This is something I've wanted to write about for a long time. However, things settled down greatly for me and so I lost the motivation.
I am no stranger to anxiety. I think I am generally a stressed out sometimes wound tight individual. It's gotten loads better over the years mostly due to recognizing it and helping myself before it gets too bad. Granted the anti-depressants I'm on have a good anxiety lowering effect too.
When I turned 30 I started having panic attacks. In fact the first one I had was actually ON my birthday. Not fun. It was terrifying as the word "panic" says it all. My whole body tingled. I felt like I was going to be sick and I started sweating profusely and hyperventilating. Then all my muscles would go weak and I would fall over. I was usually in the bathroom (because I felt sick) and would faint and later wake up on the cold tile floor. The first time it happened I banged my head on the bathtub.
It happened a few more times but eventually subsided. Each panic attack being less violent then the last. Eventually I got the idea that I should shuffle out to the couch and ride it out. Don't try to make it to the bathroom where there are hard surfaces.
I noticed the attacks would come after long periods of stress. I found that increased anxiety seemed to be cumulative. They would always happen AFTER the fact. Sometimes by days and when I was least expecting it. Normally they would get me in the middle of the night. I would get startled out of sleep.
It's been a long time - maybe more than a year since I've had a panic attack until Sunday night. I know there has been a lot of emotional stress in my life over the past week. It sort of felt like things were building again but I couldn't stop what was already going to happen. That's the worst thing about panic attacks. So I staggered out to the couch and laid there riding it out. Once it was over and I could breath again the fear left me alone in a dark house. That, too is very difficult.
The worst part about the panic attacks is not the actual attack, its the aftermath it has on my blood sugars. I learned the first few times that as soon as it's passed I have to bump my temp basal rates on my pump up to at least 160% for the next 12-24 hours depending on the intensity of the attack. When you think about it, it makes sense. Panic is a rush of adrenaline coursing through your body and adrenaline releases glucose. It's just the duration that makes me really look at it. Holy shit, one 5 minute panic attack raises my blood sugar to ungodly limits for 12-24 hours. What exactly is going on in there?! That really freaks me out.
I thought I was over these and I surely hope I don't get another one. They come with no warning. I felt SO SO SO sick in the morning I couldn't even stand up and had to call in sick to work. Panic attacks are the most draining and exhausting thing you can imagine. They wipe you of everything in minutes.
For me, it's just something else that scares me being alone in the middle of the night.
I don't suppose anybody else has any experience with diabetes and panic attacks?