The Islamic Garden
This is the true story of a Muslim woman who suffers from Panic attacks. It is a very real disorder and one that requires the help of Allah, a lot of inner strength and kindness from others to overcome.
One day Dina was
driving to work and she didn't feel well. She had heart
palpitations, numbness in my hands, feet and face and felt dizzy.
She had the feeling that she was going to die. Dina stopped off
at her friend's house because she wanted to rest. She tried deep
breathing to relax and that helped a bit. This feeling came like
uncontrollable waves that she just had to persevere through.
Her husband came and took her to the hospital. Her heart was fine, blood pressure was excellent and no sugar problems. The blood work showed that she was disgustingly healthy! They sent here home, telling her that she was just really tired.
She knew she wasn't imagining these symptoms but had no idea what was wrong with her. She rested as much as possible and staggered to the kitchen to cook simple things for the children. But she prayed more and read more Qu'ran, preparing herself for death, as that was how she felt. She tried taking more vitamins, and natural foods. She stopped all caffeine, sugar and chemical additives, and ate a lot of fruit and salads with just a little protein and carbohydrate. Her system was so sensitive that if she ate heavily or any sugar, she would get another attack. Dina would soak all kinds of beans and lentils and eat them uncooked. It doesn't taste so bad.
One day she called my husband and told him she couldn't take care of the kids anymore and to take them to her friend's house. Then he started to panic! She suggested he take her to a psychiatrist because she knew that it was somehow related to her mind. She had the feeling that she might lose control. She used to lie down, look at something in the room and concentrate on it , until the attack passed, or read Qur'an in Arabic, something which requires a lot of concentration for her as it is not her first language. Sometimes the attacks would take up to five hours. It was terrible. She has a wonderful friend who couldn't come to see her when she was sick, but she phoned everyday at least twice. Those phone calls meant so much. She used to wait for her call. She'd also lay down and close her eyes and listen to the world around. The birds, the boy watering the garden downstairs, the dogs and children playing. She realized she'd been too busy to appreciate the simple things in life.
She saw a woman Professor of Psychiatry. She was really nice and told her she was having panic attacks (anxiety attacks). She said there was no known cause for them. It is an imbalance in the chemicals of the brain and is associated with the adrenal glands. It is where stress takes on physiological symptoms. A lot of stress for a long duration of time can trigger them off and the body starts spurting out adrenaline without any need. She said Dina wouldn't feel any difference for five days after beginning the medicine. Those five days felt like five years. She'll be on the medicine for about a year. She told Dina that she had a mild case!