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My fake heart attack.

11.29.2011

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It's been awhile guys...I know. Life is testing me in more ways than I can comprehend. I'll be completely honest for a minute and tell you that I'm struggling with words lately. I'm not able to focus. Stress has taken it's toll and quite frankly, I'm at the bottom of the barrell with my emotions scraping what faith I have in the phrase, "It will get better!" Don't you worry though...I do have my Faith and I am certain that I will get through this series of trials and tribulations happening in my life.

Before I could really appreciate the true meaning of Thanks this past weekend, I had something seriously scary happen to me last Wednesday afternoon.

I got off work and met Drew at the house. I was in a good mood, all was good in the neighborhood and I was so happy that I was going to get to go home to see my Mom that night.

Before we left town, we had to go pick up Drew's truck at the mechanic. When we left, Drew told me he wanted to run by Lowes to get some supplies because he was going to be helping my Mom put up some backsplash, and I decided to drive home to finish up our packing. So, there I was. I was rapping to a song on the radio, being that crazy lady you see driving down the road singing like a fool. Then I thought to myself, "Wow, it's really hot in here." I then rolled down my windows wicked fast, and then tried to crank up my AC (which doesn't work btw) and it kept getting hotter and hotter. At this point, I realized I couldn't breathe. At. All.

It felt as if there were 100 bricks on my chest and I was getting less and less oxygen. My chest hurt so bad. I immediately thought, "What the heck dude!?" I tried to keep calm, and then my vision went blurred and I broke out in a sweat. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see. I couldn't believe I was driving and then went into freak out mode when my hands and feet went numb and tingly. My nose went tingly.

I started crying thinking, "OMG, OMG, I think I'm having a heart attack. OMG!"

I promise you from the bottom of my heart...I thought I was dying.

I went to grab my phone to call Drew and when I did, I realized I was in the middle lane about to hit another car. I swerved and went pulled into an Auto Parts store where I saw a middle aged man opening up his car door. I rolled down my window with one hand on my chest, and the other hand frantically waving my phone at him begging him to call Drew.

I saw his face go white when he saw me, and he immediately ran over and opened my door. He felt my head and my neck and said "Dear, can I call 911? I need to call 911."

He called Drew first, I thought and before I knew it there was an wambulance and a fire truck blaring their sirens right next to me. I think I blacked out at this point thinking, "Andrew, Mom, TURKEY!?" Haha, not really the turkey part but I know ya feel me.

At this point in the story, I'm sure you're thinking, "You're 25. You're a weirdo. Why the heck do you think you were having a heart attack!?"

That would be because I found out a year ago that I have INCREDIBLY high cholesterol. Like, try, 303. It shouldn't be over 200. Just sayin'.

Am I on cholesterol medicine? Well NO. I know, don't yell at me. I know. I tried two cholesterol medicines and both made me sick and both made me tingle and I couldn't stand it, so I quit. I've been trying to lower it with vitamins and eating better...which I can't say I'm successfully doing all the time.

Okay, where was I?

The EMS man came up to me and was talking to me and for awhile I could barely even make out what he was saying.

He calmed me down, took my pulse (wholy crap it was high) and the determining factor to my health was my PERFECT blood pressure (THANK YOU LORD!).

Ladies, I had my first full blown anxiety attack.

NEVER in my life have I experienced anything like this.

EMS man told me he gets this call a million times a day because it really does feel like a heart attack. Except for the actual heart attack part. ;) THANK GOD. THANK GOD.

But really...it was so scary. I came home looking like a red lobster, and took a 20 minute nap. Woke up feeling like a champ! Haha.

We packed up, hit the road, made it to my Mom's house and had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. :) I was thankful for family, Drew, friends, downtime, food, and of course, the true meaning of LIFE. Regardless of how "testy" it's been with me lately. Just truly Thankful...

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Isn't my Papaw the cutest haha.
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My melt your heart cute as a button, Mamaw.
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Football. Ignore my nasty feet. I apologize to those of you with a foot fetish. Muahahaw.
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Now if this doesn't make you smile...haha. This would be my Uncle Larry. My Mom's brother. He's a retired Houston Police Officer. He grew his hair out because he can...and well, he'd thought it would be funny to wear pig tails all day and act like a little girl. Hysterical, I know.
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I honestly feel slightly embarrassed about what happened to me. But I guess all the stress I've been under lately set it off when I was probably the least stressed (rapping in my car like a fool) than I have been in the past couple of weeks. Drew keeps joking with me and said it was the rap music that set it off. Ha. Rap music just fuels my soul y'all. Please sense the sarcasm.

