Anxiety At Large

hello-my-name-is-anxiety-1I haven’t updated you guys about surgery scheduling or anything else recently because I’ve been battling the anxiety monster. Like, we are in a full-on boxing match over here. And I’m losing. I’ve never kept it secret that I struggle with anxiety. I see a therapist, I visualize, I go to acupuncture weekly, I do yoga (when I’m not being a sloth). All of those things help. They keep it under wraps most of the time. But sometimes, man. Sometimes it’s rough.

Right now is one of those times.

Having to leave the hospital sans surgery two weeks ago really freaked me out more than I realized. It’s been looming over me, and the thoughts are spiraling: Will I get through it? Will something terrible befall me? Will it ever happen? Will it keep getting rescheduled until the end of time? Does that hospital have bad juju?

I was able to get the surgery rescheduled for this Thursday. This was a week earlier than what I had originally thought, so I was happy. Right around when I found that out, I started getting post-nasal drip, which is usually the tell-tale sign of a cold for me. Eff, I thought. Are you kidding me? Doctors really don’t like to do surgeries when patients have a cold. They like the immune system to be tip-top, and they want the airways to be completely open. This makes sense, obviously. So then it became a waiting game of will-I-get-sick-and-have to-reschedule-my surgery. And the anxiety just went downhill from there.

I went to the doctor yesterday because I having some chest tightness and achiness. I figured it was just from the post-nasal drip, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something more sinister, especially since I have asthma. The doctor listened to my lungs and said they sounded completely clear, but I seemed to be taking longer to exhale than normal, so he figured I was having a minor asthma flare up. He thought this, and the post-nasal drip (that’s such a gross term, by the way. Sorry for repeating it 65 times in one post), were caused by allergies. He said I had no swollen lymph nodes or anything else to indicate that I was sick. Lettie has a cold right now, so I am skeptical of this, but I really am not having any other cold symptoms. He put me on a “burst” of steroids to help with the asthma. He said I should be good to go for the surgery as long as my lungs still sounded clear on Thursday. He sounded really confident about this. So I felt better. For like 2.5 seconds. The steroids seemed to be working. I still had major PND (Does that sound less icky? Maybe a little.), but my chest weirdness was gone.

But anxiety, it doesn’t give a sh*t what doctors think.

I texted Dr. V. (my surgeon) after my appointment to see if the steroids were fine to take before surgery. He said they were. I then talked to him today. He asked me about my symptoms. I told him the tightness in my chest was gone, but I still had my friend PND. He said if I have any trouble breathing we should reschedule. I assured him I didn’t have any trouble, and he agreed that I sounded fine. He told me to call him tomorrow to check in.

After that phone conversation I worked myself into a panic attack. I somehow managed to get my work done, but I was freaking out all afternoon. I called Tim and could barely keep it together. He was all, “What? That convo with Dr. V sounded fine. It sounded like things are pretty much a go. It also sounds like he cares about you, which is a good thing.” All true, but I was out of control at this point.

All afternoon I felt burning hot. I was sure I had a fever. But when I finally got home and took my temp it was 97.6 degrees. No fever in sight. Then I could feel my chest aching again. Was this from the post nasal drip? Or from the anxiety? My guess is anxiety, but what if it wasn’t?

And so on and so forth.

Logically, post nasal drip is not a reason to reschedule surgery. I know this. And even if it does get rescheduled, so? It’s not the end of the world. I mean, I’d really prefer to not have this procedure looming over me anymore, since it triggered the worst case of anxiety I’ve had in years. Still, it’s not a reason to freak the eff out.

But anxiety doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t listen to reason. It doesn’t care.

It’s mean. It’s a monster. And some days it wins.

48 thoughts on “Anxiety At Large

  1. I’m sorry you are struggling so much with anxiety right now. I’m not sure if it helps, but I do know whenever I get anxious my body starts to destroy itself – usually in the form of massive stomach pains and migraines and sometimes even sneezing fits. I know I’m not a doctor but I suspect your post nasal drip is your bodies way of coping with the stress and anxiety – I have no idea how it’s linked, but I think it is because my body does similar things. It’s frustrating that our bodies do this type of stuff, but after RPL I’m convinced my body is capable of doing incredibly weird things and i have no control over it.
    Anyways, I really do hope that you find a way to reduce your anxiety at least momentarily. I’m a big fan of deep breathing exercises and writing always helps me too. Sending you love and wishing you peace.

    1. Thank you! I completely agree that anxiety causes the body to destroy itself. It is unreal how much the mind and the body are connected. Writing usually helps me as well, and when I get anxious I tend to take long blog absences — I should probably be doing the opposite!

      1. I’ve noticed that when something really bothers me I too avoid writing about it! I’ll write about anything else I can think of to procrastinate on writing about what’s troubling me. So not the right approach! Ops.

  2. I’m so sorry you’re going through this Tanya. I hope your anxiety gets the fuck out of here so you can be rested and get this surgery over with once & for all. Lots of love being sent your way. Xx

  3. I can’t get past wanting to tease you about the over-use of the words post-nasal drip, in order to support you as a friend. Just assume I have okay? lol
    Seriously, think of all the hugely obese and the smokers and people like that who do have surgery…unhealthy bodies and so forth. If they can have surgery, then you can too… and you will and you’ll be fine.
    Just stay drunk until then. God I’m unhelpful lol

  4. It is a freaking mean monster. I totally agree. I am so sorry you can’t find your peace at the moment. The feeling really sucks. If it was me, actually hell, I don’t know what I would do if I was in the grips of anxiety because I tend to be less rational then BUT anxiety free rational me says that I’d have the surgery. I read this book called Power Over Panic when I first had panic attacks and it helped me so much. Essentially it says if you always do the thing that the anxiety pushes you into then slowly your life gets smaller and smaller as the anxiety dictates. Does that make sense? So I always try to remember this when I am being nailed by my anxiety. Make the decision that doesn’t make my life smaller.

