I had to suddenly leave work yesterday. I was sitting at my desk and noticed it was hard to breathe. My chest felt tight - like someone was pushing on my sternum and my back at the same time - like I was being crushed. I noticed my heartbeat was faster than normal ... I could feel it beating in my neck and throbbing through my fingertips. My head was a little dizzy ... lightheaded feeling. I kept taking deeper breaths - trying to get my chest to relax, but it wasn't working. My hands were shaking ... I knew I needed to leave.
I've never had an anxiety attack before - but I've experienced anxiety - so I knew what was happening. My Onc said that it was a potential side effect of going through chemo, and they gave me a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication up front. I didn't have it in my purse yesterday - I guess I thought I wouldn't need it.
I went into my boss's office and told him that I think I'm having an anxiety attack and that I needed to go home. I started crying. I'm not sure why - I think I was just scared ... unsure about what was going on. This is all so new and every time something new happens - I guess it's expected that it would be scary. I felt bad that I couldn't hold it together - my poor boss has a crier on his hands ... but he helped me calm down and helped me try to get my breathing to relax before I got in the car and drove home.
I made it home safely ... took an anti-anxiety pill and laid down. I couldn't sleep though. I asked Mike to come home. I felt really guilty asking him to do so though. My asking him to come home for me - means I'm putting myself before his obligations at work and the things going on in his life. I'm his wife - I know I'm one of his major obligations -- but for me to actually ask it of him -- was really tough for me. I don't like to insist that I be any one's priority. But he came home, I was glad I wasn't alone. I took a bath and slowly as the meds kicked in, I relaxed.
I'm keeping the meds in my purse from now on.