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My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-14-2006, 11:19 PM   #1
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My wife's very stressful last day

So DW's last day at work was today, and this had been a rough week, lots of submissions to the FDA, plus work with other countries, Tori was very sick with the stomach flu, and all week long we kept saying, "just get through this week!" So that's what my wife was doing. And she ignored the tingling in her left arm.

So she's in her exit interview this afternoon and begins feeling really bad, the tingling goes to both arms and spreads to her chest. The HR lady asks if she's allright because she's very pale. My wife says, no, we better call 911, and ends up lying down on the floor.

Paramedics come, she goes off in the ambulance, I get a call, run out of work and pick up Tori and rush down (through horrible rain soaked traffic) to the hospital. Long story short, stress. They gave her a prescription for valium. Sheeesh! I feel about two inches tall right now, because I didn't even notice, not really anyway, and I was happy as a lark, while she was really suffering!

Before I got there, they were interviewing her asking, "Is there issues with domestic violence in the household?" and stuff like that - wow! That actually got her to laugh, and once I got there the ER staff seemed to relax, I guess I don't come across very mean-like.

But I was just amazed that she ignored those symptoms which could have been heart attack or stroke, especially since she works for a company that develops products to detect these very events! Just please, people, pay attention to what your body is saying to you, and take a break when you need to. I'm going to book DW for a day or 3 at the spa....
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-14-2006, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Wow, what a week you two have been through. I hope Tori is feeling better and I am glad that your wife is okay.

It is amazing what stress can do to you. Don't feel bad about not noticing her stress. Alot of people keep their great feelings of stress bottled up inside and can look fairly calm on the outside. It does affect their health though.

I am glad that your wife's last day is over and I hope that next week is a much better week for your family and that you have a Happy Easter.

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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-14-2006, 11:44 PM   #3
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Ugh. Catecholamines. Your body starts pumping them out when it thinks you need to run or fight. I used to go for a jog or bike ride in the middle of a work day just to get them out of my system on tough days. Haven't felt them dump into my system for about 4 years now.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 02:04 AM   #4
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

I can be emotionally over reactive also. It is one of the reasons why I dropped out of the work world early. Like Wab, I found and still find that exercise is a great help, as is socializing with pleasant people.

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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 06:34 AM   #5
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Gosh Laurence I'm glad it was only stress and not anything more serious. What a scare, I hope you both can relax and enjoy the weekend.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Anxiety/panic can be manifest itself in the most scariest ways. It can feel like you're really dying. Anxiety usually crops up when there is major life change and can stay with you for a while, then it goes dormant. She'll get through this, believe me. I've suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since my early 20's. Yes, I've been to the ER and had paramedics at my feet many times. Now I manage my anxiety and panic attacks through cognitve behavioral therapy.

Laurence, tell her she could PM me (or call if you still have my number) anytime.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 08:51 AM   #7
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Anxiety/panic can be manifest itself in the most scariest ways.* *It can feel like you're really dying.* Anxiety usually crops up when there is major life change and can stay with you for a while, then it goes dormant.* She'll get through this, believe me.* *I've suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since my early 20's.* Yes, I've been to the ER and had paramedics at my feet many times.* Now I manage my anxiety and panic attacks through cognitve behavioral therapy.

Laurence, tell her she could PM* me (or call if you still have my number) anytime.
Cube: While I haven't personally had this happen to me, my wife had 3 or 4 episodes of this. (Also trips to ER).
It is very nice of you to offer your help to Laurence's wife, and the fact that you have been through therapy to control this, I'm sure you would be very helpful.

In my wife's case, the episodes she suffered were during my kids teen-age years. (Damn Teenagers).

From the information I've been able to gather, it is the "loss of control" to affect the outcome that is one of the biggest culperts.

To use a sports analogy, the players feel very little stress regardless of the import of the game. They are busy doing their job, and feel they are capable of affecting the outcome of the game. The fan, on the hand, (Especially if he has a large wager), is actually in a more stressful situation. Thus the flight, or fight situation.

In any case, it would be interesting if you could expand on what you have learned.

Incidentally, when I retired, we moved 600 miles away, to a totally different environment, and was really concerned that would trigger off some additional episodes from my wife. Not a thing in the last (almost 20 years). (Damn teenagers).

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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 09:38 AM   #8
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

I also used to get panic attacks.

Breathing exercises, progressive muscle relatxation exercises, visualization exercises and/or meditation can help.

A good breathing exercise to calm yourself:

1. Breathing from you abdomen, inhale through your nose slowly to a slow count of 5.

2. Pause and hold your breath to a count of five.

3. Exhale slowly, through your nose or mouth, to at least a count of five.

4. When you have exhaled completely, take two breaths in your normal rhythm, then repeat the above cycle.

5. Do this for three to five minutes, with at least ten cylces of in-five, hold-five, out-five.

This or other breathing exercises are very helpful in addressing hyperventilation, often part of panic attacks.

