Birthday Reflections

Where to start? It has been one heck of a year. So many things, little and not so little happened. I was lying down with my two littler boys for a small nap (I am older after all) and my brain kicked in. Next year, I will be as old as my Mother-In-Law was went I met her the first time! And that thought has been running around in my head for hours and kept me up tonight. It’s not that I have an issue with getting older, not at all. A number is just a number. But so many things have changed for me in those years and it does make me wonder what is going to happen now.

I have been pretty silent on here as I just don’t know how to write about what this Thing. You see, one month ago, I woke up not feeling well at all. I had been fighting a severe heartburn for a couple weeks, but nothing was helping anymore. I felt so bad, so out of control. I couldn’t breath properly, my throat hurt, my head hurt so often, I wasn’t feeling good at all. So, off to the ER I went. Turns out that I did indeed have a heartburn problem and that I had waited to long to go in and most likely had an infection in my esophagus. So the Dr prescribed my some pills and gave me what they called a Pink Lady. I sat in the hallway for at least 20-30 minutes, wanting to see if I got better.

I decided to go home as the burning sensation was gone. A few times on my 40-minute drive home I had this thought: “Turn around, Go back” but I kept driving. As I got to the last intersection before getting home, I felt as if I couldn’t breath, my hands were shaking, my stomach queasy and I decided to turn around. So back to the ER I went.

I got there and explained to the nurse that I had been here earlier for heartburn, but I still didn’t feel good, that I couldn’t breathe properly. She got me into the the ER room right away and asked me a whole bunch of questions. We decided to try the nibulizer to see if it would help as I did have a congested nose. Sitting there, crocheting on the bed, breathing in the oxygen felt good, but not good enough. The next step was an EKG but that all came back perfect. She went back to her station to call the doctor and see with him what should be done. It took her a few minutes to come back while my breathing got worse again. When she came back, she started asking me all kinds of questions and then asked me this: “Do you think it could be anxiety?”.

Anxiety… when she said that, a light bulb went off and thoughts went racing. It felt to me like I took a long time to answer, but it probably was only a few seconds. There I sat, on a hospital bed, having this moment and thinking, YES! I have a word that totally fits. It felt right. And that’s what I told her. I said to her: “I feel like my body is constantly ready to fight or flight. It’s this feeling of great stress before handing in a big project or when meeting an important deadline. Usually, that stress goes away once the stressor (project/deadline) went, but I felt like it never went away. It just keeps building and building”. She suggested a pill and told me to sit there for 30 minutes and see how that felt.

It took 20 minutes. All of a sudden, I felt my body relax, my brain slowed down, the thoughts became rational. I realized then, that I hadn’t felt that way since before my first was born… he is 9! I stopped crocheting and just sat there, feeling weirdly normal. The nurse came back in and asked me how I felt and I told her. She looked at me and said that she believed, as did the doctor, that I may suffer from anxiety and that I should meet with my family doctor and talk about it.

As I am calling my hubby, I wondered how to tell him? How do I tell him that on top of everything else that we are dealing with, I am adding this? That I have been feeling like this for so long. That I have put myself aside for this long, that I had no idea that I had a problem, but yet, knew somehow that something was going on? But you know what? My hubby is the best (sorry ladies, he is mine!).

As I am driving home, I thought back on the last 10 years and I haven’t stopped since then. I’ll skip all the details, but I will tell you know I am currently on medication for my anxiety and that I have found someone for counselling. Just need to call and take an appointment.

A month has now passed since that day. I am learning to deal with this Thing, this anxiety. I know my husband is worried and so am I, but I am feeling better, not perfect but better. I have started to learn to take more time for me. I have started to realize that the world doesn’t stop turning if I sit down for 30 minutes. I have seen my kids behaving better and smiling more as mom is smiling more. I have finally started to take time to look at them, look at them growing up to be these amazing kids. My relationship with my husband is also getting better, finally. I also see that I have been in a fog for a long time. That I have missed countless moments, memories, times to really be with my kids, husband and friends. That my brain has distorted my reality for so long… and realized that I am lucky, so lucky to be here now. I have isolated myself over time, created this world in my head, this prison. I am breaking free… one brick at a time.

There is no point really here, just some rambling. But as I was lying in my bed, I felt like I had to put my thoughts down on paper, so I choose to write a blog post. This is what I have wanted to do for so long, but didn’t know how or what to write about. I hope to write more in the next weeks. It feels good to get those words and thoughts out of my head.

Thank you for reading this far! Karina

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