I’m anxious. Not just now, but always. It’s an affliction, a way of life, a disease, a problem.
I’ve always been, well, spazzy. I am extremely reactive and one of those people who is very mood-absorbent. That’s what I call it anyway. It’s as if I absorb the energy or the mood of things, people, places around me and that becomes my mood. So if the U.S. is in the aftermath of 9/11, I end up in the ER with chest pains. If my kids are rambunctious and a little hyper, my emotions heighten to keep pace, and I get snappish.
I’ve had episodes where I can’t breathe, and found out later that doctors call that a panic attack. I’ve also endured times where my mind is racing and I can’t keep up with it, or I am extra tired and moody, sore, depressed, irritated. I haven’t – and still refuse to – lump all that in with anxiety, but I think some of it is.
I’ve also suffered for years with intense PMS, and wonder if that stems from the same neuro receptors that predispose me to anxiety.
Sure, some of it is environment. My dad is as I am. Growing up, he was very quick to react, ill-equipped to handle stress (he’d usually just yell), and unable to deal with a lot of noise or stimuli. That said, he really is the funniest, most stand-up guy you’ll meet, but he’s Type A to the hilt.
Lately, my anxiety has become a real problem. If what’s been happening to me is a result of the anxiety – and not some neuromuscular disease. The jury’s still out. (I’m also a hypochondriac.) (Oh, and scared to fly, go to a chiropractor or see a spider.) (But you’ve got to admit, the spider fear is totally grounded in reality. I’ve seen some of those suckers jump.)
Anyway. I’ve felt off for the past year. It started with chronic sinus congestion and infections and graduated to urinary tract infections. I was sick all the time. I even got the flu for the first time ever. I felt something off in my body. Really felt it – like a molecular shift I could sense. So, I’m off the doctor. I went quite often in 2007. As the night sweats and joint and muscle pain started, I kept going back. Then, heavy menstrual bleeding. And finally, the most alarming symptom of all – an electric, vibratory sensation running through my body. It’d keep me up at night. It’s as if I had 10 cups of coffee in 10 seconds flat and my body was coming down off the high. ALL NIGHT. I’ve also likened the sensation to an adrenaline shot that lasts for hours.
Most recently, extreme muscle fatigue accompanies the electric feeling. After blood tests for thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis and hormonal imbalance come back negative, my doctor tells me its anxiety. So, it’s hounded me all my life and now it’s got me cornered. But. Still. I’m not sure. So, I refuse the Lexapro. And go off on a quest…
To Be Continued
Anxiety, Part II is here.