Last night I couldn’t catch my breath. My throat felt exactly like how you feel after sprinting outside in super cold weather – raspy and sharp – and I finally realized what COPD’ers really mean when they describe “air hunger”.
It took me a really long time to realize it was 1) happening, and 2) not going away. Finally, it got distracting enough that I couldn’t concentrate on studying, so I switched gears and tried a differential diagnosis.
It wasn’t an allergic reaction, because benadryl didn’t help. It wasn’t asthma, because I took a stethoscope and listened to my lungs for like 5 minutes without hearing a wheeze and besides, I don’t have asthma. It wasn’t GERD because I had no weird taste and no chest discomfort and again, I don’t have GERD. It wasn’t a PE because I’m still alive and kicking.
Eventually I realized by process of elimination what any sane outside observer would have concluded in the first place – that I must be having a panic attack.
It was weird. I’ve had panic attacks before, and I usually felt… you know, panic.
Why the heck would a panic attack happen without panic? Is that even possible? What is that, the psychiatric equivalent of a painless MI or foot wound in a diabetic?
… do I have psychiatric neuropathy?
Eventually I fell asleep and had a nightmare that our medicine shelf exam scores came back and I needed a 70 to make honors and I only got a 68 so obviously my entire medical career was ruined.
I either need a benzo or a swift slap to the head.
The end of third year is officially driving me insane.