I had a health incident this evening, what I assume was a panic attack. In some ways, the worst I’ve had. I was being driven back to my car, which had gotten some maintenance done during the day. The driver was fairly chatty. I talked to him for a while, but I was feeling a bit anxious, and the attack slowly set in and quieted me down. The guy definitely noticed something was wrong and didn’t talk as much, occasionally asking if I was alright. At the height of the attack, I could barely respond. A weird social situation for both of us.
It started with me feeling hot and thirsty. I luckily had a water bottle in my bag and took a few sips from that. I took off my coat and some other outer garments over time. It felt very stuffy in the car, and when the attack was apparent, I opened the window.
My extremities got cold, then tingly. I was having trouble swallowing and started to feel like I was choking and having trouble breathing. My back started hurting more and more. I started adjusting my seat position, back and forth, to try to help. I felt awkward and trapped in the car, at times feeling like I just had to open the door and hop out or tell the guy to pull over.
At the worst of it, the tingling in my extremities spread more than I’ve ever felt before. It seemed solid and everywhere. My hands were wanting to freeze in a claw position, and I had my feet lifted with heels on the floor because it seemed to feel better. My vision seemed a little blurry, though I was mostly closing my eyes. I couldn’t breath and I felt like I was going to pass out.
The drive felt really long. I was aware of where we were the whole way, and it often felt like there was no way I would make it to our destination. It fluctuated in and out somewhat as we went.
It kept going until we fully stopped in the lot. I grabbed my things and pulled them out of the car, dropping them by the door of the service area. At first I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make it in to finish up and get my keys, let alone drive home. But it cleared enough that I could manage it fairly quickly, and luckily the guy who drove me and the other service guy didn’t say much as they quickly finished things up for me and got me my key. I barely said much, and am not even sure if I thanked the driver, who was also my main service rep. I just couldn’t do much at that point.
I went out and grabbed my things and my car, got the heated seats and heater running, and sat for a moment feeling out if I could make it home. I was stilling feeling remnants and was shaking, but thought I could manage, and headed off. Some of the feeling was still there and came back as I went, so I stopped several times to get out of the car and walk or stand a minute. I worried as I went that it would start back up again, especially when other vehicles were behind me, but I made it home.
My house was cold since I always turn down the thermostat before heading to work. It felt especially cold today, and seemed to take especially long to warm back up. I wore blankets and heated up a bottle of water to keep warm as I tried sitting and lying down in various positions to try to help the pain in my back.
The remnants of the attack slowly faded as I relaxed and focused on healing. I took a long, hot shower, which really helped. I also took some allergy medicine, since I’d been having itchy eyes during the day, and that was coming back. After a couple hours, I felt pretty much back to normal. In that respect, it was much better than my 2018 attack, which lingered.
While it was happening, I felt sure I was going to pass out and have to be taken to the hospital. I felt trapped in the car, and afterwards, I felt like I never wanted to be driven by someone again. I felt afraid of going to work or really anywhere for a while.
I think a doctor visit is in order, with a focused effort on finding a solution for this problem. This was intending to be my year of focusing on health, and we’re already over two months in.