Beautiful weather today, but pain is intense…

Today has been absolutely gorgeous! 77 degrees with a nice breeze. I just love the Fall and temperatures in the 70’s, but for some reason my pain goes through the roof at the same time. I still have the A/C on because it’s going to be 90 again in the next couple of days and it gets a bit to warm in the late afternoon which heats the house up too much. However, the issue is the fact that every year my pain gets so bad in Fall that I end up in a wheel chair. This does not make sense to me. The beautiful weather should help keep my pain to a minimum. It’s not rainy or cloudy out so it has nothing to do with that. The pressure is good. For the last few years my pain has been so bad that I have been in a wheelchair for Halloween. I do not want to go through that again this year. I just wish I understood the correlation between fall and my pain. I am in the south and it’s so nice, weather wise in the Fall. I could see my pain increasing due to it being cold or hot outside. So what is it?

As I sit here typing this my left hip is robbing in deep pain. My lower back and tailbone feel like they are crushing into me. A deep in the bone pain, much like a ice cream headache, is flowing down my left leg. I wish I could make this hell just go away!

I love Halloween! Every year we decorate the back porch and set up a scary walk down our driveway onto the back porch where the kids get their candy. Every prop I have I made myself. I have always loved doing this and after my son died, I did Not do Halloween for several years. Each year people say how they appreciate our efforts in creating a haunted walk, because no one does it anymore. So many kids cannot go to a haunted house, because it costs $20 or more to get into one here. I have always liked to make it special and scary. I remember being a kid and there was always a scary haunted house, no matter where I lived. It takes two months of a little bit here and a little bit there to make it all happen. Just being able to get candy to pass out has to be done in very small amounts over a very long time. Yet, we always do all we can. Then I became ill and had the chronic pain over come my life. Three years now. If not for the others here, I would not be able to do a single thing for Halloween. I am grateful for the fact we can still make it a special day.

I have lost so many things I love in life because of this pain. There has to be a way to make my life a more enjoyable one. I go to my appointments and I do everything the doctors tell me to do. But they have not tried to correct anything. They insisted on a dozen injections that never helped and since then they just see me every two months and they do not seem to even care or hear what I am telling them. I know there are other therapies out there to try. How do you get your doctor to try them? I have begged for the spinal cord stimulator in hopes I could just not feel all this pain anymore, but they refused to do it. I want a real shot at a decent and enjoyable life! Everyone deserves that…

Why Me?

My life has been full of so many negative things, I cannot help but think, “Why Me?” When things go wrong…

I woke today to increased pain in my lumbar spine and tailbone. Mind you, I have pain 24/7, but this was even more intense than my usual pain. I still pushed forward and was in a good mood. It takes a lot of positive thoughts to get me to the point of a decent mood, yet I try to achieve this every day and often fail miserably. I was careful not to do anything to effect the level of pain I was already in. I was only up a matter for two hours when the mail came. I opened a letter that I had been waiting for, and then the stress over took me. Me being an honest person and following the rules, I reported the back child support I was receiving for the next few weeks, so they had terminated the extra help I was getting to cover my deductible and co insurance. The problem is the deductible and co insurance now comes to more than the small amount I will be receiving for the short time to come. I am always struggling. Trying to find ways to have food to eat and the things we all need to survive. Keeping my mind occupied is one of the few things I can do to keep my pain from overwhelming me to the point of suicide. Which is very hard to do with no money. I don’t know what I am going to do! I need my medications, I am on nine different medications for several disorders and health conditions. I am scared and so very tired of struggling to survive. I have my three year old grandson and I do not receive any help from his parents for the things he needs. He always comes first no matter what. Which is how I have lost over 40 pounds, lack of food for me.

So the stress and worry brought my anxiety levels up, my pain levels even higher and the panic attacks came full force. Why do I struggle and fight so hard to get through each and every day only to keep having crap thrown at me? What do I do in January when I cannot pay full price for my prescriptions until my deductible is met? I won’t be able to get my prescriptions and most of them come with a mountain of problems when stopped. And you can surely forget about Christmas! So Yes, Why Me?!!! I’m tired of this life! With its panic, anxiety, pain, depression and excessive worry. I really do not think I can keep doing this life. I have pushed and made it another ten years since my son died and had even more problems added to my plate. I guess when the time comes and I become very ill, I will have an easier time choosing to leave. What can one person possible tolerate before they just cannot push forward anymore!?!

