Pain is the stem of most of my anxiety attacks. Phobias and noises make up the rest. For the most part I have experienced very few anxiety attacks since I began medicating with marijuana over a year ago. I have found that I am able to handle situations that would have blown out of control in the past. But now and then I will get slammed by various triggers and find myself spinning out of control. Yesterday was one of those days.
My belly was extra sore when I awoke yesterday morning. Normally I would have made the decision to stay home and give my body the rest that it needed. But I didn’t. Our church was hosting its annual picnic after the services and I didn’t want to let a little extra pain to get in my way of visiting with friends and spending time with my family. Plus I wouldn’t have to cook!!! Because my belly pain has only been full-time for a few months I am not as good at judging how bad it really is or how much strength I will have. How could I when I still struggle with judging my chronic pains that have been with me for over a decade? So being the stubborn gal that I am, I got dressed and prepared to leave.
Oh how I wish I would have listened to my body. Unlike the rest of the country Southern California is still experiencing extreme summer temperatures. Thankfully the air conditioner was on full blast when we arrived, especially since the sanctuary was packed. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many people in there. Normally this would thrill me, but not on this day. With my pain level higher than normal, I found myself to be more sensitive to my anxiety triggers. The first trigger to go off was my claustrophobia. I felt as though I had no room to breathe and the walls were closing in. I felt as though I had twenty people sitting on my lap. My sensitivity to noise was the second. I found it impossible to concentrate. All I could hear were voices, not words, just lots and lots of voices. This was on top of music and screaming children. As the end of the service neared I rolled out of the sanctuary to beat the crowd and to catch my breath. After a few minutes I was able to relax and felt like I was ready to enjoy the rest of the day.
With the picnic getting ready to start I rolled over to our Fellowship room and claimed an area for my family to sit. There were a few tables set up outside, but as I had mentioned earlier, IT WAS HOT!! Minus a few heat induced muscle spasms I still felt like I would be okay. Oh how wrong I was!!! As people began to file into the room the noise grew to an obnoxious level. I know you must be wondering how I am able to handle Disneyland when I can’t handle a group of people in a room? For the most part the noise at Disneyland is comforting to me. The music is predictable and soothing, even when it is upbeat. As for the crowd noise, I am never stuck in a room with everyone talking as loud as they possibly can or with screaming children. And when I do come across a screamer I have the ability to move away from them. As the adults began talking louder, the children’s noise level also grew. In less than 15 minutes I went from calm to breaking out in a sweat, feeling nauseous, and shaking. The moment a tear ran down my face I knew it was time to escape. Once outside I burst into tears. My husband came over to comfort me and wanted to know if I wanted to go home. I really did want to leave, but I knew he had things he needed to take care of since he was planning a game for our youth and other adults. So I lied and said that I would be okay as long as I stayed outside.
Again I must stress that it was stinking hot out! But thankfully my husband and another friend decided to sweat it out with me. It took close to an hour for me to fully regain my composure and I did enjoy watching my husband, some friends, and the youth play their outdoor game. But after a couple of hours I had to put an end to the day and get home. Although I had recovered from my anxiety attack my pain level was increasing by the minute and I was exhausted.
Once home I was able to relax and take a nap. Sadly when I awoke my pain and nausea level was three times higher than before. Both dropped significantly about an hour after medicating with a SensiChew and I was later able to get a good night’s rest. My belly pain was pretty intense this morning and thankfully my nausea isn’t as bad as it was last night, and to top it off my rotten egg smelling belches decided to make an appearance. You have no idea how much I want my doctors to figure this thing out. It is obviously making me ill and no matter what it is it needs to be dealt with.
I am upset by yesterday’s events. I don’t like losing control. I have had to give up so much control when it comes to my body that it makes losing control of my emotions that much harder. I don’t know how much more I can take. My mask is crumbling. And as much as I try to distract myself or tell myself that everything is going to be okay, I don’t really know that. Once I know what I am facing I will be able to regain some of that control. I find it easier to stay in control when I know what I am dealing with even if the path to dealing with it isn’t easy. Until then I realize that I must listen to my body even more so than I normally do. The pain I am fighting is taking away the strength that held my mask together and has created a zero tolerance level with my anxiety triggers.
As for today, I will rest… I will breathe… I will cherish each moment… I will enjoy my family…. I will not let pain win!!