Thursday, March 29, 2012

The One Where I Almost Die Without Shaving My Legs First

Rather than sticking with meditation, I'm sticking with chronic anxiety.

So, as some of you may know {because I've talked about it before, obviously} I have anxiety. 
I don't know if I would classify it as "Severe Anxiety"...probably something closer to "Inconvenient and Terrifying Anxiety". Most of the time my anxiety is well under control, and you would never know I have it...hell I even forget that I have it, or at the very least feel silly saying I have during the times when it's so well managed. 
I even sometimes trick myself into thinking it magically went away and I will never hide in a bathroom praying I don't black out on the disgusting bathroom floor at work ever again.
I'm wrong every time.
But did I ever tell you the story about the time when my anxiety got so bad I was ambulanced to a hospital with incredibly hairy legs?!
Well, wait no longer friends, here it is!
So when Jack was a wee babe and we were living out in Surprise with my friend until we found a new place after ditching Jack's "old man", I experienced a high anxiety period. 
I was a newly single mother of two kids, one of which was an infant. I wonder why I was anxious.
Anyway, I started having trouble breathing, only at night, but every single night, to the point that I would sometimes sit in my room with my hand on my chest, wheezing and feeling like I was suffocating. My friend had a lot of pets, and sometimes I am randomly allergic to pets, so I chalked it up to a bad reaction to the dogs or cats or cat litter or air or whatever and tried to forget about it.
I took allergy meds to no avail, and found every way possible to justify only having allergies at night. Seriously, as soon as the sun went down, I would start struggling to breath.
One night I sort of freaked out and drove myself to the hospital.
When I got there they couldn't find anything wrong with me, so they sent me back home.
I was super smug about it and all like "See, clearly it's fucking allergies!" to myself, but it was starting to really freak me out.
Then one day while the kids and I were at the house alone, I couldn't breath. Like at all. I was dizzy and sweaty and felt like no matter how hard I tried I could not get fucking air into my lungs. And it was daytime, so I was super like "WHAT THE FUCK ALLERGIES?! WE ONLY DO THIS SHIT AT NIGHT!"
After about 30 minutes I started feeling like I was going to black out at any second, and I didn't know what to do. I was scared that if I tried to drive with the kids I would blackout and then crash and the kids would be hurt, so I freaked out and called 911 and was all like "Hey I can't fucking breath. Like at all" 
So, it's the middle of summer, and I'm in shorts, but I'm single as hell and kind of depressed so I maybe hadn't shaved my legs in.....a while. Like a couple weeks a while. Don't judge me!!
The ambulance gets there, with sirens on and everything, and they put me on a stretcher thing in the back and load up my kids. 
That's when this super hot fireman guy goes to put these weird sticky things on my chest with wires attached to some machine that tells him if I'm dying or not, and I'm like "Oh hey hot stuff, go ahead and put stickers on me, whatever, I'm just slowly suffocating over here" when all of a sudden, he pulls the little sheet they gave me off my legs, RUBS MY CALF WITH HIS BARE HAND and puts two sticker things on each calf. Each incredibly hairy, unshaven calf. And that's when I was like "Whatever, I was too good for you anyway,asshole" and then he asked me to please stop muttering to myself and lay down.
We get to the hospital, and the nurse takes my pulse {135 resting} and my blood pressure which was some crazy high number, and completely freaks out, calls for a doctor and a crash cart. Super. 
At this point I'm convinced I'm having a heart attack or some shit and start completely panicking, whilst my two young babies sit in little chairs in the corner wondering why some fucking candy striper hasn't called my emergency contact to come get them yet.
So all this people are standing over me, checking this and poking that and listening to all my body parts and I'm just laying there waiting to die, wondering if the medical examiner will talk about how ferociously hair my legs are on my autopsy report. 
And then the nurse looks at me with a totally straight face and says "Are you feeling anxious right now?" and I said "UM, why yes! Now that you fucking mention it, I am!" and she says "Do you have an anxiety disorder?" and I'm like "What tipped you off?" and she goes "What makes your anxiety worse?" and I started yelling "NURSES THAT SCREAM FOR DOCTORS AND CRASH CARTS WITHOUT TELLING ME FIRST" and she's all like "Ma'am please calm down. Your blood pressure and heart rate won't come down until you get your anxiety under control" and I was like "IT'S A LITTLE HARD WHEN YOU GUYS KEEP LOOKING AT ME LIKE I'M HAVING A FUCKING HEART ATTACK! COULD I HAVE SOME XANAX PLEASE?!" 
And then the firefighter who touched my hair legs came and got my kids and looked at me like I was the crazy one for screaming about Xanax when there was about 15 people in my room ready to watch my heart explode or blood start coming out of my ears or whatever the fuck they were doing.
Do you have anxiety.
Yes, typically when I am in the Emergency room where I was brought by ambulance for shortness of breath and my heart is now up to 150 at a resting rate, and there is a nurse with a shot of adrenaline and shock pads standing next to me, I TEND TO GET A BIT ANXIOUS.

In the end they said I had a "Massive" panic attack, gave me a whole bunch of crazy meds and sent me home.
Where I promptly shaved my legs and wrote a stern letter to Banner hospital asking them to please administer Valium prior to telling people they're either dying or just being crazy over some stupid bullshit that doesn't matter. 
But I never sent it because I was lazy and too doped up on Atavan to do anything other than lay on the floor and drool with baby Jackson. 
It was the best quality time we ever spent together.

The end.


  1. My mother suffers from chronic anxiety so this post resonated with me. It's good that you wrote about it! Has it gotten better or do you still have occasional anxiety attacks? Just curious.

    1. I have what I like to call "Seasonal Anxiety Disorder" {a hybrid of seasonal affective disorder} Instead of getting depressed in the fall or winter, I get anxiety in the Summer. I know, it's ass backwards and makes no sense, but every year around this time my anxiety starts creeping up, and peaks sometime around june or july, then starts the decrease around August, and I'm usually completely fine by September. Even during my "season" of anxiety I don't have anxiety attacks everyday. I take Rescue Remedy which works wonders, and I know how to tell when one is coming usually in time to stop it before it really starts. But every once in a while, oh yeah, I can panic with the best of 'em. That's when you find me hiding in a bathroom washing my face with ice cold water over and over {the cold water helps me "snap out of it" basically} and singing "You are my sunshine" like a lunatic. :)

    2. Well on the bright side at least it's only during a couple of monehts per year and not daily. It's also good that you have learned how to tell when one is coming on. BTW next time I am anxious over something I am totally going to try singing "you are my sunshine" to see if it works :)

    3. It really does. And if that doesn't work than shoving nothing short of 4 lbs of chocolate in your mouth and running through your office screaming SASQUATCH definitely works, every time.