« Bruce Springsteen / Sandy Relief | Main | Readers' Dozen: Horizonless »

Friday, 07 December 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Take care of yourself, there is nothing more important than your health. No camera, no photographer,no blog, nothing!

Mike, you deserve a weekend off, enjoy, and if you are sick get well.

"if you are sick get well"

Thanks. I'm definitely feeling better. There were a lot of physical symptoms associated with my anxiety attacks, if that's what they were--heart palpitations, shortness of breath, numbness in my arms, coldness, disorientation, depression--and although I'm not experiencing a continuation of those symptoms (especially, my heart is back to normal, thankfully) I find I'm just exhausted. For three nights I've gone to bed VERY early for me--as early as 8:30--and slept for 10, 12, 14 hours. (Also the first time I've been able to sleep through the night in weeks.) And yet the next evening I'm painfully sleepy and just dying to go to bed again, can hardly keep my eyes open. I do feel a lot better than I had been feeling, I'm just lacking in energy and having some trouble concentrating. I probably just need a little more rest.


Mike, take time,get better. I hope the start of these symptoms didn't coincide with ones D800 expenditure.

Just to reinforce the swelling chorus of voices to take the day, or two, off, I would very strongly encourage it. Panic attacks are no picnic (speaking from experience) and they will wear you out and leave you wondering what hit you. But you already know that!) ;~)

Take the time off.

With best regards.


Mike, in the nicest possible way, grab 'the staff' by the arm and tell 'the staff' to get a grip and turn around and step away from the blog. If the staff drinks beer, have a beer-I mean tell the staff to have a beer. Or maybe a nice bottle of wine. Invite friend(s) over. Watch a movie. Bake a pie or acquire a pie. Pie always helps. You have a great website. It's at the top of my daily photography links list. Not sure what's going on, but take care and have a restful weekend.

Mike, i know you're taking this thing a little further down the medical road? no? You've some classic symptoms of a ton of different things.

I was almost dead because of a superficial diagnosis made ten years ago and i learned some big lessons from it. Major lesson number one for me was: Does it seem like my doctor really gives a shit? Enough to pursue the cause of symptoms that describe a number of serious issues? I was lucky enough to have a friend who cried foul and told me to go to cook county hospital, where they diagnosed me in five minutes and told me to phone home and say i wasn't coming home for a while..ten days to be exact...a huge amount of time in terms of modern hospital visits. Once they got inside of me they said I'd probably would have been dead if i had tried to get through the weekend.

To let someone walk out of an office with the types of symptoms you described you have to be, as a doctor, damn sure you got it right when you say it's anxiety related.

k, just saying

Mike Johnston is happy, healthy, well, rested, and loved. The Truth.

The staff deserves the break.

Mike, you're in my thoughts and have my best wishes. I think everyone who frequents your site can truly say the same.

I think some time away from the computer may be in order. Read, listen to some jazz, go for some long walks. Maybe a few weekends away from TOP, until you're feeling quite better, would be worthwhile. You'd be missed, obviously, but we would all understand that your wellbeing is paramount.

Having no TOP on weekends for the next while might have one unintended consequence: we'd all be out making some pictures.

Why not call for a few written pieces, hand over the comment approving and take another few days off?

Self-employed single parent... Take a break, Mike. We'll be here when you've rested up.

Hi Mike,

You problably need all your weekends like most folks. Please consider it. Health is the most precious asset we have.

Take care.

It does take time to heal, I find. I had something nasty strike me about a year ago and one year later I'm still "getting better." Also if you cut back on coffee that might explain your depression and sleepiness.

Mike, I experienced almost the exact same combination of symptoms as a result of panic/anxiety attacks a few years ago. I hope you feel better soon. We put mine down to fear of flying at the time (the attacks happened on two successive nights leading up to a plane trip). I managed the aftermath with professional counseling and medication (both firsts for me). The outcome was positive overall. I now fly regularly without these types of symptoms (though still with some stress). However this past summer the symptoms resumed and I wasn't flying anywhere. Couldn't figure out why it was happening again. Then someone said "Didn't you just quit your job, buy a house and move across country?" Oh right, that must be it...

Hopefully just nature's way of telling you to spend more time relaxing.
Get well soon, but don't let the Management push you to come back too early.

Have a good sleep and give to yourself the necessary time to recover. Ciao, robert

Mike -

Take a well-deserved break but also be certain you have a clean bill of health from a cardiologist. Get an EKG at least. As I'm sure you know, those symptoms are also consistent with heart disease. The extreme tiredness is worrisome.

Good health!

Catch up on your sleep. If the doctor has checked you out as otherwise OK and you feel the need to sleep, JFDI (just ***ing do it)!

Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear you have been out-of-sorts with anxiety symptoms. If I could make a suggestion, rather than thinking "I probably just need a little more rest" you might also need to determine the underlying cause of your anxiety e.g stress, diet, lack of exercise etc etc.

I googled around and found this site:


... I'm sure it's one of many but it has the idea of determining the root cause.

PS: Don't worry about your readership. If you take a month off, we'll all still be here when you get back!

