Monday, August 6, 2012

Dealing with anxiety and a strange episode

Let me just start by saying anxiety is a bitch. It’s something I’ve battled with my whole life. I have my own personal reasons and family history for not wanting to use medication to help me with anxiety. It cripples me to the point where people think I’m just some shy weirdo, but up until now I wanted to handle it without the help of medication.

Well last night I had quite an “episode.” The medication I take had some type of weird reaction last night where I started to feel really weird, almost a numbness or high. I’ve never done drugs so I’m not sure what a high is, but in my estimation I was higher than a damn kite last night.

It started around 10 p.m. I thought it was just a temporary few minute thing and was laughing hysterically at the smallest things (again like I was stoned or something).

Well my wife was tired so she went to sleep. I stayed up watching the olympics by myself (yeah I’m addicted to the Olympics). I started to feel more and more stoned. I was watching the men’s gymnastics and started entering my own version of the major tripping balls stage. I was in like a trance watching these dudes hop around and I’m pretty sure I even started to think I could do what they were doing, thankfully I did not try.

I was getting freaked out, but decided to try to sleep. That’s where things got even weirder. I then got the thought stuck in my head that if I went to sleep I wouldn’t wake up and my wife would find me dead in the morning. I don’t know what chemo brain exactly is but for the next hour or so I think I had some form of it.

Everything seemed so bizarre. I was talking slow but felt I was talking fast. I would be mumbling one second, laughing the next, then crying about missing my son moments later. I’m not sure how my wife handled it, but I was for the lack of the better word acting like a complete nutjob.

We decided to go the emergency room. I talked the whole way, probably not making much sense. Thankfully when we got to the hospital I was over the crying and weird babbling about everything from what I had for lunch to missing my little brother stage. I was just feeling stoned while there. Everything was funny to me, but I tried to act as normal as but honest as possible when a nurse or doctor came in.

They weren’t really sure what the cause was. Gave me some Benadryl. Eventually I started to feel a little better and went home.

I went in for my final treatment of my first round today. I told my doctors about my episode and even they are unsure what caused it but think anxiety could have played a role.

Reluctantly I am going to start taking Zoloft for anxiety tonight. I probably need it to get me through these next two rounds.
I don’t know if I’m being a baby, but my whole life I’ve really tried to avoid getting on pills to “cure” my anxiety. Nothing against people who take these medications. I’ve never gone to a doctor or talked to anyone other than my wife about it before. It can get really bad at times. It starts with me simply being shy around people, but begins to build. If I don’t say anything at first and keep being quiet, in my head I begin to feel that if I finally say something now it has to be super important or incredibly funny. But what usually happens is I don’t say a word and I’m eventually either labeled shy or quiet weirdo.

Sometimes I get over it and begin to be myself. It takes some work on my part. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say I didn’t know you were so funny or something to that effect. Well yeah because I didn’t say a word because my anxiety rendered me a mute. I was voted most shy in high school because my anxiety would often render me to silence. I knew that wasn’t the real me, but couldn’t do anything to change it.

I still have that problem in certain settings and it’s hard for me to break out of that shy guy mode. It usually takes an effort by someone else. Once I feel comfortable around one person, I tend to start be more outgoing. If nobody comes to my rescue then it’s captain shy.

I’ll see how this pill works. Maybe I’ll start being Mr. Life of the Party everywhere I go with Zoloft. Somehow I doubt it, but I’ll try it. At least while I’m going through chemo. I believe I'll kick cancers ass with or without the Zoloft, but if it helps me avoid another night like last night then I'll be happy.

In other bad news my white blood cell count was down so I have to be extra careful about sanitizing my hands and avoiding sick people. They were up last week so not sure what caused the switch, but not happy about it because I am supposed to go to Chicago for Comic Con this weekend.

Maybe I’m just being stubborn, but I already paid a lot of money to go so I’m going to go. I am going to make sure to keep sanitizing my hands, maybe even wear a mask and avoid contact with people as much as possible.

I know some people don’t want me to go, but damnit cancer can kiss my ass I’m going.

Sorry it’s kind of long post today and maybe rambling, but just wanted to tell the good and the bad. Thanks for reading, especially if you actually made it this far.


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  2. Dave, thanks for being so honest and open. You were talkative when you were just a little guy and then you got quiet. I never realized your quietness was due to anxiety. I thought you were either shy or just didn't like talking to us "older" folks.

    I'm not so sure about your w/e plans. Having a family member who still 7+ years later has a low resistance to advice is to check with your doctor and think really hard about how much this trip is really worth.

    You want to be around to make as many memories as possible with your wife and two little ones. Maybe I'm being too blunt and yes, this is not my business. But don't let this one trip allow cancer to kiss your butt in a way you're not prepared for.

    Please know that I'm not trying to be mean or pushy ~just sharing my thoughts.
    Aunt eileen