Friday, July 29, 2005


Today was a day that seems like it never really happened. I was having lunch in the staff lounge and was stricken by what felt like an aneurysm or stroke at my table. It was as if someone had taken 1000 volts of electricity and run it through my brain. The pressure was unbelievable. I was immediately kicked into a panic attack and began to lose conciousenss. Some people came over and helped me. I took some deep breaths, but that was not enough. Later, after the break, I was in class and a new attack happened. This one much more severe. They called the school nurse and my boss came in as I lay on the floor in the book room. I could barely stand up and was shaking uncontrollably. It was a panic attack, that's right, a full blown panic attack, coming in waves, after 15 years of not having them. If you've never experienced one in your life, I certainly hope you never have the displeasure of doing so. The only thing you can say about them is that you are utterly helpless and know that you are going to die. It becomes a physiological representation of a psychiatric/emotional disorder.
But my co-workers responded with love and compassion. The nurse sat with me and let me hold her arm. She comforted me with calm reassurance. My boss, normally distant and aloof, well I complained about her earlier this year, got past whatever we had and drove me to the ER at Kaiser. The teacher in the room I worked came along. They actually stopped at Thrifty and got cat food and Kitty litter for my cats. These were actions I was absolutely astounded by. The office manager told me I would be paid for the whole day. I can't express how humbled I was by the humanity that came all around me.
ER was convinced it was Panic and gave me Atavan, which seemed to work. But the physician would not order a CT scan of my brain. I asked him again to do so, he refused and said "call your psychiatrist". I did. He referred me to my internist. I saw a different one who took all the time in the world and has ordered a scan for this Sunday. He wants to rule it out.
Stressed out perhaps. Faithless and afraid. Overwhelmed. Need more evidence of the divine. I was helpless for an hour at work. I am at home, resting comfortably after going to an AA meeting with a friend, he drove me back to HH to get my car. I'm okay. As the nurse said to me before loading me into my boss's car "It always ends up OK you know". That was the last and most important thing I could hear.
More after Sunday.


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