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Panic Attack & covid vaccine


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If you are anti-vaxx or have anything negative to say, this may not be the thread for you.  I just need some positivity. Thanks.

 

I posted in the personal experience thread, but I needed to talk here.  I needed to talk about my experience.  You all are my go to place for this sort of thing.  So, as you all probably know I was super nervous about choosing the vaccine.  I got it on Monday.  I was told to wait 15 minutes.  They said I could wait in the car.  I sat there 10 minutes talking to my mom and I got a feeling of panic that washed over me.  I felt worried I had made a mistake and something bad was going to happen.  I started crying and freaking out a little bit. I have never had a panic attack, it may not have been one, I really do not know. This all happened at about the 10 minute mark, it felt like (in my mind at least) that I could feel the vaccine coursing through my body.  I'm sure this was in my imagination.  Then I thought in my mind, what am I even supposed to be aware of for this 15 minutes and as I had this thought. I felt a tightness in my throat.  Now, please be gentle, but I didn't see a doctor or report to anyone.  I felt like the tightness was  going away as my mom calmed me down, but as I started to feel worried again, the feeling would come back.  Because it would come and go depending on how panicked I felt, I'm pretty sure this was anxiety rather than a reaction.  I also only just learned that if you've ever had a mild or serious allergy to anything you are supposed to wait longer.  I have a mild allergy to shellfish, so I suppose I'll wait 30 minutes the next time.  I have a doctor's appointment with my gynecologist before next dose, so I'll tell her about all this and see what she says too.  I don't even have a general practitioner. 

On the bright side of things, I realized my next dose will be on a Monday, the start of our last school week for this school year. I'll have to not do school on Monday because it's mid day and I have to go pick up my mom and then, ya know, grandma and grandpa's house.  Then I got to thinking, I should expect to feel under the weather the next day, SO I decided we'd just cut to summer break a little early.  

Not sure why I'm posting.  Just maybe a little encouragement or advice.  Has anyone else gone through something similar? I have always had a bit of medical anxiety, but not this bad.  I'm not afraid of shots, just worried about this particular one.  Also, I'll probably only get around to reading this on Monday. Friday-Sunday is our weekend and it's my birthday this weekend, so we are going hiking and for some outdoor socially distanced fun.  Thanks for reading.  

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(((Hugs)))
I was pretty darn close to a panic attack after my 1st shot. Definitely some throat tightening. Definitely contemplated flagging a monitor down.  (Mine was drive-thru, with monitors walking up and down the waiting lot.). My known allergies are latex, animals, mold, and some pollens.  But I’ve had big anxiety issues for ages, and was a good 96.2% certain that’s what I was working with at the time.

At my second shot, that anxiety was a ton less than the first time. It really only hit in the last 5 minutes of waiting time, and not to the same extent.  I suspect my brain was kind of telling my body “If you’re going to have a problem, you’d better do it in the next 5 minutes or else!”  Surviving the first shot definitely helped me to manage the second one better. 😉 

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7 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

(((Hugs)))
I was pretty darn close to a panic attack after my 1st shot. Definitely some throat tightening. Definitely contemplated flagging a monitor down.  (Mine was drive-thru, with monitors walking up and down the waiting lot.). My known allergies are latex, animals, mold, and some pollens.  But I’ve had big anxiety issues for ages, and was a good 96.2% certain that’s what I was working with at the time.

At my second shot, that anxiety was a ton less than the first time. It really only hit in the last 5 minutes of waiting time, and not to the same extent.  I suspect my brain was kind of telling my body “If you’re going to have a problem, you’d better do it in the next 5 minutes or else!”  Surviving the first shot definitely helped me to manage the second one better. 😉 

Well that's good to hear.  I mean not really for you, but I guess I'm not alone.  

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Well, I’m similar in a way. You aren’t afraid of shots. The idea of a needle going into my arm simply freaks me out. I have been known to pass out, just because I get myself so worked up. There was no where to lie down for my vax, so I made it out to my car and reclined the seat all the way and stayed there for 30 whole minutes. I, like you, thought I could feel the vax coursing through my body. I was swimmy-headed and thought any second I’ll pass out. I also had a feeling of wondering what will this vax do to me. 
 

But you and I both know we made the right choice. We know that the virus is nasty, and the risks from that are far worse. Someone here posted that they use Lorazapam for their medical anxiety.  Maybe that’s something to consider?

