Anxiety and Panic Attacks

The following is not medical advice. It is merely my own experience from having to deal with heart, circulation, and anxiety problems.

In 2004, I shattered my left ankle. The lack of use of my left leg and the resulting pain from arthritis prevented me from doing the amount of physical work I used to do. For three years after my injury, the lack of work did not affect me much. But in the fall of 2007, after a particularly hot summer and much less exercise, my blood pressure started rising. The media, friends, and neighbors all seemed to support the idea of drinking a glass of wine every evening to lower blood pressure. I drank very little wine, and only two glasses of beer all my life. I checked my blood pressure before drinking the wine and afterward. Sure enough, drinking a glass of wine lowered my blood pressure to a healthy level.

However, the following night my blood pressure was even higher than the previous night, before I drank any wine. After drinking another glass of wine, my blood pressure dropped to normal level again. This process repeated; with each night my blood pressure kept going higher than the previous. After one week, I could see where this was going and stopped drinking the wine. However, my blood pressure continued to rise each following evening. Within a few days I reached a point where my arteries would have the sensation of exploding just as I was drifting off to sleep. After the third “explosion,” I went to the emergency room at the hospital where I was given a prescription for HCTZ blood pressure medication.

The HCTZ brought my blood pressure down to an acceptable level. At the same time as starting HCTZ, I started reevaluating all the herbs, food, and beverages I had been consuming up until then. I also located foods and electromagnetic devices around my house that affected my arteries. After eliminating things that contribute to high blood pressure, I began drinking dandelion and hawthorn teas. I also began doing some light exercises. After a week, I was able to stop taking the HCTZ and rely solely on the teas and light exercise. My blood pressure settled at a perfect 120/80 for a couple months.

In the middle of December, I went to a Mexican food restaurant and had a delicious dinner and margarita. I love the taste of the salt on the rim while sipping. My blood pressure increased to pre hypertension level, but I did not give it much concern. Two days later I ate a large order of fast food french fries, an eggnog shake, and later had a hand full of candy coated chocolate nuts. That night I was in the emergency room, again, for soaring high blood pressure. This time I had pain in my chest and felt panicky. I was watched for a while and then sent home. Two days later, on Christmas eve, I was in the emergency room again with chest pains. I also had high blood pressure in my left arm, but normal blood pressure in my right arm. I panicked even more because I thought maybe I had a serious artery weakness near my heart.

The doctor ordered a CAT scan, but my heart and arteries were in very good condition. He told me I had “anxiety” and needed to learn to relax. I was also given a prescription for Xanax. This was the turning point for me. I had reached a point where I had developed full blown panic attacks and was losing control of my mind and body. Since then, I stopped measuring my own blood pressure. In this case it seemed the right thing to do since I had just had a CAT scan that verified my heart and arteries were in good condition. It was the stress I had built up over the years that was driving my blood pressure. Just by thinking about measuring my blood pressure, I was subconsciously driving it up.

The morning after being diagnosed with anxiety, I woke up in a good mood and feeling fine. Then I sat at the Internet and tried to respond to a scientific discussion and my panic attack started before I could finish the email. I tried various light exercises to get the panic down, but eventually it got the better of me. I took a Xanax. Just after I took the Xanax, it occurred to me to walk on the treadmill. The first six minutes on the treadmill were panicky and I felt fear. But after six minutes my heart, arteries, lungs, and brain all started working synchronously and I started feeling normal again. This was when I realized that anxiety is only what the disorder looks like from the outside. From the inside, anxiety is really a disharmony of the organs. After years of stress, lack of exercise, and lack of adequate nutrition, my organs were losing touch with each other. The change was more than psychological and had developed into a physiological problem.

There is an important message here. Just as it is prejudiced and bigoted to look upon someone’s race or gender, it is prejudiced and bigoted to describe someone’s condition as merely “anxiety.” The word would not be so bad if there were not such a clear stigma applied to it, which implies the person with anxiety has mental problems. It is true the condition of disharmonious organs is caused from mental stress, and it is true the solution lies in releasing the mental stress, however the condition itself has become part of the individual’s physical condition. The disorder itself is physical. To treat the disorder requires both a physical and mental understanding. If the patient is seeking someone else to be a healer, this understanding is needed by both the patient and the healer.

I chose to heal myself. My poverty helped me with that choice. What I am sharing below are my personal experiences in dealing with disharmonious organs (anxiety) and panic attacks. Keep in mind my age (47), gender (male), that I live alone, and that I have a good sense of self-discipline. You may need to question whether these techniques will work for you, or not, based upon your own situation.

