LASA 2: Effects of Stress
Tammy L. Angle
My Stressful Event
Stress has always been a part of my life because I have Bipolar I Disorder, which was not
diagnosed until I had a psychotic break at age 36, and was medically induced into a coma for
eight days. I am currently taking Paxil and Lithium, which work so much better than Seroquel,
Geodon, or Depakote, all of which caused severe fatigue, and robbed me of my personality. I
still struggle with coping mechanisms, so when my dad became ill this past December, it literally
turned my life upside down. He suddenly changed, and then settled into a state of delirium that
no doctor could determine the cause. He was in an excellent hospital, but it was an hour's drive
inland each way, and I dropped everything except for my education, and basically moved in with
my Mom so that she was not alone, and I would do the driving because it made her nervous. I
managed to hold it together for quite a while, as he was in the hospital for a total of two months.
And, they never did figure out what caused it. So many nights I'd sit outside and pray that God
would let him live, that he's made it through so much, he's a fighter, and I maintained my faith in
that. One night I got up to use the bathroom, and when I placed my foot on the floor, pain shot
up my calf, and to my knee. The right one was the same way, and I couldn't walk! I began to cry,
and crawled to the bathroom. I've had Lupus since my early 20's, and stress is the main trigger!
So, I was in a wheelchair, my poor Mom having to help me, for about three weeks. Typically, it
only affects the right side of my body, but this time it was both. My feet were so red and swollen
the pain severe, both of my hands covered in blood blisters the size of a quarter, and a rash up
both forearms. The other huge stressful event amidst all of this, was going...