 

Mercy, I’ve given birth with no epidural (not by choice). But please just don’t come near me with a needle. I have a friend who is just as bad as I. We’ve been encouraging each other.

Keep us updated and let us know how your second experience is. I hope you feel at peace with it all now. You’re going to be just fine.

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Anecdotally, from what I've heard it seems that panic/stress/anxiety when getting vaccinated is very common. I have almost no medical anxiety and none about needles for regular injections, and I think most people would describe me as usually being the calm in storms. But still . . . my first vaccine was a bit of an emotional experience. On the drive home I felt a little bit of a weird throat lump thing for a couple of minutes, but I'm positive it was more a stress/emotional reaction than an allergic one. Hugs.

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16 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Well, I’m similar in a way. You aren’t afraid of shots. The idea of a needle going into my arm simply freaks me out. I have been known to pass out, just because I get myself so worked up. There was no where to lie down for my vax, so I made it out to my car and reclined the seat all the way and stayed there for 30 whole minutes. I, like you, thought I could feel the vax coursing through my body. I was swimmy-headed and thought any second I’ll pass out. I also had a feeling of wondering what will this vax do to me. 
 

But you and I both know we made the right choice. We know that the virus is nasty, and the risks from that are far worse. Someone here posted that they use Lorazapam for their medical anxiety.  Maybe that’s something to consider?

 

Mercy, I’ve given birth with no epidural (not by choice). But please just don’t come near me with a needle. I have a friend who is just as bad as I. We’ve been encouraging each other.

Keep us updated and let us know how your second experience is. I hope you feel at peace with it all now. You’re going to be just fine.

Thanks.  I also have given birth 3 times without an epidural.  I'm all for the minimum amount of medical intervention.  So, let me reword that, I'm not afraid of a needle in my arm, but my back YIKES.  I might consider an anxiety medication, BUT I feel I'm really susceptible to medication and it might knock me out or something.  I actually would feel more in control being even with anxiety than medicated. THanks for the idea though.

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11 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Anecdotally, from what I've heard it seems that panic/stress/anxiety when getting vaccinated is very common. I have almost no medical anxiety and none about needles for regular injections, and I think most people would describe me as usually being the calm in storms. But still . . . my first vaccine was a bit of an emotional experience. On the drive home I felt a little bit of a weird throat lump thing for a couple of minutes, but I'm positive it was more a stress/emotional reaction than an allergic one. Hugs.

This is really great to hear, that others have experienced this.  

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I don't think it is uncommon. But I have heard from a friend who is a doctor that he feels it is even way more common with this vaccine because of the heightened level of stress and anxiety this past year for everyone as we constantly do risk analysis for ourselves. It is a new vaccine, and the testing has been fantastic, but still it just isn't the same as going in for a tetanus booster or something that feels so uneventful my normal. He says his nurses are just trying to be extra comforting, easy going, etc. and they offer the option of lying down for the shot at the vaccine clinic he has volunteered at to try to help lower anxiety and risk of passing out and getting hurt.

Be kind to yourself about it.

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I'm not afraid of vaxes, but I did notice that I could feel a tingle down my arm and in other places during the post-vax wait period.  I also had a bit of trembling.  It didn't surprise me because I know I'm sensitive to chemicals.

Just wanted to let you know it may just be normal for you to feel sensations others may not feel.

Edited by SKL
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It does sound like you were anxious. You're definitely not alone! 

I've always found that knowing to expect something makes it easier. So... now you know that you'll be anxious about this vaccine. That means you can prepare yourself. You know that you'll feel a tightness in your throat. You'll know that's anxiety and that there's nothing WRONG with that -- it's unpleasant, but it's not the boss of you. 

I've definitely had the best experiences with my feelings if I accept them and work through them ahead of time instead of feeling sheepish and ashamed. Like, for example, I always feel disoriented being in a new place for a few days. I feel out of it and moody. And when I felt embarrassed and silly about it, it was HARD. But now that I know that it's coming, I just talk myself down. I know that it'll pass. I know it's just something I have to work through. And I manage. (And yes, I still wind up feeling moody and out of it when we travel! But it no longer makes me feel out of control.) 

