Panic Attacks & Stress

Panic attack during family emergency:

Mid 20's Me: Lets leave and party-F this!

Mid 30's Me: Stay, but walk away.

Lay upside-down to relax my heart going crazy and try to catch my breath. Get circulation to my heart and brain. Deep breaths. Talk to God. Cry. Rinse face. Create exit plan. Walk back in with

plan that is best for my health, instead of what is best for everyone else. If they get abusive, Leave. Don't stay like the old you-you do not deserve this. <IG POST>

After an extremely stressful 2.5 weeks of family emergency issues, I am slowly trying to bring myself back mentally & physically.

Regaining my strength is ten times harder and takes longer than in my 20's.

Living with half a heart (HLHS) is very hard on my body, and one thing my body cannot handle is high stress-esp. for several days in a row. What this does is force me into putting my body first and everything else on the back-burner which is an emotionally painful process within itself. No one can be helpful to anyone else if they don't put their own oxygen mask on first-as we all have learned on every flight.

I have my own oxygen at home for panic attacks and times of high stress when I can feel my

body breaking down and suffering...which, again, in itself is a mental & emotional process. But first-the body.

As many of you may know I love doing experiments on myself to find what works best for ME. I have a unique body and do not have statistics of survivors to rely on with what works for HLHS patients since we are the first surviving generation-so, I am one of a few of us in our 30s and 40s who is creating them, along with my own way of surviving that works best for me. My approach to the care of my body and mind is quite different than most people with chronic or terminal illnesses-esp. CHD.

After countless times in the hospital for various reasons through the years: not knowing if I'm having a stroke, heart attack, seizure, panic attack, etc., and going to the ER in itself is traumatizing, so I wanted to figure out a way to achieve avoiding hospitals even more than I already do since I've had so much success being my own doctor, aside from surgeries. So, when I was telling a CHD friend about this, he mentioned he had an extra oxygen machine and asked if I wanted it. Well, I don't believe in coincidences, I just knew I was supposed to have it even though I felt unsure...and I'm so glad I accepted his offer!

Since then, due to the oxygen, as needed anxiety remedies, and grounding techniques I have learned over the years and now teach during my coaching sessions if you have anxiety, I have rarely been in the hospital and haven't had a mini-stroke in almost 2 years.

*I have learned the PROPER use of oxygen-which is very important-and if you do have HLHS or other CHD, this doesn't mean this is right for you.

Stephanie Romer



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