Once, a couple of years ago, Poker Chick had a panic attack. It was a scary event but somehow a friend recognized what was happening and she was able to hide for an hour or so until the medicine kicked in. Afterwards, she felt exhausted, like her body had run 10 miles or something (ok, let's face it. 1 mile would be an accomplishment at this point).
A couple of hours she walked home from the subway and felt really weird, but she figured it was common to feel such weakness after such an experience. Maybe not, because later that night she developed a high fever, about 103 and was sick for several days. So she concluded that the panic attack was a once-in-a-lifetime "perfect storm" kind of event" take an impending illness stealthily attacking her immune system, add unusual stress from both work and home, and pow! A fit of anger sends you into a tailspin.
This reassured Poker Chick, because she didn't have to worry about it happening again.
But last week, it did. Only she didn't recognize it until the next day. It was night, and everyone else was asleep. Poker Chick was trying to sleep too only her heart was racing so fast it scared her. It felt like it was skipping beats or something, like it was about to jump out. She was shaking. She felt like sobbing and she couldn't breathe. Seriously, no air. She considered whether to wake husband and go the doctor. She didn't know what, but something was horribly, horribly wrong. Somehow she kept talking to herself, told her mind to calm down and that everything seems scarier at night, she should relax. If it wasn't better in the morning, she told herself, then she could worry. Eventually she fell asleep.
The next morning she realized she probably had another panic attack and that she had been hyperventilating. She wasn't too surprised because she had had an inordinately stressful week. But she was disappointed because now her sick theory went out the window and did she need to worry about recurring panic attacks? What kind of a nut job is this girl? Okay, don't answer that peeps. Learn to recognize a rhetorical question when you see one.
Do you want to guess what happened the next night? Yep, that's right, she got sick. Not 103, but a pretty nasty cold with that all-over body sick feeling. She's never felt so relieved to feel like cr*p!