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It's all going to be okay

Dear purple butterflies,


How often would you guess that the “average” person has had a panic attack? A couple of weeks ago, I was taking care of an incredibly stressful situation. Since then my prayers have been answered, and things are looking up! What was going on? I got my blood work done, and it showed my liver enzymes were highly elevated. Per the request of my family doctor, an ultrasound of my liver was done. The results came back showing that my liver was enlarged. Initially a referral to a hepatologist was made, concluding with an appointment.

By all accounts this would have worked out fine, if I had been able to make an appointment. Now enduring my Fibro flare ups, I had the daunting task to find another doctor. With no pain relief insight until my back procedure, it felt like I was entering my own personal hell. I didn’t stay this way for long. To lift my spirits, I watched comedies, spoke to my best friends, and spent some quality time with Dale. Out of the blue, I found myself having a panic attack. There was mainly shortness of breath, pounding chest, confusion (fibro fog), and let’s not forget the chronic pain. Luckily Dale was home, and we stabilized my breathing.

I am pleased to report that I finally got an appointment with a highly recommended

hepatologist in August! My curiosity got the better of me, which lead to some investigating about panic attacks. According to What to know about panic attack and panic disorder, the attacks happen because of “heightened anxiety.” Fascinatingly enough just like Fibromyalgia, it can happen to women more than men. “The American Psychological Association (APA), notes that an attack may only last for 15 seconds, but symptoms can continue for about 30 minutes or longer, and sometimes for hours.” A symptom of a pain disorder is a panic attack. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that over 6 million Americans have this disorder. Panic attacks and panic disorders says that:

A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, although many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in public—especially if that situation has caused a panic attack before. Usually, the panic-inducing situation is one in which you feel endangered and unable to escape, triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response.

The last time I experienced a panic attack was in 1996 during my first year in college. From searching for a doctor, along with my chronic pain, and finally being cooped up in the house is why I had the panic attack. At the beginning I mentioned that my prayers have been answered. I have a new set date for my back procedure! When you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, keep moving forward, because eventually the light will appear. I’ll leave you with Kelly Hemingway’s wonderful quote.



Till next time! Be well!

Rachel


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