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It's me again

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Well I have to say that I've had a very stressful week. I know that it has been said before that stress can make us POTS people feel worse but it really bears repeating for me right now.

The thing is, this past week has been one thing after another. It all started last weekend. I had a bad weekend with my husband...a little bickering back and forth. We had a family birthday party to go to for his niece, grocery shopping, etc. After the party last Sunday night I get a knock at the door and it is the niece of a girl I grew up with. I haven't been close to her in many years but still I have run into her a few times over these years. She was a good friend in junior high and somewhat in high school when we started going in our different directions in life. We hung around a little bit in our early 20s and then she got married. Anyway, she was only 38 and she died. Talk about floored. Evidently, and this is the worst part, she was going through a bad divorce and her whole life just went out of control. She ended up with some low-life guy and possibly on drugs in addition to all kinds of "happy pills" like Xanax I'm told by her family members (of course this hits my panic button right off right and makes me angry they would characterize the medication that way anwyay). She of course did have 2 back surgeries I'm told over the years and had been on steroids, etc. I wondered to myself if her family realized that the steroids themselves could have caused so much depression in addition to anxiety (along with the huge weight gain she evidently experienced). In any event, her husband had an affair and left her and after that she hooked up with a bad news guy, her husband won custody of their child and evidently she overdosed whether it be accidental or purposeful and on what they don't know yet whether it be rx meds or street drugs or both. Needless to say I was rattled but I went to the funeral and made it through the whole ordeal.

One day I had to go to court with my son for a little trouble he has gotten himself into...then 2 days of the funeral thing (visitation and the memorial service). During the funeral, my husband mentions a girl is there that he works with. I notice her staring at us. Then I find out later, not only does he work with her but they talk at work "occasionally" about a class they are both taking for nursing (though at different times). The old imagination goes into overdrive and I start worrying my husband is having an affair with her. It was a little strange that she was watching us...and one time saw me looking back and gave me a strange smile. Needless to say I was certain she is after my husband. So, I go right up to her and introduce myself very pleasantly and let her know who I was. My husband was nothing but attentive to me the whole time in front of her so I know it was just me but I was worried for a few days thinking of all the worse possibilities and finally my husband had me convinced that I'm worrying for nothing. I think the whole thing with my friend dying, what she went through, mixed with my own insecurity of my own health problems and what I've put my husband through this past year and it just sparked the old insecurity that he is going to leave me. Then, the next day, my cat throws up a worm. Yuck! I find out that my cat has roundworms and I have 6 cats so now I'm freaking out because of all the info. on the net of how contagious they are to humans, etc. Luckily, I have a vet office with great girls that work there and I called them freaking out and told them how I can't afford this...how the cats have wrecked my house...how I'm not working as much because of health problems..blah blah blah and they were such sweethearts and believe this they snuck me into the office while the dr. was away and gave all my 6 cats worm shots and are going to do the same thing in 2 weeks to help me out. What wonderful people. I told them it is just getting to be too much. I just had a few of them in over the past month with what we thought was respiratory stuff (which now likely was related to a worm thing and we didnt' know it). I feel like I just can't take it sometimes. There are too many of them, yet I can't stand the thought of getting rid of them. Who would adopt 8 year old cats and if they went to the humane society they would be put to sleep. I can't just drop them outside. I feel stuck. I love them, but needless to say I had a couple of days of feeling overwhelmed with that. I had to lug all 6 to the vet. Take 1 there, pick up 5 more carriers from them, drive home, chase and load all the other 5, drive back, lug them in and out of the office and them drive home. I thought I'd pass out. For 3 days now every muscle in my body has been so sore. Going through all this, I've been cleaning my house and helping my mother sell her vintage Fiesta collection and getting e-mails like crazy from my job about needing to make up the work I was missing for the funeral, etc.

I guess my point is this. Through all of this I just kept telling myself "you can do this...you can do this" and then finally this weekend I just kept having like panic-type feelings...like my Xanax wasn't helping at all. One day I checked by BP and it was 77/65. About 15 minutes later, it was back to normal. Why do the worst things have to happen all at once and when I'm on my period no less. Talk about lowered coping mechanisms. I just felt like I was getting through it all okay until this weekend and then had these wierd anxious feelings for no reason this weekend that scared me and I thought oh no here we go.

I hate not feeling well. I hate falling apart last year. I think I was handling it better (the heart racing and irregular heartbeats) before they ever gave me any anxiety meds. Most of the time I've accepted it and think "well, they help me"...but at times when they feel like they don't I think what if they are causing the problem.

