Getting Caught Up Health-Wise Part Three
Thursday, July 04, 2013
This is the last health update I have I think, and it’s a big breakthrough. In my past posts (I’m talking 4 years ago at least) I’ve said I have bad balance. In the last few years I’ve said that I have a fear of falling and bad balance. Back in January, maybe February, I came to the realization, that while yes my balance is bad, it’s nowhere near as bad as I thought it was. My main problem is the fear of falling.
During the early part of 2013, my husband and I started to work on my “bad balance”. He would take me into the living room and we would practice walking with me holding onto him, and me not holding onto him. Now, here is when I had my revelation. He had me close my eyes, turned me around in circles, and then told me to just stand there with my eyes close.. I had no idea where I was. He then slowly let go of me, but I thought he was nearby. He then told me to open my eyes. Instant panic.
The reaction I had was totally out of my control. My entire body instantly locked up. I could not move. I started to hyperventilate. My mind ran wild, and I couldn’t pinpoint any one thought. I started shaking and sweating. And I started crying. I had no control over any of these reactions. My husband calmed me down and had me sit for a bit.
While I was standing there with my eyes closed, I had no problems. I felt stable, I felt in control, and I didn’t feel like I was going to fall. Why? Because I thought my husband was there to catch me. As soon as I realized he wasn’t there, I flipped out. So, my balance is fine, my state of mind, not so much.
We tried this several times over the next few days, and had the same results. One day, as I was in one of my calming down moments after a panic attack, my in-laws returned home (yes, we live with my in-laws). They were concerned, and we told them what we were doing. My mother in-law offered me a Xanax. She’s offered me Xanax in the past for several years, usually when we fly back east for vacation. I’ve always turned her down though. This time was different. I said “yes please”.
I didn’t take one right then however. I decided to take one before our next “balance practice” session. So the next day I took one, and I honestly didn’t think it was going to do a darn thing. But, to my surprise, it did. I still felt the anxiety and a bit of panic, but I was able to work through it. It was like a split second of anxiety, then I was calm, a split second of panic, and then gone. Over and over. And these split seconds were not as intense as they once were. I was able to stand in one spot with nothing and no one around me, and I felt OK.
It wasn’t until the next day that I really understood how much the Xanax helped. I didn’t take a Xanax this time, and again, we went out to the other room and my husband had me close my eyes. I opened them up, and instant panic again. So, yeah, I have anxiety issues big time, which I’ve always thought I did, this just confirmed it.
I don’t take Xanax very often. I take one when I know for certain I have to walk somewhere without help, or with the help of someone I’m not comfortable with. Remember the chiropractor? I’ve seen him now for about 8 months I guess, and I am now used to having him help me get around. I’m still getting used to his assistant helping me. She’s about 5 foot 4 if that, and I feel like I could squash her with my pinky, lol. I remember once I held off a panic attack when she suddenly let go to move a chair so I could sit in it. Wasn’t her fault at all, and luckily there was a wall to my right, so I hugged the wall like crazy. It was fine though.
I have gotten a lot better walking with her. The last time she helped me, she again let go and was walking behind me with her hand on my back. I had a Xanax in me that day, and I felt totally fine. I really surprised myself that day. It felt great.
I also take a Xanax when I go to the chiropractor because it has a nice side benefit of relaxing all of my muscles. It helps everything relax. I just went in to the chiropractor last Friday, and the main reason I took one that day was for the relaxation of the muscles.
I hope to one day to not have to take Xanax (well I don’t NEED to now), and I think I’ll get there. It’s just a nice feeling to be able to relax and not be so tense. It’s nice to know that I CAN walk with little to no help. It is VERY nice to know that I can get comfortable with someone other than my husband helping me.
I have a feeling this anxiety and panic issue are going to be with me forever, but at least now, I have a way of handling it and getting through it. It’s been a while since my husband and I worked on my walking without assistance. We need to start doing that again. I do still have my walker, but for some reason, I’m not at all comfortable using it. I don’t know if that’s part of my fear (probably) or if it’s just getting in my way of walking normally (again probably). Ultimately, I would love to walk everywhere with no help at all.
Baby steps and one day at a time.