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Like, for example, I always feel disoriented being in a new place for a few days. I feel out of it and moody. And when I felt embarrassed and silly about it, it was HARD. But now that I know that it's coming, I just talk myself down. I know that it'll pass. I know it's just something I have to work through. And I manage. (And yes, I still wind up feeling moody and out of it when we travel! But it no longer makes me feel out of control.) 

Wow. That's exactly how I feel when I travel, and why I hate to do it. I always thought I was weird, so I'm kinda glad to know someone else feels the same way!

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1 minute ago, Pawz4me said:

Wow. That's exactly how I feel when I travel, and why I hate to do it. I always thought I was weird, so I'm kinda glad to know someone else feels the same way!

For me, it's definitely part of the "broader autism phenotype" thing we talked about on the other thread, I think 🙂

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

For me, it's definitely part of the "broader autism phenotype" thing we talked about on the other thread, I think 🙂

I hadn't thought about it, but it certainly fits. DS22, who is on the spectrum, shares my loathing of traveling.

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I felt this way when I started getting immunotherapy for allergies. The first time I knew they were making a significant dose jump, I freaked myself out and imagined some things that may not have been at all related - it’s like I was hyperaware, *expecting* something bad to happen. The clinic nurses were terrific and made sure to monitor and reassure me that nothing actually anaphylactic was happening. It’s good you had your mom with you. 
 

I found that walking around at an easy pace helps to dissipate the anxious feeling. So after the next vax, in addition to having someone go with you, maybe plan to do something other than just sit while you wait? Even if it’s just a slow circle around the parking lot. 
 

Don’t feel embarrassed about it at all, you didn’t overreact. You felt what you felt, yknow? As said upthread, we are all wound pretty tight and ready to spring after the stress of the last year. 

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Over the years I've had people come into the doctors office and say they are afraid or will pass out from shots or blood draws. I always asked and would proceed with them lying down and have them stay there a while. Is it possible to take someone with you? If they can't go in they would be with you in the car. And read up on some anxiety breathing techniques. I'm sorry this is so difficult. You are amazing to follow through!

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37 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I felt this way when I started getting immunotherapy for allergies. The first time I knew they were making a significant dose jump, I freaked myself out and imagined some things that may not have been at all related - it’s like I was hyperaware, *expecting* something bad to happen. The clinic nurses were terrific and made sure to monitor and reassure me that nothing actually anaphylactic was happening. It’s good you had your mom with you. 
 

I found that walking around at an easy pace helps to dissipate the anxious feeling. So after the next vax, in addition to having someone go with you, maybe plan to do something other than just sit while you wait? Even if it’s just a slow circle around the parking lot. 
 

Don’t feel embarrassed about it at all, you didn’t overreact. You felt what you felt, yknow? As said upthread, we are all wound pretty tight and ready to spring after the stress of the last year. 

Yes this for sure.  I did need something to do.  Not very much of my life is idle down time, so yeah I didn't like that.  Walking would have been a better choice.  Also, next time I'm taking my dad and leaving my mom at home with my children.  My mom is not the take charge type (she's very comforting), but I want to feel more protected I guess.  Also, she doesn't drive, so it would be nice to know my dad could rush me toward the hospital instead of my mom being stranded with my kids.  Also, IF something bad happens, I don't want my kids to see it.  So, that too, I just imagined my kids having to watch me be hauled out in an ambulance.  Not cool.  

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20 minutes ago, Starr said:

Over the years I've had people come into the doctors office and say they are afraid or will pass out from shots or blood draws. I always asked and would proceed with them lying down and have them stay there a while. Is it possible to take someone with you? If they can't go in they would be with you in the car. And read up on some anxiety breathing techniques. I'm sorry this is so difficult. You are amazing to follow through!

Yes, I brought my mom last time and I'm taking my dad last time.  

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Just sending hugs.  I haven't dealt with that that I can remember, but I do have a natural reaction to shots of just tensing up and getting nervous.  I don't enjoy the little pain of it.  I would get more nervous about different procedures.  Like anything extensive at the dentist.  I have a crazy reaction to doing eye drops.  Like I have to be held down, I just hate it.  I think it is normal to react to different situations like that.  At least I hope that I am normal.  🙂   

 

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1 hour ago, Faith-manor said:

I don't think it is uncommon. But I have heard from a friend who is a doctor that he feels it is even way more common with this vaccine because of the heightened level of stress and anxiety this past year for everyone as we constantly do risk analysis for ourselves. It is a new vaccine, and the testing has been fantastic, but still it just isn't the same as going in for a tetanus booster or something that feels so uneventful my normal. He says his nurses are just trying to be extra comforting, easy going, etc. and they offer the option of lying down for the shot at the vaccine clinic he has volunteered at to try to help lower anxiety and risk of passing out and getting hurt.