Anyway, I don't plan on taking anxiety medicine simply because I'm stubborn and I HATE putting things into my body. However, I am curious to know if any of you have anxiety? Do y'all have an recommendations? Suggestions? I'm all ears.

XO!

post circle 46 comments :

  1. I wish I had advice to give, this sounds like quite the traumatic experience my heart goes out to you. I'm glad you are okay!

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  2. You poor thing! I am SO sorry you had to go through this! How scary for you. I'm so happy that you are okay. Hang in there lady and don't lose hope. It will get better!

    Erin

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  3. I'm glad you're ok, but just know that all your blog friends are here for you!

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  4. Glad to know you are ok!! Bless your heart. Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving though! Love the pictures. Yall look cute in camo ;) ha

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  5. Wow this is so scary I am so sorry to hear this! Glad at least that it wasn't a heart attack! This actually makes me wake up a little bit because I have been stressed out so much lately getting my masters in college and planning my wedding and a new start with my fiance soon. I have anxiety all the time and I'm looking for natural ways to deal with it. I'm the same way and hate taking medicine, but I definitely need to do something about it to relax !

    xoxo
    Petchie
    http://itsallofthelittlethings.blogspot.com/

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  6. Okay lady, that is not even cool. I am SO glad you are okay and you really should not be embarrassed. We had a friend who had a heart attack at 26 who wasn't overweight and is a PE major...it happens. Looks like we should be grateful to still have you around:-)

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  7. Awwww, you poor thing!! Anxiety attacks are really SO severe. I haven't had one personally, but we have patients that come in frequently with them and in the throes of it, they think they are going to die!! Praying for you, friend.

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  8. OH MY GOODNESS! I am so so so so glad you are ok!! Don't scare me like that again! haha!

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  9. Omg Shalyn i'm so glad you're ok!! I would of been freaking out so badly if that had happened to me!

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  10. Phew! What a story! First of all, I'm so glad you are okay!! That is so very scary but I'm glad good people were there to help you and that everything turned out alright. You'll be in my prayers for a less stressful next couple of weeks to let you refuel and let that faith recharge itself :)

    I'm sure spending time with family this holiday was a huge help! xoxo

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  11. Oh goodness. How scary. So glad yu are ok and had a great weekend after that. :)

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  12. Shay...this is so weird b/c except for the fact that I'm a few years older (and already have 3 kids which is enough to give any mom anxiety) we are the same person.

    I had one of these a few years ago. Yes, I thought I was dying. Yes, we called 911...but I was in a dress, laying in a field for an outside church service with tons of people coming by for a looksie. No, I haven't lowered my stress level or cholesterol. My cholesterol is ridiculous. At 16 they discovered it was 315. I should tell you I am only 5'2" and pushing 98 with wet clothes. Ha! Yeah. (I'm actually a few lbs. less AFTER three kids..don't hate...it's not that great. Does that indicate how busy I am all.the.time.?) I just had my chol. tested and it's actually only 298! Woohoo! It's obviously hereditary. My mom's w/o medicine is in the 400's. My grandmothers was in the 500's. Unheard of! Anyway...steer clear of chol. med. My mom has so many side affects. I'm convinced Rx companies just want mula which is why they keep lowering the "recommended" number. Most important is to make us your HDL (the "healthy cholesterol" is in the right range. Oddly, my HDL is great. I've never been on meds. My mom didn't want me on them so young, then I got married at 20, had my first son at 21 and for the next 5 yrs I was preg and/or (yes AND!) breast feeding. #imsotired. Ha! These days, I could be on med, but choose not to be. I just watch what I eat and don't care about the number. Oh...and I'm supposed to be on a low fat diet and exercise...apparently they want me to waste away to nothing. Right.

    As for the stress...I haven't had a FULL blown attack since that one time, but my niece (who is 25!) has had multiple ones....so you're not alone. I've had other little episodes, though. I have tachycardia, too! all the time. I'm a mess. But I had a stress test done on my heart and they asked if I was an athlete b/c it was awesome. (???) Oh yeah! So weird.

    From what I see, we both set our expectations of ourselves very high, trying to be the best at what we do, never wanting to let anyone down and putting everything ahead of our health. I know for me, I go go go go go. Until I crash. I'm sure you're no different. I feel like the pot calling the kettle black, but you have to slow down before God slows you down...know what I mean, Jean? If you're this way before kids...oh dear. ;) Only diff. b/w you and I is that you found your passion before kids. (I wish I had!) I got married and had kids so young that it took me longer to find myself. Now that I have, it's soooo hard to balance it all. At least you have time to figure it all out now!

