I have been absolutely swamped for the last two weeks with work. I have had two minor panic attacks at work, and averted about a half dozen major disasters. Strangely, not of them were my fault. So all in all I did quite well.
But come the end of the week I finally can decompress and I have a two day migraine. Because I can’t go on 100% social people manager for 5 days straight. And on top of this I am trying to search for a job. And it’s overwhelming.
I often start to panic, am i having a heart attack or stroke. Right now my typos are amplifying that. Each “symptom” I focus on gets worse and I develop another. All I need is a 30 second distraction and it will all be gone. Now I have generalized lip tingling , and nose. Following 2 chest pains, a minute of nausea, dizziness. Note those weren’t at the same time. And some separated by several minutes. So I am fine. And I am at my new job. So I cant panic here. I think I am now panicking that i might panic…
I started a new 2 day a week job where I changed jobs and am now full time foe shit pay. Its a lot of commuting, but I am carpooling.
I am nauseated by the reading while driving and being hungry. And my finger is almost tingling, and I had a few bruef psngs of chest pain. And as in any situation where I have nothing else to do I began to panic. Which made everything worse. Now that I got distracted by trying to write this legibly while in stop and go traffic its all stopped.
This is anxiety…..
I broke a toe this afternoon when cleaning. You would think being a hypochondriac that would send me spiraling. What most people don’t realize is that this is what we live for. Actual illnesses or injuries are gold, because you can deal with a real problem. RICE, tape the toes together, stay off it, wear shoes if you gotta walk. Every time that toe hurts it draws focus from the other 3000 things you think you have wrong with you. Unlike an anxiety, a real problem can be dealt with and mitigated head on.I am NOT advocating self harm. I am mostly looking at the bright side of being clumsy AF.
This doesn’t just apply to physical problems with hypochondria, but other problems with anxiety in general. Trying to sleep before catching the bus in the morning is dreadful, after I have missed the bus, I am in the zone. Crisis management is my specialty. I worried the hell out of this for days, and now, well my morning will never run as effectively as when I have started off by screwing up.
This just doesn’t work with my problems, it works, even better I might add, with other problems. You have centipedes in your sink, downstairs neighbors have bedbugs, not sure if your tires are low, can’t pack all your stuff in the car, I am there. Years of over-packing made me a packing ninja, I have a tire gauge cause I am paranoid about a flat, I had a neighbor think they have bedbugs so I know all the next steps, I can google that bug and how to get rid of it. Your problems are like a good book, 100% distraction from my own life. Also since your problems are really problems, again, there IS a solution. A set response, and an answer. I love it.
The weirdest part, is once your problems have been talked over, I don’t worry about them. My anxiety is 100% focused in on me, so you tell me your problems, I ALWAYS want to hear them. Is it just me, or does anyone else take solace in trying to deal with other peoples anxieties?
So as I said earlier today I had an aura and it freaked me out. That kinda petered out over the day. But now I am at bedtime terrified of my fingers tingling, which they are cause if you think of nothing but your fingers tingling you can totally make that happen. So I am afraid to sleep.
I started this blog to talk about Aspergers, but most days, most days that doesn’t matter. Because being socially awkward, a failure to read expression, hear the conversation, doesn’t matter when you are so freaked out by a migraine you can’t sleep. So upset about what could happen on the drive, tickets, sprains, death, omg, that the trip you planned devoted to your special interest (obsession) is now something you fear. That the outing to the theater you planned Saturday is an opportunity to fall down the stairs and trip in the paring lot, and you only planned it cause you were afraid your grandparents visiting is going to be awkward and boring, and you keep flashing back to that time you said something really rude really loud a year ago when you butt dialed them though you doubt they even remember. The fact you don’t interact, melt down, have sensory issues is become in some moments so secondary under the weight of overwhelming anxiety you can’t even devote a minute of your time to trying to explore treatment or therapy or sensory aid. Because right now all I can think is what if I wake up tomorrow paralyzed because this was the first in a series of strokes. Because this, is living with anxiety, and a lot of the time, it takes everything I have just to keep moving.
