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I Finally Joined CB

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I'm new. I have no idea why I'm on this forum this beautiful Friday afternoon instead of out tiptoeing through the tulips but here I am.

I take that back. I'm here because for years I've been drawn to the title of this forum. I think we're all a little "crazy" and that not many

people ever want to admit it.

I have anxiety. Sometimes I'm okay with it and sometimes in times of real stress and trouble or other illness I'm not okay with it.

Right now I'm not okay with it.

I just had surgery 11 days ago to stitch up the top of my stomach to the bottom of my esophagus. I'm in a lot of pain and the anxiety has flared.

I can't eat much, have lost almost 27 lbs and I'm sick of being inside the house. I know I'll recover from the surgery but right now I'm not only

anxious but a tad depressed. I know the depression will pass but the anxiety is my old friend who just insists on hanging around to help me

through the night.

I developed severe GERD (acid reflux) about 11 years ago and that's when most of the trouble started. The awful acid would wake me early

in the morning and cause anxiety. After a while the anxiety got as bad as the acid was and then it was hard to know the difference in the two.

After several minor surgical procedures to protect my esophagus from the onset of acid over the years I finally had to go through extreme

surgery called Nissen Fundoplication during which my upper stomach and lower esophagus were sewed together to take the place of a

non-working lower esophageal sphincter.

In short, I've been through the proverbial mill during about the last 3 years and my anxiety went up along with the severe stomach/esophagus


Long story short, I'm going to finally do as my Pdoc says and take the .5 mg of Ativan to give me a chance of never getting that anxious again.

GERD isn't good for anxiety and anxiety isn't good for GERD or any other preexisting condition.

I know. I've tried to marry the two for many years and they just don't work well together.

I'd love to hear from people who find themselves at "a certain age", after having been resistant to treatment for anxiety who have finally taken

the plunge and are doing better.

No horror stories, please. That's not what I've come her for. At may age I will not allow myself to be scared or anxious one day longer.



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Lucy, I took my first antidepressant when I was 53 or 54. Some of us are a little slow on the uptake, eh? :lol: Anyway, it doesn't matter how old you are or what your mental health issue is---we're all bozos on the same bus. Welcome to Crazyboards, please be sure you read the rules, and let us know if you don't understand something.


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Hi lucy! Welcome to CB!

Are you in therapy for the anxiety? I've found it to be fairly helpful. Other than that, I take Abilify and 10mg Valium three times a day and while my anxiety level isn't at zero, it isn't at ten either.

I don't think I'm on the age you were talking about, but figured I'd chime in and let you know that meds have helped my anxiety quite a bit.

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I just don't like taking medication. When I went through menopause I was given Valium to calm the hot flashes after hysterectomy and I still take the last 2.5 (not 25) mg of it because I just never finished getting off of it after that.

I took the Ativan equivalent of 2.5 mg of Valium earlier today and it's helped. As I said I'm very med sensitive so I figure if this little bit helps I might as well take something that is working as opposed to the small amount of Valium that is not working and hasn't for years.

When you google benzos what your search comes up with is not good. I think it's a sad commentary for people who use them responsibly and who are helped by them so much.

Sometimes the type of anxiety you have is truly physiological and I believe that's when medication if really appropriate.

Thanks everyone, for replying.

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Nice to 'meet' you, and I think you should take the Ativan. You need to focus on healing physically and don't need to worry about pesky anxiety creeping up on you at random times. Sometimes I feel like a quitter because I take clonazepam before bed to help quiet down the racing thoughts I often get at night, but it's better than being awake all night, ruminating. If the anxiety is going to make the GERD worse and slow down your healing process, then it needs to be controlled.

Therapy has been helpful for my anxiety in the past, even though I'm not in therapy now. It taught me some good coping strategies that I sometimes manage to pull out of my back pocket in moments of high stress.

Good luck. :)

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I'm probably old enough to be everyone's grandmother and I've had my fair share of therapy and I've read all the books etc.

Some people's brains are geared toward depression with low serotonin etc. Some people just have anxiety due to no fault

of their own - nothing really external.

The surgery I just had formed a new valve between my stomach and esophagus and stopped the GERD nearly two weeks ago.

The healing will take up to six months and I'll be all better.

What years and years of GERD did to my early morning awakening by contributing to anxiety wasn't good at all.

I'm hoping I sleep well tonight and wake up without anxiety tomorrow.

Nite everyone.

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Thanks, everyone!

I did do better yesterday on my tiny bit of Ativan - .5 mg only once. I am post-op from very serious surgery as I've shared with you and the recuperation is very painful.