    This concludes my book. You're welcome. Oh, except, here's the verse I was clinging to today since I went to bed at 2:30 am and was up at 6:30am. "For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." Philippians 4:13 (NLT). Just remember, I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean to do everything at the same time. Haha!

    Take a breath. Ask God what He wants for you and then trust Him to carry you through. Read James 1:5. That's my go-to verse lately. And I really am trying to slow down. I feel the stress slowly killing me. It's not a good feeling.

    So glad you are just a faker. ;) This is officially the end of the longest comment in the history of blogging. (Sorry.)

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  13. How scary! Glad your ok. I have been crazy stressed lately to. We all need to just take a breath and think is this really worth it :)

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  14. OH MY sweet friend! I am so glad you are ok! As I read this I got tears in my eyes. I know lately you have been faced with so many obstacles and I know it seems like the world is closing in on you at times. But like I told you the other night, you have to keep the faith no matter what. Always lean on God for the right answers. Sometimes we have to take a step back and really take a look deep inside in order to realize what it is or who it is that might be bringing in those negative things that bring on stress in our lives.

    You are such a beautiful person inside and out and very talented and I simply adore you and I am so blessed to be able to call you my sweet friend. In the book of Deuteronomy 31:6 it reads "I want Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Remember, no matter what you are going through God will always be there for you.

    LOVE YOU BUNCHES~<3

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  15. i have anxiety too girl. i can't sleep at night. and wake up constantly. you are NOT alone. the pictures of your fam warmed my heart...they look so normal! yes, even your uncle ;) i hope you're feeling better!!

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear this. I have had two REAL anxiety attacks before and both were 30 meters under water when I was scuba diving. They happened within days of each other and both hit me OUT OF NO WHERE. It really feels like you are going to die. I still don't know what caused it, but I eventually called myself down by focusing on one thing and continually telling myself that I was going to be OK. I tried to slow my breathing and just calm myself. I also had a little help from the scuba instructor. I'm not on any meds, I think there are other, better ways to get through it! You can do it!

    Bailey
    http://lostandfound-bailee.blogspot.com/

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  17. Shayb I'm so so so glad you are ok. You are so special to me and I'm just so thankful you are in perfect peachy health. Love you!!!!!

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  18. I have had one full blown anxiety attack before and it was quite awful. I'm glad you are doing ok! I have an "as needed" prescription for anxiety, therefore I don't have to take it when I don't feel I need it! Let me know if you have any questions.

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  19. I've experience this before too. Mostly my freshman year of college. I remember being so scared that I walked (with trouble!) down the hall to my RA's room and just had to sit with her while the I got over the shaking and trouble breathing. I haven't had any attacks since college (thank the Lord!) but I feel your pain. They are so scary. The only thing that helped me was remembering that whatever i'm facing, the Lord is bigger - and also knowing I'm never alone(which caused me the most painful anxiety attacks - believing i was!)...there is always someone i can turn to for help. best wishes to you and i hope that was your last time experiencing one!

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  20. First, do not feel bad for what happened. Do not worry that you called 911. That is scary. And it's always better to be safe than sorry.

    And your family is ADORABLE. They are precious.

    I'm so glad you are feeling better. : )

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  21. Oh shaylyn that sucks but I had the same thing happen to me a few years ago (like 5). Except I was at work, had all those symptoms and even passed out --at work and they called the ambulance and I went on the media which made me feel even worse. Mine was triggered by my move from Ga to Michigan. And it didn't really get better until I found some peace with my situation which was like a year... And honestly I was not at a good place with God at that time which was a big part of the anxiety controlling and taking over. Keep your head up dear, you aren't the only one who is struggling with this right now it is like satan is on the prowl or something...


    xo,
    Ash

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  22. I'm I meant went on the medicine not the media... Haha

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  23. I can't remember how I stumbled upon your blog...but I'm glad I did! I haven't had a full-blown attack before (but have worked in an ER so understand that it really does feel like you are having a heart attack!!) but I do struggle with anxiety. I'm super sensitive to meds, so I try to do the things I know make me feel better --- 8 hours of sleep, a ton of water, yoga and journaling. There is a book out there that I think is called healing anxiety the natural way or something...there are a ton of resources out there that don't involve meds! :D

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  24. Wow that is terrifying! I've never had an anxiety attack. I know several friends at grad school though who have had something similar, although not quite as severe, this semester. They said cutting back on the things that are stressing them and sleep (lots of sleep!) help.

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  25. How scary hun! I am glad you are okay!

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  26. oh girl! I'm so glad it wasn't anything more serious!

