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Anxiety and an Urgent Care Experience

So this week has been interesting to say the least. It started on Wednesday night when I did my first pole dancing lesson and I had a NSV that was so crazy that I was just on cloud 9. It was day 29 of Phase 2 and I thought this was a HELLOVA way to have this phase come to a close. I was so excited for Day 30 and celebrating with a burst of energy all day!

Well in the morning of Day 30, I was getting ready for my morning workout and I had a sharp pain in my boob. Now those that know me well, know that it is anxiety pain. Whenever I have anxiety, I get a sharp pain in my boob and when I try to inhale, the pain intensifies. The deeper the inhale, the more intense the pain. For the last 10 years, I get it occasionally and it’s usually associated with some negative premonition.

I know, that sounds way to airy fairy or silly and I am fully aware I am a crazy anomaly of energy LOL. However comma, in the last 10 years it has been proven to be true every single time it happened, whether it was a bad phone call, an accident, getting pulled over or finding out someone was having a devastating day. Every time I get this anxiety, once the situation presents itself, in the weirdest fashion, the pain in the boob completely dissipates and goes away as quickly as it came on.

I know. I’m smurfin weird. Get over it.

Well, the one time this didn’t happen as usual was when I had my nervous breakdown and that anxiety lasted 24 hours a day for 4-5 months crippling me to my core and relying on medication to come out the other side of it. Medications that increased the anxiety at times, and caused over 50lbs of weight gain in a 2-3 month period. It took me a couple years of working on myself to overcome that chapter of my life and I have been very proud of being able to overcome those bouts on my own. Well on my own and when the situation was presented and dissipated.

So back to morning of day 30, I was having the pain in my boob and it usually freaks me out for a bit wondering if I am going to be getting a phone call or some sort of bad news. Usually it lasts less than a few hours before I find out. This time hours passed and it was still there.

There’s only a small handful of people I can talk to about this without them assuming I am some crazy bat shit chick or some Salem witch so I usually let them know when it’s happening because it is comforting when the intuition is validated and I am not the only one knowing about it. I guess it also helps with peace of mind really that I am not crazy.

I go for my walk and I am just not feeling it. I don’t have the energy and I can’t get outside of my head. I push through it and come home and relax on the couch. I try meditation, music, working on distractions and nothing is helping. It would lesson for a while and then come back. Did my evening workout and same issue. By the time I went to bed, there was no phone call or explanation. I figured I would sleep it off.

Thursday morning I wake up with the same issue. Now I know it’s not some premonition anxiety and then you spiral a little deeper thinking it’s another nervous breakdown in the making. The idea of reliving everything I went through back then was making it worse so I tried to push through it and find ways to relax and distract. First workout was the pool and although it was nice to have the sunlight as I swam around, it wasn’t helping. I cancelled my gym sash for the day and kept trying to push through it.

By Thursday night, it wasn’t getting better and in fact, it was getting worse. I was having trouble with breathing, my heart rate was elevated and my chest was feeling tighter. I was feeling so claustrophobic that even wearing a bra felt like the walls were closing in on me.

I finally said smurf it and went to urgent care. Maybe there is something else wrong.

When I get there, they handed me a mask, which is okay fine, whatever. I am sitting in the chair filling out the paperwork and the mask is making it harder to take normal breaths because the claustrophobia was getting worse. I go up to the woman behind the counter and ask her if I sit on the opposite end of the room which has nobody there, is it okay if I take the mask off because "as you can see for my reason being here, breathing is a bit of an issue at the moment." She dismissed me and said no you have to wear it. Okay fine.

When I went back into the room, they take the vitals; Blood pressure was perfect which I thought was odd since I was almost certain it would read higher. Oxygen fine, temp fine, all else is good. She leaves and I go back to waiting.

A nurse comes in and says, “The doctor thinks you need a covid test right now, but if you need to decline, you can.” I said, I don’t have covid, I am having anxiety. She said okay and left.