I'm swollen in my abdomen and will be for some time to come.

I did sleep well last night and awoke this morning rested but I still awoke with the extremely rapid heartbeat and low oxygen.

I wear a CPAP w/ oxygen and can't wear it till my surgery site heals or it throws me into panic. With the Ativan yesterday I was

able to tell the difference this morning between low oxygen and anxiety and there IS a difference.

I've been on liquids for two weeks following the surgery and had my first bit of anything soft but solid this morning. A very tiny pancake . . .

It tasted so good.

I know there are probably those who will read this who will say "Well, she can't be very anxious or she'd need a lot more medication".

Not true. We all have different bodies and reactions and we're all so different. My family doc who died about 9 mos ago always told

me that I reacted positively to a lower dose of any kind of med than he'd ever seen before and he was right.

So, I've had my little .5 Ativan this morning and I'm going to have the best day an old girl can have who just had her stomach operated on. LOL


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Hi Lucy - I'm glad you slept better. And you are so correct in saying that everyone reacts differently to meds. And too much medicatation is just as bad as too little (or being on the wrong kind in the first place.) Just MHO. Congrats on getting to eat a pancake this morning - I bet it was the best you've ever tasted! Hope you are having a great weekend :)

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Having anxiety and trying to recover from the kind of surgery I had and also having Sleep Apnea and low oxygen levels at night are not the most ideal conditions from which to approach anxiety medication. I'm sensitive to meds yet it takes them quite some time to peak in my blood and so the .5 mg of Ativan I took yesterday morning about 10 am hit me about 5 pm and I went to sleep. I NEVER sleep in the daytime under ordinary circumstances because I'm one of those people who don't feel well after I DO sleep in the daytime. It's just not how I've lived my life. I sleep at night unless I'm very sick.

I didn't take my regular sleep med last night because I was so sleepy from the .5 Ativan and as a result I slept very lightly and my oxygen got low and I feel like crap this morning. It's not helping that I can't wear my CPAP machine and it doesn't look like I'll be able to for some time to come. I'm too sore and swollen from my stomach/esophagus surgery and the CPAP breathing machine blows me up like beached whale.

I do see my surgeon tomorrow for my first check-up (two weeks) following surgery and I'm going to ask him to order an overnight oxygen monitor for me so I can see how low my oxygen is going without wearing my CPAP machine.

I'm better and I know it but I'm a long ways from well and I'm very tired. I did enjoy yesterday until about 4 pm. I think I ate a little too much and was active and about too long without resting. I think for a while I'll set my "outings" to be for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon at the most. I think I'm trying to do too much too quickly after surgery.

I'm also very tired from being inside for so long. Our temps here in Oklahoma where I live have been over 100 degrees up to 113 degrees since June and I was too sick before the surgery to get out and now the heat makes me sick after the surgery.

I know it will get better but it's all wearing on my nerves something fierce.

Thanks for listening.


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I can't remember if I mentioned that I have sleep apnea or not. I'm sitting here trying to recover from two things: 1. A very bad night on my replacement CPAP (breathing machine) and 2. From still awakening startled, anxious and with a rapid heartbeat.

Plus I just read an article about NEVER taking a benzo - in particular, Ativan - if you have sleep apnea. It talked about Ativan relaxing your upper airway and compromising breathing.

I'm at a point I really don't know what to think is wrong with me. I thought for years it was just anxiety. Then I thought it was depression and anxiety. Then when my husband got very sick and out of his mind and left several times to commit suicide I thought it was anxiety, depression and my husband's health.

Then my acid reflux got really bad. Then I was placed on acid medications and then eventually several years apart was put back on either benzos or benzos and ADs. I'm not on an AD now and am only on a very tiny bit of benzo. I do take about 20 mg of Trazodone to sleep at night.

I slept on the CPAP last night for the first time in several months all night long. My mouth and throat get so completely dry that I wake up and moisten my mouth and try to go back to sleep. I'm not sleeping well with the CPAP yet and when I wake up in the morning without the CPAP I awaken startled and nervous with my heart beating fast.

I'm having bad panic this morning since my CPAP hose filled with water in the night from the built-in humidifier and I had to jerk the mask off. I went into really bad panic with rapid heartbeat and unable to breathe well. I've been up about 2 hours and still fell nervous and my heartbeat makes me feel ill.

I don't think anyone here can help me but it's good to get this off my chest this morning without going to the ER or trying to get in to see one of my doctors.


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