Ingredients for a panic attack?

Well don’t I feel like an especially silly cow today! Why, I hear you ask?

I have woken up in a relatively good mood, and looked in the bathroom mirror to see that the pores on my nose are the size of craters. So what do I do? Ah yes, take to Google and look for a quick fix solution. The one that came up trumps was to steam my face and add essential oils. I’m thinking to myself “I’ve got lots of essential oils, this would be awesome if it works!”. I have run out to the garage, got all of my soap making stuff that has been shelved, and quickly made the suggested facial steam bath. I poured kettle water into a large mixing bowl and added one drop of lavender oil and one drop of tea tree. I have then let it cool for a moment and placed my face over the bowl with a towel over my head. Given I’d added lavender oil, I thought it would be best to do my relaxed 7/11 breathing.

After about a minute I felt my heart rate quicken, I got short of breath, I felt dizzy, it was horrible. I flung the towel off my head and gasped for air. My son asked if I was ok, and I told him I was, but I really wasn’t. I looked at my smart watch and my heart rate was now up to 136bpm. What the fuck? as you can see from the post picture, my resting hear rate is usually quite low, normally sitting between 50 – 70bpm. By this point my heart is pounding out of my chest, my face is covered in prickly heat, my hands are trembling to the point I cannot pick the towel back up, and my throat is closing up. This is it, I’m fucking dying. This stupid cow is going to die by inhaling fucking essential oils. What a stupid way to go. I’ll be all over the papers tomorrow, with a headline that reads “Mum of 4 dies after sniffing lavender”. My stomach was now in knots, and all the while my youngest son is talking at 100mph. I’m struggling to hear what he’s saying, it’s just like one long monotone noise. I’m unable to hear it over the thumping heart beat I have in my head.  At one point I felt like I was going to pass out, so I quickly put my wrists under the cold tap. This definitely helped.

With great difficulty I have then proceeded to get some washing done, in a bid to distract  my thoughts. My trembling hands were struggling to get the door of the washing machine open, and to pick up the clothes. A task that should have taken 2 minutes, easily took me 10. I had to keep stopping, closing my eyes and breathing as calmly as I could. When I took the clothes upstairs to fold them, I realised my computer was still on. Yes, you know where this going. I went and Googled (yes again!!) side effects of lavender and tea tree oil, and whether or not they’re safe when on Roaccutane. I don’t recommend you do this! This then caused my vision to go blurry, and my hands to tremble even more. Needless to say, I do actually think I’ve taken a little reaction to these oils, and now feel very very very stupid for just going ahead with it based on wikihow.

My whole body was beginning to radiate heat, my face was positively scarlet, and my heart felt like it was about to explode. I got all of my bedroom windows open, my bathroom window and I got some ice from the freezer to hold on my wrists. I have then proceeded to do my 7/11 breathing and attempt to distract my thoughts, that has been somewhat futile.

Positives here? Well, I’m still alive and my bout of panic is almost over. Still feeling a bit weird. This may last a day or two now, because when depersonlisation  hits me, it does seem to linger for a long time. Moral of the story? When you have anxiety, are on medication that would ultimately make you worry anyway, and feel the need to self help, DON’T! Stop, take a moment to think “Do I actually know what I’m doing?”, and if the answer is no, back the fuck away.

There you go, that is my words of wisdom for the day. In hindsight, a heart rate of 136bpm means I was in the fat burn zone, so I guess I have that little silver lining too.

Leave a Reply