Anyway, just had to vent. Here I was so upset a few weeks ago when my appointment with Dr. Grubb was cancelled after I've waited 6 months to get back to see him not even knowing that on the exact day of the appointment that was scheduled 4/29 at exactly the same time 11:00 a.m. that I'd be actually a memorial service for my friend's funeral. God sure has a way I think. I think I need to realize that he sees the whole picture and realize he is in control and does truly work everything out for our good.

Now, I just have to get over all this strange anxiety I'm having again and fear of medication. I know I'm overreacting...has anybody ever been through anything like this (i.e. on and off again fear of taking medicine?). Sometimes I feel like I'm in a bad dream. I really think the med. scare is related to my friend dying too. My biggest fear of medication is that is will cause me to be crazy or something. I know how stupid that sounds but I'd take physical problems any day over mental. This panic thing I think is related to the bombardement of stress lately so I just keep telling myself it will pass. So that was my week, court with my son, funeral for a friend, trying to work, help my mother sell her dishes, with cats throwing up worms while I'm on my period worrying my husband is going to be tempted by greener pastures (though she didn't look too green to me! :)

Oh well, feel worse in a way recanting my tale but I am just curious what others think. Sometimes I wonder what if this is all just a stress conversion disorder or something and not POTS (it feels like both...I just know my body is way different than it was before all this happened to me). I still don't know who to believe sometimes still and have no idea when they will ever let me know when my appointment with Dr. Grubb is rescheduled for. In the meantime, I just have to push on and can only wonder about changing my medications, etc. I just want to enjoy my life and not feel fearful of so much stuff.

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Oh My!

I don't think anyone could have made it through all that without totally going beserk! I don't have time for a long answer right now, but I too have to take xanax and at times I have to take an extra dose, and sometimes it does'nt seem like its working. I have been on Klonopin, which stays in your system longer, but when I tried it I seemed very depressed and overly tired, couldn't get the dosage right. And I absolutely can not communicate with my pysch dr. at all, I am presently getting ready to switch. (After my appt. this week) I remember one of the first posts I read on this board was your experience with your Doc and I did write a big reply, of how frustrating it is. I am very sensative to meds, and have not been able to find anything else to take for my anxiety. Am going to try low dose of zoloft, have been thru just about all antidepressants. My doc actually started yelling at me like I was beeing a bad little girl and saying how 95% of his patients have no problems with other meds, I can not have more xanax, etc. He is a JERK!!! So recently I just sit quietly and act calm. If I have to take extra one day, I try to cut back on another day to make it last. Anyway, you sound like you need a couple of days of quiet time. Hang in there! PS I did quit smoking in January and it has helped a little. My mornings are the worst I shake and tremble.

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Hi Jackie, glad you found our forum--and venting is perfectly normal...and given the few days you had, absolutely necessary. My goodness!

I can't say that I've ever had issues with anxiety, but I know others on this forum have...hopefully, you'll get a few more responses from some of those people. But, if not, you should at least know that you are not the only one with those symptoms.

Hang in there! Nina :)

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Thank you both for answering and giving support. I know I was just ranting...it was a very bad week. I guess at times that I feel that stress is exacerbating things I start to double-think everything all over again. It's not that I never had a stressful day before being diagnosed with POTS or have ever freaked out over things when upset, but my body just seems to be so sensitive to it now and that bothers me. Since I've only seen Dr. Grubb once since my diagnosis 6 months ago I guess I still vascillate back and forth between acceptance and denial...I'm not sure which is worse. I truly do believe it is more than "just anxiety" though because when I had to keep a daily log of my symptoms for that appointment with that other doctor last month or so (who has never been in contact yet by the way) I was forced to acknowledge symptoms that were even going unnoticed (since it was a pre-prepared checklist)...things like blue feet in the morning...red blotchy lower legs most of the day. I found out that pain I get between my shoulder blades and into the base of my neck is called "coat-hanger neck pain"...never thought to call it that. I guess I just go along the best I can, some days doing better, some days doing worse, some days taking naps, and other days going for 14-16 hours before I'm tired for bed. Sometimes I like getting out of the house, other times I don't feel like interacting with anybody. Most of all I'm struggling to work from home and only still bringing in part-time income so as well as being curious about adding a med like florinef (which I have the rx for) or asking for midodrine or trying another SSRI (scares the heck out of me) I'm worried on the other hand that I will get worse for trying and lose the ground I have gained. I don't know if anybody can relate to that but these are my fears and demons I guess I live with on days like this.

P.S. I also noticed that for 2 months I've had easier periods and less trouble around that time and this past month I know I ovulated (mid-month side pain) and had a much worse period, the hand sweating is back off and on and so is more tenseness and that surge feeling my brain has come to associate with anxiety I suppose.