She comes back a few mins later and says that the doctor is insisting that I take a test. I said again that I don’t need a covid test and that I am feeling claustrophobic at the moment and I don’t know what to do right now because my chest is tight and my heart is racing and I think that is the main concern right now.

So she leaves and someone comes in with the EKG machine. She runs the test and takes off.

10 mins later, the nurse comes in and says that the EKG is normal and it is likely just a panic attack. She informs me that the doctor says I need to go straight to the ER and get a cat scan and blood work. Now mind you, that this entire experience, I never saw a doctor once. He or she never came to talk to me, it was just the nurse the whole time.

She proceeds to tell me that I need to go straight to the ER and that she will draw up the paperwork. I started to panic thinking that something far worse was going on but she kept following it up with “but its likely just anxiety.” I finally said fine, just give me the paperwork.

She leaves and comes back a few mins later and asks me what medication I am on. I tell her I am not on medication, just daily vitamins. She goes, “You are not on ANY medication?” I said "No." She asks, “You don’t take medication for your anxiety?” I said no and I told her briefly about my past and my hesitation with being on medication and this is such a rare occurrence in the last 5 years.

She leaves again and then comes back with the papers. She said once I am done with the ER, I need to follow up with my primary so I can be put on medication. I just brushed it off, grabbed the paper and headed out.

While sitting in my car getting ready to leave, I happened to check my phone and my “memories” popped up and ironically the date had significance to a painful memory of the past. I kinda smirked and thought to myself “no way” and then sure as shit, the pain started dissipating and by the time I got home, I was feeling better and went to sleep feeling relieved. I more irritated that my body remembered something I wasn’t consciously thinking of and attacked my body as a result. It DID help validate that I wasn’t crazy and I did acknowledge that I have been under quite a bit of stress the last few weeks so everything happening at once, came to a head and caused this.

Friday was a good day and I still took it easy and got my workouts in.

This morning I met with my trainer and had a great workout. Feeling like myself again and as I was heading home, the phone rang and it was urgent care. It was the same nurse checking in on me and I was so taken aback that she cared so much to follow up with me. Or at least that’s what I thought she was doing.

“What happened at the ER?”

“I didn’t go to the ER, I came home and rested and it is 1000% better now”

“So then what did you do?”

“I just focused on breathing and finding ways to relax.”

“Oh. Well you need to follow up with your primary now so you can be put on medication so this doesn’t happen again”

“I appreciate you following up with me. I don’t like taking even Tylenol unless I absolutely have to.”

“Well you need to be on medication if you don’t want this to happen again.”

“I appreciate your concern but I feel like it would be more important for me to try and get to the root of the problem so I can work on it and fix it from within. I don’t want to take something that is just going to keep masking the issue. I need to uproot it and release it.”

“Okay have a great rest of your day”

That woman could NOT get off the phone fast enough and as soon as it hung up, I was absolutely flabbergasted! Do we really live in a world where we just want to push medication down our throats?? This nurse had no idea of my life, my history, my story or anything and although its not her job to try and decipher through 40 years of shit, but to just force medication down my throat having no clue the impacts it has had on me in the past?! I felt that was irresponsible. At no time, did she mention talking to someone, trying to figure out what is causing it or offered tools to help relieve it when the onset comes.

Nope, just pop pills and go about your day.

I am not judging anyone who takes medication for anything. I took it when it was a last resort and I was afraid of dying. I was desperate for help, but I am sorry, in my humble opinion, we should be trying to find the roots causing certain issues and trying to fix them instead of masking them constantly or then having to take more meds to counteract the side effect of the original meds.

Mental health should not be overlooked so easily. We should be talking about it. Bringing attention to it. Pulling out roots and replacing with with new blooming seeds.

And shame on the doctor for not taking 2 mins out of their day to even try to talk to me directly.

NO ONE knows you better than you know yourself and sometimes you have to trust your instincts. If someone is not TRULY listening to you, find someone else to talk to. You are not alone.

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