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 in...pay 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.