This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Beginning the year with a bang

I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way, but the holidays seemed to have picked me up by my feet, swung me around its head, and flung me into a dumpster. The one behind Sizzler.

It all came to a crashing halt yesterday when I woke up and couldn’t breathe or straighten out my fingers on either hand, my limbs paralyzed with anxiety. I don’t know if it has to do with Marlo’s age and the fatigue of getting her to this point, because it was when Leta was this old that I really didn’t understand how life could go on.

Now, I’m not there this time. I’m not even close to there, but I do see signs that if I were not actively treating my anxiety disorder that I would be a total basket case. Sometimes it pokes through everything that I’m doing to squash it, and the room starts to spin and I feel like my heart is going to explode or crawl up and out of my throat. Those times are usually set off by little things that I have let build up over time, and suddenly I’m in the kitchen thinking about Marlo’s next nap, whether or not we have what we need for Leta’s lunch the next day, the email I have not answered, and the mountain of boots blocking the front door. And I’m suddenly overcome with the urge to puke.

There is no reason at all whatsoever to freak out about those things, but when you let sleep deprivation creep up on you, or certain other parts of your life start to spin out of control, those little things can seem like a giant concrete wall holing you up inside a bottomless pit.

A few months ago I had a panic attack, the first real live one I’ve ever had in my life. One where my chest started to contract and I thought I might suffocate. I didn’t know why, I had everything under control, but there it was and I could not stop it. We’ll call it A Learning Moment, because I had no idea what to do, Jon had no idea what to do, and Leta just stood there watching the both of us not knowing what to do. Later she explained to my mother that we had had an emergency, but it wasn’t like the emergencies they talk about in school when you call 911. It was an emergency where Mom couldn’t breathe, and Dad waved his arms around his head a lot.

The solution was to lie in bed and breathe, but we didn’t get to that point until we’d screamed at each other for about an hour. Well, not really screaming, because Leta was there and we didn’t want to scare her too much. So it was heated, slightly-elevated-in-pitch questions and suggestions to each other:

WHAT’S WRONG?

NOTHING.

SIT DOWN.

I CAN’T.

WHY CAN YOU NOT SIT DOWN?

I CAN’T MOVE MY LEGS.

WELL THAT IS JUST DUMB.

CALLING ME DUMB IS NOT HELPING.

And on and on until I’m in bed breathing in and out to the count of ten. And then it was over. And I was fine.

Yesterday morning it happened again, so I got in bed for a couple of hours and everything was fine. Jon knew not to suggest that my feelings were dumb, and instead stroked my head and let me cry. Something was telling me, though, that it was more than just stress, that maybe my hormones were involved because my emotions were exactly like the ones I used to feel when I was sixteen and waiting around for a boy to call AND HE WASN’T CALLING.

And by yesterday afternoon everything made sense: Marlo is now eating solids and taking one or two bottles a day. Which means I am breastfeeding far less than I used to. Which means my body is making its way back to the way it was before pregnancy, which means YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

Yes. That. That. Do I have to say it? What are the euphemisms again, it’s been so long:

“Miss Scarlett’s Come Home to Tara”

“Taking Carrie to the Prom”

“Game Day for the Crimson Tide”

“Falling to the Communists”

“Rebooting the Ovarian Operating System”

That. And I was like, really? I’m still breastfeeding! What’s the point now? Yeah, we snuggle and it is the most amazing and magical bonding experience, and I’m going to cry for days when I stop completely, but other than that? At least give me a partial refund!

So. Hormones. Just ask Jon, he who every hour check in and says, “Is now a good time to tell you that everything is going to be okay? Or should I just be quiet?”

  • Amy G

    I so feel your pain with the crippling anxiety and anxiety attacks. While I’ve always been what you’d call “fairly high-strung,” my anxiety has been off the charts for the past two years, and I have no idea why. I’m convinced it’s hormone-related, too, but since we’re still trying to have a second baby (for 4 years now), I’ve been reluctant to medicate for the anxiety. Maybe I need to reconsider that, with my doctor’s input. I’m sorry you’re experiencing that, too.

