“Is this the end of the road for me?” I wondered as I reached out for my emergency medicines. Then the shakings stopped and eventually so did the palpitations.
Such harrowing experience has been increasing in frequency over a year after I underwent an angioplasty operation to unclog five veins that were found to be up to 99 percent blocked. This despite the fact that my doctors at Saint Luke’s Hospital assure me that the six metal wires (stents) placed in my heart veins have effectively given me a new “bionic heart.”
In plain language, panic attack is when the body mimics some of the symptoms of heart attack – palpitations, shortness of breath, cold sweat etc – as a person is overcome by fear of having heart attack. Those who had heart operations are especially prone as they lose confidence in their heart’s strength and they misinterpret all normal body changes such as heart palpitations to mean an attack to the heart.
My neighbor in Quezon City who owns a resort on Boracay had to charter a plane from the island after a panic attack only to be told by our common heart doctor that there was nothing wrong with him.
I had to end some meetings with VIP legal public relations clients just to get myself to a hospital following panic attacks. Fears of attacks and episodes of attacks are sucking the life out of me. On board that fateful flight from Manila to Zamboanga City last Thursday, I even welcomed dead as it would put me out of my panic attack miseries.
Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that my trip to Layag Layag saw us all fully drenched in the rain for almost four hours because that too reminded me how my complains of getting rained on in life from time to time, there are people who live in virtual “Water World” where water comes from the skies and from under their houses during high tide every day of their lives. Children here even swim to school.
So I envisioned focusing more on thanking God for my blessings and on what I can do to help poor kids where our Kristiyano-Islam Peace Libraries are located – Manicahan, Zamboanga City; Quezon City; Barangay San Isidro, Rizal Province; and Tungawan, Zamboanga del Sur. Of course, the Talon Talon Elementary School library used by Layag Layag kids is part of the help list as others are.
Best of all, I have the full support of my family that has gotten a new boost with the bewitching smile of my little namesake: Armand Dean Nocum II or Arno. I have a business that challenges my mind; and friends in and out of FB who make life fun and exciting.
Back on the plane last Saturday, I did exactly that. When turbulence hit once more, I reached out for my phone to review the pictures of the smiling faces of the Tungawan and Layag Layag kids and I find myself silently singing a Christmas tune.
Then it occurred to me that I have gained more from my trip to Zamboanga in exchange for the books and school supplies I have brought to less than 500 poor children there. I have exchanged less than 30 boxes of books, school supplies and snacks with a refreshed new life!
The plane trip to Manila was my best and most relaxed ever.