    I can definitely understand your fear, I had something similar happen a couple of months ago when I was about 6 months preggo! Anxiety attacks are frightening!

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  27. i am so so so thanksful you are okay!! you have such a special place in my heart!! and it makes me so happy that nothing serious was wrong with you :-) but i can imagine how scary that must have been for you

    but hey...i like that rap music was involved...weezy perhaps?!

    your family is THEE CUTEST! mamaw! papaw!! ahh! i love

    xoxox MUAH i love you

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  28. OMG Shay that sounds so scary! I will be praying that never experience one that bad again! I can understand why you thought you were having a heart attack, those things are no joke! I wish I had some advice for you but I dont. I guess just try to destress as much as possible, but at least next time you will know what is going on. Hope your feeling better! :)

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  29. I'm just reading this now and it's like reliving something that happened to me.

    I was at my Aunt's Birthday party at an American Legion (no judging), I had 1 drink, all of a sudden I felt like I couldn't breath, the room was closing in on me, sweating etc. I told my husband I wanted to go home and now. Which was not in character. We had a babysitter and everything! All or nothing in my life. Ha, ha! So I go to stand up to get leave (without saying goodbye, paying our tab either, I needed out that second) and I apparently passed out. I could hear everything going on, the calls for 911 it was so surreal. Everyone was yelling that I was seizing. I came to, threw up, and the EMT people were there. I was so embarrassed! They asked me what day it was, blah blah blah. They said I needed to get to the hospital but there was no way I was taking the ambulance.

    I went to the hospital, driven by the husband, to run tests and they determined it was not a seizure. I had to have an EKG done a couple days later which was not fun either but they needed to rule out that I had a seizure.

    Basically, they determined that I had something called Syncope - brought on by hypertension or stress. I was told many things can trigger it - stimulants mostly. Caffeine, alcohol you know all the good stuff. Ha!

    My doctor said this is very common and many people don't even know they have it. He said it could happen next week, in 9 years or never. Scary I know but now you know the warning signs. Next time you feel it coming, take deep breaths, relax yourself, it will go away within minutes. If you can, lay down but the deep breaths will definitely help.

    Take care Sweetie!

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  30. Oh my gosh that is so scary! Thank goodness you are okay! I wouldn't be embarrassed about it, it can happen to anyone. I passed out at work after being at the job for THREE weeks! Yikes.

    I love those pictures, especially the dog in the field :-)

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  31. OH MY! How scary!!! I'm glad you're ok though!

    Looks like you had a great Thanksgiving besides that! Love the photos... especially the pig tails. Too funny! :)

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  32. So scary! The whole time I was reading it I was like, "Anxiety Attack!" Only because I have had friends have them before. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but maybe it was just a wake-up call to schedule in some down time for you once a week. You have to take care of yourself if you want to be your best :)

    P.S. are DDHP's socks hot pink or was that someone else next to you?

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  33. Wow! So brave of you for sharing your story. I have had this happen & to be honest I fund it incredibly difficult for people to understand. It goes to show how crazy your body is when it comes to stress. Mine also happened when things seems to be looking up. (After the major stress) I did go on meds for a couple days just to be able to relax and sleep cause not only was the stress freaking me out, but also the worry of another panic attack. It's awful & I feel your pain completely. So glad you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving & hopefully life will be much less stressful soon. : )

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  34. Anxiety attacks are NO JOKE (clearly you know this)! You have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, seriously. I've never had a full-blown attack but a few years ago I used to all of a sudden not be able to take a full deep breath... and well, once you realize you can't do it you freak out MORE. So fun.

    I would maybe talk to your doctor about getting medication... I know you said you don't want to put things into your body, but you might not even have to actually take it. My bf (and a few other people that I know) have told me that just knowing that they have the medication if they need it makes them feel better... and calms them down without actually having to necessarily take it. This obviously doesn't happen all the time - sometimes they need it, but just knowing that it's there is a huge relief.

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  35. Aww girl, I had my first anxiety attack this summer and it was the scariest thing ever. It was right after I got married and we moved, and before I had a job so all I had to do with myself was endlessly apply for jobs, watch TV, and scare myself into thinking I was pregnant. (I knowww...). It happened out of nowhere one day, I was home alone, and just started freaking out, got really hot, couldn't breath...well, you know how it is. I seriously thought I was dying.

    Incidentally, I got a phone call about five minutes later for a phone interview for the job I ended up getting. Hm.

    SO glad you're OK thought! It's a scary thing but I'm happy all is well.

