I can’t feel my face — for real. I’ve had tingling on the left side of my face, across my chest and all the way down my left arm since 10:30pm last night. When I woke up to the numbness, I shot out of bed and started pacing the house. I could tell a panic attack was forming, but I couldn’t bring myself down. I sat at the end of my bed, completely naked rocking back and forth trying to decide if I should drive myself to the hospital. I picked up my phone and texted the guy I’ve been sort of seeing, and he told me to relax and go back to bed.
Well FUCK. Thanks for that bud. I was able to eventually calm myself down enough to fall asleep, but when I woke this morning the numbness had not subsided. It’s been with me all day, and I have no idea what is causing it. Anxiety? Migraine? A couple of pinched nerves? Something more serious? I would go to the hospital, but I’m worried they will, in a condescending tone, tell me it’s my anxiety disorder. Why do I think this? Because it happened to me once before about six years ago.
The last time I had this type of numbness, I was at work and the tingling hit me out of nowhere. My immediate thought — STROKE. Yes, I panicked, and then I asked the other lady in the office to call the ambulance. When half your body goes numb, I don’t think panicking is an over-reaction. When the ambulance arrived, I was in full-blown panic mode. The paramedics checked my heart rate, and started asking me basic questions like what was my name, birthdate, etc. When they were satisfied that moving me was safe, they put me on the stretcher and hauled me away. I was poked at, CAT scanned, quizzed, and poked at some more. Each new face would ask me the same question: “are you on any medication?” When I would reply, “Yes, my anti-anxiety medication, Cipralex,” they would get an all-knowing look on their face, jot down some notes, and leave the room.
I was in the hospital for six hours. Six hours to be told, it’s likely you just had an anxiety attack. WHAT? An anxiety attack? I’ve had anxiety my whole like. I’ve had more anxiety and panic attacks than anyone should, but I have never had half my body go numb during one. But this was my answer. A little pat on the head, a lollipop and a have a nice fucking day.
THEREFORE, I do no want to go to the hospital this time around. It may be six years later, and this could be something completely different, but I’m afraid. Afraid of their judging eyes. Instead, I will go teach my class, and try to breathe through the panic that’s been lingering above me all day. With any luck, this will pass, and I will be right as rain by the morning. Here’s hoping.