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View Diary: Her name was Kirsten. (108 comments)

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  •  Two years ago, driving to pick up my wife in (2+ / 0-)

    the hospital where she was recovering from a suspected heart attack, I had a full blown panic attack in the middle of seven lanes of heavy traffic on the Baltimore beltway.  Sweaty palms. Shortness of breath. Tunnel vision. A feeling that I was about to faint. An overwhelming feeling of imminent death.  Great fear that I'd kill people in nearby cars.

    And so much adrenaline that my shoulders started violently heaving and my feet started shaking so bad I could not control the car.  It's a genuine miracle I was able to get to the next exit, having about three near-misses along the way.  Then it took me 45 minutes to walk it off to where I could drive again.

    So now I can't drive on highways, although I manage to poke along on the short local drive to work.  The experience was so terrifying that I've had many mini panic attacks after that first one.  Just retelling the story gives me sweaty palms.

    The trigger in my case was a crazy driver who pulled right in front of me to make a right exit and missed my car by inches, forcing me to slam the brakes in heavy traffic going 70 mph.

    Good luck with the job and lodging search.

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