1st note to self… Never get hurt on a Friday.
By Sunday morning, I was crippled with anxiety. I kept playing the scenarios over and over again in my head. I needed to know what would happen next but there wasn’t anyone to ask. I sent a message to my Dr. through the Teledoc portal asking if he could take me on Monday. It wasn’t a short message as I also dramatized a recap of events as they had unfolded… the Mysterious Life of Craig Nichols (move aside Benjamin Buttons). My Dr. was “booked” and the Teledoc system would not allow me to make an appointment. It was good I didn’t have plans for the weekend and I had taken care of all my errands during the week. With the refrigerator stocked and the Boys next to me, one on each side, I laid my head down on the “clouds” behind me. I needed to make the background clatter fade away. It was loud. I closed my eyes.
Why do we sometimes wake in a panic?
I woke with shortness of breath, my heart pounding out of my chest, I had chills up the back of my hairline raising each individual hair as it pulsed upward and, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of pending doom. My body jerked a few times and my left arm twitched. The Boys were having their own adventures as I watched them quiver, move their paws in and out and both were stretched out, with bellies in the air and mouths whispering through tight lips. I was hot and sweating and didn’t feel well. I felt fuzzy and needed some water. Before laying down, I had filled a thermos with ice and water and set it on the table next to the bed. Thankful I remembered, the cold water helped to cool my body as I drank it. I wasn’t awake enough to want to stay up so I closed my eyes again.
It is a fact that no, you can’t die from a panic attack.
The weekend had passed and it was Monday morning. My anxiety kept me far from a deep sleep and I was up with the rising sun. It was gray outside and looked cold. It was Winter in December in NYC. I checked my weather app on my phone – 39′. I exhaled a winded sigh. The weekend was behind me. My Dr. didn’t come in to his office until 8:30am. It was good I was awake. I was stiff and my back muscles were contracted from the spasms. They were intense. I needed to feed the Boys and shower. I wanted to be ready to leave the house as soon as I had an appointment.
It is, however, possible to die from laughter. It isn’t necessarily as much about the tomfoolery but more of how your body reacts to it. Medically, laughing too hard can kill you.
8:57am… 8:58am… 9:03am…
I dialed the number to my Dr’s. Office. The receptionist answered the phone after the third ring. I had been going to this Office for 22 years and the receptionist knew me. I always wondered what stories she must have heard. She probably wondered every time she answered the line if it was going to be the call. The one. You know, the “fish that got away” tale. The one she would tell and retell long after she retired. The Dr. was already with a patient but she would tell him to read his Teledoc notes and she assured me she would call me back with an appointment time.
I had not heard from my own Office. As the Company was bi-coastal, the Human Resources Office was on the East coast. I had never been on Workers Compensation and I didn’t know where to begin. My Generalist would be in about 11am EST. I would have to wait. If I was getting calls over the weekend, someone must have started the paperwork and I just needed to be “brought up to speed.” As I had remote access to the Human Resources portal, I opened the link on my computer. That’s odd. My credentials aren’t being recognized. I tried again. I had the same response… “User Unknown.” I found out later that I had been deactivated. As soon as a Workers Compensation file is opened, you are not to return to work without medical approval. I was never again able to sign-in to that portal.
It was the receptionist. I had just caught the phone before it went to VM. She told me that the Dr. could see me at 10:45am.