This is where I found myself nearly two years ago – it will be two years this December. Yet, the scenario plays out in my mind almost every single day. I recall laying on the floor of the restroom, my brother holding my hand and praying for me, while I felt certain I was never going to see my daughters again. I was never again going to hold them tight, do their hair for them, and write them little notes. I was never going to be able to teach them all that I felt they needed to be taught. I didn’t WANT to leave. I wanted to STAY. I wasn’t ready yet. I was full of fear.
They wheeled me out of the restroom, into the ambulance, and shuttled me to the ER. Here I was told my potassium and sodium levels were considerably low, but I was most likely having a panic attack – because it was the holidays and people were stressed out. The problem was, this was the third time I had had this experience in six months. My body was fighting me. Something was wrong. The episodes continued for four days. My best friend coming to sit by my side, giving me a call, or texting me as each one would subside.
The holidays came and went, and the episodes carried on, eventually prohibiting me from going to work. Driving became a nightmare, because I was fearful the symptoms would get so bad I would get into an accident. Leaving my home without my husband became unthinkable. The thought of being alone with my daughters tortured me, I didn’t want to have an episode with them, and have that memory scarred into their precious minds.
For the next year and a half I experienced bouts, to a lesser degree - sometimes greater. I would wake up in the middle of the night drowned in sweat, heart pounding, uncontrollable tremors, and disorientation, to name a few. I began eliminating certain foods and products, in an effort to see what was triggering the “spells”. I tracked my sugar and blood pressure, both chronically low. I dove into the world of autoimmune, neurological, adrenal fatigue and panic disorders – in an effort to bring these horrendous, debilitating symptoms to an end. My world changed and seemed to come to a halt, while everyone’s around me stayed the same and moved forward. I began to feel isolated and alone, becoming consumed by this thing that I seemingly had no control over.
I grew confused, distant from God, distant from many – wondering where everyone was that was supposed to be there for me. Wondering why on earth was God allowing this to happen. Wondering if it was ever going to stop. I was a terribly twisted and tangled ball – spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.
My last real severe episode occurred while on vacation this past February. I was in a much higher altitude and my body, or perhaps my mind, just couldn’t handle it. So when I hiked that mountain six months later and I felt strong, I knew things were finally getting better. I knew it, and I BELIEVED it, because I was EXPERIENCING it. Since that trip, my experiences have continued to reinforce that I am growing stronger and further away from those crystalized moments that paralyzed me with fear. My old memories are being replaced with new ones, and I am beginning to grow in a new confidence – one I don’t believe I have ever really experienced. Most importantly, my daughters feel like they have their mom back and we do our best to ensure we aren't taking our days for granted.
God I am grateful for that mountain top experience and its memory! Many days, in the past month, I have revisited that moment when I had certain symptoms, but continued on – and I overcame! I hope you’re having a great day and would love to hear from you. If you have experienced something similar and overcame, please let me know :)
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