I get migraines without auras, auras without pain, and rarely both together. This morning I woke up at my lip was tingling in that way that I now recognize as a migraine aura. This time I didn’t panic. I have a diagnosis, this is a migraine aura. I had an EKG, EEG, CBC, and CAT scan, overall it was concluded that I have migraines. i get one sided headaches, and I get one sided moving numbness from my cheek minor, increasing into my bottom lip, then to my thumb, moving from finger to finger, finally in just the heel of my hand and then gone. Usually this lasts 4-7 minutes, today was 9.5. It may be that I got the timer on faster today because I recognized it so quickly. It was gradual as usual and by the time me pinky was going numb my lip and cheek were done, and my thumb and index finger were clearing up. I had minor head pain in that side of my head. As soon as it was done the fog cleared, there was no weakness anywhere, no facial problems…Though i do feel kinda plastic on my left face side now that I am writing this. But this I have found is anxiety. As soon as I stop thinking about this the feeling will stop. I was tired last night, and I did have a bit of inexplicable diarrhea right before bed, which is something I have come to notice precedes an attack. I worked without water for a while, so it may have been a little dehydration there as well.
Knowing all this, having been diagnosed, stopped the pill, I still am terrified hours after aura symptoms have left. I am always, in part, afraid I am having strokes, despite the symptoms coming on gradually instead of suddenly, despite no lingering defects. For the next week every time I talk too fast, and someone needs clarification I will worry I am slurring my words. Every time I trip that I have motor deficiency. Every time I can’t remember a word, will suddenly be a cognitive decline. Every time I lean on my elbow too long, or scrunch up my leg and I get pins an needles it will be the “big one”. Despite knowing that I have migraines, I can’t help but panic every time I get the aura. Its been a year since I last saw the neurologist, I may book a follow up, just to see if everything is still ok. On the bright side, my foot is about 1000 times better since I rested and elevated it last night. Worrying about having strokes has completely overridden my obsession over have a a stress fracture in my foot….
The top of my foot hurts when walking without shoes. I am on day 3 of this. Days 2/3 are worse than day 1. In defense of my foot I tried to walk through day 1 rather than sitting down, and apparently this was not a good plan. And I thought I figured out what was aggravating it, but I just slowed down rather than stopping it entirely, so I really can’t expect much. Overall when wearing shoes I have zero pain. I am going to try and wait till Monday to get checked out. Try and rest it, or wear some indoor shoes around the house tomorrow when cleaning.
The reason I am posting this tonight is because I am disappointed in myself, because I stopped mid entry about sleep, to google my symptoms, then to Webmd. This basically means that tonight the hypochondria won. I lost, I researched something online rather than speaking with a health professional. If its not any better tomorrow I will call 811 and get a recommendation for how to proceed. But really even I know they wont have any because you have to have had something 3 plus days, and increasing pain despite home treatment for a doctor to seriously evaluate an injury/illness. 3 days with, I was too stupid to stay off of it or even take anti-inflammatories the first 2 days is going to be like, so you walked on a hurt foot and think you know what caused it but continued that action for 3 days. Basically they will tell me to stop and see if it gets better. But I didn’t, I went on Webmd, which tells me if could be a stress fracture, or sciatica, or, I could be dying. This is not going to help me with my sleep window. And having had similar, less intense pain in this region before, I know that in the past, rest has done this well. Why, why do I do this to myself?
Anyone who has anxiety has probably had experience with the sleep window. This is the ideal time, or rather the window of time you have to fall asleep and have it occur in an ok period of time. Not anxiety free, but anxiety light.
