I woke up this morning suffering the after affects of a serious panic attack. I apparently had one while I slept.
It started last night. I hadn’t recognized the signs because it has been several years since I had a serious panic attack.
I went to make dinner and was attacked by gravity. The room started to spin, and the floor wouldn’t stay under my feet. Daughter made dinner while I sat down and put my feet up.
My brain started to wander without coherent thought. I couldn’t focus enough to read, crochet, or have a conversation.
Sleepiness overwhelmed me. I tried to fight it because a nap at 6 p.m. is not conducive to going to bed at a decent hour. This only made me anxious. I finally gave in and allowed myself to doze while listening to the TV.
Despite my fatigue and desperate need to close my eyes, I could not sleep. I found myself wandering aimlessly through my apartment. Since it is so small I wandered back and forth between my kitchen and family room. About 15 feet in total distance.
I finally gave up and went to bed around 3 a.m. I couldn’t sleep but, I couldn’t stay awake either. I turned on some quiet music and just laid there in dazed semi-sleep. I drifted off finally.
Time to Get Up
My alarm goes off at 7 a.m. to get Daughter off to school. I crawled out of bed and almost fell on the floor. I had a migraine complete with nausea, sound and light sensitivity, and dizziness. I also was having tremors and had a huge muscle knot at the base of my skull.
I started my routine by waking daughter and feeding the cat. After a trip to the bathroom and getting my meds for the day I realized that I couldn’t function. I told Daughter she would have to make her own lunch and get herself off to school.
I stretched out in my recliner and listened as daughter got ready for school. As I lay there I felt sad because I was missing our morning grousing and routine. While I hated getting up, I loved the time spent with my child.
Daughter kissed me good-bye and told me to rest and feel better. I passed out and slept. It was a restless sleep.
Cause and Affect
After my nap, my head still really hurts though the migraine is gone. I have pondered on why I feel so horrible. Then I realized:
- A migraine is a whiplash affect from having a panic attack.
- The knot at the base of my skull is from tightening the muscles in my shoulders and pulling my shoulders up to my ears which I do during a panic attack.
- Incoherent thoughts and brain fog is an after affect of a panic attack.
- An overwhelming need to sleep come from the exhaustion of having a panic attack.
Conclusion: I had a panic attack sometime while I slept.
It’s been Several Years
It has been a very long time since my last serious panic attack. This is why I hadn’t recognized the signs preceding one. I had also forgotten how bad it felt.
I don’t know what set this off. Often there is no obvious reason. It can be something as small as a smell or as big as an emotional confrontation.
Whatever set off this panic attack, it was apparently a doozy. I’m glad I slept through it.
A Down Day
This happens every time I have a panic attack. I’m down anywhere from a day to a week or more. Do I have a choice? No. My body dictates and I just do what is necessary to feel better again.
Today I’m sleepy but, I can’t sleep. I’m hungry but, I can’t eat. My brain wanders but, there is no coherent thought. I spend a lot of time staring at nothing in particular.
Sometimes I really hate my dragons.
I hope this post doesn’t ramble too much. I’m having difficulty typing and can’t focus very well.
I’ll be back Monday. Have a great weekend.