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Funny how a panic attack can sneak up on you....



I want to share what happened to me during the afternoon of July 18th, 2015.  

Having moved back into my house at the beginning of the month, not only was my adventure in transition starting but also a great adventure in cleaning (sigh!).  My ex was a clothes hoarder which means that even after having "moved", she had left me a bunch of scattered piles of clothes in every room throughout the house as well as in all my closets...what an adventure!  With the help of my 17 year old step daughter Isabelle who chose to stay with me, I started this exhaustive task.  The closet in my entrance was the first one to tackle but before doing that, I had to free up some room in my storage containers which were filled with my ex's old society games. Since she had left me a huge pile of unused cardboard boxes right in the living room, I had all I needed to take care of business so I packed up all her things which were NOT clothes and managed to fill over 20 boxes!  When this was done, a few days later, then I would start on the clothes...  Remember by this time she HAD moved lol!

Over the next couple of weeks, I packed up boxes with her clothes which of course were all dusty from having sat there litereally for years in some cases.  I did this off and on, after work and every day off until finally on the 18th, I decided to take a break, go for a meal at my favorite shopping centre in Ottawa then go to the movies...I wanted to go see the new documentary about Amy Winehouse.

I never made it... That whole day I felt off..a bit like I had felt back in 2003 the day I had a heart attack but I knew it wasn't my heart as all my vitals, which I check regularly were in check.  I went to the Rideau Centre, ordered a "poutine" at the New York Fries, sat at a counter where they have plugs to charge cell phones and started eating while watching something on YouTube.  

The sweating started, then the nausea, then I remember feeling very comfortable and sleeping not realizing I had actually passed out and fell off my stool.  I woke up to a bunch of people staring at me and asking me if I'm ok!  The security guard helped me sit up in a chair and told me the paramedics were on their way...  Of course being in early transition, only a couple of people know about my dysphoria and transition.  Isabelle was close downtown Ottawa with a friend who also knows about me and my sister was at work.  I haven't told my parents yet as I'm waiting for my mom to get biopsy results and will only tell her once her emotional distress has diminished somewhat but the issue now was I was going to be sent to the hospital where I knew my parents would come and see me.  Wouldn't be to bad if I wasn't wearing light green nail polish and panties.  I wasn't worried about the panties but the nail polish would be a little tricky to explain for sure.

When the ambulance came, they checked my vitals and told me everything seemed fined but wanted to take me to the closest hospital just to be on the safe side which I was not opposed to.  During the ride, I outed myself to the ambulance attendant and he was very nice about the whole thing and found it remarkable that I was not shy talking about it.  He asked a lot of questions and I answered...

We got to the hospital and by that time, I had called my sister who then called my parents and after laying down in the emergency area hallway for a couple of hours, my parents showed up.  I  told them the nail polish was Isabelle's doing and said I didn't mind having color on my nails...they just gave me a funny look and dismissed it...

I ended up waiting for another 4 hours before even going through triage and by that time, I had figured out that what I had was a simple panic attack, well a big one, probably the biggest one I ever had and through therapy found the whole house cleaning was what led up to it.  

I told my colleagues at work and they recommended I take a couple of days off the following week which I did.  I then followed my therapist's advice and proceeded to purchase contractor style garbage bags and use the "shovel" method to finish my cleanup!  Now all her things are in my garage and waiting for her to come pick them up.  If she hasn't done so before the end of this month, I will give everything to charity!

I have just finished cleaning my top floor, washed the walls and I'm almost done the main floor.  I will be on holidays from my job next week and for the first time in years, plan to actually enjoy myself!  The day I am looking forward to the most is August 12th...I will meet my new doctor who will send my for my blood tests and a visit to the endocrinologist at last!

I just hope the hormones will help the dysphoria and anxiety...



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All is well now, I chalk it up as a couple of lessons learned about taking care of my own needs versus others who don't deserve it!

Thanks so much for asking. 

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Hiya Roxanne. Have You got anything nice planned, or is it just going to be a good rest ? Whatever You are doing, just enjoy having Roxanne time. It is always good to have a break from routine Sweetie. Enjoy Yourself. Hugs, Steph53.


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Well since my clean up will be completed, I will be taking the time to get back into my passions which are writing, playing and recording music.  I used to own a commercial recording studio and still have all the equipment and instruments.  I'll be removing the "rust" from not having played in a while so out will come the guitars, basses and drums!  

Definitely quality Roxanne time!

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