Follow Up to Panic Attacks

After my blog post regarding panic attacks, it was brought to my attention that there can be other causes other than psychological and physical. A dear friend mentioned the following to me and with permission I would like to share.

{quote}It is crucial that anyone experiencing panic attacks get a full physical exam, blood work and so forth. Why? Because sometimes, people get sent off for counseling or psychological testing when an underlying medical condition goes untreated.

It is equally as important that anyone that knows someone who has panic attacks not assume that person should just get a grip and pull up the big person’s pants and deal with it. Panic attacks are real, whether physical or psychological. I lived it, Jan. I’d be on the expressway headed toward Monday morning court and have a frolicking panic attack. Heck, I’d be in my office, typing away on the computer and have a panic attack, out of the blue… but it was my heart.

However, there is a difference between depression and mental anxiety and a physical condition. A physical condition, like a heart problem, cannot be corrected with therapy, but a non-specific anxiety condition that causes panic attacks can be psychological can.

So, please be careful when you describe panic attacks and be sure to encourage anyone that is experiencing them to get a full physical examination.{quote}

Link ~ More Info

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Panic Attacks

pencilToday is all about panic attacks. No I’m not having one at the moment thank goodness, but what brought it to mind was the gas explosion in Durham, NC 4.10.19. I wasn’t thinking so much of my panic attacks, but of these people, towns and countries who experience terror such as this. This will have a lasting effect on Durham I am sure. 

Panic attacks can come on at any time and is a mental illness. I sure wish there was another term for it, but there is not. To my knowledge 1 in 4 people have a mental illness, so we are in this together whether we want to be or not. The most difficult part to having anxiety is talking about it to others who say, “are you all right?” I’m one who “appears” higher functioning and sociable on the outside but it doesn’t invalidate my mental havoc at times. Many don’t carry cue cards or banners advertising their malady. Just a “are you ok today?” is a real pain reliever if one asks. 

What is a real heart breaker is when someone says just “get over it” or “snap out of it”. Wouldn’t one think, “if we could we would?” It isn’t like one morning we wake up and look at our Rolodex and say, “Geee, what mental health illness do I want today?”

Signs of an anxiety attack:

I am one who experiences shortness of breath and it feels like I’m in a paper bag. To help others here, I usually just stop what ever I am doing even if  it’s pushing a grocery cart, reading the paper (which will cause anxiety in anyone) or in a crowd. Following I found some symptoms that may be recognized to possibly help others if you see and individual struggling/suffering in silence. 

                  Sudden overwhelming fear

                  Palpitations

                 Sweating

                Trembling

                Shortness of breath

                Sense of choking

                Chest pain

                Nausea

                Dizziness

                A feeling of being detached from the world (de-realization)

                Fear of dying

                Numbness or tingling in the limbs                                                                         

Let me just add here, “why is it when someone has cancer we don’t shun the individual or diabetes?” A question to keep in mind. 

As I say in closing, onward and upward  care about the one next to you. Love yourself as well and mostly. Just by chance the person next to you may be fighting their own inner battles with mental illness, cancer or diabetes. 

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Walking ~ Enduring

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Its been a year now and for some reason I set a goal. At the time, it was a haphazard goal since I’m not very discipline at keeping goals and never was. An unfortunate thing happen to me when I fell on a friend’s front porch with a very high step. I wasn’t trying to challenge the height at all, in fact, I didn’t realize it was even going to be a challenge. I had a kind moment and was bringing chili to my friend which I toiled over the night before. In the process of the step up, I fell but I saved the chili! I also, received a torn meniscus that I have been dealing with ever since in the right knee for a year.

That day, was an epiphany moment and the first day of the rest of my life. I’ve begun to realize there are a few things to keep to be independent. A pair of eyes, two legs that bring along two good knees along with horse liniment. This incident literally brought me to my knees and the realization that I’m going to have to indulge in self-care. I entered the traditional physical therapy ordered by my NP and a very good specialist. It worked for a while but I realize I would have to put more of myself into the process if ever I wanted to feel human again and not a Neanderthal dragging my knuckles. 

