This time on the blog, I have decided to be a little more transparent. For three years, I have called this blog a lifestyle blog, a collection of my experiences and encounters around Columbus. But after so many major events that have occurred in my life, I want to be a little more vulnerable with my readers.
To be honest, I’m not sure if I have readers (like consistent readers), since I haven’t been very consistent with writing or sharing information. Anyway, as I begin this new journey of being a married woman, I want to show you (yes, my readers if you’re out there) more of who I am.
Some of you may be wondering, what exactly is a panic attack?
When I was told by medical personnel at OSU’s University Hospital East that I had an unconfirmed diagnosis of a panic attack, I was confused too. The only reason why I say, “unconfirmed” is because a panic attack can only be confirmed by a psychologist or psychiatrist. The doctors at OSU could only confirm a medical diagnosis, which was confirming that I was "physically" 100% healthy.
As I was flying home from my bachelorette party in Dallas, Texas, I sat in my seat not feeling too well from a long weekend of partying, drinking, and not sleeping. It was one of the BEST WEEKENDS I had ever had, but it also took a lot out of me.
To say the least, I was extremely hungover, nauseous, sleep deprived and overly caffeinated while flying 50,000 ft. in the air on my way back to Columbus, Ohio. I was overly anxious about getting home and while I was trying to fall asleep on the plane, I just couldn’t. For some reason, I convinced myself that because my heart was beating so slow, that it would be a bad idea for me to fall asleep. So, I forced myself to stay awake. We had an hour left in flight, and I told myself, “Morgan, you can do this.”
The palms of my hands grew sweaty, my heart started to race, my mouth went dry, and in that moment, I knew I needed to get to a restroom. As my anxiety grew, I left my seat and made my way to the back of the plane to get to the restroom. While in the restroom, I took deep breaths, splashed water on my face and did everything in my power to calm myself down. I kept saying to myself, “Morgan, it’s okay! You’re going to be fine. Just breathe,” but nothing was working.
By this point, my body went cold and my mouth started to feel numb. I then realized, maybe this was more serious than what I thought, I felt like I couldn’t talk. I was so scared. My fiancé wasn't with me, I couldn’t call my parents, and I felt like my heart was about to burst out of my chest.
Soon enough, my mind began consuming itself with fear. With my wedding being two months away, all I could think of was, “Am I having a heart attack? It can’t be. I’m 26 years old. God, please don’t let me die.” I couldn’t help, but pray for the best, but couldn’t stop thinking the worst.
Soon I couldn’t catch my breath. Why couldn’t I catch my breath? I started to realize I was hyperventilating for air. I kept drinking water in hopes that it would help, but I was losing control of my breathing. For the sake of being in the restroom too long and feeling embarrassed I immediately opened the door.
I grabbed the flight attendant and told her I wasn’t feeling well. She could tell by the fear in my voice that something was wrong. As she rushes to grab my friends, a man by the restroom door soon grabs my hands. He tells me to slow down my breathing. As I try to catch my breath, he says, “Everything will be okay. Just breathe. You’re having a panic attack”. To be honest, I started to cry even harder. Probably, not the best thing to tell me, but I knew he was trying to help.
The flight attendant then returns to the back of the plane with my best friend and soon clears the back row of seats. The pilot asks on the intercom if any medical staff is on board, and all I can think of is, “Is this really happening? Has it gotten that serious?” A few minutes later, a registered nurse arrives, an older White woman, who looked a lot like Jane Lynch from Glee. She takes my vitals, wraps me in blankets (at this point I’m shaking) and she instructs me to keep breathing.
From what I can remember, she had the most soothing voice saying, “God has you. Everything is going to be okay, baby girl. You’re going to be okay. You are going to walk down that aisle.”
While she is saying this, she’s holding my hand with firm reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Two strangers holding hands on a plane, one making sure the other one knows they’re going to be okay. As she repeated "God has you", I couldn’t help, but to believe it.
If she is reading this right now, all I can say is, “Thank you”. You truly saved my life. In the chaos and absolute fear that consumed my mind, you were there. I will forever be grateful for kind strangers like you. Your compassion and your prayer over me meant everything. I hope this message gets to you. If this woman sounds familiar to you, please share this message with her. We were on American Airlines Flight 1164 on June 11.
As soon as the plane landed, I was rushed off onto a stretcher into an ambulance that “slowly” drove me to OSU’s medical center. I remember being so frustrated with the ER staff because in my head I thought I was dying. My body couldn’t move, my mouth was frozen and I could barely speak.
While I was being given multiple tests, my friends and family were rushing to the hospital to make sure I was okay. I was coming home from a bachelorette party so I could only imagine what they thought had happened. For me, it was one of the scariest moments of my life. And I checked out of the ER four hours later.
After it happened, I didn’t go into work for a week. I was mentally shaken. I sought out psychological help which confirmed that I had a panic attack. I was given information about panic disorders, anxiety, and stress, but it was all so new to me. I thought I was broken. I cried uncontrollably throughout that week and I was scared I’d have to adjust to a new way of life.
Three weeks later, I was in a terrible car accident on highway 315-North in Columbus where I hydroplaned across three lanes without hitting a single car. It’s a miracle that I walked away from the accident without a scratch. My car was completely totaled and the accident occurred three weeks before my wedding day. To many brides, these incidents may seem like signs from the universe telling them not get married; trust and believe I had many people ask, but for me it was a sign from God to slow down.
When you’re wedding planning, every single detail seems so important, but it’s not. My panic attack was a combination of stress, over-thinking and exhaustion built up over time. It was also a result of having too much alcohol, caffeine and not enough sleep all at once. My car accident was caused by mother nature and my “failure to control” a vehicle that was impossible to control, but that’s another story.
As of today, I’m married to the love of my life, Mr. Lawrence Pelt. We got married on July 29, 2017 and I’m so happy wedding planning is over. We had a beautiful wedding day shared with family and friends and I’m still feeling the aftershock (aka the abundance of love) of it all. I wouldn’t do anything different because this was my story to save the next bride whose overdoing it.
If I could give any advice to any future brides about wedding planning it would be to slow down, accept the help, hire a wedding coordinator or wedding planner if you are a perfectionist, don’t compare your wedding to anyone else getting married and have fun with your fiancé “soon-to-be-husband”. Your marriage is what matters most, not the perfect wedding.
Also, nothing and I mean nothing, is more important than your HEALTH and HAPPINESS.
After that, everything else comes secondary. Thank you for reading and I hope you share this post with that special bride in your life whether it’s your daughter, soon to be daughter-in-law, fiancé, or friend. This is for her.
My name is Morgan Pelt, founder and lifestyle blogger behind Columbus Living – a blog dedicated to sharing stories about local businesses, events and entrepreneurs. I grew up in Columbus and as a creative outlet; I like to share my adventures and experiences through writing, photography and social media. It's time to discover new places, try new food, and meet new people. Let's go!