Heather Robinson Photography » Blog

learning to breathe

yesterday was not my favorite day.  in fact, it was quite possibly one of the worst.  but i have resigned myself to the fact that there is always going to be some sort of stress in every single day.
i did what i do at the end of most days, i tried to unwind.  i opened the window so i could sit for a minute enjoy a beer and listen to the sounds of the rain mixed with the sweet sweet sounds of cooing and newfound giggles.  as i felt the cool breeze, i thought ahead of autumn, my favorite time of the year.  we were almost there.  we had nearly survived our first hot summer as a family of six.  i felt good about this.  my stress had faded.
it is funny how the body works.  moments later i was writing in pain on the den floor clutching my chest, struggling to breath, chanting, “help me”.  i was certain that i was dying.  the nice, soothing firemen and paramedics who all arrived shortly after took my blood pressure, applied a pulse oximeter, hooked me up to an EKG machine, measured my carbon dioxide levels.   the one paramedic asked me several questions.  “are you taking any medications?”  “are you allergic to any medication?”  “have you been drinking plenty of water?”  “what did you eat for dinner?”  “have you been under stress lately?”  if i hadn’t been in excruciating pain, i might have laughed at that one.  where should i start?  “yes” was all i could manage.  i began to think about the day and all of the days before over the past couple months.  as i played back the moments in my head, the pain worsened.  the paramedic gave me instructions on how to breath.  what the hell?  i think i know how to breath.  i have been doing it for almost forty years!  but maybe i had forgotten how recently.  i have been holding so much in, waiting to exhale for weeks.  and now here i was lying on the sofa, barely dressed, hooked up to machines, surrounded by a group of emergency medical professionals, my husband, my mom, and my baby (thank goodness the big kids stayed in bed for the whole thing) having a severe panic attack.
i don’t know for sure why i wrote this all out here. maybe i want some virtual hugs, maybe i just need to write things out to process them and move on, maybe i want to connect to others who have experienced this, maybe i want advice on how to prevent this from ever happening again or how to deal with it when it does. i don’t know. maybe i woke this morning feeling thankful that i am alive and that my story continues. so i wrote about it because i can.
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