There it is, today’s added stress. My head is throbbing, yet I am still here. My panic and anxiety have a death grip upon me. My pain is overwhelming in its self. I miss my son! I wish it could all be like it was the year before he died. When I ran my own business and made enough money to never worry about food or anything we needed. I wasn’t in pain then either. And most importantly, my son was still alive!

The Loss of a Child…

My oldest child passed away at the age of 16 1/2 in 2003… His name is Keith and my grandson is also named Keith, he is 3 years old. My daughters tribute to my son/ her brother.

It was June 7th, 2003! I will never forget this day and all the events. It was a Saturday… Though his actual death date is June 8, 2003 because he passed just minutes before midnight and the official call is not made until the coroner arrives. Below is my story:

In May of 2006, my husband and two of my kids were packing up our house to move from Georgia to Southern Illinois. I lost my job and my husband, at that time, was unable to find enough work to pay our mortgage. We listed the house for rent. My oldest child, Keith, was staying with my parents and was to come move up with us mid summer. He had a girlfriend and he didn’t want to leave yet. On the 25th we set sail to our new home with my best friend since age of ten. I remember standing in the driveway hugging my oldest son and us both crying. He said to me, “I feel like I am never going to see you again!” I told him not to worry as he would soon be up there with us. We drove the 8 hours and arrived at our location. We were staying in the cabin at my friends house until we were able to get on our feet. Keith called me almost every day and we would talk for a little bit on the phone. He told me how he had purchased several calling cards so he could always call me.

On Saturday June 7, 2003 I had an over whelming urge to speak with my son Keith. I called my parents house around 11 am, but Keith was still sleeping. I told my mother how I just really needed to talk to him and to let him know I would call the next day at noon for him again. That night my best friend had broken out in hives and was having trouble breathing. Her husband and I took her to the ER when we realized it was not getting any better. While I was standing in the ER next to the bed she was on, I looked at the clock. It read 10:57 and for some reason I felt the time was very important, so I remember it and continued on. We made it back to the house around midnight or so and within 30 minutes I was in bed. At 2 am my best friends husband came into the cabin and told me that my friend from back in Georgia was on the phone and needed to talk to me. I was annoyed and said, “what does she think I can do in the middle of the night”, but I went to the house and picked up the phone. My best friend was there and told me I needed to sit down because the call was about Keith. I answered the phone and the friend in Georgia said that the boys were killed in a car accident. I felt pure shock! She explained that neither had come home and my mom had been out looking for Keith and she had been looking for her son. Earlier in the day her son had picked up my son to hang out together.she said a girl was driving and both our sons were killed but the driver lived. Still feeling dazed and in shock I hung up and called my parents house. My father answered the phone and I could hear my mother screaming in the back ground. The police had just arrived to tell them that Keith had passed in an auto accident. I asked why he wasn’t home. My father said he had left earlier with his friend and he always came home on time so my mother had went looking for him with his girlfriend but they never found him. The officer said they needed Keith’s dental records to identify him because the body was badly burned. I hung up the phone and walked out on my friends porch. I remember feeling nothing. Not one single emotions, nothing at all. I stared off for some time and then asked them to go wake my husband. When he approached me, all the emotions flooded wide open and I began to ball my eyes out. He said he needed to get some sleep so he could drive us back down to Georgia later that day. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. All I did was cry and feel like my heart had been ripped from within me. I sat outside in the swing the rest of the night. When my daughter woke and came outside I told her what happened. She didn’t believe me and thought I was making it all up. She finally realized I was telling the truth and she cried with me for a while. When my youngest son came out and I told him what happened, he ran off screaming. I called my sister and told her then had my husband call everyone else and then we packed up the car and went back to Georgia.

I had to go to the funeral home and make the arrangements for my son. I remembered how not long before I had left, he told me if he died he wanted to be cremated. Since he was burnt so badly it was impossible to see him again. I scheduled his funeral for that Wednesday, June 11th. I went and looked at the accident site. My anxiety, panic and depression all engulfed me. Two of my sisters came and some of my nieces and nephews as well. At the funeral I was a mess. Going from panic to severe depression as fast as you could blink your eye. During the funeral I was composed until they folded the flag and gave it to me, then again when they played the song I had pick for him. His favorite song was “when I’m gone” by three doors down. When it was time for me to walk out, I rose and made it a few feet into the isle, then the sobbing over came me and I collapsed. My husband had to carry me out to a sofa. Many people who knew Keith came up to me, but I was crying so hard I could not even tell you who they were or what they looked like. I stayed at my parents for a few more days and then we came back to Illinois and I carried my sons ashes with me.