    As for the arrival of what my husband and I refer to as “The Red Scare,” my condolences! However, consider yourself lucky that yours stayed away this long: after our son was born in ’03, despite the fact that I nursed almost exclusively for 6 of the 10.5 months total, my period still came back at 6 weeks post-partum. It sucked. 🙁

    Happy New Year!

  • Pandarazzo

    I had debilitating panic attacks in my 20s (I’m 34 now) and the BEST thing a therapist did for me was to make me visualize all the way through my fears and say what’s the WORST that can realistically happen? Imagine that happening, and how it would suck but not end the world. Go ahead and make preparations for that happening, and it won’t be so scary. (I was afraid of driving, flying, eating in public, and other random things.) After a while, this truly helped me breathe through oncoming panic attacks until now I rarely have any trouble. Flying is the only thing that still gets to me some, but I can do it. (Wellbutrin helps a great deal.)

    You have the support system and the intuition to handle anything that comes your way. Trust in that when you don’t feel it.

    I agree with the other commenters’ suggestion of a Mirena. No worries, no pills, no hassle. It hurt for 3 days after first put in but then I’ve never had a baby and what I consider “hurt” you probably wouldn’t notice! 🙂

  • MeMyselfandMommy

    I suffer from anxiety issues frequently, and probably have all my life However, I didn’t know this until a few years ago, and no one bothered to tell me that,”HELLO! YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ANXIETY.”

    My anxiety takes on the form of a crash and burn cycle. I’ll go along fine for awhile. I can hold the world on my shoulders and never miss a beat. Then it builds and it builds, and I freak out.

    I can’t sleep at night. And by that, I mean I will go days where I sleep a total of 2 or 3 hours.
    I get suffocated and paralyzed by simple things that must be completed.
    I’m irritable.
    If something goes wrong (even if it’s as simple as I can’t find socks) my world comes crashing down.

    My anxiety hit me over the weekend because I knew I was returning to work. The tight chest set in, and stopped sleeping. I wasn’t ready to go back to the realities of the world, and needed more time at home. I actually wrote about how I was far from ready to go to work on Monday.

    http://memyselfandmommy.com/2010/01/04/please-just-one-more-day/

    Once I’ve had a few days of complete loss of control, I take over again and face the world head on. However, my melts downs come closer and closer together if I don’t get it together quickly because my body is so deprived of sleep and nutrition that I have no defense.

    I’ve found that keeping a health journal helps me a lot (when I remember to do it). I keep track of what I’ve eaten, meds, the weather, things I’ve accomplished for the day, things still looming, how I feel mentally/physically. That way I can track my anxiety cycle and see what things set me off, and what things calm me down.

    I’m sorry your year is starting off with anxiety.
    It is frustrating when your husband doesn’t understand what you really feel when it hits. I hope you feel better soon.

  • booner32

    F U Horomones!!!

    I think Heather and Tiff are on the same schedule. If it happens again, Jon, call me and we can be helpless together, or at least compare hiding places.

  • holly8615

    I know exactly what your problem is.
    It’s called January.
    A friend of mine one said, “You eat, drink, and buy whatever it takes to get you through January.”
    I now live by that statement every year.

  • g.fox

    As a single girl of 26, I can hardly comment on the post-pregnancy stresses and hormonal flummoxers, but I can tell you that I have experienced G force panic attacks at certain points in my life (we’ll call them “spells”) and they are just about the scariest thing in the world. Worst of all, after you have one, it’s like you’re looking around every corner waiting for the next one to spring. They do go away. I promise. Find a place where you feel safe and realize that these little attacks are NOT your reality, that if you can breathe and be patient, your real reality will return to you, and eventually, they will go away. You are one of the strongest women out there. Just remember that.

    all the best, gabby fox*
    http://ouroboral.blogspot.com

  • LynnLaw

    Heather,

    I have years and years of on and off experience with frank panic. Coincidentally, so does my identical twin sister, who got her first attacks about three years after me when we were in our twenties.

    The most validating blurb! I ever read about panic attacks – since those who have never experienced them have NO IDEA – was a story about a man who in an attempt to tame the beast of his own panic attacks decided to take up skydiving with the rationale that if he could control that fear, he could surely gut it up when he got an attack. It didn’t work.

