← Return to Worrying about my heart: tests normal, but I'm anxious

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@tngirl1 If you can't sleep, get up, and write down what is bothering you and consuming your thoughts. By doing this, you've acted upon it, and can get it off your plate. You can also get up and do housework to train yourself to substitute chores for anxiety, then you'll work off some nervous energy and get tired from the housework and maybe you can sleep then. I had a problem with my allergies causing lots of phlegm and it would become a chest infection and drive my resting heart rate up over 100 beats per minute. That of course got my attention and a trip to the ER (as it should), but I now have the allergies under control and this isn't happening anymore. It was a learning experience, and another chance for me to overcome something that scared me. I took action and advocated for myself, and after some antibiotics, I was fine. What is important is to listen to your body when you need to, and think objectively about solutions. Live in the present and don't imagine that something bad is going to happen in the future. Start asking yourself questions about why you feel the way you do, and write down your answers.

All of us have medical issues at some time or another, and you'll need to handle them as they arise, and sometimes advocate for yourself. When you do get results of good health, understand that you are doing OK and celebrate that. Not everyone has that good fortune. In my life, I have taught classes for some extremely disabled people and to know someone who is disabled who looks only to their achievements and not their disability can teach you a lot. It's all about your perspective and how you look at things. With the internet, there is so much information available and it can be easy to imagine that you have every disease you read about, and once you start thinking about it your mind can fill in all kinds of symptoms to go with that fear. If you are on medications that raise your heart rate, you can ask your doctor about them. It took me 4 months to beat my anxiety over surgery. I started with learning to lower my blood pressure. You might want to pick something like that to try to see if you can teach yourself how as your first step toward beating anxiety. You can do this, and you will need to uncover every part of your past that is feeding the fear. That is work, but very worth it when you prevail.

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Speaking from my own personal experiences with panic attacks, I can find no pattern, no warning signs, no reason for the onset. Each attack has materialized suddenly out of no where. I got a sudden foreboding sense of darkness and fear, with a racing heartbeat and dufficulty breathing, fearing I was having a heart attack and near death. Total panic with little ability to use my brain, especially with the first few attacks when I had no clue what was happening to me. As a woman who has always been at the top of my game and able to control my world, the attacks were incredibly scary and left me wondering what had happened to my body AND my mind.

Then I saw my primary, who told me I was having panic attacks. They won’t cause a heart attack but sure make you feel you are having one. She said they are common after a major surgery, especially heart surgery. I had had a TKR two weeks before my first attack. I now carry Alprazolan to control them. I rarely need it, and I believe having it available has helped calm me and prevent some attacks. I have the greatest sympathy and empathy for anyone who has ever experienced the debilitating effects of a panic attack. Truly an ugly experience. The loss of control is terrifying.