Hello, my name is Nicola. My age is my secret, but lets just say I won’t be 29 again!
My husband encouraged me to start this blog. I must admit I’m not that used to writing, particularly about myself. But I have been through some quite horrendous experiences over the past 10 years or so. Writing will hopefully help me to put behind me what has happened, but hopefully help you benefit from my experiences.
In 1998 I suffered my first panic attack – although at the time I had no idea what it was. I was actually at home when it happened and will never forget the absolute terror I felt. My friend called an ambulance and in a blur I was rushed off to casualty. By the time I got to see a doctor I was feeling nauseous and drained, but the terror had passed. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me and I felt somewhat embarrassed when my friend took me home.
The doctors had said “it was probably just a panic attack”, which didn’t mean much to me. When the terror struck again, 10 days later, I was on the train coming home from work. Fortunately I was nearly home, but – trapped in my seat – it felt an eternity. I remember rushing to my car at the station car park and sobbing for ages before being able to drive home.
I didn’t feel stressed, I told the doctor, nor did I think I was depressed. I had a good job, happily married with children doing OK at school. Reluctantly I took his prescription, but never got around to getting any tablets.
Whilst my confidence had been shaken, I was able to resume work and life carried on. But life took a cruel twist almost exactly a month after my first panic attack. This time I woke up in the grip of an awful feeling of terror. I must have been deeply asleep as it took me a while to realise where I was and fully take on what was happening.
I was struggling to breath, my heart was pounding, my muscles were rigid. it took all my strength to wake my husband, blissfully snoring next to me. This was the first time he had witnessed me in this state, and another trip to A & E followed.
This was the start of a nightmare journey full of pain and frustration. The worst bit was the difficulty in getting help and being taken seriously – one doctor even told me there was no such thing as sleep panic attacks. Oh yea!
I will tell you more of my struggles in the posts to follow. But I will also focus on what has helped me, as it may also help you or someone you know.
Anyway, I hope this blog proves useful to you and the information it contains is helpful. Best Wishes