The year 2017 started out great for me, I had just landed a new job working as a secretary for an oilfield part company, I was feeling good, I was making great money and was all around content. About 2 months into my job I was offered a part time position working as a secretary in a law office, the same one my mother has worked at for years, it was a great job so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my foot in the door with that kind of career. I continued on working for both jobs, around March, I noticed I started to get these dizzy spells, they would come out of no where and just hit me like I was about to pass out at any given moment. They lasted about 20-30mins and would go away and I would be fine, however considering I did a lot of driving for my first job (Oilfield Sec.) that was super scary for me because I didn’t want to pass out while driving, however I had always been fairly healthy so I just ignored it and went on with life. By the end of March the oilfield job ended up slowing down and I was let go from that job, to my surprise that same day I was offered a position working part time as a secretary for an office located in the same building as the law firm I was already working for, the pay was so high I was blown away, at this time I was only 20, a single mom to a 2 year old and still living with my parents, but between the two jobs I was making enough to begin saving for my daughter and I’s future. Coming into mid April, I hadn’t had anymore dizzy spells so I figured that was that, and I was fine, by the middle of May I had enough saved up to begin looking for an apartment or rent house for my daughter and I, I was so excited because I was doing this by myself no help just me, I was working so hard and couldn’t wait for the future. By the end of May I had found a little 1 bedroom rent home that was so perfect for us, I checked it out and put my deposit and everything in and had it secured there were a few last minute things that were getting done to the house so we couldn’t get the keys and move in just yet.
Now, here is where the nightmare begins , it’s June first I go to work like normal everything is good, midday I get a bad dizzy spell again, this time it lasted hours I was concerned because I thought I shook this I didn’t understand why this was happening, however by the end of the work day I was feeling better, I got a call saying I could pick up the keys to my house and begin moving in the next day so I was so excited It was our place finally, so I didn’t think twice about the spell after that.
Well here we are, it’s funny almost 2 years later and I remember this day like it was yesterday, I went to work like usual was excited all day knowing I would be getting the keys to my place, I did have a dizzy spell but wasn’t to concerned about it as my mind was on other things, fast forward to the end of the day I picked up my keys and finally had my house! My mom and grandma were coming over to help me deep clean the house before we started to move things in, I sent my daughter over to her dad’s parents house, and we headed to clean.. It took about 3 hours to clean the house fully it was small so nothing to bad. All was well and I knew we’d start moving things in the next day (Saturday). We stopped for a bite to eat at one of my favorite spots Schlotskys (which I refuse to ever eat again by the way). We finished up eating and headed to go pick up my daughter, this is when my life was forever changed.
About 10 minutes after leaving the restaurant, I as I call it was hit by a wave of death, simply because I can’t think of any better way to describe it, I just felt completely and utterly ill. I picked up my daughter and headed back home to my parents house, I was sweating, feeling faint, weak and just all around bad. I was running fever, took some medicine and went right to sleep. The next morning I woke up feeling no different, I was completely bed ridden, I couldn’t eat, drink, move, nothing I just wanted to lay there that’s all I could do, I didn’t know what was going on, the one time I tried to get up I almost passed out so I remained in bed all day. These same feelings went on for a week, my mother begin to worry it had been a week without going to work, not eating, hardly even able to drink. I’m the type of person I don’t like to know bad things, like if I had cancer I wouldn’t want to know just let me live my life and die in peace, so this is kind of how I was going about what was happening to me I had not ever in my life been this sick so I just knew I was dying, my mother begged me to go to the ER after a week and a half so I went ahead and went, they did a few test and blamed it on acid reflux, to me that didn’t seem right but hey, at least I’m not dying. They gave me some medicine and the next day I felt a little better. I went back to work I was feeling functional but not my complete self, that following weekend, I finally began moving into my house. It took about 2 days to get all moved in and I felt complete, for about a minute or two, the next day I was back to feeling the same, I went to work anyway because how else would I pay for my new home if I didn’t, as the day went on I felt worse and worse, I ended up having my dad come get me I was layed out on the floor in our office library until he arrived.
My 3-4 days of being able to function went out the window I was back to being 100 percent bed ridden, at this point my mother ended up living with me to care for me because I couldn’t do anything, several family members had to take turns sitting with me until my mother got off work and could take over, I honestly felt I was dying.
I do not like hospitals so going back didn’t feel like an option considering all they could say last time was acid reflux and my symptoms hadn’t changed, also I had no insurance at the time so it was harder for me to seek medical help. By the end of June I was still ill, my mother set me up a doctor appointment to get a second opinion, I barely made it, had to be wheeled in, in a wheel chair, had to be held up to get my weight, I explained to her my symptoms, and she told me I was feeling this way because I wasn’t eating or drinking, mind you I was eating and drinking just fine before this all started, so again that didn’t seem right to me, the second verdict she had was my bp was elevated so she wanted to watch it over the course of a couple of weeks. So again I left with basically no diagnosis. My bp remained high over the couple of weeks so she wanted to get me started on some medicine to help with that and assured me that was what was causing all my problems, at this point it had been a full month of being bed ridden, not eating and extremely dizzy/faint, with absolutely no reason as to why this was happening to me.
Over the next few weeks I became terrified, I was so overwhelmed, I eventually had to give back my home, which I never even got to enjoy, I could not work and my mother could not afford to keep paying my house note as well, I was still bed ridden, I thought that if I”m dying why is it taking so long, I literally was suffering with no end in sight. I went back to the doctor, I lost count on how many times, I got my bp fixed yet I still felt the same and she assured me that was the problem, I told her look, I can deal with not eating, feeling sick, but this dizziness is what has to go, I couldn’t stand or do anything without support because I would pass out. I had MRI’s and CT’s done all came back fine.. I was completely at a loss, I was so miserable I was praying to God for bad news just so I could begin some type of road to recovery, but all I was getting was a bunch of nothing is wrong with you.
I eventually stopped seeing doctors, I forced myself to begin eating, didn’t go well at first, but I began getting some type of appetite. I was getting more strength back, more ability to sit up in bed, the urge to want to eat, actual cravings for things. I noticed I begin to fear everything I didn’t want to go any where or do anything because I felt it would set me back again. I still was experiencing extreme dizziness but at this point I had been living with it for months so it started to become my new normal, I began being able to go to the bathroom by myself, shower by myself, do some things around the house.
Around September I decided to go back to the doctor and try again figuring out where the dizziness was coming from, I told her again all my symptoms and what I had been experiencing I explained to her that I was so terrified to do some of things I use to such as eating certain foods, wearing making up, using certain shampoos, and body washes etc. because I had no idea where any of this came from I didn’t want to set it all off again because I was finally beginning to feel a little more like me.
This was when anxiety was introduced to me the first time, she told me that this all could have been caused by anxiety and was definitely progressing at this point, I was honestly offended, I felt as if she was saying I made all this up and just had anxiety like a crazy person, I was livid. She prescribed me some medicine and I left, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I felt so alone at that point, like I’d truly never get any help now, they all think I’m crazy.
However at this time I did not know, the nightmare I was truly in for, this was only just the start of a miserable life I just let walk right in the front door, if I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be “TAKE THE DAMN MEDICINE”, I took the doctors words as an insult instead of actual help, this was my first of many mistakes, I did not know the true monster hidden behind the simple word “anxiety”, I truly wish someone would have told me. This is the beginning of my hell, the beginning of my battle with anxiety/panic disorder with agoraphobia.