After we returned, my best friend and her husband were not getting along anymore. They were fighting and ultimately separated in July. We found a house to rent in town in September. I spent a good six months in bed, I didn’t cook or clean or do anything after my son died. I placed my son ashes in a beautiful urn made of marble with a dragon etched upon it and his name and dates.
Keith R. Krogmann II, 12/18/1986 – 06/08/2003
I found out that my son had actually died right around 11:57 pm on 06/07/2003. Remember when I was in the ER that night with my best friend and I looked at the clock. There is a one hour time difference from Ga to IL. So when I saw 10:57 pm, it was 11:57 pm in Georgia! This is what happened:

My sons friend, Bradley, asked him to come out with him because he was upset with his parents for some reason. They spent a few hours goofing off, then they put Bradley’s car in the parking lot at the grocery store so his parents wouldn’t find him. They both went with a friend from school named, Jennifer. Keith’s girlfriend was also with them and they hung out for the day. They took Keith’s girlfriend home and then Jennifer was going to drop Bradley off at a friends house for him to stay the night then bring Keith back home. They were on the way to Bradley’s friends house when Jennifer lost control of the car. She was driving extremely fast and it was lightly raining out, late at night. She slid the length of a football field and slammed into a tree, then the car bounced uphill off the tree, spun around and landed in a low lying area in the front of some woods. She said that Bradley was unconscious and bleeding from his ears….. She said Keith was unconscious as well. She got out of the car and flagged down a vehicle to call 911. I heard the 911 tape about a year later. The lady calling 911 said the car had a fire in it and to hurry. You could hear Jennifer screaming, begging for someone to do something and then she ran toward the car, the lady yelling for her to stop, then the lady says, “oh my god! The car is engulfed in flames! There is no way they can live through this!” When the fire department finally arrived, they had to put out the fire then cut open the car to get to the boys. There were burn marks in the grass where they laid each of them.

The driver of the car was sentenced with two counts of vehicular homicide, wreck less driving and breaking the rules for someone who was 16 and only had her license for two weeks. She was ordered to do talks at schools about the dangers of wreck less driving, but she refused to do it. So they put her in a home until she turned 18.

I experienced all the stages of Grief….. The immediate shock and feeling no emotions. The denial that it was not real or true. Trying to bargain with God to have my son back. Guilt, and this is the one that still gets me, thinking I could of changed it if I was there, or I wasn’t a good enough mother and so on… Wanting to die, because a part of me died that night and you are NEVER the same again! Severe depression, sleeping too much, crying to much, feeling that death is the only answer, not wanting to have any fun if my son couldn’t be here to have fun, hating God…… Not fearing death at all anymore. Risky behavior, which happens because you just don’t care if you die anymore! The gut wrenching pain that never goes completely away. Deep and utter sadness. The death of a child will either bring a husband and wife closer or it will cause a divorce in the end. For me, it ended in a divorce three years later when my husband decided that he wanted to do drugs and have sex with other women. Having a support system would of really been helpful, but I did not and I do not have one. I lived and now even live away from all my family other than my kids and when my son died even my best friend was unable to really be there for me. I think I ended up living only because I out myself in intense private therapy, plus group therapy and DBT therapy…… Although, I do still to this day, have times where I am sucked back into the darkness and I just want the pain to stop!

It has been ten years and it still hurts deeply. I do not break down as often as I used too, but the pain is always there. I went through wanting to die and even having a plan on how I was going to do it. Right after my sons death I put myself in therapy and stayed in therapy for a solid three years. I realized I needed medication and I gave in and took what ever the doctor felt would help. I have had insomnia since his death. I do not sleep without medication. Every year around his death date I get very depressed. Also each year right at Halloween, thanksgiving, his birthday and Christmas as well. From October through December I have to battle severe depression. The worse pain in the world is the death of your child. No one should ever have to experience it!


