Tag Archives: panic attack

The Panic Attack

8 May

Not every day is easy when you’re an 11 year old boy with Aspergers Syndrome.

Little man is currently in year 6 of his independent special school. He will be making the move from primary to secondary in just a few short months. Although this is within the same school complex, this is still a massive step in Little mans journey.

Maybe this is why his current teacher is doing a great job to teach the children in her class some effective steps to independence. Every week Little man and his class peers embark on a creative cooking challenge which results in him bringing home some really tasty treats. However last week not only would they be cooking but first they had to go out shopping and purchase their ingredients.

Little man was dead excited and he left the house in high spirits despite having very little sleep the night before.

However at about 2 PM I received a phone call from his teacher. She explained that little man wasn’t feeling himself and was actually quite upset. He had expressed a need to speak with me so I said to put him on the phone. She was right, little man was indeed very upset, he sounded muddled confused and panicky. He repeatedly told me that he didn’t feel right and that I just didn’t understand as something seriously wasn’t right. Normally when the Little man isn’t feeling well he is rather quiet and reserved, so something definitely wasn’t right here!

Now I don’t drive and the school Is a good few miles away from where we live. Little man gets transport to and from school which is provided by the LEA. I asked him if he could possibly wait as he only had one and a half hours remaining until he was collected, this however didn’t go down well and he seemed to become quite erratic in his speaking.

I was quite concerned and it seemed he’s teacher was too as she volunteered to drive him home herself. Yes, I’m not actually used to such kind and thoughtful actions as things in mainstream school were of an extremely different story.

His teacher accompanied by a TA bought him home within about 20 minutes or so, much quicker than I could’ve collected him myself. This I was most grateful for.

Seeing little man and from speaking with his teacher and TA it was pretty apparent that little man had experienced a panic attack. He had claimed several times that he was feeling dizzy and he even asked one of his teachers if there was a possibility of him collapsing.

Little man looked tired and as white as a ghost. His forehead was sweaty and eyes were red, there was no doubt within my mind that this particular panic attack had been caused by his lack of sleep combined with the excitement of his planned day of shopping and cooking with he is friends.

He also had a bit of a tummyache which he had complained about the night previous. Once home he spent quite a while in the toilet something you wouldn’t find him doing while in school. Now in his own environment he seemed to relax and calm down somewhat. Lying on the sofa with a blanket over him, he drifted off to sleep pretty quickly.

Panic attacks are extremely scary for any adult let alone child to have to experience. The mind is a pretty powerful tool and during an attack there really is no reasoning with this tool. How do I know? Because I’ve been there before! My first experience of a panic attack was when I was a teenager. Seriously I thought I was going to die right there on the street and in my panicking state I started requesting that random people call me an ambulance. There is no words to describe the feeling you experience during a panic attack. The sheer terror you feel within. You really feel close to death, at that moment in time you actually couldn’t feel any closer if you tried!

Those who’ve never experienced a panic attack will never know the true extent of how frightening an experience this really is. The whole world around you is moving yet somehow you feel impounded to the ground your body is heavy, too heavy to move, your heart beats faster and you’re hand begin to uncontrollably shake. Your mouth feels dry, it’s hard to swallow even breath. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody especially my own little boy.

The day I came close to breaking point

9 Sep

I would be telling lies if I said everyday was a good day in our house! Yes, we have had many bad days…Little man can often go weeks at a time without having a major paddy. However with my hand on my heart, Little man has never been as highly challenging as he was Yesterday (Tuesday, 08, September)

Things were pretty much “normal” when I collected him from school. He done a fair bit of moaning, not surprising given the times in which he finally goes  off to sleep of a night. I knew he must have been feeling pretty crappy, so didn’t pay too much attention to his name calling and stroppy ways. I had not prepared my self for what was to come that evening! My gosh it wasn’t pleasant

Tuesday 08 September 2010 would be a date I would remember for time to come, as I’m almost certain that this was the day I very near hit breaking point.

