…Thank you doesn’t quite seem like the right word

Dear Joe

I know you must be really busy, but thought I would write to you to let you know how “Panic Away” has changed my life, I thought maybe if one day you have a spare five minutes, you could read this and know that you have done something truly amazing.

I live in Western Australia with my husband and two small children, I was always the “wild one” at school and always loved taking risks and living life on the edge.

About three years ago, after the birth of my first child, I had an “episode” (of course not knowing what it was back then.) My chest tightened, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I felt hollow like my legs would’t work, I got very cold and then very hot, My heart was racing……(you know how it goes I am sure.) Because I was sitting at home with my husband at the time watching television, doing nothing at all, I was sure this was a heart attack.

Over the next year, I had a few more of these “episodes” and had convinced myself I was dying, even to the point of planning my funeral in my head, and making sure my children and Husband would be ok when I died. I just knew that when I died (in the near future) they would realize I had some sort of strange cancer or something that was attacking me from the inside.

I constantly have people around me telling me “You used to be so much fun and full of life, What has happened to you?” I couldn’t stay home on my own, I wouldn’t go out into large crowds – totally not the fun loving person I used to be.

At the hospital, the nurse did the usual checks ECG – fine, Heart rate – a little fast, but normal. The doctor was called in. “What is going on?” I started explaining the symptoms and before I even got half way through he walked away and said, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with you – You have had a panic attack – You can go home.”

Feeling like a complete idiot and absolutely terrified that it would happen again, and I just didn’t know where I was going to go if it did…. I went home.

So living in a remote community and having being told I had just suffered something that I was sure I didn’t and feeling angry that the doctors miss- diagnosed my terrible heart condition and I was about to die a slow and painful death, I went to bed and finally to sleep to awake the next morning feeling once again worse than ever that I had been hit by a truck. I decided to get some more information on Panic attacks and exactly what they were, which led me to your magnificent book.

I downloaded it and read it, and didn’t quite understand it all at first partly because I was still in denial that this had anything to do with me and was thinking – I do not have this, until of course I read the other peoples testimonies and for a second stopped feeling embarrassed and realized so many people are going through the same thing.

I am sorry this letter appears to be so long, but feel as though, although you are on the other side of the world that you were the only person in the world who fully understood me and helped me too.

Thank you doesn’t quite seem like the right word….. And if there is a word bigger and better than thank you then that is what I want to say to you….

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.