Is it normal to still be in the stage of acceptance and mourn in a way the changes taking place in my body and life? Sometimes I do feel diminished as a person and get angry when I feel I cannot do something. Illness teaches us many things about ourselves I suppose we didn't even know...I never knew I had issues with independence or self-reliance or self-strength or whatever until this happened. I tell myself that my body is just a shell though and that who I truly am is on the inside and that is what counts. When your body has your mind in an uproar though that is when the spirit gets involved I think anyway. It is almost like one part has to take up for the other part or something and that we have to be more spiritually strong if physically or mentally overwhelmed.

Oh well, enough rambling. Thanks for your support. Like I said, I was venting and I realize that but it seemed wierd to me to have such a delayed reaction to all the stress but maybe that is how it happens...push, push, push, crash...I know my BP has been up and down and lower than usual the past few days so that probably accounts for most of it. Maybe when it drops, my body tries to compensate and even though the beta blocker blocks the heart from racing, maybe I'm stilling feeling the surge of things released to get it back up (don't know?). All I know is that my legs have been really pooling lately and I've had to take naps the past few days. Oh well, I suppose nothing will improve or change until I do something different but all I feel I can do is wait for my appointment and don't know when it will ever be rescheduled. I suppose I could get on the phone and start calling around to find still yet another doctor....Dr. Grubb is just way way too busy.

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i don't have panic problems, but i do have an inner ear disorder that causes me to have to take valium. i've had the looks, the lectures, you name it. i have been very sensitive about it as i am a nurse and have seen plenty of people abuse drugs. but lately, with the way my health is, i've put taking it on the bottom of my list of worries. if i have to take a little something sometimes that actually helps me, with all the stuff out there that makes me worse then screw it, i'm taking it, and i don't care what people think. my gastro told me i was an addict. i said okay, so deal with it, it's not your concern, it's the concern of the doctor who gives it to me. he said well, okay. excuse the above language, but i'm not going to feel bad about the little things anymore. as for the cats, we have a kitten we've spent 1400 dollars on in the last two weeks. she's got severe asthma and a terrible uri. so i sure can understand the worry and stress. they are just our babies and it's too hard to let them go like that, just give them up i mean. i also worry about my husband although i'm very lucky, he's solid as a rock and never gives me reason to worry. but he is normal and healthy and has healthy urges that i can't meet anymore. bless him, he is so good to me, but believe me, i've had my share of moments when i wonder if he'll stay if i'm like this forever. i think it's a concern for most of us that isn't really addressed too much. i guess the thing is just to keep the communication lines open. and i am so sorry for the loss of your friend. it's a real wake up call. i have also in the past had problems with one of my sons. sometimes i look back and wonder how i've made it this far. :angry: but i have just learned one day at a time. anyway, didn't mean to give my life story, but just wanted you to know others have been there and we somehow manage to survive and go on. hang in there and take care of yourself. morgan

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Thanks for your response. I think it is horrible that your doctor called you an addict. I think for me that would just freak me out all the more. That is what I can't stand about the medical community...if you refuse to take something you are noncompliant and if you take it then you are an addict....you can never win. I fought taking anxiety meds the last time I had what I now know was a POTS flare a few years ago and faired much better because when the heart rate was under control from a beta blocker for 1 week I was fine. This time around it seems to be a viscious circle because I think I could be med free and feel the same as I do now (or before the POTS flare..somewhat symptomatic but functioning) except I'm afraid of anxiety med withdrawal like I went through with Ativan and so I keep taking it. My body just feels different that is all I know...hypersensitive to stress.

I'm not happy to hear that you feel times of worry about your husband also but I'm also relieved in a way to hear that I am not the only one. It isn't discussed here at all really in this forum so I think maybe everybody else is coping and accepting themselves so much better than I and that I'm just ridiculously insecure. I know getting sick was not my fault but I still cannot help sometimes worrying that I appear less than appealing to my husband who prides strength and stamina so much...maybe all men do. I perceive that he sees illness as weakness but he denies it so maybe I'm just putting too much on it. He may not be perfect in everything he does and says but overall I really can't complain because he is a wonderful man. I guess I just feel cheated because I never thought I'd ever get married or meet Mr. Right and then I met him. We have only been together 6 years and married for 2 and the whole past year I fell into this POTS hole. I see the changes in myself over the years from how active I used to be, etc., to now and just wish he had seen me before that is all. There is so much to enjoy still in life and do and I just don't feel good for one reason or another most of the time and I get sick of hearing even myself complain so I can only imagine how he feels.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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