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having anxiety attacks since dog died - what to do?
alz+
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2016 8:15 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


I had a sense dealing with loss of my guide dog would be different, because I had been attacked and robbed in my early life i always had 2 dogs, usually 2 giant dogs.

with Alzheimer's everything is emotionally amped up but not having her as my anchor is causing me to flush with super anxiety, streaming fear chemicals plus remorse and loneliness.

i have ativan and have taken it twice since she died. it makes it harder for me to walk when i take even a half, drains the energy from my body. going to church in an hour, feel very unstable!

so my usual anti anxiety fix was walking with my dog, or sitting with her and she would press against me. does this last weeks?

woke up today in panic over finances too. Panic attack, not anxiety attack, i am having panic attacks.

yesterday i tried to walk and neighbor's dog was tied up, I called for neighbor, no answer and almost took her dog without asking. it was close. All my women neighbors have been incredibly helpful through all of this, so the shared pain of losing an animal allowed them to relate to me more than usual.

i used MM last night to go to sleep then woke up in panic - looking for dog. have not had a real panic attack for many years, should i get something from doctor? should I take ativan? also having heart racing and feel so weak. feel like i got lost, unmoored.

maybe just asking my friends here for help will help.




julielarson
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2016 9:04 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


alz, I will send you Reiki if you would like.. I am sorry you are having such a hard time of it..
Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2016 10:28 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5159


I have lots of suggestions, but I don't know if any of them are good.  Would one of your neighbors or would you feel comfortable if you walked one of their dogs?  Maybe you could even go together with a close neighbor.  

Smelling lavender essential oil can sometimes help with mild anxiety and panic attacks. Ferulic acid might also help.  Keep taking the CBD oil maybe with low amounts of THC.   Hopefully, some or all of this may work so that you don't have to take Ativan.  


julielarson
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2016 10:47 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Alz, I did not wait for you to ask about the Reiki and sent it your way... I know you were open to it before so I imagined you would be open to it now.. Big hugs and lots of love sent your way.
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2016 12:53 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18513


Alz, what has helped me in the past is to practice deep breathing and to think about the good people in my life.  You can think about Heidi.  I hope this method will be successful for you.  I am praying for you.


Iris L.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2016 6:37 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Oh hun, ((hugs)).  So many days during all this I wish I was nearby so I could come make some tea for you, and sit and walk with you, and let you know you really will get through this...as I know when you are right in the middle of it, it can be hard see that.  None more so than now, I wish I was nearby and could be there. 

I know Heidi was your rock, and without her it likely feels like the world has dropped out from under you - literally.  Who wouldn't be having panic attacks.  Try be patient with yourself and know that this also will pass.  It will just take a while. 

I also have a really hard time when my world changes and when routines change.  I have no idea how be for a while and get real lost.  It is frightening.  One subject we rarely talk about on here, is just how frightening some things really are for us.  You are definitely not as alone as you feel in all this. 

If a neighbor's dog would help...then I would strongly suggest you and Keeper get another dog right away.  Not everyone is ready right away, but some are.  And it can be surprisingly healing...the way a dog look in you eyes and call you forward love it.  Many dogs have inherently helpful personalities.  I wish we still had Rosie, I would have driven her out for you. 

Day by day it should get a little easier.  When I go through rough patches, I try think about how long they take...like you will probably be extremely sad for a couple of weeks, but after a week, you should be more used the new pattern...by two weeks, you should be pretty comfortable with the new pattern.  Sometimes when we know we only have endure for so long, it makes it easier endure. 

When the world drops out from under you...that is where friends come in and pick you back up and remind you that life has a funny way of going on.  Like my name on here say, "despite everything...the sun still rises"...it will keep coming up day after day, and you heart will continue heal, and you will find a way through this...of this I promise you.  It is just hard for you see that right now, while you in the middle of it all. 

I have much love for you. 

