Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When You Think You Can't Breathe, Just Breathe

I'm not one who remembers dreams. Once my eyes are open and feet are on the floor whatever transpired while I was asleep is gone. I might have a single moment remembrance of a person, a color, a thing that might have played a part in the dream but without context, it has no meaning.

Last night a dream provided a noise that woke me up. It was a metallic rumbling type of sound that has no context but it began the process of an anxiety attack. It might not have if I could have convinced myself that I could breathe. Unfortunately the interior of my nasal passages were raw and swollen, incapable of scooping up the volume of oxygen needed by my lungs. Whatever mucous discharge had occurred prior to the noise, had dripped into my throat and apparently grew velcro which allowed it to ball up and stick in one place. In addition to the discomfort of nose and throat, my upper lip felt swollen. I couldn't convince myself that I wasn't drowning, and then I fully woke up.

I got up to walk around and get a grip on myself before the heart pounding started. Had to stop in the bathroom and as I was exiting, the familiar whoosh, whoosh began in my ear. Something drew me to the kitchen and a glass of water which stopped the noise in my ears. Which usually means the rest of it is about to close in on me. So, I sat at the kitchen table with my nose that still wouldn't allow me to breathe and suddenly realized my problem might be dehydration. I drank water and finally went back to bed and slept for a couple more hours. Still, couldn't breathe through my nose, but the lump of whatever in my throat had disappeared.

I haven't been drinking as much water as I need to because we have hard water full of minerals and enough lime to collect in the bottom of the glass. I have been sipping on it all day because I'd prefer not to have another middle of the night problem like last night. I have my other issues under control well enough that the regular panic attacks have stopped. I haven't had one in a year and since they are no longer a regular event, I don't handle them as well as I used to. So I forced myself into sipping what amounts to mineral water all day long.

The swelling in my nose and upper lip has subsided. It still feels raw breathing through it but I can breathe. Everything still feels dry but not painfully so. Dry winter air, forced air heat and no hydration to speak of will take a bit to correct. I will need to buy bottled water when I go shopping this week or some kind of filter system. We will need a whole house system eventually since the amount of lime in the water will use up the filters pretty quickly in a Brita or Pur system. I'm also going to need some Lime Away for the coffee maker. It's starting to drip too slow.

Tonight I'm going to open the window a bit to let in the fresh air even though it's cold fresh air. I need to take the stress off of my sinuses created by dealing with dry, heated indoor air. And not enough drinking of water.


  1. I have never had a panic attack, but know enough people who have, to know they are quite scary.

    We had hard water when we lived in the country in SC and had that same problem with lime. I kind of got used to it, but always wondered if my insides looked like the bottom of my teakettle that would develop a thick hard layer of it haha.

    Have you thought about running a cool mist vaporizer at night to help with the dryness?

    Don't have much problem with that down here since it is humid most of the time, even in the winter.

    1. Drinking enough water and opening the bedroom window an inch seemed to help. I had a comfortable sleep last night except when the cats got to spatting in the bedroom.

  2. yeah, a room humidifier might help Sherry! :)

    1. If I can get the same results drinking water and cracking a window open, why spend the money?