If you go to bed too early, you aren’t tired enough to sleep. It takes a while to drift off, and this allows you to have longer to let the 1000 anxious thoughts to come to the surface. The time where you aren’t sleepy enough you get so riled up, that ultimately you can’t sleep at all. So sleeping when you are more tired makes sense. Except…
You have now waited to long. You are overly tired. Now that one minor anxious thought gets blown out of proportion. You are crying at the thought of your impending car accident tomorrow. All possibilities are worse case scenarios, you are having a panic attack.
So now you are aiming for an hour window where you have enough time to fall asleep without getting into bed too awake of too tired to get to sleep. And of course still get enough sleep for tomorrow.
This makes it hard when, changing your schedule, or going to bed early. Overall if i have a week I try and do a hard reset, early in the week then allow my body to adapt to the new getting up time. If not, I have given up on getting up early the day before, because if I have something important I almost never can sleep the day before, so I might as well only have one night of sleep deprivation rather than two.
I also use a routine: Brush, teeth, pee, turn on tv to firefly episode one. Take off glasses, blow nose, curl up under covers. If after an hour I can’t sleep, I get up, and redo the routine. Rather than continue not being able to sleep, I start from scratch. Sometimes if I am lucky, this will disrupt the thought train enough to sleep the second time around. The regular routine tricks my body into thinking this is bedtime again. Which is just as helpful for those off days as it is the other times when the routine just works. While this feeds into the OCD control issues, giving a little to gain a lot has always been worth it in my book.
I have begun to hate the word normal. I am not sure when, but at some point the word normal has seemed to have gone from something that is said to imply average, to something that is said only as a negative. Like to say it is normal to get up in the morning, and to have a normal schedule. To get ready at a normal time. This is said, to imply that someone is doing something that is not “normal”
To that end I am left feeling that I am living with Petunia Dursley, the house must be kept clean, the shelved tidied, the dishes done, dinner perfectly on the table at 5 pm. I screwed up last week, and dinner wasn’t cooked till 6:45. It was a new recipe, but now I am resigned to a life of old foods, as failing at cooking is basically now a cardinal sin. I must get up at a normal time, dress in normal clothes, and the more the term normal is used I interpret it to mean that I myself am abnormal, atypical, different, a freak, to use Petunia’s description.
I wonder when it is normal stopped having its normal meaning, when it stopped meaning usual, and started being used to point out how something or someone else is unusual. Then I went on the internet, and realized, Petunia is everywhere. Its normal to cover up when breastfeeding, its normal to breastfeed, its normal to stop at a certain age, normal to wear properly fitting clothes, to watch certain shows, to eat certain foods and I realize the word normal has been corrupted by a public who believe what they do is normal, and anything that is not normal can be bashed by the mob. I am writing this wearing my “normal” shirt getting ready to go to Costco because I don’t want to hear one more time that I should dress differently. Petunia is winning, at least until I get my Hogwarts letter….
I don’t want to talk about it. When I was younger, an older cousin used to touch me. He was only two years older. He didn’t know better, and even at 3/4 I understood that this wasn’t good. It continued until he was 10 and I was 8. I tried to never get close to him after that. Strangely we are still on pretty good terms. I still feel uncomfortable being anywhere alone with him.
He is a really nice guy, but I still feel afraid that if we were alone something might happen. Maybe its unreasonable, its been 20 years. The memories are so fuzzy I am not even sure what exactly happened and how often. Just a lingering feeling of “NO” when I am near him.
I feel kind of guilty about not sharing this story on Facebook, with so many friends sharing #metoo, but I am still not there yet. This isn’t something I want to talk about with my family who are Facebook friends with me, with my parents especially.
I am gray a-sexual, and don’t like to be touched. I don’t want people to her this story and assume, ah, its because of. Because it isn’t. The touch revulsion, for lack of a better word came first with the ASD, and I still have a libido, but again, I don’t like being touched. I don’t want to let this event define me, and the interactions I have with those around me. But I guess I wanted to put this out somewhere….#metoo