Stress Busters … Doctor’s Orders

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She takes plastic now!

This week has been the week from hell. With the health insurance worries of last week on my mind, the Ebola virus running rampant around our neighboring state of Texas and ISIS percolating over in the Middle East, I’ve finally melted down. Momma fell this weekend, and I’m worried about her. Ashok even tried to kill me earlier in the week. Like my friend Gerry says, I’m a worrier. I don’t mean to be. I try to let things go, but my body latches onto them, and I get anxious.

I had two anxiety attacks this week. I’m sure I’ve had them in the past, but these were bad because I know someone who died of a heart attack because they thought it was anxiety and didn’t get help. So, as soon as my heart started palpitating, my palms started sweating and my breath got short, I started to freak out that I was having a heart attack. It didn’t help matters. I was able to talk myself down out of the first one by realizing that I don’t have any heart disease markers, and I do have a history of anxiety. Besides, I was really worried about how much it would cost me to go to the hospital if nothing was wrong. I finally decided it was worth the risk to wait it out. But, when it happened again yesterday at work, I got really scared. This time, a paramedic named Spanky talked me down by showing me that my blood pressure and heart rate were well within normal parameters. What a relief! When he told me his name was Spanky, I told him that I didn’t want some guy named Spanky saving my life. He’d have to do better than that. He asked if Mack Stone would be better. “Yes, that’s better,” I said. The whole thing scared me to death.

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I immediately went to my doctor’s office ready to shut this stuff down. She has a much calmer head than I had, and she gave me a paper with some tips for busting stress and anxiety. A lot of it I’m already doing, but I wasn’t taking magnesium or this natural supplement called Anxiousless that promises to keep me from getting anxious. She said that every patient she saw yesterday had the same problem. There’s just too much going on and some freaky energy in the air. I asked her before I left how to tell the difference between a heart attack and a panic attack, and she said I couldn’t. She assured me that I did the right thing calling 911. She said the symptoms are exactly the same. Now, I just need to keep from getting into that state so I don’t have to worry about it.

I made an emergency trip to the acupuncturist yesterday afternoon and that pretty well took care of the immediate crisis. I was floating on a cloud when I exited. This morning it was back to some extent, but I knew what it was. I went to Whole Foods and got some magnesium and some herbal tea for the day. So, my day has been spent gulping chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower, chinese herbs, magnesium and lots and lots of water. It was still a rough day, but no paramedics showed up, so that’s an improvement.

Ashok is worried about me!

Ashok is worried about me!

I scheduled a facial with my friend Lisa for tonight, and I’m so glad I did. I need human touch. Being single, I don’t get touched much. And, I know that when I’m stressed, I need hugs and non-sexual touch. So, I arrived at Lisa’s place and she went to work on my skin. Her gentleness and pumpkin facial special was just what I needed. I was breathing free when I left. I even felt a smile come over my face. One of the things the doctor told me was to start recognizing the things that I’m grateful for. Lisa and her pumpkin facial is at the top of my list. And she even accepts credit cards now.

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The last thing on that stress buster list is to add humor and pleasant activities. I can’t wait for the weekend to catch up with old friends at SLU’s homecoming. If you see me there, please give me a hug and make me laugh. I really need it…. doctor’s orders.

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