Broken Legs

On October 6th, 2004, while trimming a tree, the limb I was cutting bounced off the ground and knocked the ladder from under me. I fell about 15 feet and suffered a compound fracture of the lower left leg and two calcaneous fractures (broken heals). The compound fracture was severe causing my broken tibia to puncture my skin and Levis, and touch the ground.

I was fortunate my son was nearby, who called 911 immediately. It seemed as though the local rescue squad and ambulance arrived in just five minutes to take me to the local hospital. The local hospital removed my pants, x-rayed the legs, and told me I would need treatment from an orthopedic surgeon. The doctors and nurses asked me if I wanted any pain relievers and I told them, “no, the pain in my legs was bearable.”

I had two choices. I could go to St. Louis, MO or Springfield, IL, both were a two hour drive. I chose Springfield, and when I asked how I would get there, the doctor asked me if I had insurance. I said I had absolutely no insurance. He told me I would be going by ambulance (and not helicopter). Since that moment, my neighbor told me of a company called Air Evac Lifeteam, which offers insurance to pay for air lifting in emergencies.

The ambulance ride would not have been so bad, except that I had not urinated since before lunch and my bladder felt it was near the point of rupturing. In my prone position I was not able to relieve myself. Six hours after I had broke my legs, I was at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. The first thing they did was insert a catheter, to my great relief. Next, the nurse asked me when I last had a tetanus shot. I informed her that I have used an herbal remedy (yarrow) to cure tetanus in the past and continued to take this herb even up to the morning of my accident. She acted like she was going to have a stroke, so to calm her, I allowed her to give me a tetanus shot.

Memorial Medical Center is a teaching hospital. Most of the emergency workers were students. One unfortunate young man could not find a decent artery to take a blood sample and gave up, even with my encouragement to try again. It must have been the first night for several of these workers as they were continually seeking advice from other staff members for normal, routine processes. I didn’t mind at all letting them practice on me.

After about an hour, and after my son and mother arrived at the hospital, I was wheeled off for surgery. Just before surgery I was given some papers to sign. I always read what I sign, having been a finance manager for several companies. Right at the end of the consent form was a clause stating I agreed to pay 26.5% interest on any unpaid balance after 45 days. I told the nurse at the counter my income was less than $5,000 per year and that I had no insurance. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, sign that paper since I knew there was no way I could pay the bill.

After about an hour of calling the hospital administrators, I was told I could write a comment stating that I did not agree with this clause, and initial it, before signing. I did this. The hospital at no time after tried to charge me interest on my outstanding balance.

After signing the paper, I met my surgeon. He was a friendly man who offered me moral support and told me that he would be able to fix my leg. He told me he had the same injury as I did when he was younger. He further went on to say they were just going to clean out the wound that night and focus on keeping any infection from developing. The doctors would not attempt to reconstruct my leg until the infection was clear. I placed complete trust in him.

When I awoke the next morning I was receiving strong antibiotics through my arm and was told to use the morphine button every hour to keep the pain down. The nurse pushed it for me the first time. I didn’t have pain when I broke the leg, but I did start to feel pain when I awoke, although it was more of a feeling of being uncomfortable than a sharp pain. I used the morphine button, as I was told, throughout my nine days in the hospital. There were three surgeries, total. The second surgery was also only for cleaning the wound. The third surgery was for setting the bones and installing an external fixator. There were also 11 screws and a titanium plate installed. The titanium plate was put on my fibula near the ankle and required four screws. One screw was put through my ankle to prevent my foot from moving. The six remaining screws were placed throughout the leg to hold various chunks of bone in place. The doctor told me that when I healed I would be able to leave the screws and plate in my leg for the rest of my life and never know they were there. I looked at him skeptically and told him I didn’t plan on having this hardware in my leg any longer than necessary, and intended to make a full recovery. I can understand the doctor’s skepticism, but he didn’t seem to understand my resolve to heal my leg.

I was sent home with the external fixator, and a prescription for antibiotics, children’s aspirin, and Vicodin. I took the antibiotics for a few days and then stopped taking them. I took the aspirin for two months, as the doctor said it was important to prevent blood clots in my leg. I took the Vicodin for a few weeks and then stopped when I found out it was addictive. Sure enough, I experienced withdrawal symptoms when stopping the Vicodin.

