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My Anxiety Story: Part 4

14 July 2013

Throughout the start of this year I started feeling a little anxious again. I was looking for a job, and got rejected by them all (I literally had 2 interviews, and one of them was one of the worst days of my life - I'll touch on that another time) so I was feeling quite useless, and worried that I wouldn't get a job that would let me go on holiday so soon in June, or that wouldn't let me leave for uni in September. One thing you find is that little things that may bug you a little normally, are blown way out of proportion and so I managed to nip that in the bud and started thinking more positively. It also helped that I was given a work experience placement at a local college, which was a brilliant 2 months... which then led on to me getting the temporary job I have now. Such good timing!

In early May, one Monday night, I had this strange sensation in my body. It felt like I lost all feeling in my legs, and other random parts of my body. It reminded me a little of the feeling the second before you're about to faint, and my head started simulating that feeling, like I was about to faint. The thing is though, I was laid on my bed at the time and it wasn't too warm in my room, so I was a little confused. It went on for an hour, and it kept coming and going, it was pretty hard to forget about and distract myself from. I had an early night, and it seemed to be gone the next day.

Wednesday night, whilst round my nans house, I started getting the feeling again, and in a panic just started walking around to try and take my mind off of it. I went into the bedroom and blacked out for a second, waking up as I hit the bed. I was in shock, and laid on the bed breathing through the panic attack that shortly followed, and trying to comprehend what just happened. I got over it and went back downstairs. After a couple of minutes I blacked out again for a second or two...

I rang 111 (the NHS number) and was starting to panic again, my eyesight was going blurry and I felt like I was about to go again - so they arranged for an ambulance to come. They did a couple of initial tests and I went to A&E. I was there from around midnight to 6am the next morning, and they found nothing from the tests they did. My body was in shock but the next couple of weeks ran quite smoothly, until I collapsed again - this time at home. Repeat the same A&E process. Repeat again 4 days after, after going to the hospital to have a back scan to see if I had a trapped nerve (which I didn't.) At this point I was starting to get little panic attacks whenever I had that loss of feeling, because I was scared I'd collapse again and end up in hospital, and maybe even miss my holiday.

This was 2 days before I was meant to be going away. We were meeting round my friends house to then go to the airport, and 10 minutes before I left, whilst checking my suitcase, I sat myself down in front of my mirror and told myself that I was not going to let this ruin mine, or more importantly, anyone else's holiday. It was obvious nothing too serious was happening at this point, but it was more the annoyance of the symptoms (which were happening pretty much 24/7,) and impending panic attacks.

Luckily, the holiday went pretty smoothly, and I only had 2 panic attacks over the 10 days. One of them was pretty bad, and lasted about 30 minutes, but I managed to get over it quite quickly. Looking back, the thought of me pacing up and down a mini golf course worrying I was about to faint was quite hilarious. The other time I got over it a lot quicker, although I did cry, and I managed to stop myself having another 5 or 6 as well which I was pretty proud of.

Since then I've collapsed twice, once with chest pains earlier in the day, so I had a 24 hour ecg (which, I know is supposed to be portable and not get in the way, but its one of the most impractical things ever) and they haven't contacted me since for an emergency appointment or anything. This makes me feel a lot better, knowing that nothings going wrong with my heart, but I'm still getting random symptoms again now and I feel like I'm on the way to how I felt last year. Thankfully, at the moment at least, I'm filling my life with friends, my job, activities and just generally distractions/things I can focus my attention on, which is one of the reasons I started this blog. I'd love to say that I hope this is the final part of my story, but I just know more is round the corner, and to be honest, I'm ready for the fight. I'll keep you all updated, maybe in a few weeks or so...

Thanks to anyone who's read all, if not, any, of my story. It really has been a relief to get nearly everything out in the open, and feels like a bit of closure on that chapter of my life. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one ends, and the new one begins...
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