I took it upon myself to walk, walk, walk! For a year now it hasn’t been easy, but I keep going even when I don’t want to. In the beginning it started out only .2 miles to a friend’s house. Of course and then back. Very painful but I kept telling myself “No pain, no gain”. Ohhh how I hated that motto over time. Then it was only a half mile. Then back down to .2 miles.

Now here is the triumph! I am now up to doing a mile when I can, which is about every other day and weather permitting over a years time. The moral to this blog post is to “Never Quit”! I plan to keep going and my goal is two miles if and when I can arrive at that. My biggest fear is that it won’t take another high hurdle or fall to realize “keep on keepin on” has its pay offs. 

For goodness sake save the chili and rehab the knee. 

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Another Day in Paradise

Onward and upward is my credo
So many things overshadow
What lies within an aimless desperado
No where in site is the lotto.

Onward and upward, to where?
So much for being debonair
Back to grubs, mess up hair
Having no flair.

Back to scrubby jeans and tees
Green teeth and bad breath
Mine as well have fleas
So I will be teased for love in a town of disrepair.

Onward and upward to where?
Doesn’t matter
No one cares
So there.
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Grateful

Thanksgiving. A time for looking around and seeing not what we don’t have but what we do have. This statement seems to get lost in the everyday business of the 21st century. First thing most individuals do and I’m just guessing, is fly for their cell phones. The coffee pot. The TV remote. The chair at the kitchen table, grab the Black Friday ads and study the strategy for tomorrow. (Black Friday)

To really put it out there from the heart, I love Thanksgiving. The fall colors, slight chill if not brutal chill outdoors, all nice and crispy. Now for the indoors. The smell of turkey or ham, sweet potatoes, corn, roasted buns (and not mine) cranberry’s, egg nog. Beverages: Merlot and Lambrusco. Stemmed glasses and grandmothers favorite silverware of old.

As the celebration is being prepared, I wonder how many of us really and I mean really look around as we are in the crowded kitchen and count the things we do HAVE? Or are we eyeing the BIG TV’s, the next elaborate cell phone for selfies and the DOOR BUSTERS?

Today for myself and not selfishly but sharing, I’m thankful for God, family and friends. For two reasons. One, less costly. Two. Most important. I very seldom speak of biblical verses here, but today, is special. The one verse that I take kindly too is:

Matthew 6:25-27 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

I will confess and beg the difference with part of the verse. Agree life IS more important but I think and believe, if I DIDN’T wear clothes, my life would truly cause an uproar and I’d be put somewhere where I’d be less important in my snug white coat. Yes, I do look at the birds as well, but yesterday, I saw my feathered friends grappling for food at the feeder. I’m not so sure God feeds them, but I do as my dependents. I’ve been chosen to provide willingly. Indirectly at times He does provide. Now if I could add them to my taxes at the end of year, it would be a joyous task at tax time.

Now on a serious side. It is so true how many of us worry and even are fearful today and fret with all that is going on around us. Not so easy, to just stop and NOT worry. What really struck me most about the passage is and quote “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Stop and think about that.

How many single moments have been added to our lives (longevity) by worrying about the tax collector, the virus in our computers, rising cable costs, President Donald Trump inserting foot in mouth, and finally, worrying about where the next dollar will come from to feed the kids? Or the birds? 

In finality, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and life hasn’t dealt me the best hand. I’ve learned to play the hand, be grateful, stay in the game and not fold. Most of all, I’m thankful for all of that. 

Onward and upward’

A Conversation with God on Election Night

God: “Phew, looking down on earth and seeing the United States and seeing my loved ones flying to poles. Ohhhh wait, polls. I’m scratching my cranium over that.”

Jan, the Daily Reporter: Well God, we vote down here.

God: Strange, when those who believe in Me and my creation, there is no need to vote.

Jan, the Daily Reporter: Tonight is the BIG ONE! The red vs the blue!

