Thursday, May 17, 2007

GAG - started with my gag reflex....

I have gotten better over the past two years due to all the jaw work I've had (braces, retainers, etc). But I still have a pretty intense gag reflex. I had some jaw work (surgery) done last week which required some stitches. They are disolveable stitches and are starting to work their way loose. I HATE anything dangling in my mouth. I don't care if it is just near my upper part of my mouth. It makes me gag.

Today I swiped my finger in my mouth and one of the stitches dislodged (they are much longer than I thought). It started down my throat and I gagged but caught it before I choked.

Now I can't get that feeling out of my head. I feel like there is something stuck in my throat. I've drunk 20 oz of coffee, 16 oz of water, eaten a sandwich, brushed my teeth and had a ton of mints. It is not helping. I finally took a xanax and now it is tolerable - but I've not had a bad panic attack since starting on this new trileptal meds and I think it's a boulder rolling downhill thing.... the gagging is triggering panic symptoms which is triggering worry that I will have a major panic attack while on this med even though I've been free of major ones since being on it which is triggering more panic which is triggering more gagging. Agh.

Any tips on dealing with this -- besides just ripping these stitches out or cutting the little dangly parts off?

Well, it's several hours later and it's not better. I took the one xanax late morning. Then another at 4:30 pm. Then my trileptal at 7:30. I'm still jumpy and jittery and edgy and panicky. I'm not sure if it is still the gagging sensation (although that is still there). I'm living with chloraseptic now to numb my throat - it is helping some. I tried to swipe my mouth, mouthwash and get out as many of the stitches as possible. There are still a few that are just in there - at the very top. I know logically there is nothing in my throat but I just can't get the feeling to go away.

I have been jumpy and edgy all day. Could just be the end of the week blues. By the end of the week, I've usually had it and I think that is why I can resist cutting all week until Saturday. Although I really, really want to tonight. I have taken all the meds I can, except I'll take another xanax to sleep tonight and catch a break from this anxious feeling. I'm writing here and chatting with my SA online group too. They've been so helpful with suggestions and talking me down.

One poster said it could be "body memories". A flashback wherein you actually feel the sensations in your body; a memory using your senses. I've had a few of those. But never one with this - and none of what I remember would give me cause to have a gag reflex issue really. Not that I think. Although I have a huge issue with gum smacking. Drives me totally crazy. And my husband does it. Not the cracking of gum but chewing it like a cow. {{shudder}} It can send me from the bottom to the top of the panic scale in a second.

Anyway, I think I'm going to give up and watch my TV show and then go to bed early. I know better than to stay up past when DH goes to bed - that would make SI way too tempting tonight.


Lynn said...

The only thing I can think of that might help me in a situation like this is to tell myself that it is normal to have a gag reflex in response to something like that. Usually when I concentrate on how abnormal something is or how it relates to my abuse even when there is present-day good reason for the reaction, it feeds the cycle of panic. Sometimes I can distract myself, but for me, that is harder. Also, try to remember that it will pass. I know it's hard. {{{{{{{{Enola}}}}}}}}

Tina said...

Lol about the chewing gum like a cow! I have the same reaction to gum chewing and I HATE IT!

You mention that never had a flashback to feeling like this - but, keep in mind there are memories you are chosing to repress and it is always possible that your gag reaction now could be related to it.

I get that gag reaction when anyone mentions that someone I have been near recently just had a stomach virus - and, forget it! When Chris has a stomach virus, it kicks the reaction into igh gear! The only way I have been able to really get myself out of the reaction is to really sit there and make myself stop it - I allow myself to think "Is this really going to be an issue?" "So what if I get sick, it is only temporary!" "Is it really likely I will get it?" If I think that way, the feeling subsides (eventually - sometimes it takes me all day of thinking like that for the feeling to go away).

Hope the feeling gets better for you with rest and sleep!