Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Panic attacks


I really didn't want to have to EVER write about these things again, but here it is.

Some of you who have stuck with this blog for awhile (and I REALLY thank you!) may remember the horrible series of panic attacks (here, here, here, and here) I had in the hospital after giving birth to Grace, and the 6-month ordeal I went through last year. I have no idea WHY these things started, but they did. For those who have experienced them (and I'm truly sorry!), no explanation is necessary; for those who haven't, no explanation is possible. How can you possibly describe (coherently) why something so mundane is now a source of absolute terror?

Well, they're back again. I've had a couple of them during the past few weeks, and each one is making me more and more freaked out over the idea of going into the hospital for Joseph's birth. It all swirls around the central idea of being able to GET UP and move around... something I WON'T be able to do after a c-section. What helps during these episodes is to get up... grab some ice cubes... rub them on my arms, neck, and face... walk around... and pray non-stop. Having a fan blowing on my face also helps (again, no rhyme or reason to any of it.. you just find what works and keep doing it!)

So, going into the hospital is going to be REALLY bad this time, unless God performs a miracle and keeps me sane throughout the entire stay.

I'm asking for prayers, first and foremost, that I won't have any panic attacks in the hospital, and secondly I'm wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions as to WHY I'm getting these (my doctor just says it's hormonal and common. Lovely.) and what I can possibly do about it!


the Wanna Be said...

My friend, I am so sorry your going through this. I am praying for you.

Ouiz said...


Sheila said...

I don't have any thoughts as to why, but I'll be praying for you. I have a little problem with being held down, so during my c-section they let me have one arm free, but I only had a problem during the procedure itself, and was okay after they untied my arm during the procedure.

Ouiz said...

I never let them tie my arms down, and I insist that they move the curtain as far back from my face as possible. If I have to have oxygen, they have to prop the mask up above my face, instead of putting it right on top.

Putting the cuffs on my legs is RIGHT OUT, and I will be getting out of bed first thing in the morning.

Since I've done this once or twice before (*GRIN*), the nurses are going to have to deal with a very picky patient!

Beth said...

Totally going to pray a novena for you!!! Email me Joseph's first name, will ya? ;)

Rebekka said...

I've tried this (both on myself and on patients) and it seems to work. Put your hand on your stomach and feel your belly expand when you breathe. (Usually when you're freaked you tighten up in the belly and breathe fast in the upper chest.) Keep taking calm, deep breaths down into your belly and concentrate on your breathing and on your hand. It's a sort of grounding exercise. If you have trouble with breathing too fast, maybe your husband can stand by you (he can put his hand on your stomach instead of yours, that seems to help even more). If you don't have anyone with you watch a clock and shoot for 1 breath every 5 seconds or so.

Abigail said...

I'm going in for my 4th C-Section and am already freaking out about the recovery from another surgery. I don't have any tips, just know that you're not alone!

One thing that has consoled me this time is that I discovered that almost every Mom in my Carmel community has had multiple c-sections. Now I feel like less of a failure and more like God just gives his most beloved girls more work during childbirth to cut down on our purgatory time and help convert sinners.

Ouiz said...

Rebekka, thank you so much for your helpful advice! I have found that trying to breathe slower was calming (somewhat), but I will try what you suggest if I have another attack.

Abigail, I know the feeling about recovery time! It's not too bad for me, but the fact that I can't just jump up and do what I need to do is going to make me feel claustrophobic, and that is why I'm scared I'll have another panic attack. It definitely turns my focus onto Jesus more, though, so there's one way He uses it!