    Also, it helped me a great deal to know that it is the visual thinkers, the artists, the real game-changers who tend to get these, and not usually the folks who are happiest simply putting one foot in front of the other.

    My hunch is that you have stumbled upon a trigger OR the only medical conditions I’ve ever discovered it *might* be related to: 1. Thyroid 2. Mitral Valve Prolapse (common, benign condition which can correlate to panic attacks) 3. Menstrual cycle – PMS does seem to “bring them on.”

    What has helped ME most when going through is to take some simple, specific, logical steps when I cycle back into panics: no caffeine (sorry), no alcohol (sorry), Mild exercise (strenuous exercise seems to make panic worse).

    I have been able to resume all of the above once things clear for awhile. Sometimes I go years and years without an attack. Also, anti-anxiety drugs have really helped me unclench and relax during the brink-of-death “gaspies,” so perhaps they will help you.

    I am not a health practitioner, just a person who has had significant experience with panic.

    Blessings

  • Domestic Goddess

    Ugh. Aunt Flo came back at FIVE WEEKS POSTPARTUM both times for me. This was with exclusive breastfeeding, no pacifiers and no bottles. Lucky me.

    I feel for you! I was a blubbering, gosh-awful mess who cried constantly and called my husband several times a day.

  • jnudler

    Hi Heather,

    I have found through the years some helpful techniques to quell the symptoms of anxiety attacks. Like many, I suffer from anxiety attacks from worrying about anxiety attacks. Crazy isn’t it!

    Someone explained it to me like this: When you tend to be more of a creative person, the anxiety attack sets off a movie-like sequence of events in your head. The next time you start with any twinge that may signal an anxiety attack, the movie starts playing over and over again.

    The solution is to start thinking logically, NOT creatively. Here are a few things that work for me about 75% of the time (along with some help from valium the other 25%):
    1. Do a crossword/crickler/suduko puzzle
    2. Say the alphabet backwards in your mind (unless you are a freak that can do that easily, I cannot)
    3. Go through the multiplication tables or do any type of math in your head (larger numbers work better)

    Good Luck – Jules

  • jnudler

    A daily dose of fluoxetine daily has helped to reduce the frequency of my panic attacks.

  • WVKay

    Oh, I feel for you all. I’m having flashbacks. Just remember, menopause is right around the corner. Hahaha. I know that doesn’t sound good, but once you are over the hot flashes (power surges), and hormonal flux, you will enjoy never having a period again for the rest of your life. If I had known when the last one was, I would have had a party to end all parties. Hang in there ladies.

  • kim at allconsuming

    So my first full blown panic attack had me at our local hospital who were totally useless but the demonic Beatrix Potter bunny rabbits jumping off the bathroom wall at me and the cockroaches crawling under my skin and the complete desire to rip off all my clothes and go swimming in the ocean along with the vomiting and shaking and lock jaw and inability to move my shaking limbs were enough to make me think, ‘wow, this is when people top themselves. Not to end their life as such but just to make these feelings go away’.

    There is a fantastic book – it’s short, it has pictures, you’ll read it in about 15 minutes – which gives you strategies for getting through panic attacks. Some fantastic phrases to tell yourself, some good techniques to regulate your breathing and get you back on track. It certainly is not a cure but it is a fantastic management technique. The book (and there is a whole series of them) is by Bev Aisbett and called ‘Living with It’. Here’s an Amazon link (http://www.amazon.com/Living-Survivors-Guide-Panic-Attacks/dp/0207180407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262735056&sr=1-1)

    Onward!

  • Neyon

    I’ve never had a panic attack, but my husband gets them. So I guess my comments are really for Jon. After he got them for a month, I started recognizing the signs and learned how to talk him down before he got to that panic point. Jon, pay attention to what’s going on before, the look on her face, how she breathes, everything. It is really scary the first few times, and after that, once you know what is happening, you’ll know what to do.

    Heather, all I can say is, don’t take it personally when he’s doing everything he can to snap you out of it. I promise, it is done with love.

