Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How Stress Affects the Body

Today has most literally been an uphill battle with my anxiety. I started my day at 6:30 am and attempted to hike The Timpanogas Caves with some extended family. Pretty much any early morning activity is going to cause me to have anxiety, but include a lot of family which is a trigger for me anyway and its a disaster waiting to happen. I was so anxious I couldn't eat anything. I threw up in the parking lot of the trail. I was very jittery but I wanted so badly to make the hike up to the caves. My husband's ancestor discovered the "Middle Cave" section of it so it was a really cool idea for all of us to go check it out together. 

The hike was hard but at first it was fun. It was pretty steep right at the beginning but I was a trooper up until the 1/2 way point. Then I started to have a hard time breathing. It may have just been the altitude but I already have issues with my heart rate spiking while exercising so all the additional factors weren't helping either. As we continued up I was at the end of the line of our group and the space between us were widening. I had to stop frequently to try to catch my breath. I tried to channel my inner "Biggest Loser" and kept telling myself, "pain is temporary, glory is forever!" But I could tell I was getting dizzy. Suddenly everything started spinning and I couldn't stand up or I would fall over. It was frustrating to me to see old men and women or little kids passing me on this trail. I didn't want to be the weak straggler. But when my vision went black for a minute and I was all tingly I knew my body was not okay.

I was determined to not give up. However all the water and Gatorade I drank I kept throwing up. A firefighter was there by chance and he checked my pulse and told me I needed to find a way to calm my heart rate down. I said, "I am going to get there." Even though I was tingling and dizzy from head to toe I really wanted to go through the caves. However looking at our watches we knew there was no way I could make it by the time the tour would start. I was soooo close, but yet so far. I was at the homestretch but it didn't matter. I disappointedly turned around and went back down the mountain and went home. I was so sad that I was so sick and I felt like I let my family down as well as myself. Could there have been a different outcome? I don't know. Mentally I was there but my body just shut down on me. Had I not had anxiety I know I would have been able to make that hike with everyone else. It's hard to accept that my anxiety really is debilitating at times. And its amazing the effects it can have on our bodies.  

Here is an interesting chart that explains How Stress Affects the Body.

My only concern now is that we are leaving in the morning with the family to go to Bear Lake, Idaho and I am worried I will be sick on this trip now that I am all sensitive. Ugh so frustrating. I plan to prepare as best as I can and I am telling myself that this trip is for me to have fun so whatever I want to do to be happy is what I am going to do regardless of what everyone else has planned. 

One more thing. For those of you who don't know it yet, we have an AWESOME group on facebook where approximately 130 people are members and browse and talk and help each other out everyday. Its a closed group so no one in your newsfeed can see what you post, so this means you have to ask to be invited. Its really simple. Just click here to go to the page. I have made some real online friends from this group and I wish we lived closer. 


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