Tonight at work, I had my first (and hopefully only) panic or anxiety attack. I've never felt anything like that and it was a very scary feeling. I couldn't stop shaking, my heart was pounding and I was crying uncontrollably. I know what triggered it and I'm fine now. Well, maybe a little bit shaky.
It goes back to my father's illness and me taking care of him. I was assigned to work in the colorectal cancer research study tonight. My father and grandmother both died of colon cancer. I was at my desk reading about the type of research we would be doing and immediately began flashing back. I felt uncomfortable at first and then my hands began trembling as I was typing. I decided to go to the restroom and splash water on my face and wrists since I felt hot. Then I went back to my desk and said "Fuck it" and bummed a smoke from a friend (I was weak).
When I got outside, it began. I'm pretty sure Rob thought I was losing my mind. Thank you for helping me keep my shit together! I made it back inside and had sense enough to talk to the "sensible" supervisor. He immediately took me into an office and I explained what was going on. I was instantly removed from the project. My relief was immediate.
Later I managed to speak to my friend at work I call "My Old Army Buddy." He told me what I was feeling was PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder). I tried to deny it. I was never anywhere close to combat! He grabbed and shook me and said "But you were in trauma!" And I guess I was. I was fighting my memories. I was fighting my Dad's cancer. I was fighting my mind.
I surrender. So I'm using this as my platform to say "Please, please get tested for colorectal cancer. I know..oh how I know the tests are terrible..but it can save your life!!" Please support Wounded Warriors Project and the American Cancer Society. I'm going to bed now.