After a week of heart palpitations, I had a full-blown anxiety attack yesterday. I know I should have gone to the doctor sooner, but I knew I would be in trouble for drinking coffee since I was told two years ago to quit. I tried, a few times, but failed. So I was hoping this time that either the palpitations would go away, or I could lower my coffee usage before calling my doctor to complain about them. Then the attack hit, so I had to go to the doctor.
As usual the visit started with all the same old questions to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack. I knew for certain it was just an anxiety attack. I’ve had them before. But why am I having one now? I don’t feel like I’m under too much stress other than the fact that my work load has doubled in size. But there I sat in the doctor’s office recapping the events of the past two weeks. Then I was met with several more questions: What do you do to de-stress? Who do you talk to get things off your chest? When was the last time you took a vacation?
Then the tell-tale all question came: “How much coffee do you drink?” I knew it! I knew it was going to come down to this. So I described my morning cup of coffee followed by my late morning Starbucks coffee, which yes I know I was supposed to quit over and over and over again( see my previous coffee blogs), but I did not quit. I broke the rules. The doctor reiterated what I told him – namely, “So you drink 2 cups of coffee a day?” I laughed as I held my hands up and showed him the size of the cups I drink (basically 20 ounce cups). On weekends I tend to drink a whole pot of coffee at home by myself. Of course, it stands to reason, that since I’ve been drinking such large amounts of coffee for so long, that this probably is not the only factor in my current anxiety attack; however, it is a big one! Again I cringed, because I knew this was coming. I was told to go back to decaf or quit coffee altogether! My head dropped as I laughed. I was afraid of this moment. Luckily, the doctor acknowledged that because I think such large quantities of coffee, I needed to wean myself off slowly. Thank God for small favors!
So I left the doctor’s office with a new prescription (for the short-term), and the following orders: Take a vacation (Amen! I can do that – just not sure when); return to counseling again (I can do that too, because I like counseling); and the dreadful order, consume less caffeine. Here we go again.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) I found out later in the evening that caffeine is not the only thing to blame. While sitting at my daughter’s cheerleading practice, the coach approached me about working a fundraiser they were having THE VERY NEXT NIGHT. I wasn’t aware that it was taking place. I didn’t want to work it. I wanted to stay home and relax, especially after the events of this day. As I sat there trying to find a way out of it, I instantly felt like my lungs were being squeezed and I couldn’t breathe. That was followed with the sensation that someone took a sharp object and stabbed me in my temple. Before I could commit, she had to move on to something else. Thank you God! Boy, I never realized how much stress I felt when asked to do something I didn’t want to do! And even after all this time, I still have trouble saying no without guilt! But once again, God works in mysterious ways. Klara got sick at school today (the day of the fundraiser). We couldn’t attend now anyway.
Thank you God for small favors! I will try to follow instructions a little better. It will be hard, and I will have to ween myself slowly off caffeine, but I am sure it can be done!