November 15, 2003

// May 4th, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

For the last eight weeks I’ve been having one panic attack after another, each lasting for days at a time. I’ve been taking Prozac for a few years now to help combat some of the problems I’ve had with perimenopause (mainly panic attacks, like my mom did at the same time of life) but it doesn’t seem to be doing its job any more. Besides I’m tired of feeling FLAT all of the time. I talked to my doctor about it last Monday. In discussing my options, together we decided to switch to a different anti-depressant, Effexor, which has better results for controling anxietyand shouldn’t leave me fgeeling so emotionless. He suggested I also try to fit in more exercise every day. It has been proven to be a good natural remedy for anxiety and is generally a great anti-depressant in its own right.
During my visit Dr Pantarotto called me an “active, young person”. That was good to hear, but for a moment I wondered if he had the right chart in front of him! I am not very active and I certainly don’t feel young these days. But I walked out of his office feeling a bit more hopeful for my physical future.

This morning when I woke up, I could feel a tremendous difference from the way I have felt for the last eight weeks or so. I had no dark, heavy cloud surrounding me. It had been suggested to me last week that my battle with anxiety was probably because of Steve’s upcoming birthday. I didn’t think it could be true, but after waking up this morning without the feeling of apprehension pressing in on me I had to accept it. I know now that these recent panic attacks have been caused by the anxiety of facing Steve’s birthday without him here with us.
But yesterday we celebrated his life. As a family, together. And today I feel as though a large part of a great burden has been lifted from me. I even feel happy today. Optimistic.

Still missing him though. That’ll never change.

From 2010 ~
Remember ~ I am NOT a health care professional in any capacity. The things I mention here regarding medications and exercise are about MY experience and not for anyone to use as a guide 🙂

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