My nine (Very soon to become ten-year old) had gain total control over me! His mother. He seemed totally uncaring, selfish and extremely hateful towards me. Let me explain my meaning for TOTAL CONTROL! I had become so tired and sick of the situation we were now in. My son had me crying in public, I then went on to have a panic attack in the supermarket. Can you imagine the scene.. Mother with two of her children and her nephew stood on the food aisle in Sainsburys crying as her nine-year old throw himself around the store. Yes, his had the classic supermarket meltdowns but this was oh the DADDY of them all. He abused me with hurtful remarks, Throw items, refused to move, bashed his 7-year-old sister across the supermarket with a trolley, cried, jumped up and down screaming “Please, I said I was sorry”  as I contemplated leaving the shop. I considered running way, or better still screaming, nothing precise, Just screaming to let some frustration out! Instead I just ended up with a crying daughter, a migraine, and one hell of a panic attack. God only knows why it’s called a panic attack as I was far from panicking! I was just utterly exhausted, drained mentally, and shocked at the extent of the behaviour and worse the inability to care about mine and anybodies upset.

Not knowing if I was coming or going I realised that we were fast becoming a tourist attraction. I’m used to stares, unwelcome comments from snort nosed strangers. I don’t normally rise to such ignorance. However When some couple stopped to have a nose, like we were caged animals at the zoo I had no choice. Was the situation that bloody interesting? Well, this couple seem to think so and unlike other fellow shoppers peeking as they passed on by, These guys were grabbing their popcorn and were in the front row! Needless to say, they got their show! One which concluded with me asking if they had nothing better to do in their lives then stand watching us and somehow find our abominable display entertaining. Yes, they said nothing just scattered of shaking their heads. Our the trip came to an end with me having this panic attack and members of staff asking if I was Ok. I felt so silly! A panic attack over my child.. I kept thinking they would think I couldn’t cope! It’s ironic really, as stood there I felt like I couldn’t, and felt so for a good few minutes. Then I remember, the challenges we have faced together and I allow myself to have that breakdown, after all do they contend with things like this on a daily basis. Just like little man slowly filling up in till he explodes and it comes gushing out, I needed to do that too and at home laid in bed next to my daughter who was so tired and unable to cope with him constantly storming into her room name calling. I found myself crying again. Listening to him going up and down the hallway acting out the same bus routine he does every single day and night I wondered if he really did have feelings as today would suggest he didn’t!

I know my son does have feeling, if anything he can be over emotional. It just seems at times that he considers himself to be the only person in the world. ..I know that it was just a really bad day, ones I bound to see again, It just sometimes we get through them better then others.

.. Well, my children have been back in school for five days but have only attend three of them days. I emailed the AWO (attendance and welfare officer) who works for the LEA explaining why my children were not in school. How could they go to school that morning following the kind of day we had the day before ? My daughter didn’t sleep till the early hours and I managed a few hours only once I heard the announcements of random bus stops being shouted out, I knew it was safe to. This must have been at least 5am. I’m surprised the baby, my nine month old son got some sleep given the extent of the noise throughout the night.

I decided to go to the school to speak to little mans class teacher. Turns out that the teacher was away from class and told the children before leaving to behave or they may not attend the trip he was planning. Little man freaked when his friend started to misbehave and was now convinced there was no trip. Such a small thing can seem so big to Little man. Since I’ve told him that the trip is still on, his settled a lot more. Today was like yesterday never existed, and he was polite and well behaved. So Tuesday wasn’t a great school day. It was a worrying, anxious school day, which resulted in him coming home to take it out on mum. 😦 We have had worse things happen, worse days but never with this degree of challenging behaviour. It just goes to show, that our children on the spectrum can become bubbling volcanos within a second, No warning no sign. The smallest and most simplest thing to us, is the most huge to them. Challenging behaviour can be triggered by al sorts… You’ve been warned!!

Oh one last thing! I started smoking again after a year and a half. Yes, I was disappointed with myself, and it’s a stupid thing to do… But my god it felt so good! Stress & cigarets are a match made in heaven.

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