RE Panic Attacks...my yoga teacher gave me a technique that forces you body relax (a brain hack)...breath in deeply, fast as you like...and then exhale longer than it took you breath in.  I find it helps count how long take you breath in...and exhale for more counts. 

Hang in there.

<3


llee08032
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 7:46 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Alz.

I have similar traumatic experience and lingering symptomatology and that connect where both my beloved dog's made me feel safe. The world can be going to hell in a handbasket and our loving animals still respond to us in that same loving way and normalize all else for us...Heidi kept you centered and anchored. Losing that connection to what makes us feel safe, secure and loved under any and all conditions is an incredible loss. Heidi's loss is a big, big adjustment for you. 

Try some soothing self talk statements and breathing together. Know that you are safe and in the best of hands. Imagine Heidi is with you as her love is still lingering. 


alz+
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 10:30 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


I read each comment and tears started right away. good sign.

how would i know what it would bel ike to have always had dogs and now to lose the one that helped me live with ALZ. no way excep to have it happen.

I am doing some deep breathing with long exhale, got lavender out again, did get some sleep last night.

now a new element - my family attacked again. This will be funny one day but i woke up and had forgotten they enjoy emotionally punching me. Totally forgot. Just thought, "I'll email my brother and ask him if it was time to let me have equal access to the legal financial stuff."

the response was literally staggering. caught off guard i sent an email back which was ??? as I have not reread it. I do my best to not get sucked into the abuse and do my best to not perform as a scapegoat but how nice it was when i forgot who they are. One thing mentioned in usual secretive way was that my mother intended to use up every dollar in her trust on 'her happiness'. 

so lost my friend, my dog, don't know my way around the house or roads, can not figure out a power bill to pay online which made my caregiver explode (???) and say i was torturing him because of my family and storm off.

when he left i walked around the house and got back in bed and began to watch a PBS show on corfu which took my mind off things. then he came home and the panic began again. what it means to not have my dog  away from him, get away from the boredom and his blame.

it is shockingly over 60 degrees and sunny here so will go for a walk on  a back trail, bring my camera and water, kleenex.

No way Keeper is going to turn into someone who can handle my future needs. Reality check on lots of things.

will get dressed and head out. we had won a motel room in a town 50 miles away, he was yelling at me about throwing it out, it was going to expire in a week or something. how would i know that? he still wants me to figure out everything, to come up with ideas to deal with being a shut in who can't drive. "Shut in" used to make me laugh, today it is not so funny.

Have to get my thoughts back to living this hour instead of going into fear of future. my family disgusts me. 

I would walk neighbor's lab but it hurt me again yesterday, too wild.

Wish i had some help living, missing my friend who passed last spring.

going for walk, find a place to sit and look out toward big lake.  if i could get to a motel i would go.  have lost my trust in Keeper, again.

wish me luck finding my love and courage



The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 6:05 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


The funny thing about toxic people, is that they seem have an uncanny way of knowing when you are down...and they kick you then.  I have never understood that in people.  But once when I was young, I was staying at my sister's in New Mexico...they had a place a ways off the hwy in a cluster of 5 houses.  Everyone had dogs, and they were my friends.  Once as I was hanging with this pack of dogs, a dog from the other side got hit by a car...and yipped...and all the dogs tore out of there and killed it.  They just shredded it.  So when people come a kicking when you are down, I always think of those dogs...I think we are just wired that way. 

Here are some funny videos you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKffm2uI4dk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaPepCVepCg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsgWUq0fdKk&index=80

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUx3qVVjWYY

Enjoy.

<3

 

 

 

 


jfkoc
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 8:32 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 21248


It is emotionally difficult when we lose something we love. It must be that much harder to lose a loved one we also depended on. 

I apologize in advance if I am overstepping but since you have brought finances  up I would like to suggest that you take a copy of said trust to and Elder Care attorney. I believe that if you are a remainderman you have something to say about how the money is spent. Actually since the trust is already written someone from legal aid could tell you what your rights are.


