Monday, 27 April 2009

Panic attacks and agoraphobia

Calm has descended in the bold house after what has been a nightmare of a morning. The twins are having their nap and fi is busy painting at the table - silence is golden, but I'm making the most of it as it definitely will not be for long.

The terrible twins have tag teamed me all morning with incessant and totally unjustified screaming, bottles, juice, toast, weetabix, bananas, grapes, even a biscuit or two have not done the trick still they cry as if it is the end of the world with real globe sized tears streaming their bright red tomato faces.

I tried bathing them to calm them down that didn't work, and as soon as i tried to wash out the weetabix matted in their hair and snot that had crystallized in their eyebrows they erupted again, culminating with Evie pooing in the bath. After evacuating the shitty water, i attempted to fish the poo out of the bath and in doing so neglected the fact they were still without a nappy, yes you guessed it Bella felt left out and so to rectify this she proceeded to poo all over the new bedroom carpet, i only realized when i smelt it and by this time she had walked it in and it was stuck in between her toes and squished all over her heal.

After round two in the bath i am pleased to report there was no more pooing, but the crying never stopped. Trying to put the dishes away i tripped over a twin who was clinging to my ankles and smashed 4 plates - luckily no one was hurt but the same can't be said for my lovely teal blue "posh" dinner plates. I think maybe that babies are like animals and can sense your moods and then tend to replicate them.

I've found myself getting highly emotional the past couple of days, crying whilst watching the London marathon on more than one occasion, losing my temper a lot and i even had a panic attack yesterday which was just awful. I 've had them before, they started when i was about 19 on my gap year working in Switzerland as a chalet host, i put it down to the altitude, home sickness and my fear of dying whilst snowboarding or in one of those horrendous cable cars! Yet they only lasted a week or two and had more or less disappeared until November when my mother in law died. Since then I've had three, two in the car and one on a jam packed train at Christmas time.

Yesterday's was by far the worst, Mr bold and the big girls had nipped into the supermarket and he locked the car without thinking with me and the twins inside. I was busy reading YOU magazine and catching up on Liz Jones latest instalment about her dead cat when i suddenly realized i was trapped - panic set in, i felt a hot flush rise all up my body to my head, palpitations started, i felt like i couldn't breath and was going to die - irrational as it sounds now i just went CRAZY and i needed to get out but i couldn't. Shaking and trembling with fear i managed to get the attention of a man in the next car and mouthed to him my sir name and asked if he could get the supermarket to announce over the sound system that i was trapped in the car - what he must have thought of this raving lunatic i dread to think - but obligingly he did as i had asked and went on his way. Some 10 minutes later Mr Bold and the girls emerged laden with bags of naughty food oblivious to my panic and terror. As soon as i heard the sound of the car unlocking i jumped out and took a huge breath, then began berating my poor husband calling him all names under the sun for not coming to my rescue sooner - apparently he hadn't heard the announcement in the supermarket. He wasn't at all fazed by my plight and was mortified that i had acted like a loony attracting the attention of passers bye when i knew he would only be a few minutes!

I'm lucky to have such a sympathetic husband, but i suppose if you have never experienced a panic attack like that then i probably did appear neurotic and dramatic. I'm really worried now though, as i am off to Spain on Friday for my friends hen party and the thought of getting on a plane fills me with dread, even though i have never had a panic attack on a plane before and i am perfectly fine with flying. I don't want it to ruin what will be my first girlie holiday since i have had children (the last was Cyrus and sooo much fun) but i can't help but worry now. Last night i decided to google "panic attacks" and not surprisingly my findings have done little to dissipate my fears. Apparently i have panic disorder and am agoraphobic, Below is the definition of agoraphobia:

Agoraphobia (from Greek aγορά, "marketplace"; and φόβος/φοβία, -phobia) is an anxiety disorder, often precipitated by the fear of having a panic attack in a setting from which there is no easy means of escape. As a result, sufferers of agoraphobia may avoid public and/or unfamiliar places. In severe cases, the sufferer may become confined to his or her home, experiencing difficulty traveling from this "safe place."

Indeed this totally explains the terror i feel at just the thought of going near a motorway - in "which there is no easy means of escape". My friends often poke fun at me about this and my husband who is extremely pragmatic and tackles everything head on is simply dumbfound at my inability to lead a "normal" life. I cannot handle change, won't step out of my comfort zone and my heart beats like a drum at the thought of having to drive in an area i do not know - i only travel within a radius of 10 miles, and i have to take exactly the same routes each time avoiding busy crossroads or t junctions.

I feel like a freak now, especially since my husband seems to think it's all in my head - of course it is - but i can't simply just "get over it" like he seems to think i can. Anyone any answers???

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