Some people call them "panic" attacks, but I'm going to use "anxiety". Sounds less psychotic.
I used to get these attacks about twice a year. I could practically set my watch to it: once in October and once in March. And, get this, it was always when my life slowed down. One would think that the opposite would be true. Well, when have I ever been normal? Amiright?
My life is go go go just like everyone else's. 2 kids, a career that lends itself to working outside school hours, coaching, etc. People do it all the time but, apparently, when I'm sitting on my ass watching a basketball game, that's where things get nutty.
Essentially, it feels as though someone is sitting on my chest. Let me be more specific: it feels like a 325 lb lineman that just went through an all-you-can-eat buffet is sitting on my chest. I can't get a breath. Not only that, but I get really pissy. Like "I haven't had coffee in 48 hours" pissy, so yeah...the family is loving this. Once I can't breathe, then I get stressed out about not being able to breathe and the nasty cycle begins and I'm out of commission until it subsides. Yay.
After doctor consults and a lot of hours of Interwebs research, here are my options:
- Medication - No thanks. I told my doctor no medication because I didn't want to take a Xanax and be useless the rest of the day. My doctor, who completely understood, argued "are you any better trying to catch your breath the entire day?" Touche, doc. No drugs, though. I want to have the option of being able to operate heavy machinery if need be. Crane? Sno-Cat? Zamboni?
- Therapy - Uh...nah. I tried that. Not my thing. The therapist was nice enough, but she was stumped as to why I'd get attacks while I was doing nothing. Not a good sign. That and, ironically, I have no time to go see someone once a week.
- Yoga/Mediation - I think this is my best option. I can get exercise and practice breathing techniques. The problem? It's pretty damn expensive. It's that or therapy, I suppose.
- Running - Oh yeah, I could go running. Here's the thing, though. I can't run. Once the attack has subsided (about 36-48 hours), I can run...on a treadmill. I went running outside last weekend and could barely make 2 miles...and that was with walking.
Regardless of my lack of running, I know that the combination of that and yoga will get me out of this. It's just that I have to get back to that point of where I'm at least running 3 times/week. Due to my own laziness, though, that just isn't happening. It's either be lazy or go through this personal hell. I need to get out and run. I need to meditate and do yoga. It's my only option. Well, at least the only option that I'm 100% comfortable with.
I don't know why I'm posting this. I'm not fishing for comments or looking for attention. I think I'm doing it because it's one of the best ways I deal with things. I write about them.
In summary, the goal is more exercise and more meditation. And we all hope for the best.