Dawn831
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 9:29 AM
Joined: 10/30/2015
Posts: 262


I am so sorry you are having family troubles now, at a time when you are already suffering the loss of Heidi. For those of us that love dogs, it is so painful to be without them. Heidi was a wonderful and probably therapeutic part of your life for a long time. I know another dog will not make up for your loss but would really encourage you to consider getting another sooner rather than later.
Unforgiven
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 10:13 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2659


I'm glad you broached that subject, Dawn, because the suggestion of getting a new pet is often seen as heartless.  No animal can ever be replaced, which is part of the grief of losing them.  There will never be another exactly like them.  But I see the rescue of another dog or cat as a kind of living memorual to the one you lost.  Had the beloved dog not died, this rescue might have died, or another shelter dog would have died in its place, so you're doing a good thing.

Learning the new animal's ways is a distraction from the grief of loss.  You could spend the next week or so planning a trip to the shelter and deciding what kind of dog you're looking for.  So many older animals have lost their families through death or economics, and they are seen as the least appealing for potential adoption.  But they need you so much.

 This might sound daffy, but right now, Heidi is working on thd Other Side to send you a new friend and protector.  Let your heart guide you to him or her.  And be comforted.

 


alz+
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 11:00 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


JulieLarsen - thank you for sending me peace. again.

Update: I broke the panic attack cycle by walking where i have not been in a few years. I went as far as i could into back woods until i could not walk anymore and then laid down in grass. It was sunny, nothing was moving in woods, no birds, no critters.

I used a broken rock to dig out some rocks and made stacks along my way. Did not know if I could get back to a road. Have not gone back there since my dog injured her back leg a couple years ago.

to get back was a struggle, chanted orthodox prayers and just went really slow. took a couple hours. my dog would not have agreed to this and it was maybe an iffy thing to do but so many people with ALZ take off on long walks there might be something to it.

when i got home my whole body was shaking. Used lavender and a couple puffs and went to sleep.

Also  seems like crying helps.  keeper let me have my space and took me to vote this morning - i was agitated over ballot and discovered Michigan governor and supreme court had not allowed a ballot initiative to make access to mm easier even with proper signatures in on time. was talking out loud to myself, tiny polling place, people knew I was off kilter but said nothing.

anyway, maybe I can get back to more peaceful state. 

the problem with getting new dog is neither of us is up to helping a new dog adjust and i am going to have to learn to carry on without my service dog. hard to define how we worked together but she was so patient and did my hearing for me.

family  attacks - i  relate to Sun's story about injured dog being attacked. in retrospect, I have been marginalized by my mother and brother and sister since i was born. they have refused to even tell me who i was given to after birth and for how long. My life has been a journey of trying to understand cruelty and to develop self respect and learn self love. my life time emotional support came from dogs and i thank God my grandma gave me a dog about age 4 and insisted my mother allow it to stay. that and books kept me from suicide.

I keep telling myself, 'Have been through worse, keep walking towards open heart.' 

thank you for being here and every comment has helped me on this path. to have this understanding is Phenomenal.

*** about elder care attorney - we just do not have the money or strength and fear them retaliating further, just going no contact for now. feel worst that i might have nothing to leave my daughter.

love and courage 


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 5:00 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 21248


I understand about not wanting to act on the trust but it is perhaps important that you understand the terms...you can just give your copy a good read when you feel better.
llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 7:29 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


((((Alz+)))),

Wish we both could afford a service dog that would easily adapt to us, our environment and daily lives. It just does not seem to be the right time for me and at this point it has nothing to do with my grief over the loss of Diesel. I know there is another good dog out there who needs me and a good home. It might sound selfish but I'm not sure if I am ready to be needed again? I think this and then start missing Diesel and do a web search about twice a month looking for a dog that I might like to adopt. 

