This post was supposed to be a witty ‘live blog’ of my preparations to drive myself to Exeter for a new course I was starting. I really was hoping the story would go “panic, worry, more panic…ahh, nothing to worry about, wasn’t I a silly sausage?”.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
Travelling there was fine. It just felt like old times commuting to my old job near the hospital. Anxiety started to brew once I was on site and needed to park. This wasn’t a worry because parking on the RD&E site is enough to test the constitution of even the strongest individual. It only took two circuits of the site to find a suitable space, which meant I arrived at the venue about 45 minutes early.
As I made myself comfortable in the waiting room, thoughts sloshed around in my head and I felt my energy starting to wane. I had run out of spoons and I still needed to drive myself back from Exeter.
The first session of the course went by in a bit of a haze because all I could think of was how on earth was I going to be able to get home when I was practically falling asleep in the course room. When the session was over I adopted the slow rhythmic breathing technique I’d just learned and tried to calm myself down.
I chose the route home I was more comfortable with – it meant a longer journey, but I know it well and it seems to be lighter on traffic than most of the other routes. I could have arrived home quickly if I had gone on the M5, but I never feel safe on the motorway, even when I’m a passenger. The route was along rural roads and was quiet enough for me to slow to a crawl if I felt I needed to.
Tiredness was building. I just wanted to get home. As I drove along my vision blurred and my brain got foggier. I started to panic. I slapped and scratched myself to wake up some nerve endings and hopefully my brain. I screamed at the slightest hazard and panicked more when I found myself meandering onto the other side of the road.
Fortunately I made it home without hitting anyone (apart from myself in an effort to stay awake). I dropped the car off at Michael’s work and rang for a taxi to take me the rest of the way home. Once I was home, I spent the afternoon in bed. I haven’t been out since, and I certainly won’t be driving again any time soon.
I have no idea what’s going on. Emotionally I’m feeling a lot better, but physically I’m shattered and mentally just really, really foggy. So I’m going to pay a visit to my superhero GP on Monday to see if she can shed some light on it all and offer some advice.