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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 10:02 AM   #9
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Thanks guys, DW feels a little better today, but still has a little tingling in her arms. I hope being out of work will help. There was a lot of dirty politics going on, and she was the one person that was still everybody's friend, so they would all run to her close the door to her office and vent. I think that, among other things left her with that frustrated, "unable to affect the outcome" feeling. It was cute, when we got back to her work to pick up her stuff, there was about 8 or 9 people waiting around to see if she was o.k.

Martha, I will pass that along.

Cube_Rat, thank you, I will let her know, I really want her to address the cause, I know these pills just mask the symptoms.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 10:03 AM   #10
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Glad your family made it through the week and I hope your DW feels better today.

I had some anxiety attacks when I was working full time, had small kids to raise and lots of work deadlines. *That's when I realized I couldn't do it all.

Once she has a more relaxed schedule, hopefully this will not reoccur. *But at least now she can recognize the symptoms.

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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 10:32 AM   #11
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Best wishes to your wife Laurence.*

A friend of mine had a very smilar experience about 10 years ago.* (Day of moving house to where she knew no-one, a baby and a toddler in tow, husband away on business).* The doctors checked her out to make sure no heart or stroke type issues - nothing.* She has had no recurrence since then.* So don't be worrying that this is something chronic that won't go away, get off the meds as soon as possible and enjoy being at home with Tori.

Good luck.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 12:36 PM   #12
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Laurence - I forgot to suggest that she pay the doctor a visit. Just to let him/her know what's going on. Let the doctor check her thyroid, hormones, heart, etc just to erase any doubt as to the state of her physical health.

Martha is correct on breathing and works very well for the most part, but sometimes the panic can get so out of control in some folks that focusing on breathing is not an option :P. That's where medicine as needed helps. Even as I practice cognitive behavioral therapy in my daily life, I will take a pinch of xanax sub-lingually when things get really bad. Valium, xanax and others it's ilk are not that bad if used judiciously.



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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 04:42 PM   #13
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Is it o.k. to drive on valium?

DW is better today, taking a nap now. But she still has some symptoms. Last night she said the valium only took a little edge off, today she said it's pretty darn cool.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-15-2006, 05:47 PM   #14
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Is it o.k. to drive on valium?
No, it's not really a good idea. It can be like having a couple of glasses of wine. Valium stays in the system for a day or two unlike it's cousin, xanax which slams out of the body in 4-5 hours.

If she's still having symptoms, she's probably reliving the trauma and wondering "when it will it happen again". That's called the 2nd fear or anticipatory anxiety which keeps one hypervigilant and tense. It's a perfect set-up for another panic attack. The key is breaking that 2nd fear. I recommend her reading "help and hope for your nerves" by Claire Weeks and "The Anxiety and Phobia workbook" by Edmund Bourne. There are other excellent books as well.

Also meditation and breathing exercises (see Dr. Weil's web-site -- he has an excellent breathing exercise program) which should be done on daily basis. This helps to help condition the body into a relaxation state.

Please see the doctor too to help ease her mind of any possible physical problems. Sometimes the doctor telling you there's nothing wrong with your heart, etc helps tremendously.

Oh yeah, ditch sugar (even artifical sweetners which are positively evil like anything aspartame!), caffeine and alcohol all which are big time anxiety/panic triggers. People reach for alcohol because it relaxes you in the short term but one can wake up several hours later in a panic state with the heart racing away. Alcohol is not a good thing.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-16-2006, 01:45 PM   #15
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

One of my neighbors is a 22 year old trying to get finished up at Loyola Business School. She has some type of anxiety/panic attack at a once a week rate. Seems to be due to stress. Her room mate uses me for help and I can say it is scary but she is now on :

ATIVAN and that has really slowed the occurence. Not a Doctor so I'm not recommending anything. And when she takes it she sure seems kinda lazy.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-16-2006, 01:50 PM   #16
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin are all related to Valium. Valium happens to be the grandfather (along with Librium) of the benzodiazipine family.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-16-2006, 02:04 PM   #17
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

cube_rat,
as you have already pointed out, any of those drugs used by someone aware of their longterm consequences and having some self control will benefit.

I saw a young lady at last years Chicago Fest go into severe heart palpatation, breathing problems and seeming impending death. A medic gave here one (ONE) xanax and she was OK in 5 minutes.

Some drugs do work.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-16-2006, 02:10 PM   #18
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Xanax is the best for knocking out anxiety/panic out the system very quickly, especially when administered under the tongue. I can't tell you how many meetings I've been in with VP's, etc where I had to slip a pinch under the tongue! If they only knew what was really going on in my head at that moment
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-16-2006, 02:15 PM   #19
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

cube_rat,
thanks for that and I will mention that to this young lady. She's going thru her last year "front of the room, please". Really hope she does well, she is hard working.
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day
Old 04-16-2006, 02:21 PM   #20
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Re: My wife's very stressful last day

Best of luck to your lady friend. Just having a friends around who are supportive is so important. Also let her know that having an anxiety disorder is not the end of the world. As a matter of fact very intelligent : , think too much sensitive, perfectionist type of personalities are prone to anxiety disorders or have at least suffered through panic attacks at some point in their lives.
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