My mother left everything to my brother. What little if anything, at the end I may have to leave my son's has to be divided straight the down the middle. I felt like the rejected child left behind. I kept telling myself that I had everything I needed and that she did not really understand the hurt she left behind. 

At some point set in the realization that I did have everything I needed and that she left me valuable life lessons.  Those lessons have made me a better and stronger person.

God Bless the Child
Them that's got shall have
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own
Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own
Money, you've got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you're gone, spending ends
They don't come no more
Rich relations give
Crust of…

alz+
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 8:17 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


L lee - and everyone...

I do not feel able to take care of a new animal. Glad you  mentioned that because i could not put words to it.

what i learned yesterday was that both keeper and i were on the dog's schedule and most of our relating to each other involved what the dog was doing, look at her sleeping, look at her with her bone, why did she peep, making her beds... We had not healed our relationship with each other.

so we watched election results and had a little picnic in bed and i knew this is important to do before we ever think of another dog. the dog translated what i need. I am up and functional but ALZ still makes me dependent, and that is being transferred from Heidi to keeeper.

After election results came in last night I felt bad enough to go ahead and read emails from my brother and sister. they mocked me and it is apparent they are incapable of behaving otherwise. the coldness i forgot was put in my face quickly. my brother said he called the broker who runs my mother's trust and told him i 'want to sell everything' when what i asked was had anyone asked for a conservative plan for handling money invested in a down unstable market. so they shamed me to broker again, my sister sent an email that she 'stood with the broker'.

back stabbers, they would react like vicious dogs if my lawyer sent a letter asking for trust and brokerage documents. 

i am in state of shock about a lot of things. one hour at a time.

 i probably would be overwhelmed by having a new dog come and have to teach and control it.

 More of losing everything, more lessons in nature, humility, remembering to be grateful. want to do some art. want to cry for awhile more, as long as it takes.  need to sell some stuff on ebay as property taxes are coming for winter. not sure i can manage listings but will give it a try.

I can't believe how heartless and sick my family is towards me. I do not want to hear from them anymore.

love and courage


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 10:06 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


((Hugs)), I wish there was something I could say or do make this time a little easier for you...but sometimes in life we just have walk through it.  Remember the old saying, "when you find you self in hell...keep walking, eventually you will get out the other side."  Sometimes life is just like that.

When times are really bad for me...I notice that every day is a little easier.  Dogs are different.  I grieved the loss of my old dog for 2 years, and I swore I would never get another one...of all the dogs I have had, he really got into my heart.  But, then I met you...and read you story Heidi, and sucked it up and got Bodhi...and I have been ever grateful you for that.  Maybe we just love each dog we get more than the last...maybe our heart just grows bigger with each dog.

As for family, I divorced mine...told them all goodbye, and ended all contact last spring.  My life has been so much the better for it.  Toxic people just suck the life right out of you.  And it especially sucks when they have power over you. 

Can you contact the broker directly?  If so, maybe you can by-pass you family? I assume you the beneficiary of the trust...even if you cannot make decisions about it, you should be entitled to information about it. 

I often recommend that people first just cold call attorneys out of the phone book.  They used to talk to people for like 20 minutes for free on the phone telling them hat they would do (as a way to sell themselves to you)...but, it also gives you some free legal information on your rights and remedies, and doesn't cost or obligate you to anything. 

Should you EVER hire an attorney, always talk with the secretary...and make sure you get their direct line, as talking the secretary is free...leaving a message with attorney costs money.  The secretary usually knows many of the details you case, as they prepare all the documents and generally has a good understanding the law.

We are having file a state complaint against my granddaughter's school who has failed her for the last 8 months...and it is mind bogglingly hard for an alz brain cope with all the umpteen details.  I get lost after 2 or 3.  But, on the good note, at least my legal education has paid off.

My grandbaby just went through an extensive evaluation (and we think the neuropsych hard)....and it has been stressful and scary.  My daughter is lost in the "something is wrong my daughter"...which admittedly no mother is prepared for, so I am having do all the thinking and figuring.  LOL, I remember a while back when I said that this was a good thing as it kept my brain going....I really should be more specific what I ask for.

