April 22, 2016 by Courtney
Well, it’s back. The breathing issue that I dealt with a few weeks ago is back. I thought I had dealt with everything that needed to be dealt with, and I was wrong.
Luckily this time I think there is a diagnosis. Kind of self diagnosed at the moment, but I’ll be talking with my doctor and counselor Monday and Tuesday.
It’s called Hyperventilation Syndrome. There is so much information out there about it that I’m surprised none of the professionals I’ve seen knew about it. I saw a nurse practitioner, I talked with my psychiatrist over the phone, I talked with my counselor, and a friend that was a counselor and NONE of them had heard of this. I plan to take print-outs of the syndrome into my appointments next week. Maybe I’m wrong about what I think I have, but the symptoms point to this.
The hardest part about it all is that it’s psychological. There’s something triggering it in my mind. There are some breathing techniques that can be used, but most of the articles state that counseling and medication are the best ways to over come it. The unfortunate part is I’m already on so much medication, so I don’t know if I’m ready to add just one more. The most common they say to help is an SSRI (which I am currently not on, but I have been in the past). Most of all, though, I think I need to get to the root of what is triggering it. One of the articles said it could take 6-8 weeks to overcome it. Last time, though, it only took a week and a half (of course it returned, so who knows this time).
Several years ago this happened. It lasted from the end of May through the beginning of August. As I look back to that excruciating time, I see the trigger very clearly. I interviewed with the principal (at my kids’ school) in May, and had to wait till August to find out if she had any positions available for me. The breathing issue started in May, and it ended in August. To top it all off, I didn’t want to leave the preschool where I was working. Robert wanted me to work full time. And the prospect of being at the kids’ school was a good one. I did in fact get the job, only to have to leave at the end of January because of severe depression (ended up inpatient in the hospital).
This time, though? I have no major trigger that I can pinpoint. It just doesn’t make sense. A few weeks ago I worked through some things that were causing me a lot of anxiety, and I’ve dealt with it all, so I don’t know what else there is to deal with.
Other than this breathing issue, I’m so thankful for life. I love being with my kids all the time. I love homeschooling. I love living at camp; I love our community. Some people would say that maybe homeschooling is the trigger, but how can my favorite part of my day be a trigger for anxiety? I literally look forward to it every day. So. I just don’t know.
Robert tells me that maybe it’s time I let go of so many expectations that I have on myself. He thinks it’s years of high expectations that I can not meet that have built up. If that’s the case, then I probably have a lot of counseling ahead of me to work through it. I also have some childhood and adulthood trauma that maybe I haven’t dealt with. It could be anything really. How some people go through the most terrible things in life and never have this kind of issue is beyond me. Why did I have to be the one to have this? I guess we all have our stuff and we carry it in different ways.
I have been taking a nap every afternoon and it really helps. It kind of resets my breathing. The same thing happened today and I’m breathing great right now. I only hope that it stays this way. Only time will tell. In the meantime, please pray with me. It is a terrible way to live. It feels like I’m suffocating all the time. Yet I’m not. My oxygen levels are perfect, my lungs are clear, and nothing is clinically wrong. It’s just the way it feels. It’s the constant “need” to take a deep breath and the inability to do so. It’s like there’s something blocking the breath.
It brings me to tears almost every day. I just want to overcome this.