    I don’t know if you are drinking coffee at the mo but getting off stimulants helps when you are deep in the throes (you probably know this so sorry if so – not meaning to tell you to suck eggs). Caffeine being a stimulant acts as a trigger that’s all. Thinking of you and wish I could give you a big hug. How awesome would it be if we could just meet up and have a herbal tea be calm together? I wish I could do that for you today. Hang in there. You will make it through this and you will BE OK. xxx

    1. I’ll have to check out that book. I like that advice to not let anxiety dictate your actions. I agree that anxiety makes your life smaller. The funny thing about the caffeine is that I’m off of caffeine, BUT the day I wrote this post I randomly had a cup of coffee that day. I bet it was totally making the anxiety worse! And OMG you have noooo idea how much I wish we could grab tea. We could also do play dates with the kids, get pedicures…ah, a girl can dream….

      1. Man all those things would be SO awesome. You never know. We might get to do it on a visit one day.

        And yes, the book is great and helped me enormously at the time anyway.

        I have been thinking of you. I hope you are recovering well and everything is a-ok xx

  5. Oh no, i’m so sorry you are going through this. I can sympathise with all of your above mentioned feelings as I have felt anxious all weekend, in fact I even have a post in my drafts about it. I’m so thankful you are open about your anxiety, it helps me to feel more OK with mine and also just to know that i’m not/your not alone.

    You are right, there is absolutely no reasoning with anxiety and sometimes it does just get too much to cope with. I hope that your surgery Thursday is still a go-er as it will be nice to have it over and done with and hopefully find some answers. Feel better soon lovely, thinking of you xx

  6. I want to kill the anxiety monster for you! Think I have told you before I suffer too, the panic feelings can come on at times when I am not even sure I have been thinking about anything stressful! I think I am coping with everything and this is how it manifests itself. It really is dreadful and I really feel for you. In the run up to my egg retrieval when I knew I was going to be knocked out for it I was sure I was getting a sore throat but had no other symptoms and sort of thought it may have been anxiety related. I am sure none of this is helpful! Sending you hugs and calming thoughts. xo

    1. Oh, I so wish you could not relate to this post. And you are so right that it comes along just as you think you are coping with everything. Effing anxiety! What an asshole.

  7. Poor you! I used to get panic attacks occasionally. And I’m definitely a worrier although I’m more like a pressure cooker and I just sort of explode. I hope you can find a way to deal with the anxiety and feel better soon.

  8. Anxiety is awful. I suffered awfully a few years back, so I understand your pain. There’s no reasoning with it, as you say. I hope you can get through this and start to find some peace xxx

    1. I’m sorry that you have suffered too. It’s kind of a wonder to me that anyone can go through IF or RPL and not suffer from anxiety. It’s like the ultimate anxiety trigger!

  9. I feel your pain. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Do you think any of this could be allergy-related? They say allergies are HUGE this time of year, and worse in some parts of the U.S.

  10. Aw, I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all this anxiety. And isn’t it absurd how *this*, of all things you’ve been through lately, is what sets it off? I mean, come on, you could pick just about any other episode from the last few months and it would be more anxiety-worthy! (I know tone is hard to read through text, so I hope you can tell that I’m trying to laugh with you about how illogical anxiety is, not actually making fun of you or telling you that you shouldn’t be anxious about this — I am totally on board that it’s out of your control!) I hope you get past this surgery-rescheduling setback soon and can move on to being anxious about other things. 🙂

    1. Ha, no, you are totally right! This definitely seems to be a random trigger. I was actually thinking the exact same thing. Anxiety works in mysterious ways, that little a-hole.

  11. Want to give you a big hug then set you up with a large mug of tea in front of a fire and play cute home videos of Lettie. Ugh all this stuff is so stressful. Xo

  12. I’m so sorry you’re having anxiety; I’ve struggled with it too off and on and feel for ya. I def hope you can have your surgery this week. And I’m thinking there’s gotta be a sexier term for post nasal drip out there SOMEWHERE. Keep us posted!

  13. I too know the anxiety beast and it sucks big time when it flares up. A sign that you’re not completely stomped down by it though – you still have a sense of humour. Just know that it will lift. xx

  14. I’m really sorry you’re having a terrible time. I was thinking of you just yesterday and wondering where you’re at. Though I don’t suffer from anxiety I’ve noticed that there is nothing like a scheduled vital date to demonstrate the power of the mind-body link – I can pretty much guarantee I’ll get sick as it rolls around! Take great care of yourself and I hope it all works out just beautifully. xx

  15. I am so sorry. Reading this, I just wanted to shout out loud – yes, yes, totally, I’ve sooo been there, I am not alone in my anxiety struggles! It’s a horrible thing to deal with, and on top of everything else. Hang in there, and a virtual hug to you.

  16. Oh nasty AM, why are you so pervasive and why cant you express yourself in other ways. I’m sorry T, hope this too passes quickly for you:( here for you always!

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