  • Caitlyn Nicholas

    I call it The Blob. 🙂

    Hugs
    Cait
    http://www.caitlynnicholas.blogspot.com

  • Neyon

    I’ve never had a panic attack, but my husband gets them. So I guess my comments are really for Jon. After he got them for a month, I started recognizing the signs and learned how to talk him down before he got to that panic point. Jon, pay attention to what’s going on before, the look on her face, how she breathes, everything. It is really scary the first few times, and after that, once you know what is happening, you’ll know what to do.

    Heather, all I can say is, don’t take it personally when he’s doing everything he can to snap you out of it. I promise, it is done with love.

  • hugsNpuppies

    This post is a good reminder for why I read your blog. Thanks for being so open. Your mother said that you exaggerate a lot, but I think that’s only half true because when you’re in that panic state it’s not exaggerated – that’s how it is for you right then and there. And it’s like that for a lot of other people. Most of us get there and not many admit to it. And it’s not getting any easier if we chose to ignore and not deal with it. Reading your post encourages people to be more honest with themselves. You deserve number 26 and more 🙂

    I fell into a deep depression when I weaned my daughter at 10 months old. I was ready to stop breastfeeding, she was ready. I really honestly didn’t fuzz. And yet, it hit me over the head massively, I lost a lot of weight, was skin and bones, couldn’t sleep and couldn’t cope, I sunk into a hole and the only way out seemed to be self-harm. That scared the shit out of me and on a better day I pulled myself out and made a phone call to a help line. It took a long time (years) to get better, but I made it. And this might sound weird but I feel better for having gone through this. It’s made me stronger and better in a lot of ways.

    Lot’s of love!

  • cyncha

    Thank you.
    Thank you for putting the Crazy into words that are not only eloquent and accurate, but that also see the hilarity in all of it.

  • SaraMargret

    Thank you for making the rest of us feel normal for experiencing these things.

    Thanks also for the laughs with all the euphemisms. My husband and I like to say that “The circus is closed because the monkey has a bloody nose.”

  • 1eyedmonkee

    OUCH.

    Was thinking of you today as I was starting to clean my basement like a wild woman after my husband commented on my “low energy level, menopause or the arthritis in your hip or whatever…” and how that leads me to not pay enough attention to his needs. Let’s see: I am the caregiver for my 83 year old mother that lives two hours away and I go there for an overnight once a week. Our daughter just had her first baby (traumatic c-section) and two weeks later moved into her first home. That’s right…I don’t have much going on and choose to IGNORE YOU!!!

    The result of the fit of rage yielded 4 bags of extra garbage and 3 huge boxes of stuff donated. I paused when I came across the vintage Oleg Cassini placemats and cloth napkins from the 70’s thinking, “Didn’t Heather say once that she liked vintage Oleg??” But alas, they have been donated. If it would make you feel better – I’ll wait a week and go to the place and buy them back. I’d do that for you. That’s how much I like you.

    And oh…menopause is it’s own kind of nightmare. Where is normal? What is normal? Where is my center? Hell if I know.

    All the years of ups and downs women have to deal with doesn’t seem fair – except we give life! It grows inside us and we alone can sustain it. That is worth it. But it certainly takes a toll.

  • blytheswideshut

    My first and only baby was born on June 23 2009 – about two weeks (I think) after Marlo.

    Let’s just say that Aunt Flo came a visitin’ 28 days afterwards.

    no one told me about that, but then no one told me my waters would break and I’d be holding my baby less than 2hrs later. epidural? no chance.

    ’nuff said.

  • dizzy comet

    Thank you Heather for giving me a real-life example of what is “worrying” and what is “anxiety-that-needs-some-help.” All my life, I was told I got my “worry” from my mother. I know different now, and your blog contributed to that. I didn’t want to comment before (Holla haters!) but I’ve been reading since 03. Thank you.

  • Bones

    Thank you for the play by play of a panic attack. I had my husband read it so he didn’t feel so alone when he is invited to my world of CRAZY! I am glad you figured out how to calm yourself down before you forced your husband to call 911 while you were sitting on the toilet, your limbs curled up, and your tongue filling up your mouth so you are slurring your words. (yes, my most embarrassing moment).

