Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sleep Paralysis & George Bailey

Tonight was my first night at the ER since August. That's a pretty good and steady run for me in the last two years. I'm having breathing issues. They're almost the exact same symptoms I had in August that put me in the hospital for three weeks with multiple blood clots in my lungs. But they said the x-rays were clear, my blood work was good and with the amount of warfarin I was on more blood clots were extremely unlikely.

So why does it feel like I'm trying to breath through some kind of filter? Why, upon some exhales, is it so hard for me to inhale again? And, most of all, why am I waking up in a semi-paralytic state, unable to breath for moments that seem like minutes? The ER doctor attributes it all to anxiety. Which, and I know I have no doctorate of medicine on my wall (heck, I don't even have a certificate for a two-week training course at Burger King), I think is a load of turducken poop. I am having more anxiety attacks lately. But don't see how that could effect my breathing when I'm completely calm. The sleeping thing is a maybe though. I had actually been attributing it to some form of sleep paralysis, but the doctor last night suggested that with everything on my mind I was more likely experiencing an anxiety attack in my dream state and waking in the middle of that attack. Which seems more likely.

It's all just so frustrating. But what isn't these days? Right?

All of this came on the heels of a lovely two day trip to Depoe Bay (which, I have just discovered, I have been misspelling all my life) with Kristin. A couple from our church gave us two days at their time-share. It was a quick trip but nice to regroup and cuddle in front of a fire.

Tonight I'm sleeping on and off. It's hard to get back to sleep when you wake up not breathing. (By the way, before you send off your email to me or comment on this... I don't have sleep apnea. This is something completely different than that. And, yes, I have been tested.)

The long and short of it is that I'm kind of frustrated. Just kind of? How could I not come home from the hospital to a home beautifully decorated for Christmas, a puppy who thinks we're the world and with/to a wife who is my friend, love and cuddle partner and not have a lot of my frustration simply vanish like my breath into the cold? For some things, there is no pharmaceutical relief. You simply need the warmth and love that only family and friends can provide.

On a more uncomfortably self-indulgent note... (Could this blog get any more self-indulgent?) I've had several people ask me what I want for Christmas. My response has been, "To exchange cards." We don't have money this year to buy for friends and would prefer to simply exchange cards. But, upon more constant urging from a couple of you here is the link to my Amazon wish list. (Really though, think about it. I've got about a year left on this planet. Do I really need more stuff?)

Also, if you're looking for a holiday activity in the Eugene/Springfield area, my vote is the David Minor Theater which is showing It's A Wonderful Life beginning this Friday. Tickets are only $4 and they serve food and beverage (at an additional cost). I'll be doing all I can to scrounge up the money this week to take Kristin to that show.

"You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?" -Clarence (It's A Wonderful Life)

1 comment:

Hedy said...

You know? My friend Savannah, who is a life coach and body work specialist, pin pointed recently that some anxiety is felt physically before it registers mentally. I identified with that, because last year, I was very sick for 8 months with the worst asthma of my life. (It was so bad, I had a real fear that I wasn't going to make it through the year.) I ended up in the ER a lot, and had dangerously lowered oxygen several times. My mom came to visit me on her Birthday, and I had to defer because I just could not even get up. I found a solution to my problem via alternative medicine that I have never tried before, but it really helped. For the first time in my life without steroids, I actually felt healthy. I never thought that would happen.

My brain, however? Not caught up.

Every once in a while, I'll think that I'm having asthma issues again, and I calm myself down, and come out of it. Usually a big glass of water will help tremendously. Definitely not the same thing as last year, because it didn't matter what was happening then. Inflammation is inflammation, plain and simple. I know what I'm going through is Post Traumatic Stress.

I can imagine what you went through in August must have been pretty traumatic. Anyway, just relating, because not being able to breathe is so scary!

I think it's important to talk about it, and journal as much as possible, because that's more than half the battle. Processing your experience is so important, even if it's just to vent, and get it all out. (You may need to explain this to people) so they know that's your intention, and that you aren't looking for advice, etc. I had to do that, but it really is an important step.

Anyway, that's my experience with PTSD. Hope that helps a little.