I can’t sleep tonight.
The anxiety disorder that plagues me more often than I care to admit is running amok and I am having the worst time trying to get a handle on it.
As y’all know, I’ve had the flu-y flu flu – and it’s lingering. My temp continues to randomly shoot up – yay for viruses meeting autoimmune disease – and the fatigue is still overwhelming. I do this totally weird thing during the day that just drives my husband and daughter crazy where I will fall asleep sitting straight up or while I’m laying halfway across the bed with my legs hanging off (when I’ve just gone to stretch my back). Yep, I did that all day yesterday – and thought Sara might just send me out to the tree fort to stay. . . It really freaks them out. . .
With that, I’m still working on my prednisone reduction – and it is only contributing to the fatigue – and some horrific body pain. It was so bad yesterday that I had to break down and take an additional 10mg even though I really didn’t want to. The pain was just that unbearable. And since I took the extra pred, I’ve been eating the house. Grrrrr. . .
Also, with the continued flu symptoms, I’m having to hold my methotrexate shot – which is worsening my body pain significantly – but I cannot possibly take a chemo shot with active flu symptoms. So I wait.
And all of that is in addition to my regular RA yuck (there is a reason for reporting all of this – I promise).
While that is going on, an absolutely tragic situation that a sweet friend from my Camp Sumatanga counselor days is facing has really triggered my panic attacks as well as some generalized anxiety symptoms – and I’ve decided to write honestly about them and not to minimize it for a change.
First let me say that I am not writing anything that hasn’t been posted publicly. I never share health information about anyone that is told me on my blog unless it is public.
That said, several weeks ago, my sweet friend Amy, whose precious young daughter has already faced cancer and is dealing with complications from treatment, posted that her husband had a stroke, which was just terrible. Thankfully, he was treated and sent home.
Almost immediately though, he had to return to the hospital with an even more serious stroke. He then went to rehab and was there for several weeks. I sent hippie oils and messages of encouragement because I understood how difficult it could be for someone our age to be in a long-term rehab facility. It’s often overwhelming to find yourself needing care and treatments that are usually reserved for a much older person – and it takes someone who has experienced it to really understand.
I was so happy at the end of last week when he was able to go home.
Then, on Sunday night, he had to return to the hospital with symptoms of another stroke.
On Monday morning, things worsened dramatically and he coded but the medical team was able to bring him through. This was an absolutely shocking and gut-wrenching turn of events.
They did some additional procedures to help him, placing stents and some other treatments.
Yesterday, the medical team told Amy that things were not good. He has a brain injury and it is just a very difficult situation. My heart is just breaking for Amy and their daughter.
I, along with many others, am praying for a miracle.
Tonight, as I could relate to many of his health challenges, unfortunately, my anxiety has just gone off the rails. With long-term anxiety disorder, this is just something I can’t stop.
My chest has been tight, my heart has been racing, my stomach is a giant pit, there has been nothing to do but hang on and pray – and kiss a weenie dog. ❤
And, for some inexplicable reason, when I’m having health related panic attacks, nighttime sleeping is always a big problem. So, while this is a thing, I’ll be keeping my iPad and giant stack o’ books nearby for sure. . .
I’m getting my podcasts ready to go too, because, with the free-floating anxiety, intrusive thoughts are a problem. Tonight’s unwelcome thoughts made it all the way to “I can’t die because Henry would never go pee again.” Yes, nobody said these were reasonable thoughts. . .
My sweet Sara Bug even came and kept me company for awhile – even though she is super busy with end-of-semester work – watching Supernatural episodes until her eyeballs were crossing and I insisted she go to bed. Bless her, she would have stayed with me and tried to fight sleep until Friday if I had let her. I am truly blessed with the bestest peoples. ❤
I did take a minute to look over my modifiable risk factors (the only reasonable thing I actually did need to do). Unfortunately, RA is my biggest risk factor and modifiable it is not. Still, I have resolved to be more aggressive in addressing the things I can – even though it is difficult to do so with all of my health issues. Otherwise, though, all I can do for this anxiety storm is keep deep breathing and Valor EVERYTHING and stick to pleasant distractions and wait for it to pass.
The other issue: with my severe anxiety disorder, who’s to say when it will leave this time?
I’m praying for today.
Once it is kicked off, it can be tough to reign back in sometimes – but I’m going to believe for the best.
Be well, everybody.
Grace and Blessings. ❤
Also, a GoFundMe has been set up for Amy’s family during this time. Obviously, they have many needs now, especially during the holidays, so if you are able to help that would be amazing: