Finally came to the conclusion today (literally a few minutes ago) that I'm suffering from the early stages of hyperventilation occulta again. Haven't tried timing how fast I'm breathing (because that requires another person to do the counting), but my usual symptoms are all there:
- weird, nagging depression for no reason despite being on the right dose of meds
- permanent dragging exhaustion that doesn't improve
- sore throat on and off for no reason; cold symptoms without an actual virus
- have felt too tired to talk to people on the phone for pleasure
- can't sleep at night, feel like I haven't slept when I wake up again
- having annoying wooshing noises in my head for hours on end (think it's my own blood pressure, but I don't USUALLY hear it)
- feeling out of breath and strained in my neck and shoulder muscles (this was the thing that made me finally realise)
I don't know why this would have happened, except that I've had ridiculously bad allergies lately (and a ridiculously dirty house), keep forgetting to take my meds properly, and have had lots of student-teaching hours, which means lots of talking. Not breathing properly, too much talking, expelling too much carbon dioxide - that's what causes chronic hyperventilation syndrome to flare up.
If I go on like this without changing something in my lifestyle, I'll end up too ill to walk - or indeed do anything again. Which I don't want to happen. Obviously.
Fortunately, it's almost the end of the academic year for the students (last exam is on Monday 28th), so that'll help with talking too much. Doing my damned breathing retraining physiotherapy will also help (yes, like so many other people with long-term disabilities, I only do the physiotherapy I'm supposed to do all the time when there is an actual problem. Yes, I suck). I'll have to start doing the acute attack thing of taking 5 minutes every hour to concentrate on my breathing and rebreathe exhaled air for a while. It's stupidly embarrassing - but I guess better than ending up housebound.
Sigh. Or rather, no sighing - can't afford to do that, it loses too much CO2.