far away and only 1 more light to go through.  So we went.  The light to pull back out on the highway took forever though and I was a sweaty mess again by the time it turned green.  I sped there as quickly as possible – like a mom on a mission.  SO relieved to reach the parking lot!

Her appt was  just a quick adjustment.  Basically each time we just sign in, they call her back, I sit there and wait, she’s done in 10-15 minutes and we leave.  I told her to go in herself.  She was nervous about it and got a little mad at me.   I laid my seat back in the car and told her I’d be right there waiting.  She is 14.  She could handle this with no problems and I was parked right by the door.  So she did.  As soon as she was out of sight I kinda freaked out a little again.  I was still having trouble catching my breath.  I tried turning music on the radio to help me relax.  Didn’t help.  I got out my ipod and played some games, thinking I could distract myself enough to forget about it a little.

When she came back I still didn’t feel confident enough to start the drive home so I gave her some cash and sent her into TJ Maxx – her favorite store ever.  She took a really long time in there and I was glad.  I went in after a while.  I wanted to walk around, build some confidence, feel normal again.  We paid for her stuff and I had  a hard time in line and went outside while she was still checking out.  I felt like I just needed air.

The ride home was terrible.  I just wanted to be home.  She was afraid I was gonna have to pull over and puke at any minute.  I was afraid I would pass out at any minute and kill us all.  There are not always places you can quickly pull over if you need to!  I felt like a race car driver.  When I was on a stretch of road without places to pull over, I was so focused and going as fast as the cars in front of me would allow.  I was determined to get through those places before more black spots came.  It wasn’t good.  At all.  On the more country roads where I could stop if needed, I relaxed a little and that helped get me through the other parts.  It was about 1/2 an hour drive home and we both were very relieved to make it home.

We went into the house and she announced that they should watch out cuz mom is sick and heading for the bathroom.  lol  I did and put cold water on my face and tried to not be a nut case.  I went to where hubby was sitting on the couch.  I wanted a hug so badly!  I sat close and he said something about me being sick and he didn’t want to get sick.  Ha. Cant blame him I guess.  He didn’t know what had really happened.  (I did finally tell him later – just a few days ago actually – and this happened at the beginning of December)

So then I went to bed and stayed there.  I felt like a rag doll, completely limp, worn out.  Everyone left me alone cuz they thought I had “germs” and it was bliss.


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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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