    Thank you also for making me feel “normal”. I just read your book and have passed it on to my sister. Yep, this crap runs in the family.

  • Bones

    Thank you for the play by play of a panic attack. I had my husband read it so he didn’t feel so alone when he is invited to my world of CRAZY! I am glad you figured out how to calm yourself down before you forced your husband to call 911 while you were sitting on the toilet, your limbs curled up, and your tongue filling up your mouth so you are slurring your words. (yes, my most embarrassing moment).

    Thank you also for making me feel “normal”. I just read your book and have passed it on to my sister. Yep, this crap runs in the family.

  • dmanthei

    Damn hormones. Nothing like adding insult to injury with Aunt Flo, either.

  • tracy

    first: hahahaha ~ shark week!!! that is the best thing I’ve heard in ages!!

    second: I wish I had time to read each & every one of your comments. I know you have a shit-ton of people with nothing better in their lives than to nit-pick every nuance of your life, but I think what’s more important (and so very cool) is the amount of super-supportive readers you have.

    I wish I were lucky enough to have a support group of a million-plus friends.

  • tracy

    first: hahahaha ~ shark week!!! that is the best thing I’ve heard in ages!!

    second: I wish I had time to read each & every one of your comments. I know you have a shit-ton of people with nothing better in their lives than to nit-pick every nuance of your life, but I think what’s more important (and so very cool) is the amount of super-supportive readers you have.

    I wish I were lucky enough to have a support group of a million-plus friends.

  • mommioandretti

    My Aunt Flow returned when my son was 5 months old, and, I was still breastfeeding. No formula and just cereal twice a day…made with breastmilk! Now that’s he’s almost a year old, my pimples are back too. Great.

  • Mookie

    I can’t second Kay enough–Y’all, get your thyroids checked. When I started to have anxiety attacks to the point of feeling suicidal, I went through two good doctors who both told me, “Sorry, you’ve gone crazy.” I finally had to ask to be tested and it turned out my thyroid had gone supernova hyper. Very common for it to happen post-partum especially, up to a year after even.

  • Bones

    Sorry about the double post. I can’t be held accountable when I am helping two of my three chickens with math.

  • Trina

    can we trade husband the next time i’m having a panic attack?

    “oh just relax” is what I get

  • MommaS

    oh. my. I am so sorry this happens to you. I have to say I have never had a panic attack but I did just stop breastfeeding my 9 month old between christmas and new years and guess what showed up yesterday? Yes, she’s back. Now I realize why the mood swings, hello.
    Take care and I love your blog. My sister doesn’t have kids and we chat about what you write and I am constantly saying how right on you are! Keep it up.

  • renaemcalister

    I’m so sorry! I have a 9 month old and a 2 and a half year old and the last year has been very tough. I’ve never had anxiety, but having two boys 19 months apart has done it for me. For some reason I think breastfeeding added to my anxiety, so at 6.5 months I quit. It definitely helped me feel more “free” and I was lucky enough not to get my period back until a few weeks ago. For me, it is crucial to get sleep. I did sleep train my boys, and they sleep 12+ hours at night, but I still wasn’t sleeping good and I would stay up late getting stuff done. When they take their afternoon nap, so do I. I just let whatever needs to be done wait, and I take a break and don’t feel guilty about it. Whenever I feel stress or anxiety I just get in the floor and play with my kids! It WILL get better, hang in there! Oh, and take a day at the spa 🙂

  • jenspends

    I’m sorry you are going through this. I started suffering from anxiety and depression when I was 10 years old, and I had regular panic attacks during which I was convinced that I was going to die. My coping mechanism was to sip some water. It always helped me to calm down for some reason, I guess because it was something easy I could control, and it reminded me that my body was still functioning…and it forced me to stop whatever else I was thinking about or doing. It sounds like you kind of understand what’s causing your anxiety lately. It’s hard to know why our bodies go into full blown panic mode, but recognizing your triggers is an important step. Sounds like you could really do with some rest and relaxation just to regroup and let your body chill out. Hope you feel better soon!

