Anxiety is something I’ve lived with all of my life, I just didn’t really acknowledge it until half a year ago.
Kelly and I were out to watch X-Men: Apocalypse. We don’t get to go out very often, and Kelly has been a big X-Men movie fan. After the first I think 15 minutes I felt very strange. A small discomfort had developed in my right arm. I’ve had these before, so I tried to ignore it, but it continued and grew stronger over the next hour. Kelly noticed and asked if everything was okay. I told her no, that I wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t know if it was true, but I felt like I was having a heart attack. Kelly checked and confirmed that my heart rate was fairly fast.
So we left the movie and proceeded to the hospital. Once we got there, but before going into the ER, I was feeling a little better, and Kelly suggested maybe a drink to calm down. My heart rate had receded a bit, and maybe I was okay.
We went and got a beer, talked a little bit, but by the time we got back to the car my heart rate had jumped back up and I wasn’t feeling well again.
So, we went to the ER, where they did some tests. They were worried I might have a clot (a big concern for me being on Estrogen), or I might be in the process of having a heart attack. My heart rate was up around 140. They slapped a nitro patch on me, gave me some blood thinners, and we waited.
All the tests came back negative, but they kept me overnight since the test for a heart attack can take hours to show up, and if I was in the process of having one, it would not be showing up yet.
So I stayed the night at the hospital. Couldn’t sleep well, I was very uncomfortable. Let’s just say my last stay at a hospital many years ago was for back surgery. Not being able to move for several weeks, on top of a bad experience left a few unconscious scars that decided to show up. But that is a story for another day.
This gave me a lot of time to think. I realized that everything started with a scene at the beginning of the movie. It was a scene with Magneto and his family in Russia. It was not a pleasant scene, but it got me thinking of my late father and my own mortality with my kids.
If you read through this blog you will recall that I witnessed my own father’s violent death. I recognize that it was not his fault, but I’ve always felt deep down the pain of him leaving us, and of the horrible step-father that we inherited. This brings on extreme worry that I too may leave my own children and what that would do to them. While I don’t fear death per-se, I immensely worry about it. I always have. I’m not ready to give this up yet, I feel that I’ve not accomplished whatever it is that I’m supposed to do.
In the end, it was anxiety that I had buried deep inside that lead me to the hospital. I came out knowing what I had to do. I had avoided it all my life, especially taking medication. I had worried that it would change me, strip a part of myself away. After hearing tales from others online for the past couple of years, I no longer felt that way. I wanted to be rid of this, and so I sought help.
It’s not perfect, but I’ve felt better the past several months. I’ve be more able and willing to take on my emotions and let them come out as I have them instead of stuffing them away.
If you’re having problems, seek help. There are many caring professionals out there that do want to, and can, help. Medication isn’t for everyone, but don’t be afraid of it. It won’t make you any less then yourself.