Lately I have been reminiscing when I first became sick. I remembered something I had completely forgotten about, I thought I had anxiety!
I wonder how many people today think they have anxiety, when they are actually physically sick?
You see, my first "POTs attack" lets call them - when my heart beats really fast and it's terrifying- was when I was horse riding. I had not long been back on my horse after my head injury (from falling from my horse) so I thought it wasn't a shock I'm having panic attacks now. But months and months passed, and I just didn't feel scared when I was riding, in fact I felt way more confident than ever. So what was going on? I went to the doctors and she thought maybe asthma, so I tried an inhaler and nope that didn't help in the slightest. I sort of went on, still horse riding almost every day, still going to competitions and lessons. I just sort of learned to live with it, so I'd be at a show jumping competition and I'd complete my round, have a lot of fun then I'd rush out of the arena after, jump off the horse as fast as I could. Just ditching her on my Mum so I could sit on the floor or lean on a fence because I was absolutely exhausted. Felt like I could just faint off the side of the horse if I stayed on any longer.
A few months later, after sort of just dealing with these symptoms. I started getting these episodes more often, I noticed when I was working in the tearoom I'd have to lean on the table every so often for just a couple of minutes because my heart was fast. Then in maybe November time in 2015 I'd walk into college for 9am and my heart would be going so incredibly fast, it felt like it was beating out my chest. I got an overwhelming feeling of fear, sadness and panic making the episode get worse and worse until I broke down crying. This happened almost every day going into my class room, so I told my doctor who agreed it could be anxiety.
I got a letter through the post with an appointment to see a therapist, the letter titled "Beating the blues". And I thought straight away, stuff that I haven't got any blues, I'm not going there.
What a rubbish name for a therapist centre? what a way to make people feel like there's something wrong with them.. like they aren't normal. I wonder how many other people thought "absolutely not" as soon as they read the name of the facility.
I just knew it wasn't right.. mentally I felt fine? but the symptoms mimicked anxiety completely, doctors wouldn't believe it wasn't.
I continued to just push through the symptoms, Christmas and new year passed and it came to the first week starting back at college in 2016.
I can't remember the week very well but my main memory is the feeling of not being able to sit on a chair. I felt like gravity was pulling me down, not like anything I had ever felt in my life. What I would imagine slime to feel like, spreading and sliding off any surface. I just didn't feel safe, even though I was sitting on a chair with a high back and arm rests and was completely safe. I remember saying to my friend, I feel like I'm falling off this, I can't sit here. I felt truly awful, like this constantly... but even lying flat on my bed I felt like I was falling, the room was spinning and I could drift off at any second and be completely taken away.
This could not be anxiety.
Have you ever felt like you could just be slipping away? Have you ever laid in bed at night with your heart fluttering so fast, you think to yourself "maybe I will die tonight".
That's what it feels like to have an undiagnosed condition that affects your heart. The symptoms are so severe, you think you it must be life threatening.