Friday, January 14, 2011


For those of you who don't know this about me, I loathe taking medications. I'm notoriously bad about finishing antibiotics, for instance. I do rely heavily on NSAIDs and tramadol during my period, but otherwise, I stay away from medications at all costs. I can't tell you the last time I've been to the doctor for an illness or even a physical exam.

Flying makes me panicky. I've overcome the mental panic associated with it, and I can stay calm and mentally focused. There's no more crying or thoughts of death running through my head. On the other hand, I have never learned to control the physical aspects of anxiety - lightly sweating (palms mainly), moderate tachycardia (heart rate shoots up to 120-150), and dizziness. No matter how mentally relaxed I am about flying, I just cannot control these symptoms. Thus, I generally arrive at my destination bathed in a light sweat, clammy, and exhausted. Oddly enough, I love planes and flying.

When we flew to Hawaii, I finally decided to cave in and take a medication for the anxiety.

Let me tell you folks, I will NEVER fly without chemical enhancement again. I've just accepted the fact that while I can control the mental aspects of fear of flying, the physical reaction is beyond my capability. My flight or flight response is activated by the mere sound of jet engines and continues running at high throttle until the plane touches down. With a touch of medication, I can listen to my Ipod, look out the window at the ocean, and generally enjoy the experience of being conveyed to my destination by FLYING 500mph 25,000 feet in the air.

Florida is cold, by the way. We landed, and I got off the plane fully expecting to ditch my scarf. No dice. It was 50 degrees with a light, COLD breeze. Tonight, it promises to drop down to freezing. Oh well, so much for the warm Florida vacation. At least the day itself was beautiful!

The conference starts on Saturday, my friends arrive tomorrow afternoon. I'm very excited to go to CE, see friends, and generally have a great time. I'll get to reconnect with 2 of my internmates, as well. Whoo!


Holly said...

have so much fun you don't want to come home!

learn so much it leaks out your ears!

and take a couple of photos!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your positive experience with anti-anxiety medication. I often recommend anti-anxiety meds for my patients (and no, ace is not an anti-anxiety med), even for such things as coming to our hospital or getting a nail trim. I have seen that, with regular use, the overall anxiety response becomes less pronounced. Have fun at NAVC!