Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Biggest Fear Is Myself

Maybe you are like me. Dealing with anxiety, depression or insomnia. I'm not a doctor or a specialist of any kind. I'm a regular guy who has dealt with things and has made decisions that turned around and bit me hard. You could be like me or you most likely have a story that brought you to the position you are in right now. I'm learning that the biggest fear I deal with today is myself and how I react to the world around me. You will see many of the dumb decisions I have made and how they have all bit me really hard.  Come on this journey and see if we have anything in common.


We all make decisions that affect our lives in one way or another. When I look back I learn that some of my decisions have brought me to a place that I don't like. In fact, my latest decisions have turned around and bit me real hard. I have been a stay at home father for eleven years, but I also work around my kids and my wife's schedule. I am the only one to drive, so i'm like a soccer dad in a way.

In October I decided to take a job with Amazon. They made me a full time overnight employee with the blue badge. It was 4 nights a week 10 1/2 hrs. a night. That was until the overtime kicked in. When that started, I would get to work at 6:30 PM and work until 6 AM. From work, I would go home, take a shower and wait a few minutes for the family to wake up. I would take my wife to meet her friend and they would drive to work together. I would take my children to school and get home just before 8 AM. I would try to sleep and get back up at 2:30 PM to pick the kids up from school. I would then pick up my wife, get ready for work and do it all over again. The problem happened when they decided to make us work ten out of eleven nights and I also had trouble sleeping during the day. After nine weeks of this, my decision bit me hard. I also worked as a beer vendor for Sunday Tampa Bay Buccaneer games which happened to fall right in the middle of this mess. I bit off more than I could handle.

 I finally got a Saturday off, drove home from work and tried to get some sleep. After four or five hours, I woke up into a full fledged panic attack. My dream was to take my family out to dinner. My reality was the schedule and lack of sleep was burning me out and giving me a huge dose of anxiety. I told my wife and I tried to calm down. I also decided my family should not suffer and decided to take them to Red Lobster anyway. I mean nothing could go wrong during the short trip to Red Lobster. Boy was I mistaken. We reached our last turn and the anxiety took over again. I turned into the parking lot of the restaurant and then I had trouble controlling the car. I managed to park, but my reflexes had really slowed down. We got into Red Lobster and I was feeling something awful.

We decided I needed to go to the hospital. My wife forced me to eat something, which I managed and then I drove to the hospital. It was strange because my body was weak, my tongue was numb and my head was spinning. My blood pressure was high and I could feel my heart pounding. We found our way to the emergency room and they checked me in. At Tampa General hospital, you get to see a nurse quickly, but to get into a room can take a lifetime. The nurse asked me some questions, took a quick EKG and told me it was normal. She also told me I was not the type of person who should be working the night shift. The way I looked and my blood pressure told her that nine weeks at Amazon were enough. My wife told me the same thing just an hour or so before.

The time at the hospital was five hours and we did not get into a room. I asked the nurse if I could leave and she said we could. It was into the wee hours of the morning and I did not want my children spending the entire night in the emergency room. The nurse checked something and told me that when they got me into the room, they would have kept me all night anyway. We left the hospital when in retrospect, we likely should have stayed and had them do all their tests. Remember, I told you that I don't always make the right decisions. The good news is that my blood pressure was beginning to fall in the hospital. They made sure they checked it before I left.

I was able to drive home, we arrived around 2 AM Sunday morning. The insomnia kicked in and I was up to 5:30 in the morning. I finally fell asleep and had the alarm set for 9:30 AM. Sunday morning was another Tampa Buccaneers game. Made it to and through the game, the anxiety came back when I got home. After another restless night, I decided to go to the doctor on Monday morning. Mr. Taigle is actually a RN Practitioner, but that's the life when it comes to modern medicine.



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