Trigger Warning: I talk about my latest panic attack in this post.
I'm trying to get back on track with my health this year, so I just started a new autoimmune drug that's supposed to have impressive results with Hashimoto's. Trouble is, while there are very few side effects, wouldn't you know it: one of the few is anxiety. And also insomnia. Ahh, MY OLD FRIENDS.
So late last night I had my first panic attack in months, and just to make it extra memorable, it started while I was on the toilet. Playing Candy Crush. Like ya do. I looked up from my game, muttered, "uh oh," and BAM. Adrenaline tidal wave of shaky, queasy nastiness.
But you know what? Thanks to these past years of reading books and talking to doctors and just learning my own body, I knew what was causing the suckiness, I knew what was happening - and more importantly, what WASN'T - and I knew what I had to do. So I just focused on the steps and launched into what I've decided to call my Panic-Attack Recovery Protocol. (PARP!!)
First I wet down my face, neck and hands with cold water from the sink. Cold is essential for panic recovery; an ice pack on your face and hands stimulates the vagus nerve, which helps lower rapid heart rate and blood pressure. Plus it gives you something tangible to focus on.
Next I began deep breathing exercises - which also stimulate the vagus nerve, and also gives you something to focus on. (Hit that link up there for instructions.)
Then I got off the toilet. :D
From there I shuffled to the kitchen, got a proper icy washcloth for my face, and spent the next 30 minutes taking a slow stroll around the house to burn off the full-body adrenaline shakes - while reading my phone for distraction.
Within about 10 minutes, though, I felt better than I think I've EVER felt so soon after an attack. It was almost euphoric. I kept thinking, Wow, I kicked that attack's butt.
When John found me 20 minutes later I was at the window laughing at our new garbage truck, which I swear was doing a comedy routine inspired by this one:
Of course I was almost delusional with fatigue at the time, and I still haven't slept since then, so take my giggle proclivity with a grain of salt.
Yep, the new meds have also cranked my already existing insomnia up to 11, so sleep was an elusive little bastard after that. Instead, I followed a rabbit trail via Boing Boing to a time-wasting TREASURE TROVE of the most amazing Disney ride-through videos I've ever seen.
The SoCal Attractions 360 channel uses some insane low-light camera that captures dark rides as if you're actually seeing them with your own eyes, and it is DEE-LIGHTFUL.
Thanks to these vids I've been able to experience a few rides I've never been on, a few more I haven't seen since I was a kid, and plenty more that I hope to ride again eventually, when I wrestle my agoraphobia into total submission.
Here's one of my favorites: the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion in Disneyland - which, if you've never seen, YOU MUST SEE:
I know I'm late to the party on this, but how amazing does the new Hatbox Ghost look??
I used to be a Jungle Cruise Skipper here at WDW, so the fact that I've never been on the "Jingle Cruise" at Christmas has made me sad and mad at myself each year. Thanks to SoCal Attractions, though, I finally got to see it! And it's so good!
Not gonna lie; I almost got a bit misty over this.
Heck, give it another few years, and we'll have VR headsets so it's like we're REALLY there.
Head over to the SoCal Attractions channel for oodles more videos to watch and drool over. You have to scroll a ways to find all the Disney stuff, and most of that is Disneyland, but there's a nice mix from WDW, too!
As for me, I'm drastically cutting back the dose on that new medication, so fingers crossed this ickiness passes quickly. And that I can sleep tonight, since I feel like a strung-out zombie right now. I am hitting keys here, right? Not a squishy banana? And the cats aren't scanning me with alien mind probes? LISTEN. Do you smell something? Ungggggg.
Ok, I'm gonna watch just ONE MORE ride video... or two. Definitely no more than three.