Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All in my head?

OK, apparently I spoke too soon...I was rushing around, getting ready to leave for work, and all of a sudden I felt lightheaded. Now I'm wondering if part of it is my anxiety about work. I do love my job and am very grateful to have a writing job and be able to support myself, but most of the time when I feel unwell is when I am at the office. Maybe it's just a coincidence since I spend most of my days there (it IS work, afterall), but I tend to feel better once I get home or when it's the weekend. Coincidence? I'm not sure. Another thing that's in my head, is that I have experienced one of my worst moments while at work--the day I went outside, got dizzy, panicked over not having my glucose monitor with me, barely made it into the building and up to my floor, and then practically felt like collapsing, all the while believing it was my bood SUGAR, not my blood PRESSURE. Apparently, my blood pressure falls low at times, which is what makes me feel dizzy and lightheaded. Weird.

Anyway, I now carry my glucose monitor at ALL times. When I go to the 2nd floor for a meeting, I take my purse along. When I am just down the hall from my cube and inside a closed room, I panic slightly about my monitor being so far away. Kind of pathetic and sad, but true. I have to reason with myself that even if I was falling low (as in low blood sugar), I would have plenty of time to reach my monitor or get some help somehow. But it is hard to rationalize with the paranoid and worried mind. It's weird to think that a couple years ago, I didn't even take my monitor with me at times because I wanted to be free of anything like that weighing me down and I was tired of it being my constant companion everywhere. Now the thought of not having it with me freaks me out.

SO I had one of my worst moments at work. I thought I was going to faint, and it truly felt like I was losing consciousness. I tried to gulp down juice because it didn't feel like I had enough time to check my blood sugar, and in between the gulps of juice, I was gulping for air because I couldn't BREATHE. I thought it was part of feeling out of control and not completely with it, but looking back now, I think I was having a panic attack. I have NEVER experienced anything like this before and it was awful. Sometimes when I drive to work, walk into the building, walk up to my floor, etc., I think about that incident and needless to say, it gives me anxiety. In fact, sometimes I think it makes me feel lightheaded all over again. I do believe in the power of suggestion and making yourself feel a certain way, but it is really, really hard not to have a flashback of when you almost fainted at work and had to be carried away in a STRETCHER by the paramedics. I don't mean to be dramatic, but this was fairly traumatizing for me. Before all this stuff started happening, I really didn't worry about my blood sugar numbers much, and now, well now I can't tell the difference btwn low blood sugar and low blood pressure.

Here's another horror story: I was in a MEETING, and felt dizzy. I asked the person running it if I could go get my monitor (this is why I now take it into meetings), and I took about 10 steps and couldn't walk anymore. It's a weird thing to explain, but my legs and feet get really heavy and walking seems like the biggest chore ever. I guess the blood pools in my legs and doesn't circulate to my brain, so this could be why I feel this way. So I walked back in, asked the person running it if she could get my meter, and sat back down. Meanwhile, the 3 buyers on the other side of the table were still there. My hands were shaking and I felt like the room was spinning. Or maybe I was spinning. And it took all of my concentration to not freak the fuck out. One of the buyers was really nice and told me to just breathe and that she gets really bad panic attacks. The other 2 buyers (dudes) continued talking to themselves like nothing weird was going on, which I actually appreciate. Nothing out of the ordinary here, folks, just me sitting there, gripping the table and breathing in and out really slowly and audibly. Embarrassing? Kind of. It felt like so much time had passed before she came back with my meter, and of course, my blood sugar was fine. Wtf body, stop freaking out.

Another anxiety story: One morning, I had a vivid dream about driving to work with low blood sugar and I ended up crashing and then waking up to an actual low number. Well, it was 68, so only slightly low...nothing too scary. Even though my number was normal before I left for work, all I could think about was the dream. At one point, I almost turned around, went back home and called in sick. I had to talk myself into driving to work! It seriously took a lot of my willpower to tell myself that I was fine and I could make it to work.

Ugh, back to another depressing post. What I'm trying to say is, I got ready for work today, I was almost out the door, and then I started to feel fuzzy and lightheaded. Maybe it IS something I ate, maybe it IS due to allergies, but part of it is that the thought of my workplace sometimes fills me with anxiety. Even just the act of driving can fill me with anxiety...I don't know about you, but feeling dizzy while driving is absolutely terrifying. So now it's 9:15am, and I emailed in sick. I was actually sick over the weekend. And it's not a lie, I do feel sick...sick with anxiety and worry. It's like when you go to a restaurant and get sick from their food...you don't want to go back there! It may have just been that one time, but you don't want to chance it again. Even thinking of the food and the bad experience might make you queasy. Well, this is exactly what thinking of going to work feels like...I now associate it with "bad" things that don't make me feel so great.

Maybe I should make another appt. with that therapist...


  1. Valerie, I am so sorry that you are going through this. I think that by blogging it out you are making progress. I can't say that I know how you are feeling, but I am certainly empathetic. You are really brave to seek help...you deserve to live a carefree life!

  2. Thanks again for your support! I have been going through some difficulties lately, but it has not always been this way...:)

  3. Valerie:
    Nice to meet you. I thought it was interesting on my blog that your wrote that too many carbs actually make you not feel good. I'm always thinking about how they affect general health, but I wonder if my son feels better when he has a better protein/carb balance. And, as far anxiety is concerned, I've had my fair share. Email me if you want. I could maybe be of some support.

  4. Yes, I think having a good balance of carbs, protein and fat is important. Thanks for commenting. :)