Thursday, March 4, 2010

From the safety of my bed and a well-timed Xanax

Lately, I have been struggling with panic attacks. It's a new thing for me, considering I have always seen myself as a rather care-free person, not prone to anxiety. I am generally less cautious than most. I love a good adventure. I don't wash my hands often. I sit on public toilet seats. I am a risk taker at-large.

Last night, however, the risk I took was accidental and at the expense of my five year old son: I overdosed him on allergy medication. We are fairly certain that is what happened as the evidence piles up against me. Atticus spent the entire night awake hallucinating spinning spiders. We initially thought he was having a nightmare. He seemed relatively lucid, but after an hour of paranoid shifty eyes, we began to worry. Dave ended up sleeping on the couch with him, though he never really slept. He sat in a chair shooting looks around the room with dialated eyes, talking of invisible spiders that don't hurt you but are everywhere, especially in beds.

Oh God, I am a horrible mother.

Not only did I inadvertantly (I must add that adverb to continue to ease my guilt) O.D. my son, I had a panic attack while trying to care for him. I think it was when he asked me, "What is time?" that triggered me. My feet started to sweat, cold waves attached themselves to my limbs and my ears started buzzing. I slowly set Atticus on the floor and hastily grabbed a half of a Xanax. Though I have only taken one once before and I am trying to implement self-talk in times of panic, I was certain I needed one immediately.

Atticus begged to go to school, presumably to escape the potential spiders of his drug-induced wig out. After a quick call to our family nurse, we feel comforted that he does not need immediate medical attention (though, feel free to give your take on what to do if you are a trained professional). He seemed like his paranoia was lessening as he ate his pancakes and talked of giving his teacher a picture of a catfish he drew between 1 and 4am.

My husband's role in life continues to be affirmed as the pyschological care-giver of our little roving band of schizos. As he left for work, he leaned over the bed, kissed me and left me with one last bit of comfort: "I hope you feel better. Atticus is going to be fine and I only judge you a little." What more could a girl ask for, really?


  1. I think you and Dave are wonderful parents and wonderful partners. One of my room mates is mentally unstable (actually schizo) and taking a Xanex has allowed me to deal with situations that would otherwise leave me in shambles. As someone who also struggles with anxiety and panic attacks, it is a good weapon to have in your arsenal for dealing in the moment.

  2. There is no more perfect match for you in the whole world than Dave Braud! "I only judge you a little"! : ) I would have needed a whole Xanax for sure!

  3. That's rough babe but yes, things will be okay. When I had my first real panic attacks two year ago it was pretty rough, there were times I really wish I had something because in the moment (or in that hour or more as they sometimes were for me) you want nothing else than to stop feeling what you're feeling. I don't have children but that definitely would've triggered me as well. It's those things that really shake normalcy and confidence in things being okay at a base level that will push you over the edge.

  4. This blog is high entertainment. I am looking forward to your first book something a la Traveling Mercies. . . but in all seriousness thinking that you might have o.d.ed your son is a very understandable panic attack!