  • paperbacks1980

    Anxiety issues blow. I’ve had them for about ten years and now, as I’m about to start grad school and move to a new apartment in a new city where I know approximately zero people, they are flaring up again. I just keep going back and forth between “Oh my God, I have no money” to “I’m sure I’m going to forget something in the registration process for school and they’ll kick me out” to “Holy shit, where am I going to put the towels since there is no linen closet in my new apartment???” Irrational? Yes. Reality? Affirmative. I can sympathize.

    P.S. My code words are “Elated night”. That’s what it’ll be when I can finally fall asleep at night instead of spending countless hours worrying about whether people take notes on laptops or notebooks these days…

  • Emy

    The first time Miz Flo came back after I stopped breastfeeding, I felt the exact same way.

    Crippling panic attack. WHY????? WHY, GOD, WHY?????????

    And the next day: Oh. OH. That’s why.

  • ddee

    Bless your heart! I’ve been having panic attacks off and on since puberty (30 years ago), and having the support of loved ones helps tremendously, even if all they do is look at you with concern as you breathe into a brown paper bag. Good luck!

  • Queen Bugaboo

    My cycles post-baby were SO alarmingly different from my pre-baby cycles it was scary. I was lucky that it held off for over a year, but that was because my hormones were building up reinforcements to stage a pretty intense attack. The Crazies have gotten MUCH better since I’ve starting taking a multi-vitamin and vitex. Someone else mentioned vitex and I swear by it. I had run out and figured my body surely had this all figured out by now, right? Wrong. The month without vitex was hell. I hope I never feel like getting in a car accident bad enough to put me in the hospital for a while but not bad enough to kill me is preferable to everyday life again. But everything is dandy now.

    (Also, I am amused that one of the spam-bot preventing words below is “asylums”.)

  • Be Like The Squirrel Girl

    Oh, I’m glad you are ok. I got a little scared just now. Stupid hormones!

    When I was close to weaning, I got serious cabin-fever. But when I tried to go for a walk with my baby, I couldn’t move my feet because they were too heavy. Fortunately, it didn’t last long.

    On the plus side, my libido came back!

  • Cheeky Muffy

    I am so amazed by all of the comments. I can’t believe that so many people feel this way–anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc. I always think I’m the only one who’s mental. I look at others and think that they have their shit together. Maybe they don’t. Maybe we are all really good fakers.

    For what it is worth, yoga has been a lifesaver for me. It helps me stay in the present moment and breathe.

  • pb rippey

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s always a relief to me to be able to blame hormones–you know? That is when I remember to blame hormones instead of being all, What’s wrong with me, waa waa. Someone should bottle hormones and use them to control the world–in a good way–if that’s possible. Oy.

    http://pbrippeyblogma.com

  • MisterPrecedent

    “riding the cotton pony”

    🙂

  • SassySuds

    Sometimes I’m not even aware that it’s a panic attack starting when I get Teh Crazies. It never occurs to me to breathe into a bag or go OOOOHHHHHMMMmmmm when they start. I’m too busy worrying about whether my chest is going to burst open from an alien inside.

    I’m a strong believer in better living through pharmaceuticals. Talk to your pshrink about meds for panic attacks. I can usually head one off in ten minutes with a good ol’ hit of clonazapine. Well, my husband can head off the attack. I’m too busy watching out for that damned alien.

    I’ve heard BuSpar is pretty helpful, too.

    I used to get the worst PMS ever. I went from a working model to a sports model, take one little estrogen pill a day. Now when I’m being a bitch, I have no excuse. My family practice doctor will rue the day when he decides to take me off hormone replacement.

    I also agree with a thyroid level check.

  • mama_needs_wine

    I know this is more about the anxiety than the period (and yes, I have been there with anxiety but strangely not since having a baby), but let me say I, too, was totally shocked to get my period once I started moving the kid to solids. I mean, hello, still pumping 2x a day at work and doing morning and evening feeds and THIS comes along? Insult to injury. And having just fully weaned the kid at 15 months postpartum it is really back, cramps and all. Always something to look forward to, right?