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  36. Oh man, I have been there! My anxiety (That I didn't even know I had) kicked in when a friend's little boy died suddenly. At his funeral, I didn't feel well...then, driving home from work each night - I felt (This is going to sound weird), I felt as though the night was choking me. My hands would fall asleep as I was driving and I ended up in the emergency room one night convinced I was having a heart attack:/ Needless to say, I was diagnosed with anxiety and given a medication to take only when it kicked in. It helped tremendously and I didn't have to take medication every day. I eventually "grew" out of it..I haven't had a panic attack in years:) So, you are NOT alone!!

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  37. that is SO scary!! i can't imagine that feeling. glad you got some time off with family to rest & relax. too much stress=noooo good! maybe you & DDHP should get a yoga DVD? yoga is a big time stress reliever for me. and baths.

    anyway, glad you're okay!

    p.s. you & your cousin? sister? y'all are like miss and mrs. america! gorgeous!!

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  38. I'm glad I stumbled across this particular post. My struggle is anxiety. I've had one panic attack like you've had and it was horrible. I forunately knew what it was and was able to calm myself down in the bathroom. I still don't have a complete handle over anxiety but what has helped me is to remember that you are in control, not the anxiety. It may feel like the anxiety is in control but you are. Take deep breaths and talk yourself through it telling yourself it's okay it's just an panic attack and I will get through it. Giving my daily stresses to God and letting him handle it instead of letting it all pile up has helped me immensely too. Everytime I worry, I stop thinking about my worry and literally give to God and tell him I trust him to work it out. Some days it works other days it doesn't. It's all about what you feed your mind. I also donn't want to be on medicine, however, I do have xanxex for anxiety provoking situations. It's calming just knowing I have it for back up. Hope and pray this is the last panic attack you experience and find ways to distress. Getting massages regularly have helped me a lot too:)

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  39. I'm glad I stumbled across this particular post. My struggle is anxiety. I've had one panic attack like you've had and it was horrible. I forunately knew what it was and was able to calm myself down in the bathroom. I still don't have a complete handle over anxiety but what has helped me is to remember that you are in control, not the anxiety. It may feel like the anxiety is in control but you are. Take deep breaths and talk yourself through it telling yourself it's okay it's just an panic attack and I will get through it. Giving my daily stresses to God and letting him handle it instead of letting it all pile up has helped me immensely too. Everytime I worry, I stop thinking about my worry and literally give to God and tell him I trust him to work it out. Some days it works other days it doesn't. It's all about what you feed your mind. I also donn't want to be on medicine, however, I do have xanxex for anxiety provoking situations. It's calming just knowing I have it for back up. Hope and pray this is the last panic attack you experience and find ways to distress. Getting massages regularly have helped me a lot too:)

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  40. Holy shit Shalyn... I am so, so, so sorry this happened to you!! How terrifying. So glad you're ok. Please do whatever it will take to keep yourself healthy. Don't take on more than you can handle, because this is the proof that even if you seem to managing ok, the stress takes it's toll on your body even if other parts of yourself that give warning signs are shut off. That stress has to come out somewhere.

    I love you and I hope you'll let me know if there's anything I can do to help! I mean that.

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  41. Crap! That sounds really super scary!!! :O I would have worried that I was dying too! :O

    I love your Uncle Larry though - he looks hilarious!

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  42. Oh, anxiety! I'm so sorry you had to go through that, I know how terrifying it is. I've had anxiety problems for YEARS without explanation, and I have multiple mini-anxiety attacks every day. Fun stuff! I've had a few full blown attacks this year that were go-to-the-hospital-NOW bad (including one on Thanksgiving!)

    Breathing exercises help hugely. I always talk myself through them "and in...caaaaalming breath!.....and out.." what a dork, i know.

    I honestly think a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Like you jumping to "heart attack" because of your cholesterol. I have blood clotting disorders, and sometimes little stuff will trigger my fear response: "stroke! pulmonary embolism! you don't even have time to write a will!" and then fear -> fight or flight response -> hyperventilation, rapid heartbeat, etc. -> convinced you're dying.

    Sorry about writing the world's longest comment! I should post about anxiety sometime. I'm glad you're okay & hope you're relaxing!

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  43. OMG! That's crazy! Glad ur ok!

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  44. I have anxiety, and find it really helps to take a fast-acting med, something you can take when you feel the anxiety building. Extremely effective, and waaay better than popping something every day.

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  45. Oh honey, I'm so sorry that happened to you. My best friend used to get them and it was so scary for her. Thank God you're OK! Hopefully whatever stress you're feeling will ease and you'll be feeling like a champ all the time! I can't imagine how scary that was, but again, I'm glad you're OK!

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  46. That must have been SO scary! I'm so glad you're okay!

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