Thursday, July 7, 2016

One Perfect Day

I woke up the other day sweating, hyperventilating, my heart racing and my brain on high alert. Something is wrong, my mind yelled, and of course you have to pay attention to that sort of thing.  I took several deep breaths, opened my eyes and began looking around the room. I hadn't injured myself in my sleep.  My husband was still breathing; I could hear Zane snoring. It was early in the morning, so I could see that there were no intruders in the house. The alarm was still on.  Maisy, the secondary alarm dog, was sound asleep.

All was quiet, except in my head. I was having a garden variety panic attack.  As far as my brain was concerned, I am a terrible person, a bad mom, someone who has no friends, oh--and it is the end of the world.  I have a surgery coming up(July 8th), and my brain was convinced that I was going to die on the table, from complications or whatever.

I hate having panic attacks, because they aren't productive. I am used to feeling anxious.  I've read all the books on anxiety. I usually can problem solve my way out of my anxiety, unless it's a panic attack. I always try to talk my idiot brain out of them, as if my assertions can overcome hardwired brain responses.  I do deep breathing exercises. I get up and walk around. I try to redirect my thoughts.  I even pray.  None of that works for panic attacks.

And I keep all my freaking out to myself, because I don't want anyone in the house to freak out with me.  So I went downstairs and let out the dog and the cat into the backyard, started the coffee, and made breakfast.

Then I got mad at myself, and my mental nonsense. I'm not a person who is used to sitting around feeling crazy.  I'm a fighter.  Getting angry seemed counter productive, but there it was.  I just  said to heck with it.  If I have no reason to panic, but I'm panicking anyway, I may as well go do some things that make me panic.  So we packed up and went off to SeaWorld.  We hit their water park, Aquatica.  First on the agenda?  Sting Ray Falls, where you sit in a raft and slide down a big tube underneath a bunch of random stingrays.  Right away, my panic attack got worse.  My claustrophobia was hollering about the ride, because, enclosed space.  My acrophobia was screaming, because we had to climb about four stories up.  Zane noticed my nervousness, and I finally talked about what I was feeling.

"You should face your fears," Zane said.

"That's why we're here, son," I replied.

I took a picture of Larry and I, and my toothy smile.  That is panic on my face, but there's more. 

There's determination.  I could do this.  And I did.  I sat in the raft, I held on, and the ride began.   It was over in seconds, as most experiences are, and as we splashed down and floated to the exit, my panic attack went away.  At least for that day.  We floated on the "river", jumped waves in the wave pool, and had a blast. 

I'm still nervous about my surgery tomorrow.  I wouldn't be me if the "what ifs" weren't constantly running through my mind. But we had one perfect day this summer, where we were able to let some of the cares from the past two years go, and everyone was healthy, and we laughed and had fun as a family. 

It will do for now. 


  1. Nervous about surgery, how could you not be?

    Stepping on the beach a while back, I felt a little unsteady on my feet where the ocean washed sand from beneath my feet. I watched children and adults playing in the ocean and I knew I might not be able to handle it. So I saved going into the ocean for another day.

    1. If I get bored, I go for movie, picnic and shopping. Thats how I make perfect day by doing different activities. Also my academic team and students apply these activities.

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  2. Hope everything went well. (I'm sure that it did) for what it's worth, I am also stuck in my own head right now. Oldest said he wasn't worried about my foot surgery because "Its' just a foot and you can't die from that. It's not like they are going into your guts or anything."

    I didn't have the heart to tell him the"guts" surgery is the 15th of August...

  3. I hate panic attacks--fellow sufferer here.
    I haven't had one in a while, thankfully. But I know the next one could be lurking around any corner.
    I hate the feeling of impending doom when nothing in particular is wrong, especially.

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