Being curious about how other people dealt with a compound fracture, I searched the Internet for personal accounts. I was surprised to see that many people have been discussing their experiences for several years on various health related web sites.

Of particular interest was a web site titled “Fracture Healing”. Here I learned how several supplements to the diet were helpful for regenerating the bone and tissue. So I ordered the following supplements from Total Health Discount Vitamins. Be careful, I coded my email address and found out that despite their promise not to sell my email address, they did. I started receiving spoof emails looking like eBay and PayPal to the email address I only used for placing orders at Total Health Discount Vitamins. It is only a minor inconvenience compared to the good service, good selection, good quality, and excellent prices of this online retailer.

Below are the supplements I purchased and their product numbers:
Yarrow SLRY-1690
Glucosamine Sulfate NW-3239
Bone Calcium NW-1227
OptiZinc NW-1510
l-arginine NW-0035
l-glutamine NW-0094
Multivitamin NW-3793
Multigland for Men SLRY-5095

It is my belief that the body will learn to extract all the nutrition it needs from a supplement, regardless of the quantity taken. At first I began by taking one each, twice a day. After a few weeks, I took only one each per day. I bought the largest quantity of each supplement. When the OptiZinc, l-arginine, and l-glutamine were gone, I did not replenish them. The other supplements also contained these minerals and amino acids.

I also tried magnetic healing.

In all, the above supplements were very helpful. After one year, I had the screws and plate removed as I had planned to do. I used other herbs and supplements as mentioned elsewhere on this web site. I have made a perfect recovery. Aside from a little stiffness in my ankle, after five years my leg is as good as new.

My Broken Bones

I suffered a compound fracture of the lower left tibia and fibula.  The bones literally poked through my skin.  The orthopedic surgeon did not believe me when I said I would be back to near normal in 18 months.  In reality, it took me about 16 months before I could return to normal activities.  I will admit, there was still a lot of pain in my leg after spending 9 solid hours of hard labor on my feet, but the pain didn’t start until I sat down, and then only when I tried to stand again.  While working and sitting, there was little to no pain.  The flexibility of the ankle is severely limited, but I’m looking into ways to correct that, too.

The most important step for healing broken bones, I found, is good nutrition.  A diet high in protein, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, l-arginine, and l-glutamine is essential.  Supplements of glucosamine sulfate and chondroiten help prevent the onset of arthritis.  I later discovered that SEBKinase enzyme cures all arthritis completely (and cleans the arteries).

Comfrey is also very effective in healing broken bones.  About six months after surgery my new bones were still not solid.  I drank comfrey tea for three weeks and the bone seemed to knit very quick after that.  I took a few relatively young leaves and put them into the bottom of a glass.  Then using a blunt object, crush the leaves to a pulp in the glass.  With the leaves still in the glass, I added 6 to 8 ounces clean drinking water, stirred, and drank the fluid down (not the leaves).  I followed this regimen once a day for three weeks with no noticeable side effects.  I also made a compress of crushed fresh comfrey leaves, placed them directly over the wound area, and then wrapped it with an Ace bandage; changing and cleaning twice a day.

Infection is one of the worst things that could happen while recovering from a bone injury.  I took extra care not to contaminate the dressing, changed it at least twice each day according to the doctor’s instructions, and took two capsules of yarrow herb each day (yarrow tea would also work).  When the doctor prescribed antibiotics, I took them as prescribed, even though I was aware of the dangerous side effects.  Aside from death, no side effect could be worse than getting an infected wound.

Pain pills were prescribed, but I stopped taking them three weeks after surgery.  I simply didn’t need them.  Later on, when I was spending 9 straight hours on my feet, I would feel a lot of pain after sitting.  The pain was so acute, I could barely move.  Then while trying to cure toenail fungus by soaking my feet in Pao d’Arco tea, I discovered that the pain was greatly relieved due to the tea bath.  I now soak my feet regularly in Pao d’Arco tea.

After one year I insisted the screws and plates installed in my leg to hold the bones together be removed.  The orthopedic surgeon was not happy about this, but the bones had healed quite well by then and the screw heads and plate edges were rubbing against my tendons while I mowed the lawn.

I must also stress that during the first six months I did absolutely nothing that would stress the bones.  I stayed in bed and moved in a wheelchair.  I followed the doctor’s advice very close, but he never recommended or prescribed nutritional supplements.  I did that on my own after reading about the experiences of others online.