The trip to the hospital was long, the paramedic sat in the back with me was talking to me the whole way, she was telling me about her own dealings with anxiety and how she had only recently returned to work about an episode of panic attacks, (il never know whether this was the truth but it helped me at that time, knowing I wasn’t the only person going through it). When we got to the hospital they stayed with me for a while but as the hospital was so busy I was just on a corridor on the bed I had been on in the ambulance. By this time my breathing had calmed down and my heart rate had slowed but I was still on edge. They finally got me a room and a nurse came and did all my obs. They decided I needed a blood test and told me it would be a few hours wait for the results and that I could not leave until they were back as they were unsure what was wrong.
I realised at this point that I had missed my friends wedding. My husband had rang another friend to let them know what had happened and how we wouldn’t be there. I couldn’t believe I had made it all the way to Essex but had missed the wedding of one of my best friends. It was a long wait for my blood results and the girls were getting bored and started playing up, but at least that meant my attention was on dealing with them. My husband was amazing throughout all of this. We spoke about what we were going to do, but as I was still very panicky (my breathing and heartrate were back to normal, but the thoughts in my head and the feeling of not really being with it were still there) we decided we needed to cancel the other hotel and drive home.
My blood test results came back normal and they said I had suffered from a panic attack and that the reason my obs had been funny was because I hadn’t eaten anything for so long. I asked them what they could do to help me return home without having another panic attack. I wanted them to inject me with some sort of relaxant but they said they could not give me anything and that I would have to see my own doctor at home for some medication. This made me even more panicky as I didn’t know if I could make it the whole way home. My husband convinced me to just take it one step at a time, and the first step was to walk to the car. I did this, he was driving (obviously in the state I was in I could not have driven a car), and then we set off. I remember feeling like I was in a trance and that I should be locked up in an institution. I thought I would never feel normal again. I listened to one song continuously – ‘Cheerleader’ I sang along to it with my knees pulled up to my chest. Somehow we got home. I went straight to bed but I couldn’t sleep as I was still feeling on edge. This lasted all night and the next day. It was like I was going to slip into another panic attack at any moment, my brain would not stop whizzing, my heart was beating faster than normal and I just didn’t feel normal at all.
The next day my husband persuaded me to come with them to a playcentre (seen as the girls had missed out on the wedding and we had also planned to go to London the day after the wedding to see Buckingham Palace). I did go, and I spent most of the time going to the toilet and back, I felt sick and I did not enjoy being out of the house one little bit. I knew a panic attack was on its way.
As soon as we got home I went upstairs and within 10 minutes of being home a panic attack had started. My husband didn’t know what to do. He had the girls to think of who had no idea what was happening to their mum and were worrying about it. He was worried himself and then I was in a full blown panic attack again. He rang his mum to come and help. I tried listening to Cheerleader to try and calm me and then I tried listening to a YouTube calming video, which talks you out of your panic attack. I did settle down once listening to this but I still felt on edge for days after, just waiting for another panic attack to start.
I was now worrying about having a panic attack. Panic Disorder is what I had developed and it was horrendous.