Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Breathe In Breathe Out

So, my oncologist said it's possible that I could have PTSD from my little health adventure.  I am not sure I agree with him.  I mean, I didn't fight in a war. Or did I?  I didn't almost die.  I am not a hero.  Still, there are times when fear paralyzes me.  When I flash back to a time in the hospital.  When I am reduced to the shakes and a feeling of dread.

I had a routine, non cancer related doctor's appointment today.  It was the first time I had been back to my GP's DesPlaines office since she sent me to the hospital and we know how that story shook out.  I got to the office this morning and was gripped by such a wave of anxiety, I was frozen in the front seat of my car...heart pounding, head spinning, words like "masses" and "biopsies" flopping around in my brain.  In all of my 48 years, I have never had a panic attack until today.  It was just a minute or two but it felt like an eternity.  I could feel my pulse pounding in my temples.

Just as quickly it passed...slowly, things started to refocus.  My pulse slowed...breathe in...I could hear the car radio again...breathe out...just a check up...breathe in...feeling great...breathe out...need my umbrella...breathe in...suite 310...breathe out...update personal info at the desk...breathe my co-pay breathe out...I kept at it until the nurse called me back.  BP 119/78...breathe in...breathe out.

When I do my breathing exercises, I go to my safe place...a hammock, on the deck, on a summer day, with a lake breeze.  It smells like pine, food on a grill and sunscreen.

Is it PTSD?  I don't know.  I have to see my GP again in November.  I made an appointment for the same office as today.  I need to conquer the anxiety...from my hammock by the lake...breathe in...breathe out.

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