Out of No Where, I became crippled in pain…

I was having a decent day, until the evening. Out of no where I was crippled in horrible pain. From my lower back, through my left hip, down my left leg, into my left knee and into my left foot to the big toe. It felt like a ice cream headache or brain freeze in the bones! Ugh! Crying I fetched the heating pack and placed it on me. I spent an hour trying to wait it out in hopes it would ease off. Finally, I want to bed with the heat pack. Laying there thinking I would not go to sleep due to the throbbing bone pain, but I did finally fall asleep for about an hour. I woke up and still had the bone pain, but it had eased off some. I have been sitting here for over an hour wishing it would just stop already! I have taken additional meds and I am praying I can go back to sleep soon.

This really sucks! So tired of it happening. How long do you wait before you finally say, I guess the rest of my life is going to be like this! It has been three years for me now. I do not want to live this way. Through pain management and medications I have been able to pretty much stay out of the wheelchair and at least walk around a bit. Yet, ever day is filled with pain and some are so horrible, like tonight! I just do not know what to do anymore. I wish my pain management doctor would try something else to see if it would help my pain levels. I had over a dozen epidural steroid injections that did nothing for my pain. They kept telling me that there are other things to try, but we haven’t tried anything else! I am feeling like giving up and not fighting through every day if my life to stay alive. Yet, I don’t want to not be here for my grandson. When life is such a huge struggle every single day, it becomes more of a burden than a joy.

I spend two hours every day when I wake up trying to get my pain under enough control so I can walk out of my room and sit in the living room. Then I usually end up back in my room because the pain is just too much after another two hours. Sometimes I have to take naps. Sometimes I have to be in total peace and quiet. It is a constant struggle to just live. Then throw in the panic, agoraphobia, anxiety and depression… The fact I have no support system or a loving and caring person that tells me it will be ok or tries to help me out. I need a full body massage. All the knotted up places need to be worked out. Then I need to soak in a hot tub and flush my body with water. Then rest for a 24 hour period after. If I had the money I would schedule a massage for one hour, then pay for a hydrotherapy session and come home and rest in bed for a full day. Something, anything to reset the deep torturous pain! But alas, I have no funds……. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure can make life a whole heck of a lot easier!

When the Pain Began…

I will never forget the day….. November 15, 2010! I had just returned from a trip to the store and my son was telling me how the neighbor had been into an argument with three teenagers. I guess the neighbor was outside, drunk and peeing on the side of his house. The teenagers saw him and made verbal comments to him. Then the drunk neighbor back lashed at them and there was a verbal confrontation. The neighbor and a few of his buddies chased the teens down the street. Then, shortly thereafter, a pickup truck drove by and threw bottles at the neighbors house. I was standing in my driveway next to my car as my son told me all of this. Suddenly, two vehicles came down the road quickly, then slowed to a roll in front of my house. The neighbor who had the confrontation walked across the street and was standing in the road at the end of my driveway. The two vehicles parked in front of my other neighbors house right to the right of us. I told my husband to go in immediately and call 911! In an instant, there were over a dozen thugs storming down the street. My son walked towards the end of our driveway and in a blink of an eye, the “gang” attacked. They piled on the neighbor and my son. In seconds the neighbor was down and crawling away to hide in his house with all his buddies who started this mess! Then the entire “gang” of 13 males between the ages of 15-21, piled on my son in my front yard. I didn’t even think, I just went to the pile and tried to pull them off of him. I screamed the entire time telling them how I had cameras all over my house! There was one female and she was swinging a crow bar into my sons head. I pushed myself as deep as I could into the pile to try to block all I could of the hits to my son. I remember thinking, “wow, I am being hit a lot in my head and back”. Yet it did not hurt at that time. At one point I lost consciousness and woke seconds later noticing I had urinated myself. Then the pile moved, they were getting up. As I stood and turned around I noticed one of them in long dreadlocks holding a large shotgun and pointing it directly towards my son and myself. He pulled the trigger and I felt all over myself to see if I had been hit. I couldn’t feel anything at this time. A neighbor about three houses down came out and shot his gun in the air. The “gang” began to run back to their vehicles. The girl threw the crowbar in the road. So I went for it to give as evidence to the police. I heard footsteps stomping closer to me as I bent over to pick up the crow bar. I was slammed and dragged down the road, road rash! The thug grabbed the crow bar and jumped in the truck and they left. It took a few more minutes before the police showed up at my house. I showed them the video footage of all the had happened. They roped off the area when they found the shell casing from the shotgun. At one point an officer came in and asked us if we knew why one of the thugs had his head bashed in. That is when my sons girlfriend stated she had picked up a brick and threw it at one of them in hopes of getting some of them off of my son. Later on, the police denied ever saying this to us. Because they never arrested a single person! The police department is a giant joke here!

