A  anxiety

G  gasping

O  out alone

racing heart

A   anger (self)

P   panic

H  helplessness

O  oppressive feeling of fear

B  behavioral anomaly


A  avoidance

Today halfway through physical therapy I began to tear up.  My heart began to race.  I tried to control it, but it seemed  the harder I tried, the worse it got.  I got up to go to the next station for treatment and suddenly felt faint.


Crying and fainting are not allowed in public.  (My rule.)

I had to go, NOW.

I am uncertain as to the trigger for today’s incident, but feel it had something to do with the unannounced change in Physical Therapists.

All the way home I kept telling myself I don’t need medication.  Haven’t had it, don’t want it, no way!  After all, I have been doing quite well for over a year now and cannot understand this sudden, out of nowhere, fall into the abyss of fear and panic.

How I felt when I got home…

How I felt by the time I got homeEmbarrassed.

It is a mystery.

One that I hope does not repeat itself.

59 thoughts on “Nemisis

  1. Na Na says:

    I’ve had exactly two attacks like that. Both happened over three hundred miles from home. I never go on long trips anymore. Sending hugs your way.

    • Lynda says:

      Oh Anita, being far from home and having that happen is the worst. Thankfully, when I had my *meltdown I was visiting a friend in Indiana. She was so kind to me, and it helped. Thank you for the hugs, they are well received this morning. Sending one to you too —> (((O)))

      *That was the first incident and I didn’t even know what it was at the time.

  2. dogear6 says:

    I’d encourage you to be kind to yourself. You’ve been doing better on this. Give it some thought. Was there a trigger (i.e, the change in therapists) or was it something else (lack of sleep, change in weather)? Could you control the trigger or not? I think the big thing is can you go back and out and practice your skills again and get past having to leave? And if not, what do you need to do next?

    You know the drill. It’s a setback. That’s all it is – don’t make it into more. De-emphasize it. You’re doing better and can deal with this too. And a good night sleep makes problems more manageable.


    • Lynda says:

      Nancy, it could be a combination of everything you’ve mentioned, and I do plan to get back on the horse (so to speak)! You know I will. I just needed to talk it out. Voicing, even here in writing, gets it out in the open and not bottled up in my head. Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. shoreacres says:

    What a shock that must have been, after such a long time without an attack. I suppose in a way it’s like grief. Mom has been gone for nearly four years now, and yet every now and then I can be surprised by something triggering tears. It doesn’t happen often — I think it might be three or four months now since it’s happened. But it does come back.

    Of course, your situation’s more complex than that, and it’s not as easy to identify the trigger. Still, I suspect there might be some value in treating it to some degree like I treat the grief: it came, it was here, now it’s gone, and I move on. I think you coped perfectly, today. Embarassment, emschmerassment!

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, it was like being blindsided. Sadly, I knew I was going down the rabbit-hole as soon as I entered the PT room. I just thought I could maintain. I was perfectly fine in about an half an hour; once I was home.

  4. Ginger says:

    Sorry this happened to you today, I hope it’s fully gone and won’t happen again. It’s good you were able to recognize it when you did but I’m sorry it got that far before you could!

  5. Littlesundog says:

    Oh, I’m sorry that happened to you Lynda – especially after getting into a good groove, feeling confident. Don’t let this get you down. The feeling of comfort and confidence will return. Just roll with the flow, my friend. 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Lori. I have just told two of my other friends here that I may try to tough it out and just stay put to regain my center… I just don’t want to faint in public. The more I write it the more I am convincing myself that it might be a good thing to do. Or maybe not. 😛

    • Lynda says:

      Yeah, Julie, I’m fine now. It didn’t take long to get under control once I was home. 😦
      As I said to Patti, I might try making myself stay if it happens again, but I wouldn’t want to faint in public for many reasons! 😯

      Thank you!

  6. pattisj says:

    Sorry you had this happen again, it seems like you’ve done so well for a while now. Thirty is a lot of people in one place. Glad your return to normal came quickly.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you Patti. Getting home was the balm. Hm… maybe if it happens again I should stay and try to regain my composure? But, the thought of having fainted in public scares the cr@p out of me. 😯

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        My uncle, the mechanic says that, when he’s trying to diagnose a problem, he always looks at the simplest answers first…
        So, to follow his advice here, I would go somewhere quiet (washroom?) and ask myself; was I hungry(low blood sugar), was I dehydrated(have a drink), was I breathing properly (hyperventilation) and then, after quizzing myself, become focussed on breathing slowly and deliberately; counting to four as I inhale, pause a beat and to five while exhaling… What the heck, it couldn’t do any harm, right?; ) I use this technique to relax before going to sleep

    • Lynda says:

      It was very hard to write about this, but that is exactly why I did. I have been going out in public places for well over a year and doing fine, and then yesterday happened.

  7. ladyofthecakes says:

    Aw, how awful 😦 I’ve only ever had two panic attacks out of the blue (both on the London Underground) and it wasn’t fun. I can’t imagine suffering from this routinely, how debilitating! I hope you can get on top of it…

  8. LB says:

    What a powerful post … because those who also struggle will appreciate that they are not alone and be inspired by your honesty.
    I am indeed sorry for the episode though, Lynda.
    Peace and rest to you this day

    • Lynda says:

      Today was a restful day, Laurie. And yes, it does help to know that there are others with similar difficulties. It is good to share for this reason, but when others make comment on their difficulties too, well, it comes back around to help me too.
      Thank you so much for your kind words today! 🙂

  9. LB says:

    How interesting that we were expressing frustration with the new notifications system: I responded the following to you but somehow it not only didn’t show up but your comment about letting WP know I was unhappy disappeared! Anyway, this was my reply to your comment: “I already did! I had a fairly long discussion via message about it and also posted on the WP blog post about it. It’s all about appealing to the mobile user”

  10. GrahamInHats says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of what you have been going through.

    Many years ago I had similar problems. It took a long time to discover that there was a subconscious trigger going back to childhood. I was only being chased by a stranger and I had not forgotten the incident but had forgotten its import at the time. I was amazed to discover that such a simple thing could be set of by an unrecognised trigger and result in physically reliving the event without knowing its cause. That is whats so terrifying, not knowing what the threat is means we have nothing to fight against.

    I think you are right in thinking that a changed circumstance was the trigger. It will probably help if you can determine what that change meant to you. That is, what it represented. What might it have led to ?

    I found a short term solution was to be angry with the fear when it occurred, it is one way of mastering it. Used with caution though, not normally a way to deal with life’s problems.

    Good Luck and I hope things go better for you. 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      I have always had an issue with trust and doctors. It is hard for me to find one I am comfortable with. I am thinking that same need for trust extends to the PT? I think also, that the incident of last week was worse for having been so far apart from the time previous! It was a real shock. Thank you for your kindness, Graham.

  11. Nanny says:

    Nothing like them. I kept telling myself, people don’t die from these. (if someone had please don’t tell me) You can’t explain the feeling to anyone else either. Makes it even harder. Love to you and hope you are feeling better. Go back quickly though.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you so much, Margaret. It is true, you can’t imagine it you can only experience it. It is infuriating and debilitating sometimes, but I haven’t ever read of anyone dying yet. 🙂

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