Be kind to yourself about it.

This makes a lot of sense.

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My son had a non Covid vaccination recently.  We waited the time and he seemed to be doing great.  Then he nearly passed out at the elevator on the way out so we ended up going back and they made him lay down another half hour.  They said they will have him lay down. He was actually totally fine with the shot etc it was only afterwards.

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Maybe this will make you feel less alone - 

I have big, scary allergies, and so do my kids.  We have anaphylactic allergies to tons of foods, and medicines.  So many medicines.  I’ve had a very bad flu vaccine reaction.  So we met with our allergist pre-vaccine for Covid.  She explained what they think people are allergic to in the vaccine, said to take our epipens, get the shot and wait 30 mins.  She said we could take Benadryl ahead of time (we did not).

Sure enough, first shot - I had anxiety in the waiting area.  DH was with me, and watching, ready with epipens and to call someone over to help.  I felt dizzy, light-headed, throat tightening, and extremely nervous at about 15 minutes.  DH talked me through it, and I was fairly sure it was anxiety.  At 20 minutes, I asked to go the car, thinking I needed to get out of the mask and get fresh air.  It improved shortly after that. By the time we hit the first stop light on the way home, I was fine.

2nd shot, I had to delay by a week due to health issues (I was hospitalized between shot for a non-shot related issue, and I felt pretty miserable, plus I was extremely nervous and waiting for my blood work to be ok to get the shot).  I had all the anxiety symptoms again, only this time they started when I sat in the chair to get the shot, before being injected!  I knew it was anxiety.  DH and DS were with me (DS getting his, and DH to drive us and keep an eye on his allergy peeps).  I just focused hard on DS because he was more at risk for an allergic reaction than I was.  We left at 30 mins, and again I felt fine by the time we got to the first light.

So, yes, I probably had a panic attack both times?  Or something.  Anxiety?  I would definitely take someone with you, if you can, to talk you through it and distract you.  And maybe to drive home if you feel shaky.

So glad you got your shot!  Good for you!  And now, just know that after your second shot ... you will feel so relieved!

Did you plan something fun with your mom yet, for two weeks after your second shot?  Having something to anticipate really helped me!

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Sounds like classic panic attack symptoms to me. image.png.5ea1cf3f6b82688b06029efb333c57b8.png

When my husband and I received our vaccinations, the nurse indicated that she liked to keep an eye on her patients to make sure they didn't faint. I had the impression that she watched everyone in this way. So, stress / emotional reactions must be very common.

You are a rock star for doing this! I think it'll help next time to know what to expect. 

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

I'm not afraid of vaxes, but I did notice that I could feel a tingle down my arm and in other places during the post-vax wait period.  I also had a bit of trembling.  It didn't surprise me because I know I'm sensitive to chemicals.

Just wanted to let you know it may just be normal for you to feel sensations others may not feel.

Agreeing that feeling some internal sensation can be completely normal. Dd18 said she felt a sensation of something washing or flowing inside her arm after both doses. She had no issues with the vaccine, other than the typical day of flu-like symptoms after her 2nd dose. So relieved all the adults in the house are now vaccinated! 

Thank you for sharing your concerns, OP, and I hope some of these responses are helpful to you. I think the discussion will help other people as well.  

Edited by Acadie
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25 minutes ago, Spryte said:


Maybe this will make you feel less alone - 

I have big, scary allergies, and so do my kids.  We have anaphylactic allergies to tons of foods, and medicines.  So many medicines.  I’ve had a very bad flu vaccine reaction.  So we met with our allergist pre-vaccine for Covid.  She explained what they think people are allergic to in the vaccine, said to take our epipens, get the shot and wait 30 mins.  She said we could take Benadryl ahead of time (we did not).

