I was in my early 30’s when I had the last operation. The removal of the ovarian cyst made complete the partial hysterectomy I had had a few years earlier. Hormones can surely get messed up in case of this and was thought to have something to do with the Panic symptoms. Hormones helped, but the symptoms got worse…
As the symptoms got worse, I could no longer drive, work or even go outside my house. I had panic attacks all through the day and horrific nightmares through the night. I couldn’t eat nor sleep. I became claustrophobic, agoraphobic and anorexic as well. I had to take care of my young children and had such a hard time that once my youngest son almost made it out to a busy street. A CPS person was the one who noticed and knocked on my door.
I read my Bible constantly, praying and trying so hard to concentrate on what the reason for my condition could be. I still smoked cigarettes and worried that if I died I’d not be saved because somehow smoking was the unforgivable sin. A person engulfed in Panic Disorder usually do not know what the cause is and constantly wonders if we are having a heart attack, and as in my case one who smokes you just know you must have cancer, etc. You hyperventilate a lot in panic and a natural thought is smoking and damage to lungs must be causing it. On and on it goes with “what if’s” the classic symptom of Panic. You don’t do anything nor go anywhere because of the what ifs that never happen. And you always feel sick.
Many things happened over those years. With the help of a doctor, Xanax and control of garden variety hyperglycemia eventually I was able to cope. I couldn’t go anywhere without Xanax, but was able to get a job, start eating again and drive again. Knowledge is power and I read all I could about Panic Disorder. Knowing the symptoms are the fight and flight syndrome and not a physical sign of disease become a relief in itself, reducing the symptoms. Once knowing that one suffers from hyperglycemia and that the symptoms mimic those of Panic and knowing that orange juice or peanut butter help with those really relieves the feeling of panic. In my case it helped. Still, I worried deep inside that I would not be saved if something happened to me because I still smoked cigarettes. My Panic disorder was only under control enough that I was back to a somewhat normal life again, but I still was nervous about driving myself even to the nearest place and surely wouldn’t go anywhere without Xanax. I suffered with this between 1984 and the year 2000 when the disorder helped me lose a job I had been able to keep for 8 yrs through it all. Though I was improving physically and thought I was staying close to God my crisis to faith was still to come. Stay with me on my journey.