God: Huh? Colors? My eyes don’t see color. Red, blue, black, white, green or pink, nor brown. My eyes and heart can only see humanity as one color.

Jan, the Daily Reporter: For some reason, the human palette sees many colors, like a coat of many colors and the human race that you created is having trouble getting past diversity.

God:  Well ahem now, not my intent. The creation I desired was for nature to be colorful and man and woman were to follow suit in uniformity without animosity.

Jan, the Daily Reporter: Well God, I hate to be the first to tell you, it isn’t working out that way. There is much division. Here comes the colors again, Red~Republicans and Blue~Democrats on this election night. Many people of color, white, red, black and brown are hopefully voting. Voting for righteousness and solidarity. There is a wedge causing a crevice that seems to be getting bigger of discord. How can man, woman and child reconcile?

God: Stop. Regroup. Pour yourselves another! Coffee, Tea, Milk, Kentucky Bourbon or have more of Me.

Jan, the Daily Reporter: Well, I’ll drink to that! Choosing you. Moving along, let me ask your thoughts about illegal immigration.

God: I was an immigrate in many lands that I journeyed. There were those that fed Me. There were those that clothed Me. I was very thankful for the hospitality as many hope to be upon entering a new land. Although, sojourns are only temporal. They must follow the laws of the land.

Jan, the Daily Reporter: Now I know you won’t understand this, ooops, relying on my own understanding and forgetting your understanding above all, its time to move along to get to CNN to see the tallies. It’s a busy night earth time. I believe you are with us all and ALL the authorities of this land. We hope to choose wisely for this land but we can only hope for your Providence on this night. 

Onward and Upward

NOT again!

I try not to write about violence and discord here but enough already! My condolences to the victim’s families and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh.

I’m going to put it out there because I’m frustrated for our society. I’m going to date myself here and say, “yes, in the 60’s there was turmoil. The Vietnam War, Civil rights protests, Two assassinations, US President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Cuban Missile Crisis (which today’s generation doesn’t even know about and the seriousness), The Chicago Seven, The Black Panthers, Patty Hearst kidnapping and along with that came a happier note, the first man landing on the moon placing the American flag proudly.

Yes, a time of unrest, uncertainty and fear. There were four presidents during that time, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. During this time, if memory serves me right, often not, but NO MASS shootings. My point is, today there is a lot of rhetoric and negativity that is being blamed for the turmoil and uneasiness politically but mostly for the shootings. Let me add, we had profound protests in the 60’s without mass shootings. Also, the guns were available to sane and insane. Responsible and irresponsible gun owners. 

Looking back on April 20, 1999 http://Columbine High School massacre was the beginning and no end in sight, when it all began. During this time it was President Bill Clinton (Democrat) in office having to deliver a speech to the nation of condolences. (8 mass shootings) Following this administration came George W. Bush (Republican; 8 mass shootings. Barack Obama (Democrat, 24 mass shootings. Present day, Donald Trump, (Republican, 4 mass shootings) Table

The nation today is in a flux wondering who, what, why and who to blame. All presidencies have had mass shootings regardless of rhetoric. Period.

My Take: There is consistent hate towards cultures that are misunderstood creating an atmosphere and a divide. Is it ignorance of history? Is it not being taught in schools? Jewish culture, American Negro culture, Native American culture? Pioneer culture? Spanish culture? Ohhhh and lets throw in the American constitution at its original best. How many of us really understand what is on this great piece of paper? When and why it was even devised? With all that said, let us stop being ignorant and blaming the right and the left. Lets ALL meet half way and start calling ourselves Americans again. Forget the election of 2016. President is our President now. If you leave here getting nothing let me leave this with you, change is constant. Nothing remains the same. Not even presidents. Let us go forth and be a part of the solution and not the problem. Leave your guns at home.

Waking Hours

Finding the floor to explore
Another day leaving behind the nightly snore.
The eastern sky is wakening
To embrace the hours ahead.

Traipsing to the kitchen to the smell of coffee
Finding the cup of favorites
Looking forward and wondering the days offering
Still yawning and smelling the coffee.