Sure enough, first shot - I had anxiety in the waiting area.  DH was with me, and watching, ready with epipens and to call someone over to help.  I felt dizzy, light-headed, throat tightening, and extremely nervous at about 15 minutes.  DH talked me through it, and I was fairly sure it was anxiety.  At 20 minutes, I asked to go the car, thinking I needed to get out of the mask and get fresh air.  It improved shortly after that. By the time we hit the first stop light on the way home, I was fine.

2nd shot, I had to delay by a week due to health issues (I was hospitalized between shot for a non-shot related issue, and I felt pretty miserable, plus I was extremely nervous and waiting for my blood work to be ok to get the shot).  I had all the anxiety symptoms again, only this time they started when I sat in the chair to get the shot, before being injected!  I knew it was anxiety.  DH and DS were with me (DS getting his, and DH to drive us and keep an eye on his allergy peeps).  I just focused hard on DS because he was more at risk for an allergic reaction than I was.  We left at 30 mins, and again I felt fine by the time we got to the first light.

So, yes, I probably had a panic attack both times?  Or something.  Anxiety?  I would definitely take someone with you, if you can, to talk you through it and distract you.  And maybe to drive home if you feel shaky.

So glad you got your shot!  Good for you!  And now, just know that after your second shot ... you will feel so relieved!

Did you plan something fun with your mom yet, for two weeks after your second shot?  Having something to anticipate really helped me!

Thank you that does help.  Yeah I really want my mom there because she can and has talked me through my whole life.  However, I am choosing to take my dad, he doesn't make me feel better as he isn't great with emotions, BUT I do know he is more likely to be able to actually help me if I need actual help.  Also, my kids will stay at home with my mom so they don't have to witness me dying or having a panic attack.  lol I would bring my mom and leave my dad with the kids, but my kids rarely get left and my dad isn't great with kids.  Not in a bad way, he just isn't much on diaper changing and such.  Good guy, just old fashioned and hands off with child care, he loves them dearly. I'm so relieved to hear all this from you all.  I thought I was the only one that went through this.  

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Sounds like classic panic attack symptoms to me. image.png.5ea1cf3f6b82688b06029efb333c57b8.png

When my husband and I received our vaccinations, the nurse indicated that she liked to keep an eye on her patients to make sure they didn't faint. I had the impression that she watched everyone in this way. So, stress / emotional reactions must be very common.

You are a rock star for doing this! I think it'll help next time to know what to expect. 

I think so too!  I think it so important for us to discuss EVERYTHING that goes on with our vaccine experience.

Edited by Elizabeth86
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Just now, Elizabeth86 said:

However, I am choosing to take my dad, he doesn't make me feel better as he isn't great with emotions, BUT I do know he is more likely to be able to actually help me if I need actual help.

I think you should do whatever it takes to deal with your anxiety and assume there will be anxiety. However, this statement makes it sound like you're letting your anxiety dictate what you think is likely, which is probably worthy disentangling.

Try to FEEL the difference between "I feel like it's likely that something will happen" and "it's actually likely something will happen." It's not actually likely something will happen. But you will absolutely feel anxious and like something will happen. Can you see how those are different? Can you try to get your conscious mind to rule over your feelings? 

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6 minutes ago, Elizabeth86 said:

Thank you that does help.  Yeah I really want my mom there because she can and has talked me through my whole life.  However, I am choosing to take my dad, he doesn't make me feel better as he isn't great with emotions, BUT I do know he is more likely to be able to actually help me if I need actual help.  Also, my kids will stay at home with my mom so they don't have to witness me dying or having a panic attack.  lol I would bring my mom and leave my dad with the kids, but my kids rarely get left and my dad isn't great with kids.  Not in a bad way, he just isn't much on diaper changing and such.  Good guy, just old fashioned and hands off with child care, he loves them dearly. I'm so relieved to hear all this from you all.  I thought I was the only one that went through this.  

Maybe taking your Dad will help with the anxiety, because you know he can help you.  FWIW, I don’t think you are going to die!  Not even a tiny bit.  Though feeling anxiety again wouldn’t be a surprise.  Hang in there.  You’ve got this!

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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think you should do whatever it takes to deal with your anxiety and assume there will be anxiety. However, this statement makes it sound like you're letting your anxiety dictate what you think is likely, which is probably worthy disentangling.

Try to FEEL the difference between "I feel like it's likely that something will happen" and "it's actually likely something will happen." It's not actually likely something will happen. But you will absolutely feel anxious and like something will happen. Can you see how those are different? Can you try to get your conscious mind to rule over your feelings? 

