The pain started to spike just as I was settling down for the night. Like so many times in the past, it went from zero to a hundred in no-seconds-flat. One minute I was fine, the next, I couldn't breathe for the pain.
It was both my shoulder and the neck pressure, and it was excruciating. I tried looking behind it and found that the blankness from earlier on had gone, but I couldn't really tell what was in its place.
I took 20mg top-up morphine; an hour later the pain was still rising, so I took another 20. Normally I would only take 10, but the pain was so bad, and the meds have been so ineffective today, that I knew that wouldn't be enough. Still, it did nothing. Then 40 minutes later my world exploded in terror.
I'd kept looking in on behind the pain, and I knew it was fear there, but I couldn't get any more than that, and the pain was so bad, I couldn't even begin to address it. I still couldn't even breathe.
Then suddenly I'm in the midst of a child's terror, the like of which most adults would be glad to have forgotten. There aren't really words for the depth of the fear that suddenly swept over me. As endless as the sadness was this morning, the fear was easily as bad. I was sobbing with terror, shaking, utterly consumed by it.
The child this time was slightly older again than the 'sad' one - there were more words, and a more developed interpretation of the situation. But still very very young: under two, I'm sure.
All that filled my head was 'monsters' and 'scared in the dark', 'mummy don't leave me', 'mummy help' - begging and pleading with her to come and save me. I could sense that small child lying in the dark, terrified, crying and crying for someone to come, and no-one ever coming. At one point, I sensed my mother having been there, and then leaving - not able to interpret her child's cry as one of sheer terror.
This 'panic attack' went on for what seemed like forever. I was powerless to stop it; I couldn't help the terrified child in me, because of the incredible pain my brain was creating for exactly that reason - to distract me from the feelings. It was awful. every time I tried to do anything about the feelings, the pain exploded just a little bit more.
Eventually, gradually, telling myself I was safe, 'I've got you', 'there are no monsters', etc, I managed to calm down, to calm that child down. When I finally had her convinced she was safe, the pain stopped.
Since then I've had a burst of anger - resolved through thumb sucking - and repeated waves of fear. I got up to get something to eat and had to constantly chant to myself that I was safe, just to go into the kitchen.
Right now (two hours after the initial terror), the pain is ramping up again. Which probably means more panic some time soon. And there's absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.
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