((Hugs)) re the elections as well.  Hang in there Alz+, even with alz, you have a good head on you shoulders...and you do always seem to find you way through things with dignity and grace.  Even now, trying to learn how depend on the keeper.  No one scripted us for depending on someone else.  Much less in a potentially volatile situation.  But what are we going to do....alz will come and ravage our rains whether we like it or not. I just wish it took our awareness before it took our abilities. 

Day by day...one day, and sometimes, one step at a time.

<3


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:22 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Alz+,

Many couple's interactions center around their children and pets. This dynamic is similar to the big gap known as the "empty nest" syndrome when adult children leave home. The loss of a loved one always creates a shift in the dynamics of our relationships with the remaining loved ones. Heidi missing from both your lives will naturally shift and increase your focus on your relationship. Give it time and see if it gets better. 

When I went to a young widow's support group years back they told us no major decisions for the first year while you are grieving. It all makes sense now... We are so vulnerable when in a state of grief, loss and despair! Limit your interactions with family as you may as well have a big target on your forehead during this time. 

Love, Llee

  

 


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2016 12:52 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18513


That's a good point about the empty nest syndrome, Ilee.  Thanks for sharing that.  It brings a new perspective.


Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 9:21 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


((((Iris)))), Love you!
julielarson
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 10:59 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Sending Reiki again... Big hugs to you Alz!
BlueSkies
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 12:46 PM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


A lot on your plate Alz   My advice is hang in there.  Things will settle down again.  

With me, things can seem unbearable sometimes, but then one day the sun is shining.  You feel a weight lift and you can breath again.  And you think, life really is good.  I love it when that happens.  I have learned that when things are bad you just hang on for that moment.  It will come, sometimes it just takes longer than others, but it always comes.  


jfkoc
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 1:30 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 21248


thinking of you...
SunnyBeBe
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 3:48 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1186


I can't even begin to know what you're going through.  I hope you're feeling better, but, I will say what really helped me when I was suffering with Panic attacks. 

 Mine was so severe that I actually ended up in the ER because I thought I was dying.  After all medical issues ruled out, with Primary and Cardiologist, I accepted the diagnosis of Panic attack.  I immediately read everything that I could get my hands on.  I read the true life accounts of famous people who had dealt with them.  I read books written by doctors, therapists, etc.  I saturated myself with what is actually happening to the body when you have a panic attack and discussed it with my doctor.   That helped me talk myself down when I felt it coming on.  I had Xanax as a backup, but tried to hold off on taking one, because I knew I would get through it.  In a couple of months, mine left and never returned, though, I sometimes have to use my old techniques to talk myself out of it before it hits, but that's very rare. 

Also, if you have financial difficulty, I'd find a free financial counselor. They can often give good advice and give you more a sense of control and options you might not be aware of. 


alz+
Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 10:28 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


update:

election is over, tv is off, and Keeper brought home my dog's ashes.

since she died i refer to her as "my" dog even though she was more attached to husband. I can not list today all the things she did for me but i hope to before long. not having that presence to guide me, alert me, comfort me is quite a challenge to figure out a way to replace her.

the panic attacks have subsided. i cut off my sister and brother and mother have not bothered me in quite awhile.

my days were very centered on walking my dog, i can tell this winter needs some preparation as in a daily hobby or ???

the pool opened near by where i usually swim during winter but have not been able to make myself go. the ability to start anything and finish  anything is very low. right now I am going to force myself to go for walk, keeper said he would go with me. 

empty nest - insight like that really helps. the married people who live on this hill all fill their lives with dogs and travel. for all our trouble we have a basic friendship and we both want to make that easier before we bring in another pack member.

feeling slow but going to move at least. all the leaves are gone, the deer are moving through, lots of bear tracks too.

love and courage and THANK YOU all for advice!