I need to try!!

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8 minutes ago, Elizabeth86 said:

I need to try!!

You have a few a weeks, thankfully 🙂

So, the first step is to accept your feelings and not to feel bad about them. You WILL feel anxious. That's just clearly your response to this shot. And that's OK. It's neither bad nor good. It's how you feel. It is what it is. 

Now, are your feelings giving you actual information about likely outcomes? No, they aren't. But that's not going to make your feelings go away. And that's fine, too! 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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50 minutes ago, MercyA said:

You are a rock star for doing this!

Can I just say that I'm so enormously impressed by everyone who is going on and getting their shots in spite of anxiety, because they understand the need? You guys are heroes. Seriously.

 

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That sounds like a panic attack to me. I've only had a few in my life. (two)

I will say, dehydration can make anxiety worse, and was a factor with at least one of my panic attacks. I found drinking some gatorade, taking a benedryl, and resting fixed me up, mostly. Still had to deal with the residual fight or flight chemicals in the body for a bit. 

They really are NOT logical, and it is odd to be that upset, and not have a real REASON you are upset. I get it. 

 

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My sister had the J and J and she was up all night with an anxiety attack. Her husband and son stayed up with her all night because they were afraid for her.  She’s had anxiety before when dealing with being dad’s caretaker but this was way different. 
OP, I hope your second dose is anxiety free. I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

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I made sure to be hydrated before I left. I did it early enough that I went to the potty enough times that I wouldn’t need to during my drive to and from getting the shot. During the trip, I only needed to sip on a small amount of water. I don’t usually, but I bought a tube of hydration tabs for the morning of. When I got home, I drank some more. Same for food. Eat something not too heavy that is healthy so you won’t feel queasy from eating greasy food. 

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Also, it helps to understand that what you are feeling is simply a lot of fight or flight chemicals being dumped in your body. That's all. And what is funny, is that excitement and good stuff can also dump some of those chemicals. Stress, even good stress, effects our biochemistry. So when we build this vaccine up into a HUGE DEAL after waiting a YEAR for it, it is no wonder we get a bit loopy on stress hormones when it finally happens! 

You can take the time until the next shot to look into some grounding techniques. When you are in a panic, your "lizard brain", the non logical, primal part of your brain is what is engaged. It doesn't think logically, you can't argue with it. It doesn't understand statistics or how vaccines work. It just notices your heart rate is up and wants to find what scared you and kill it, or run and hide. So...rather than argue with it, which is like arguing with a toddler, lol, you need to distract it. Have a note taped to your dashboard with questions on it "What is the name of your city? Name three family members. What colors can you see? What is the weather today?" What that does is activate the naming part of your brain...a totally different part. Get the blood flow and energy flow going to that part of your brain will help you reconnect iwth logic and reason and THEN you can talk yourself down. 

Sort of like how you don't swim against a rip current, you swim sideways. 

Oh, and reciting memorized prayers or mantras help some, probably because it uses that more advanced, logical part of the brain. But the questions thing is REALLY helpful. 

You can also try moving your arms or fingers SUPER slowly, like in slow motion. That also requires you to activate the more advanced part of your brain. 

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I took a Benadryl an hour before hand, and another right after my shot.  Drank electrolytes, and ate blueberries, which help stabilize mast cells.  Still felt unsettled.  Held my epipen and did some deep breathing.  After a half hour felt I could start the drive home, and pull over if I needed to use the epipen.  I was completely fine. Driving was actually a nice distraction.  I think it was just the adrenaline immediately after the shot.  Second shot was the same, only I had my husband with me.  I think you have a good plan for your second shot and you will be just fine. 

Edited by Lawyer&Mom
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I have been through something similar. When I got my first Moderna, I started to panic a little and was convinced my throat was closing up. It wasn't; my throat was just dry. I know that I sometimes get panicky when getting injections, so I was able to talk myself down. "This is a panic attack. You actually can breathe. Take a breath, see? You are just anxious. Your fear isn't real". 

Knowing that I am prone to panic in medical settings helps me calm down. When the anxious feelings start, I am able to say "Ah, see? It's just anxiety. Nothing really bad is happening". It still takes a solid 15 minutes to get myself together again, but knowing what is happening helps. ❤️

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