  • TarTar

    Hang in there, as I know you will. There are so many changes..you start with your pheromones, that are ignited by the testostorone, and that jump starts the hormones that you came by way of your chromosomes…and then you have babies. It’s a very vicious cycle.

    Right now, me? I’m gettin’ ready to go through the Twighlight Zone of menopause. My rememberance of my Mother’s menopause was seeing her standing at the stove stirring a huge pan of gravy (love her gravy) and she was crying. Now I know what was going on: She hated making gravy.

    Today’s problems are tomorrow’s “that wasn’t so bad. And you can always “thank God for my chilren’s health.”

  • SerenityNOW

    Oh, Dooce!
    I may be childless but I know the HELL of having a good, old fashioned anxiety attack. My therapist tells me to “ride the wave.” I know you had a comparable experience with contractions, when you were a “yard ornament” (love that entry.) Try to imagine the same thing. Water rushing over you and RIDE THAT MOTHER F’ING WAVE. It will peak and ebb and flow just like a contraction.
    Someone else mentioned “Hope and Help for Your Nerves” by Dr. Claire Weekes. I second that. Just reading it makes me feel better. It’s probably like 15 cents, used, on Amazon.
    You have people who care about you. Don’t forget that.

  • Figtron

    Dude. I totally got pitched in the KFC dumpster. I smell lard.

    The anxiety attack thing is one practical joke from the almighty that simply isn’t funny one dam bit. Try having one at a public event (banquet style) and having to completely cocoon yourself inward to keep from freaking everyone out at your table. I felt like my head was full of droning bees, for three days afterward.

    Then, oh then, I have to deal with the REVERSE hormone thing…AND I have to deal with the fact that my nursing precious offspring will reject my mammaries in favor of hamburger steak?

    Right at this moment? Just say life can suck it.

  • SwoozyQ

    I also had PPD, with both of my kids and I have found that that my PMS has been horrendous since all functions returned to my body after my son was born… Not only has my PMS been bad but I also reverted to my 15 year old self and had terrible skin and cramps and all that crap that goes along with a nasty period. Until I was in a health food store one day and saw this vitamin call “Healthy Hormones”… I was anxious for a change (my baby is now 5… ie 4 years of nasty, nasty PMS) and my marriage would be much better off if I could get the moods under control… Well, I have been taking this stuff (it is a mixture of CoQ10, Chasteberry and other stuff that I can’t think of) for about 3 months now and I feel SO much better. Well I did, until I ran out of it just before Xmas when my period arrived just before New Years… and there was Nasty-Me again, wow, I really didn’t miss that! Anyway, I don’t work for them or anything, I actually think it is a Canadian product (as am I) but if you are looking for a natural option that may help… check it out.

  • ashby

    I have tried SO many times to explain that, like, the pile of unopened junk mail, sheets that need changing, and empty shampoo bottle all of the sudden add up to OH MY GOD I CAN’T BREATHE. and you have articulated this so much better than I ever could have. thank you, Heather, for that, if nothing else.

  • They made me choose a username

    Fortunately my anxiety attacks usually come when I’m already lying in bed, so if I just stay there things usually work out.

    HOWEVER,

    I have the rare genetic gift (I know it’s genetic because my sisters have it too) of a cycle that starts back up at only two months postpartum even though I’m breastfeeding around the clock. AND with my last two pregnancies my postpartum bleeding lasted for six weeks. That’s right, I got a two-week reprieve. And with my most recent pregnancy, my first postpartum period lasted 18 days.

    Yes, I’ve had to have iron injections. I probably need more again.

    Although the point of this comment is for you to feel very, very sorry for me, I have to admit that there’s one very bright silver lining: my fierce cycle seems to correlate with fertility such that my husband and I have been able to time all but one of my five kids’ births to within a month. The other kid’s birth was off by a few months, but I think I had a very early miscarriage in-between.

    Okay, I’m done whining and bragging,so I guess it’s time to say something that’s not about me: Good for Jon for learning what not to say, and good for you for figuring out how to survive. Keep it up.

  • Pagooey

    “Massacre at the Y.”

    But “Shark Week” is supplanting that in my affections. 🙂