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Vashti’s Story

Hello out there. I am Vashti. I live in Adelaide South Australia, but did live in London for 8 years when I was young. I had my first panic attack after having surgery for an ectopic pregnancy in 1990.

I thought I had a blood clot in my leg as I had overheard one of the nurses saying something about blood clots and obviously after surgery I was very susceptible to things. At the time I was not told about panic/anxiety etc. Just that I was a nervous person and to take this tablet (it was a sleeper) and to go back to sleep.

At the time I was 20 years old. Several weeks later I then had an attack of palpitations on a bus whilst with my two young sons (4 and 2) and remember getting off the bus when I saw a doctors surgery and rushing in there begging to be seen as I couldn’t breathe etc… The doctor gave me vallum.

I tried so hard not to take the vallum. I remember after this episode being awake all hours, pacing around, just that damned continual awful feeling of fear, impending doom almost. I at one stage rang the local psychiatric hospital and was told that the fact that I was calling meant that I would be ok!!! That was not helpful..

A neighbour did however help me in her own funny way. This was a woman I did not at the time know very well, but our sons played together. One day I said to her that I felt that I was going mad. She replied that if I wanted to go mad then I could/would. It was all up to me. What I chose to tell myself. At the time I thought her a cold hearted bitch, but her words stuck with me and that was really I suppose the start of my recovery.

In the initial first year, I had so many tests… CT scans, for brain tumours and MS. I went through having so many physical symptoms. Oh and they are real. You do get the pains and sensations. Incredible how your own body can work against you in this way all because of how your mind is functioning.

Then I found a book at the library by Claire weeks. That combined with my personality as I believe that those of us who suffer from this are very empathetic thoughtful and when it comes down to it strong people led me on a path to recovery.

It took 3 years before I could have my first panic and just LET IT HAPPEN. Then I was back to really living a normal life again.

For me though at different points in time and obviously just recently I have suffered with the dreaded (and I do so hate to use that word as it just shows that I am still not comfortable with them) thumpity bumps… You know , ectopic beats, missed beats jumpy around and thump in your chest beats! Most of the time I have learnt to live with them. But recently have had a phase of them happening and found myself having fear symptoms with them. I get them and get this burning sensation immediately after all over my body, yucky! Then I found myself not wanting to go into work where this one bad attack happened. Funny as I am a registered nurse!!! what I found really hard at this stage was that I have had people say to me ‘you do not seem the nervous type’. And the nurses at work saying this made me then I believe think it was all physical this time and that there really was something wrong. So back to the cardiologist, an echo, ECGS etc… All fine.

I do take noten daily and have done since after  my daughter was born when last had really bad palpations etc. Was also in a bad relationship at this time so pregnancy, childbirth, being single again with a baby wouldn’t have helped!

I became a nurse 2 years ago after studying as a mature age student. So yes I have lived a life in between these feelings of fear and possibly in spite of and because of them…

At the moment am still not sure what is really going on and what its all about this time, but have decided not to focus on that and get back to the basics yet again. Just to accept the feelings and not be angry and hard on  myself about them. To trust in myself and my body. This site has been great to read. The information re the palpitations was fantastic. Sometimes it really does feel as if they are the cause themselves of the anxiety not life causing stress that then causes funny beats… But at the end of the day what does it matter. I just like all of you I am sure, plod along and do the best I can.

Today I woke up and didn’t feel too bad… Tomorrow who knows, but what I do know is that I want to feel better and that with time and positive thinking will again.
I hope that you too can find that faith within you.