Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Attacks are Back

Sadly, after doing so well for so long, the anxiety returned last night with a vengeance right after I made my last entry. Every time I think the nightmare is over, it eventually returns. I never would have expected this at this point on this dose.

Throughout most of the evening my anxiety was borderline where the “butterflies” threatened to let loose in my chest. Just minutes after midnight I got really warm, my mouth went dry, I felt faint feelings of suffocation, my face felt flushed and tingly, my heart started racing into the triple digits, and then I started shaking like an epileptic. I went from hot to cold and back-and-forth. It took me about 20 minutes to get my heart down into the double digits, and about 40 minutes just to feel some semblance of calm. Yes, I did take a lorazepam.

All I could think was that my TSH got too low, and I didn’t understand how the doctor could say my thyroid was “better” if my T4 was down. Tom had to remind me that the TSH only measures how loud the pituitary gland is ordering it to do its job. It’s better in that the pit gland is now saying, “Okay, she’s still a little low on thyroid, but I accept that and I’m getting used to it.”

So both glands are making peace with each other. The T4 being down could explain the hair loss and dry skin, though that’s the least of my worries. Untreated my T4 was 0.9 and my TSH was 34. My anxiety was at its absolute worst when my T4 was around 1.4. Lately it’s down to 1.1 from 1.2, but my TSH is also down. Tom insists that the T4 is the REAL thyroid number that matters, and that he’s always heard that you can have anxiety even when your life is fine and even when you least expect it. Well, there’s definitely nothing wrong in my life right now, but this actually started slowly coming on about 5 days ago. It just didn’t come to a head until last night.

Either way, this ONLY happens on the drug. It was only AFTER I started levothyroxine that I began to have these attacks. Could perimenopause be more at play than I realize? Also, could perimenopause symptoms come and go like that? I asked Christine, who had bad anxiety before she was confirmed to be menopausal, if it was consistent or if it took breaks here and there. She’s probably in bed now, though.

I haven’t been lightheaded but everything has been worse this last week. I can’t say it was just stress over the appointment since the appointment’s over. I’m waking up more often and sometimes it’s with a racy heart. I’m just not as tired right now because I slept forever. I may have woken up a million times along the way, but I slept a whopping 10 hours or so.

My PCP told me it’s a medical disorder causing this, but why would I develop this so late in life? I never had anxiety to this degree until two years ago, so why now, and is it going to torture me on and off at random for the rest of my life?

Although I’m sure she won’t agree with it, I not only let the doctor know what’s going on, but I also told her I skipped today’s dose just like I did a couple days ago. I seem to feel best when my TSH is at 10, meaningless number or not.

Tom says there’s a guy in his 20s at work who had a bad flu or something like that and he went to the emergency room where he was given an inhaler. Ever since then he’s been having panic attacks for the first time in his life and has been missing a lot of work. Well, those inhalers are stimulants as is levothyroxine. Also, you can bet your ass it’s times like this that I’m glad as hell I work at home. I feel like my anxiety reflects in things around here, though. It’s not like I haven’t been able to keep up on things or function, but I’m not doing as much as I’d like to do. It’s been days since I worked on my By the Month bio or edited my story.

I still wonder if the weight loss and stomach issues were more due to anxiety building up and returning than a change of diet, though Tom’s pretty sure it’s the diet. Sure is weird if that’s the case because my body hasn’t responded to traditional dieting in years, and I really feel like I was having more calories than I should in order to be able to lose weight. Even when I was young I had to go down to around 1000 calories to lose. Either way, it was in my nature to be thin until my thyroid crapped out, but not afterwards. It just seems like vegan or not, I shouldn’t have lost the 8 pounds, even if I can certainly afford to do so.

The only symptoms I’m not having this time around are the funky emotions where I get flashes of dread or suddenly want to scream, and I don’t feel like a semi is parked on my chest. I’m not always jittery either. I only get jittery when my heart races. Right now I feel perfectly calm, but I’m fair game any second to an attack, and things are always subject to change. Anxiety is very unpredictable. So long gone are the days when I believed something bad had to be going on in order for it to happen, and that you could control it.

I am still going to try my damnedest to control it as best I can by taking measures to do things that have a calming effect on me when it gets bad. Like maybe see S, An idea I have mixed emotions about as I think she would as well. I have no doubt that she would be delighted to see me, but as I’m sure we both agree, it wouldn’t be under the greatest of circumstances. I really wanted to wait and call her in a couple months just to say hi and let her know I’m doing well for the most part. Not, “I need to see you because I’m anxious again.”

She’s the Rolls-Royce of counselors, good looking or not, and she’s a great lady that has a very calming effect on me and I love to chat with her. I just don’t want to be anxious again! I’m going to give it another day or two and see how I do, and then I’ll make a decision by the end of the week. I’m just tired of things getting in the way of my plans, even if life is rarely what we plan it to be. As fantastic as she is I’d rather never see her again (unless we became friends in the future) than to have to run to her because I’m anxious again. She is the anxiety expert, though.

I looked up what foods are rich in tryptophan other than meat, and found that beans and lentils are good sources of tryptophan as well.

My first thought was oh no, I’m going to suffer for three months just like the last time until I lower my dose, but I’m trying not to think that way. For now I’m just going to enjoy the calm while it lasts. I just wish it wasn’t so scary when attacks happen even though I know damn well they can’t hurt me. The butterflies in the stomach are annoying and frustrating, but the racing heart gets scary. In a sense its artificial fear.

So… Setting my fake fear aside for now, I have a new mattress on the way. It too, is a 13” mattress, only this one’s memory foam topper is infused with a cooling gel, it’s firmer, and it has a 10-year warranty. The mattress I have now came with no promises or guarantees of any kind. I got it almost 5 years ago and it’s sagging to the point where I’m starting to wake up with lower backaches.

Yesterday evening we went on a 15-minute walk down to the lake and back. It was cold and misty out, but nice.

Last night’s lavender sage bath bomb smelled surprisingly good. There’s one called Sinus Relief but I think I’ll save that for if I ever have a cold or a flu again, which may be years from now. I rarely get sick in that way. While I’m not sick, though, I don’t want to come out of the tub smelling like Vicks.

I update Blogger every few days or so. Maybe because this entry is so long, I’ll update it tonight.

I dreamed I was riding my bike down a street that my dream self seemed to think was in Florida. I was stark naked as I pedaled down a narrow street with lots of dense palm trees to shade it. I came to a causeway and rolled over a narrow strip that was just wide enough for the tires and perhaps 6” long and onto the bridge. The bridge extended over the ocean and it rose upward to allow a boat to pass. Then it started to lower itself and I had to quickly stop the bike to keep from slipping into the water. There were other people around but they didn’t seem to notice my nudity.

I suddenly realized I didn’t have my phone with me and I wanted to go home before it got too late. So I started riding back and ended up inside someone’s house. There were three people sitting in the living room watching TV. I assumed them to be a couple and their teenage daughter.

“Oh, this is a private residence,” I said.

They noticed I was naked and had some questions for me. Unsure of how to explain it, I simply said that I was being paid a lot of money to do some dare, then I asked if I could leave now. LOL

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