I immediately had severe pain in my neck, along with the road rash and bruising everywhere. I also become extremely terrified and felt very unsafe in my home. After a week I went to my doctor because the neck pain was so bad and would not stop. They did an MRI and said they only could find arthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease. That pain has never stopped. I was on low dose pain meds and I tried to deal with life with the pain. Then about six month later my lower back became a serious problem. The pain so intense and I was unable to walk at that time. Back in for more scans and the same findings. What they found in the neck was through my entire spine. Put me on stronger pain meds and muscle relaxers when I started pain management. I had a serious of a dozen injections throughout my spine over a course of four months. The most relief I received was for ten days. I, to this day, suffer from severe chronic pain in my lower back, tailbone, hips and neck. I have sciatica as well. The pinched off nerves have cause the middle toes on both of my feet to become completely numb. I get pain down my entire left leg as well. I also get horrible crushing headaches that seem to come from my neck. Now, almost three years later, I am on two heavy pain meds and muscle relaxers. I have found that every year in or around September the pain intensifies even more and I become unable to walk. I have obtained some form of stability in my chronic severe pain, but I still suffer from it every single day of my life. Some days are not too horrible and some days are horrendous! I have had to accept that I can NOT do things as I normally would. I have to find things I can do to occupy my mind away from the intense pain. I have to do things mostly in a sitting down position, although, sometimes it can’t even sit down and I am forced to lay in bed. In order to dust I have to only dust one thing for the day. I have to sit when possible and move very slowly. I have to take breaks often as well. Doing dishes or vacuuming are the worst for the level of pain. If I am forced to do them because others in the house are lazy, I do so sitting as much as possible and then end up in bed the rest of the day and even the next day. I spent a solid six month freaking out all the time and peering out my windows. PTSD they said. For a year I couldn’t sit outside at all. All of this on top of my already intense panic disorder with agoraphobia.

And here I am today, still struggling with the intense pain 24/7. Still in pain management hoping they will find something to make it stop. Accept, when I go to the appointments, they seem to just rush me in and out! What a life! This is what I have to look forward to? Until the day I die?

When the Panic began….

It was Late Spring 1995… I was working my Accounting internship at a Landscaping business. I was responsible for the basic paperwork and accounting for the business while I was over seen by the Accountant who had been there for a while. Down here in Augusta, Ga it gets super hot in the summer. The one thing I immediately was worried about with this job, was that they did not have air conditioning. But, it was spring and only time would tell. The owners wife ran a little flower shop out of the Landscaping business as well. Everyone seemed pleasant enough. Things began to get weird, the owner was forcing everyone to participate in a prayer session in the mornings. I didn’t really mind that since I had my own prayers I was sending out during this time. Shortly there after, I noticed the owner was talking to himself in his truck every morning. He said that Jesus talked to him every day. To each is own I say! Then he began shutting my office door and locking it, putting his hands upon me and telling me that Jesus was coming to kill me. Me, being the strong minded individual I was, just ignored his BS and carried on. However, after about two weeks of this I noticed I started to feel sick all the time. At first I assumed it was due to the heat and all the chemicals that where in the building with me plus no A/C! Here is what happened in the beginning, for a typical day:

Wake up to my alarm. Get my three kids ready for daycare (at this time, May, school was out). Get everyone in the car and drive to daycare. While driving I felt dizzy or lightheaded. Arrive at daycare and bring kids in to there classes. The dizziness would get me real good as I would go to leave the building. Out of no where! This happened several times over the course of a week, getting worse each day, until I passed out in the reception area at daycare. I assured everyone I was just fine, maybe caught a bug and would then continue on my way to work. The entire drive I would feel very dizzy and ill. I would continue to feel dizzy and sick while at work and after the day I passed out, I started having to leave and go home to lay down. I would be there about 2 hours and then just feel so sick I had to go home. I would drive directly home and go to bed. Believing I surely must have some kind of bug! This happened for a few days, then I felt so ill I just couldn’t even try to go into work. My husband, at the time, would take the kids to daycare so I could rest and hopefully get over what ever I had. My kids were ages 3, 6 and 8 at this time. By the end of the next week, I had missed the full week of work and was still feeling very ill. Out of no where, I suddenly felt terrified! I found myself peeking out the windows like someone was out there and they were going to kill me. I became so terrified of this, that I then was unable to be home alone. I was scared to death and freaking out if I was alone. Mind you, I had three kids, was married and we all lived with my parents in a big house. All the adults had jobs during the day. I had one close friend and I would go over to her house (she lived on the street behind us) and lay in the bed in her spare bedroom all day, feeling sick, but had to have the door open so I could hear and see her. If she was not available I would take a pillow and a portable little tv and lay on the floor of my fathers office while he was at work. I have no idea what my parents or anyone else was thinking was wrong with me. I just felt very ill all the time and if I was alone I would freak out feeling super terrified, my heart would race and the fear engulfed me. Now, after about two more weeks of this all, I was standing in the living room, everyone was home because it was the weekend and out of no where I suddenly felt like my heart was racing so fast it was going to rip out of my chest, my lips become tight and numb, my arms and legs were tingling and I was engulfed in so much fear. Fear feeding the physical symptoms more and more. I was terrified! I just knew I was going to die! My husband took me to the ER when I requested to go, feeling I was going to just die at any moment. As I sat in the ER, I felt I was being completely ignored and I was dying! Next thing I knew my lips were puckered out, all my extremities were numb and I felt extremely dizzy, I fell forward out of my chair onto the floor. I curled into a fetal position! I was yelling in terror! The nurse got a bed for me to lay on and and quickly wheeled me to a room by myself. They shut the door! They left me there and took my husband to fill out paperwork. My fear overcame me to the point I just had to yell for help! “Help me Please!” The nurse came in yelling at me that there were other patients with heart conditions and I needed to stop yelling. I told her I was dying and no one seemed to care. She just left! At that point my entire body stiffened and curled inward. I was paralyzed, unable to move! Lips puckered out and my face was contracted. My limbs stiff and hard yet curled inward and bent. I could barely even get a sound out of me. Then my parents came in the room and I remember looking at my mother and her saying…. “Oh Dear…” They took me to have a CT scan and I was still paralyzed. The doctor came in and the nurse injected something in my butt, which I found out later was a muscle relaxer. It felt like my entire body melted. I melted and was no longer paralyzed. The doctor said the scan was good and she believed I was having a Panic Attack. She wanted me to go see a therapist, gave me the number and sent me home. Now I am thinking, Panic attack? I doubt that very much! Something is seriously wrong with me and no one gives a rats ass! But I kept having the attacks. Still felt sick 24/7 and had several full blown horrible panic attacks a day. Still unable to be alone. So I went to the therapist. She talked to me about panic attacks and gave me a prescription for Xanax to take when I felt the attack starting, I was to see her at least once a month but she preferred more often if possible. At this time, it was almost impossible for me to go anywhere. I would have an attack if I was in the car and if I tried to go to a store, I would have an attack. I couldn’t drive because as soon as I would get in the car I would have a panic attack. I was diagnosed with Panic Attacks with Agoraphobia. I did not like taking any medications and would only take ibuprofen when I was getting a migraine, but I gave in and took the Xanax when my next attack started, which was very often, every single day, multiple times a day! The horror of it all! You feel terrified, you just know your dying and the physical symptoms alone is pure torture! The Xanax would ease the panic attack so I would not be in a full blown, paralyzed state. As soon as I felt the heart racing and limbs tingling I would take one. Within 15 minutes I would relax some and not end up paralyzed. However, I still had multiple attacks a day, everyday! I was grateful to not end up paralyzed though. I still felt sick 24/7 and still was unable to even take care of my children. At this point i was two months into all of this. I read everything I could find on panic and decided I was going to do something about it, even though I still believed I surely was dying. I chose to make myself do guided meditations everyday whether I liked it or not. Every single day I did the guided meditations. I noticed after a month I was feeling not as sick all day and the panic attacks eased up by doin got he breathing I learned in meditation. I could go directly to bed and do deep rhythmic breathing and then go to sleep instead of freaking completely out. I did this for a total of six months and finally the panic attacks stopped. It was now the end of January and as fast as the attacks came on, they were suddenly gone. I was thrilled! I found a job and graduated from college and then we even bought our own house. However, like clockwork, my panic and agoraphobia would come back every single two years. I would immediately do the meditations, but still would feel sick 24/7, however, the meditations did help me cope with it much better. They started in 1995 then they came back in 1997, lasted six months and then stopped. Only to return again in 1999 and last six months then stop. And again in 2001, which was when I decided I needed to be on some type of medication in hopes of stopping this cycle and I went on Paxil. The Paxil made it all a bit more tolerable but I was still agoraphobic!