Thanks to everyone (here and privately) for the good wishes, solidarity, and advice. I am taking some positive steps to address health issues. I'd rather not talk about them yet because by nature I'm big on plans and short on follow-through...I'd like to actually *do* these things for a while before talking about them, if only to avoid embarrassment.

As ever I do have to mention that my troubles don't amount to a hill of beans. I know lots of people are dealing with far worse things (look at the recent set of pictures from Syria at The Atlantic, for instance--), and I'm mindful to be thankful that my problems aren't worse and to have sympathy for those going through more difficult trials.


Hi Mike,
No need to post this, just a quick thought. Don't underestimate the power of exercise. Get yourself a padded mat and some 3-5 lb dumbbells. Do some stretching and light weight training while listening to a 30 minute Television or radio program. You will feel a difference quickly.

Design your exercise program as if you were 20 years older that you are and find a way to incorporate it into your daily routine. Increase the difficulty and frequency very slowly. It's more important to make it a part of your daily routine than it is to reach some goal. You’re not training for an event or trying to look like "Arnold". You just want to feel better and have more energy.

Its easier to exercise on a regular basis, especially at first, if you’re not sore, injured, or dreading the activity. If you want to try something more structured, look into Tai-Chi or something similar. Anyway...feel better. By the way, TOP rocks the casbah.

Hope you are feeling better soon!

Wishing you all the best, Mike.

I wrestled with anxiety about a decade ago. Panic attacks sent me to the emergency room, twice. Symptoms were similar to yours. I really thought I was dying.

You're lucky that your doctor diagnosed you quickly. It took mine several weeks of testing.

It took a while, but things got better.

If a lug like me could get through it, you can, too.

More hugs your way. As many as you need.

Rest up, Mike. If I start jonesing for TOP, I'll just start working my way through the archives....

there, I was thinking the same Mike, that you have all the information but have difficulty following through with medical advice, like so many of us...oh, and your troubles do amount to a lot(ie hill of beans?) as you've brought a whole international Community together through your site here!
Best Wishes,

Too many pixels me thinks. I know my computer gets heavier eveytime I add a picture and all that extra data I have to carry around. So the effect on the human psyche can only be amplified.

Look at Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Jon-Kabat Zinn.




The stress and it is stress of attempting too much and in your case a daily (let alone a monthly) column can be stressful.

My cancer specialist illustrated my situation thus:
many of us burn the candle, first at one end, and then the other end. Now when you burn the candle in the middle as well, that's when your mental/physical problems take hold.

Go to your own physician if you trust him or her and get
a complete mental and physical that there is
not that much awry. If there is, you've got a bright young son who can handle the online
blog for a period, you sir though should not ignore any of these symptoms. As one who has endured and continues with Lupus, Renal Cell Carcinoma and Celulitus can tell you that survival is only for the fittest and those
Mike are those who see their general practitioner tout suite!

If you're not the world's foremost expert on taking care of Mike Johnston -- well, go get some additional training, or something. Because I'm going to continue to regard you as such.

And hence will simply give you my best wishes for improved health and for long-lasting good health.

You take it from there!

Your symptoms sound like the awakening of Kundalini.

I hope you are feeling better soon.
My best to you,


As an anxiety attack sufferer myself I would suggest staying away from the caffeine. Coffee and anything else (tea, soda pop, etc.). I know it will be hard, but worth it in the long run.

Best Regards,


Don't take things to lightly Mike....living without TOP is okay....we can manage. So take it easy and get well soon (or not so soon) but get well first.

Greets, Ed.

Take care of yourself, Mike. You need week-ends during which you can free your mind from the blog.

My best wishes.

Okay, I felt fine and dandy when I read this post Friday night. Saturday morning I wake up with a sore throat and sinus congestion. Today it's total body joint aches and my chest feels like I swallowed a rat tail file.

I'm blaming you, Mike; your post gave me a virus.

As head of the department of humane resources, I authorize your time off. Get well (soon if possible), but get WELL!



I wish you well and please remember that we all love you, respect you, laugh at your humor, look upon you as an expert, wise and clever and NOONE is pressuring you to produce!!

I hope you're being sensible Mike, and giving the staff your highest priority. Staff need to be appreciated, and if you keep on pushing them when they're not feeling well, they only get sicker, and eventually leave.

It is encouraging that we haven't seen the staff for a few days. Makes me think the management is being very sensible.

Take care. We can wait.

My two cents worth: Four years ago I was hospitalized with a mystery GI illness that ultimately resulted in exploratory surgery, which nearly killed me. The resultant diagnosis? There wasn't one. They never figured out what was wrong. I mention this because I think one needs to be wary of the medical community in general, as one should be with car mechanics, which is a roundabout way of saying I'd get a second opinion. Anxiety attacks can be something of a catch all, like the 19th century evil humours. In other words, a non-specific diagnosis that only sounds specific.
Best wishes.

Mike, I hope you are feeling better. I noticed some of the same symptoms in my daughter a few weeks ago. It turned out she was suffering from symptoms of an anxiety attack. It was something that scared the daylights out of her mother and I, but we wanted to get it corrected. She is currently seeing a therapist on a weekly basis and has gotten much better. I hope you continue to improve as well, this is a very scary disorder.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007