Monday, January 09, 2012

Not Quite Right


Yesterday I became acutely aware of a strange sensation that left me feeling slightly short of breath and like my heart was just about to race.  It came with no pain and from time to time seemed to go away, only to return.  It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
With most things like this, I simply ignore them for a few days and they go away.  But suddenly at around 11:00 last night I started to worry that it might be something more serious.  
Feeling rather embarrassed about calling anyone, I decided to call my good friend who used to be my doctor (before she changed jobs) instead of my current internist.  She quickly assured me I was most likely not having a heart attack, but rather suggested I might be suffering from some form of anxiety.
I hadn’t even considered that, not having ever had a panic attack before.  But it made sense that I might be experiencing mild hyperventilation.  I even have an idea about what might be causing it.
Just knowing that I didn’t need to get myself to the emergency room and instead could simply go to bed helped a lot.  And I must say I have felt much better today.
My doctor friend checked back in with me this morning and despite the fact that I felt better urged me to make an appointment with my internist just to get checked out and to make her aware of what was going on.  She also suggested that I eliminate all forms of caffeine.  Probably all good advice, given I don’t want to find myself at 14,000 feet on the Chilean altiplano with a shortness of breath I could possibly avoid.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

My first year of teaching (very stressful), I started to have panic attacks in the car. I got a hypnosis tape called "How to Relax" and that helped me. I know I am very easily hypnotized, so it worked well for me!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

It makes sense to get checked out, just to put your mind at ease. That will, in turn, decrease your anxiety level. You have a lot going on, with your travel plans and all, so I can see how you'd be a bit anxious!

2:35 AM  
Blogger lacochran's evil twin said...

Were you stressed *before* the sensation? Obviously, you were stressed after the sensation.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I had something like that once, right in the middle of a music store, for no particular reason. I was recovering from the flu which may have had something to do with it. It never happened again.

I'm glad you're going to get it checked out!

6:19 PM  

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