In 2003 my oldest son died in a car accident, age 16! I guess the grief and depression over ruled the panic that year and I was in bed for six months. Since then I have found that instead of coming on out of no where every two years and lasting six months, I have problems with panic and agoraphobia at any given time and day. I can do great for a month, then wham I am freaking out. I have been on a few medications since my sons death. I moved away for five years then moved back to the house I owned. While I was gone I had a great team of doctors and therapists and I was on a good combination of medications, but when I came back here they refused to prescribe some of the medications I needed and put me on different ones. So I had to find a way to cope with life now. I Rarely ever leave the house, I Do Not drive! I basically stay home and mostly in my room. I take Ativan for the panic, which I have to take every day and cannot just take when an attack comes on! Sucks! I am on Effexor and I take Trazadone to sleep since I also have insomnia! My way of coping is to not leave the house unless I feel like I want to go to the store for something. I take my medication on schedule and I do NOT look at people while I am out. I found pretending no one is there is the only way I can be in the store. I don’t see anything that is going one there! I just go to where ever the things I need are and then check out and go home. Unfortunately, I also have severe chronic pain now. So on top of the Panic with Agoraphobia and Anxiety disorder with Severe depression, I also have to deal with severe chronic pain every day of my life! But that is a entire different subject than what I am on today… We all have to find a way to survive and cope with our disorders. I say what ever you find that works and has you in the least amount of physical and emotional pain is right choice for you!

Getting through a Panic attack or a Spell of Severe Pain…

I have found that my coping strategies are much the same to get me through a panic attack or through a spell of crushing intense pain. It all boils down to the same type of thing.

You have to Relax your body and mind!

Weather your freaking out in panic or over whelmed in pain, you have to find a way to relax the body. Being relaxed eases the pain and the panic. Easier said then done right? Well, I spent a solid six months back in 1995 programming the word, “RELAX” into my mind while I was deeply relaxed in meditation. What this did, over time, was make it easier for me to relax in these given situations. I see the word in my mind while I take a slow deep breath and my body relaxes to the meditative state.

I am going to tell you how to do this: First of all you need to meditate. The easiest way to do that for a beginner is to follow a relaxation meditation CD where it will guide you to deep relaxation. When you become comfortable with meditation, you will no longer need to be guided and you will be able to take yourself into a meditative state. I wanted the horrible Panic attacks and Agoraphobia to stop! I felt deathly ill 24/7! I read everything I could find on panic attacks and I created my own plan. The most important thing is to make yourself do a meditation Every Single Day, whether you want to or not! Spend the first week just listening to the guided meditation and allowing yourself to get used to becoming relaxed. Then in the second week, you want to see what ever word you want as your trigger word, one that you will use when you need to relax. When you are in the deep relaxed state, see the word of your choice clearly. Doing this in every meditation, every day, over the next three weeks. I found it quickly became useful, but in order to create a habit, you need to do it daily for 21 days. When ever you feel the panic or pain beginning, see your trigger word and breath in a slow deep breath! It does work! The key is making yourself do this every day! I found that meditation made my panic disorder much more manageable! It did not make it stop or make it never return, but I felt better on a daily basis and I was able to gain control easier. Meditation is by far, the most important thing you can do to help with panic attacks as well as other disorders.

No matter what your disorder is, nothing comes without work. It takes time to create the coping skills you need. If you can dedicate yourself to just 20 minutes a day for a meditation, I know you will see a difference. There is no cure for many disorders. What we have to do is find ways to cope with them. I just hope this helps someone. I know it has helped me get through so many panic attacks and intense pain spells.