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Author Topic: Anxiety help  (Read 344 times)
JVT90
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« on: May 18, 2017, 02:43:42 PM »

My husband is having an awful time with anxiety. The last couple of months, as soon as he gets to the clinic and sits in the chair he feels like he's having a panic attack. His blood pressure shoots up, and they tell him his blood pressure is too high........... makes him feel that much more nervous. Was wondering if anyone else had experienced this? Any tips on what to do to help it? He's starting to feel majorly stressed just thinking about going for dialysis.
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Husband started in clinic dialysis 2015
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 03:33:06 PM »

Sounds awful and I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.  I know panic attacks can be horrible.  In this case, I would suggest getting a prescription for something like Xanax and to pre-medicate.  There are also breathing exercises, e.g. http://www.anxietycoach.com/breathingexercise.html   http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/breathing-exercises

I hope your husband can get some relief.
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
Began PD (Cycler) 5/16
cassandra
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When all else fails run in circles, shout loudly

« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 03:58:06 PM »

Hi JVT90 I second KaS about the prescription drugs. I'm on Diazepam, helps with anxiety, restless leg syndrome
And sleep when you are supposed to sleep.

Love, luck and strength, Cas
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I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
JVT90
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 05:16:43 PM »

Thank you Cassandra and Kickingandscreaming for responding. He's resistant to wanting medication, will talk to him again about it. He does have the tingling legs quite often, perhaps  that it could help with that too will convince him. Thanks!!
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 05:33:41 PM »

The inappropriate use of drugs is bad that being said the same drug used to stop a panic attack that is affecting a life saving procedure is not only appropriate but necessary.  Panic attacks are a reaction to a real situation they require medical treatment.  This is a matter for your doctor to deal with medically not to be dealt with by keeping a stiff upper lip.  That being said to go along with the medicine try doing something he enjoys at the start of each session for me I buy a box of Strawberries, cut and clean them and have a heavenly breakfast of plain strawberries.  So I  enjoy the start of dialysis since I associate the beginning with a fresh fruit breakfast.  The ends do justify the means,  plus be supportive dialysis sucks by it self I can't imagine combining it with a panic attack.  Good Luck but go to his doctor with him, too often Dialysis Patients minimize the problems of this damn disease and suffer needlessly through things like panic attacks out of some misplaced macho BS.  This is a medical problem and needs support from you and a doctor.  I will keep a good thought as he deals with this but don't let him minimize this, the attacks are real.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 07:18:03 AM by cassandra » Logged
Charlie B53
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 05:24:23 AM »


As needle-phobic as I am I must be an idiot switching from PD to Hemo.  I could get a new PD cath and go back on PD but I rather like my current Hemo arrangement early mornings three times a week.   I managed to live through the idiot attempting to get an IV started for me access surgery only because the other Nurse told him to get out and she poked me perfectly.  I think I love that woman.

But there will come a day when they decide they want to poke those needles into my fistula, and I expect I will have one of those anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, sweating everywhere.  They keep telling me to breath.  It ain't easy.

I have already asked my Dr for Zanex,  Dr sent me to the Shrink.  The Shrink Lady and I had a nice long chat, then she told my Dr to write the script.  So far I haven't seen it get filled.  I got time yet.  When it gets close I will be on the phone. Most likely I will be in the Dr's office asking what's going on.

Get the med and try it.
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JVT90
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 07:52:06 AM »

Thank you Charlie B53 and Michael Murphy, I appreciate your responding to my questions. He's blind, has had a stroke that affected his right side.....but still too "macho" to think he needs any prescription help. I'm still working on him.  :secret;
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MooseMom
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 08:15:09 AM »

ESRD is a real physical condition that requires treatment, ie, dialysis.  Any one who can endure dialysis is "macho" in my book.

Anxiety before dialysis is a real physical condition that requires treatment.  There is no need to suffer when treatment in the form of medication is available.  I don't understand why people think that a treating a physical ailment is OK while treating a psychological ailment is not.  Both types of ailments are injurious to one's physical health.

I am so sorry that your husband is going through this, but please try to convince him that anxiety is serious, and he deserves relief.  He has nothing to prove.

Please let us know if he changes his mind.  Do you think he might be willing to join IHD so that he could post to us directly?  He'd be most welcome!
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"Empathy is the soul of democracy."  Jeremy Rifkin
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 11:29:16 AM »

A lot of people need to make some "extra" accommodation to make dialysis bearable.  I do PD, and was having trouble with the volume of fluid that was pumped into me over night.  I would wake up unable and breathe and gasping for air.   By accident I discovered that by using a nebulizer with Albuterol (usually for asthma) before my nightly treatment began that I could avert the breathing problems.  If it were anxiety and not breathing issues, I would premedicate with something relevant.  And I don't like taking any drugs.  But I also don't want to suffer every night.
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
Began PD (Cycler) 5/16
Shaks24
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 12:12:03 PM »

I have been on PD for almost 4 years now and doing quite well. Last November I started suffering from general anxiety. Not sure why but it became overwhelming. I thought maybe when winter breaks and I get a bit more active it will subside. It did not so I discussed it with my nephrologist and he put me on a low dose of Ativan. It has made a world of difference and now my BP readings are the best they have been in 4 years. even while I am on max dose of 4 other BP meds. Tell him to discuss it with his doctor. I felt embarrassed to bring it up but I had to as the anxiety was really bad. Now that I think of it, maybe the election was the cause. LOL
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Congestive heart failure 2011
Currently about 19% Kidney Function
September 11, 2013 PD Catheter and Fistula Surgery
September 27, 2013 Started PD
JVT90
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 03:45:38 PM »

Moosemom, Shaks24 and Kickingandscreaming, I appreciate all your responses and suggestions. :)

Moosemom, I told him that he'd be welcome here and he smiled  ;D........with his complete loss of vision we haven't found a way to get him online that he's comfortable with on his own. I read to him what people have posted and responses.

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kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 05:24:33 PM »

Quote
;D........with his complete loss of vision we haven't found a way to get him online that he's comfortable with on his own. I read to him what people have posted and responses.

Most computers have accesibility features for sight and hearing impaired folks.  Last year before I had my cataract surgeries I couldn't see worth a damn.  My computer (a Mac) read every page to me using a screen reader.  Worth checking out. 
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
Began PD (Cycler) 5/16
smartcookie
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 07:48:48 AM »

I am a little late to this thread, but Benadryl can be a good precursor to anti-anxiety meds.  It calms you down and makes you a bit sleepy, which helps with nerves.  Also, let him know just to focus on his breathing and to think about a place he really enjoys, like the beach or the mountains.  Breathe in through your nose slowly, imagine your happy place, breathe out through your mouth.  Also, relaxing your muscles one at a time until you are completely relaxed helps.  Start at your head and loosen up those facial muscles, then down your neck, into your chest, your arms, your abdomen, then you legs and feet. 

I have dealt with anxiety for years, part of the reason I am a social worker now.  It gets better and medicine does help even you out some.   
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I am a renal social worker.  I am happy to help answer questions, but please talk to your clinic social worker for specifics on your particular situation.
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 08:13:02 AM »

I can't imagine being stuck in a chair for 4 hours being blind. Dialysis centers are a noisy confusing place with alarms constantly going off.  Two things I would try, first if he will listen to music headphones so the noise clutter around him is cut down, two if that doesn't work most clinics have a isolation room tat is separate from the main clinic the lack of unseen movement and alarms may help the panic attacks.
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justagirl2325
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 12:46:58 PM »

My husband went through that for a while too, he got some meds for anxiety (I think it's lorazepam) and he took them for a while (a month?) now he finds he only needs them once in a while.  I was hesitant for him at first as I remember what he was like on citalopram (celexa) for past depression; he was a shell of himself.  The anxiety drug is nothing like that.  It helps him calm down and sleep during dialysis and the next day he is fine.
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smartcookie
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2017, 06:49:42 AM »

I have been on Lexapro for years.  When I started having back problems, my doctor put me on Cymbalta because it does help with chronic pain, as well.  A week in, I was a crying mess.  Everything made me cry and I was having panic attacks.  It even interfered with work.  I was venting to my parents at a restaurant and the vice president of my department heard me (I was doing discharge planning at a local hospital and made crap money with crap hours).  She brought me into the office the next day and told me that venting in a public place like a restaurant made the hospital look bad.  She never denied that what I said was wrong, but told me I should look for something to make me happier.  I tried to explain that I was having a difficult time coping with the job and my new medication change, plus my back issues, but she did not want to hear it.  I had my first back surgery a few months later and they fired me for extended medical leave.  It sucked big time. 

Moral of the story is, find a medicine that works for you and don't vent about your job in a restaurant!  Not every medicine works for every person.  I have tried Zoloft and another medicine I can't think of the name of and neither of those worked for me.  Lexapro keeps me pretty even with pretty much no panic attacks.  I try to keep my home a stress free environment and if I feel uncomfortable or anxious in a situation, I just leave and get a breather if at all possible.  I am much happier now and can function so much better. 
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JVT90
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2017, 11:09:54 PM »

Smartcookie, justagirl2325, Micheal Murphy and Kickingandscreaming, Thank you so much for your comments.

Kickingandscreaming, We recently bought him an Ipad, it has the screen reader. He's finding it frustrating to learn how to navigate it, but trying. :)

Smartcookie, I read off your tips, says he's going to try them. Glad you found the medicine that helped you. :)

Michael Murphy, I think the beeping is a big reason for the panic attacks. Headphones is a good idea, thanks. :)

Justagirl2325, My husband is hesitant to take any meds, I think because he's already feeling disoriented there as it is. Glad the meds helped your husband.

So far he's talked to his doctor, got a prescription (I think for lorazepam) but hasn't tried it at the clinic yet. Wanted to try some OTC stuff first. We bought these Goodbye stress gummy things. He's telling me if the gummies don't work he'll take the prescription meds. I'm so relieved. One way or another he'll be more relaxed. Thanks again to all of you who've helped.  :2thumbsup;

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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2017, 01:17:42 AM »

Yesterday I tried keeping my eyes closed during dialysis, the conclusion I reach your husband is justified in having a panic attack. I lasted 5 minutes before I had to peek.  Your husband is being treated in world of confusion.  If you want ba small taste go in and stand next to him and close your eyes.  I can't say for sure but I think if you are blind the average dialysis center must be one of dantes Seven levels.
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kitkatz
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2017, 01:59:00 AM »

I started having anxiety a few years ago after having a major set back health wise.  I have had to find ways to cope. 

Some of my coping mechanisms include:

Noise cancelling headphones- good ones will help a lot in center to cut down on noise.  If I did not have mine I would be a basket case each dialysis session.  The beeps and noises of machines have a direct effect on the mind set while on dialysis.  I cannot take on all of the noise in the center. It overloads my sensory inputs and drives me crazy.  I bought the big headphones, not the little tiny ones that just fit into the ears.

Benadryl and two Tylenol are good precursors to helping take the edge off a session.  I take the Tylenol about an hour before a dialysis session.

I also take Ambien, 1 pill, to help with some of my anxiety.  It is a sleeping pill but does help me to remain calmer during my sessions. I usually take it 20 minutes before dialysis to give it time to get into my bloodstream. Other drugs such as Ativan or Xanax might help, too.  It depends on what he can take. 

Also mind relaxing exercises do help.  Finding things wth all five senses around him can help.  Meditation exercises can also help with time in the chair and anxiety.  Deep breathing, concentrating on one thing for awhile, relaxing the body one part at a time, may help, too.

My Kindle Fire tablet helps me to stay calm, too.  I can read email, write notes or poetry, or watch a movie on it.  Netflix is a great time consumer while at dialysis and only 9.99 a month. 

A good book, a book on tape or a CD, or on the Kindle to listen to helps to distract the mind.

Talking to staff when it just gets to be too much can help if he has understanding staff members around him.  Just letting them know he is having anxiety can often relieve it because someone acknowledged the problem. 

« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 02:00:08 AM by kitkatz » Logged



Ivanova: "Old Egyptian blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." Babylon 5

Remember your present situation is not your final destination.

Take it one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time.

"If we don't find a way out of this soon, I'm gonna lose it. Lose it... It means go crazy, nuts, insane, bonzo, no longer in possession of ones faculties, three fries short of a Happy Meal, wacko!" Jack O'Neill - SG-1
JVT90
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2017, 05:47:45 PM »

Michael Murphy, Thank you for thinking of him and trying to put yourself in my husband's position. I do it quite often (in different situations)and don't think I make it 5 whole minutes.

Kitkatz, Thank you for sharing your ways of coping.

Things are going a little better for him, trying medication.  He's been telling the nurse/tech that he's feeling anxious as he's sitting down. They've been good about talking, trying to joke and distract him.  :pray;
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2017, 06:04:49 PM »

I am glad he is doing better, he needs to know his reaction is quite understandable.  He is in a busy environment with loud obnoxious noises and he doesn't have vision to put it into context.  The fact he went back for a second treatment show courage.  My starting dialysis was the most traumatic thing that has happened to me since i was 5 and started kindergarten.  The fact he is doing it blind at all humbles me.  I hope it gets better for him he is lucky to have some one to help him dealing with this burden.  I know we all hate dialysis but your husband has more of a reason to hate it.
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JVT90
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2017, 07:07:39 PM »

Hi Michael Murphy, Thank you for your response. I've read what you said and he smiled. Said to tell you thank you, too.   :thx;
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