Mrs. Diagnosed is born

Once upon a time I was a wild child. I lived a very fun life and was a bartender at a biker bar in Saugus, California. I made a lot of money and for the most part enjoyed what I did. I was engaged to the love of my life, and things were going my way. Then one day on my way to work I was driving on the 405 freeway when all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe and my arms, legs, and lips went numb. Oh shiiiiiit, I thought to myself, maybe I shouldn’t have smoked that bowl before work. No big deal. It’s a onetime thing. Right? Right?

Then it happened the next day. And the next, and so on…

I became terrified of driving. It only happens when I drive, so if I don’t drive, problem solved, right? Wrong. Then it started happening randomly. My world became smaller and smaller as I started to eliminate activities that may lead to these attacks. On the way to the airport for our honeymoon, I actually begged my husband to knock me out so that I could wake up in Jamaica. My exact words were, “If you love me, you’ll punch me in the face as hard as you can.” I thought the cab driver was going to shit himself. After months of fears that I was dying and a borderline agoraphobia, I finally gave in to my husband’s pleas and I sought help.

Over the years and many moves later I have built up quite the barrage of opinions and drugs.
Psychiatrist, San Diego: “You have panic disorder.”
RN, Fort Collins: “You’re Bipolar.”
Witch Doctor, Madagascar: “Definitely scurvy. Or Limes disease.” Arrgggh.
Psychiatrist, Houston: “Nope. Panic Disorder.”
Second Psychiatrist, Houston: “You are NOT Bipolar, you have Panic Disorder!” This came from my last and current shrink. I call her “The Brain.”

“I don’t really give a shit what it is.” I said, “Can you fix it?”
“YES!” They all said.
At this point I didn’t know what to think. All I could think about was the fact that I was on a ton of prescription drugs and was frustrated, depressed, and no closer to solving my problem. And my problem was not a small one. I had a beautiful two-year old daughter to take care of, I was on the floor with debilitating panic attacks and I was unable to drive my car. I needed help.

After going from one therapist to another, and another, and another, I was about to give up hope. My unethical, irresponsible, and buck-toothed RN in Fort Collins sought to “cure” my “manic attacks” by drugging me to the extent that I was in a semi-conscious state. He once said to me, “Honey, by the time I’m done with you, you won’t remember this year ever happened.” Yeah. Great advice for the mother of a toddler.

“The Brain” has saved me. It is now 10 years later, the official diagnosis is Panic Disorder, and the panic attacks are pretty much non-existent. I have finally crawled out of my drug-induced haze to write this blog. Thanks to a supportive husband, an amazing daughter, a brilliant Psychiatrist, and supportive friends and family I am back to the old Stacy. I was misdiagnosed. Now I am Mrs. Diagnosed. I am medicated, dedicated and more twisted than ever!

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