Lame title I know but I couldn’t come up with something else. I just had my coffee so feel energized to write. I had flashbacks last night and it was pretty terrifying. I tried reaching out to my therapist but she hasn’t responded. I don’t think she will. I hate when I am in a tough spot and she can’t respond to what I am saying. I feel so alone when she does this. But I understand that texting isn’t always the way to go in a crisis. A friend suggested a hotline but I didn’t have the patience to talk to someone about what I am going through. I wasn’t suicidal.
My neck and shoulders are stiff today. I am trying to keep them moving so they loosen up. I got the tingling sensation again in my shoulder where I was dry needled. It is really sore there to touch. I am going to put some ice and then heat on it after I blog.
I am worried about my mother. Her kidneys aren’t functioning like they should. She is 79 years old and has been an insulin user for more than 40 years. I just hope she doesn’t need dialysis eventually. That will be so hard. She recently has been having some trouble sleeping where she wakes up gasping for air. We think she has sleep apnea. She is still recovering from Covid. The disease really sucks as she can be ok for a day and the next be weak and lifeless. I really feel bad for her. I wish there was something more I could do than listen to her bitch about how sick she is, which she has every right to. She sometimes cries and it breaks my heart.
I need to shower today. I am going to try and clear off my bed too. I just need to get organized a little bit. I think taking a shower will wake me up enough to clear my bed. If I can do that, changing the sheets will be an easier task. I still need to go to the butcher’s shop for burgers. I just hope I still have the sandwich pickles that I love. Last time they didn’t have it so I had to get the chips.
My legs feel so sore and I don’t know why. I am having throbbing in my ankle which is my normal. I never have 100% pain relief despite being on pain meds. Most I will get is 80-95% relief from meds. Then I take the breakthrough meds to help get over the hump. Last night I took gaba because I was getting nerve pain in my ankle and foot. Being triggered last night didn’t help my pain one bit. I got really tense in my neck and that just worsened my neck pain. I just killed my shoulder by trying to message it with the palm massager thing I have. I am really hurting now. I just messaged the PT because I am still tingling and she said it would go away by today. I just want to make sure there is no nerve damage going on or something. I got to put heat on it. I am really hurting today with this. Just hope I can go out and do my shopping that I want to do.
Follow up to previous blog about trauma and therapy
I sent the blog I wrote yesterday to my therapist and she read it before our session today. We talked about it and she explained why she is often “pushy” and one sided in her decision makings. We also talked about ways she could be more collaborative in therapy and more validating. It was a good session. We talked about meeting twice a week for a while and she was open to this.
I have been tired all day. I haven’t been able to nap though. I had two cups of coffee to try and get going. I wanted to change my sheets today but I ran out of gas. My neck hurt too much today to do anything. My ankle was also bothering me so I had a fair amount of pain. There were times when the pain got so bad I wanted to end things right then and there. I thought about sending my therapist a text about it but I never did. She wouldn’t like it. My jaw has been hurting me most of the day. I have been having trouble opening my mouth and my teeth hurt on the top row. I really need to see a dentist to find out what is wrong but I think it is because I am clenching my teeth that is causing me pain. I am under so much stress and tension in my upper body. I know it has to do with trauma and not feeling safe in my own home right now. Too much stuff is happening and it is making me so anxious and hypervigilant. Plus this week is an anniversary week so I am dealing with memories of my past. These memories aren’t intrusive, they are just there and sometimes with the leg pain, causes me to react with PTSD symptoms.
I have a lot of trauma growing up and it is why I have been so tense lately. It centers around my mother and sister. One is old and the other is fairly new. Getting used to living with my middle sister again hasn’t been easy. We fight a lot of the time and often I can’t stand to be around her because she is so quick to anger. She is not physically violent, thank god but she says hurtful things and that is hard to accept. My mother just violates privacy a lot of the time. I still am not over the childhood abuse she did to me. I’ve never talked about it because I am scared to. I think I have the right therapist to help me talk about it though.
Twenty years ago this week I was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome. I had lost function of my legs due to a disc fragment compressing my nerves. I had to have a back operation to get rid of the fragment. I had to relearn to walk, which was tough. It took more than a week for me to move my toes again and gradually feeling and sensation came back. Strength took a little while longer. Then two weeks later I developed a staph infection and became really weak. I was really sick and it was difficult to walk at that point. I couldn’t go as far as I did before. It took a long time for me to recover. All the while I wasn’t working so had financial worries. I had to file for bankruptcy and that gave me some financial freedom for a while. It took me a few years to get back up to 40 hours a week. It took a lot out of me.
Tomorrow I have PT virtually because there is going to be a snow storm. I am not going out in it. I don’t care. It is going to suck because virtual PT is not ideal but there are exercises that can be done at least. Just sucks because I really would love for the PT to massage my neck again.
Trauma and recovery
From Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman
I have been reading the book Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman and it has been helpful to see where my trauma has hindered so much of my life. Last night I was reading a chapter about how the client should feel empowered through therapy and only then can they heal. I feel that I am being hindered in my therapy with my therapist because she has her own ideas of what is helpful that doesn’t include my input. I am finding it very difficult to stay connected to her because I am being stifled so to speak. I often don’t feel validated in therapy. I feel like she only gives it as a last resort to things that I say. I am going to ask her tomorrow why she has trouble validating what I am going through. I often feel that she is listening to me and then her saying “ok” doesn’t validate my experience. Just means that she heard what I said. I really don’t want to have to go find another therapist but she is pushing me too much. The last session I had with her she said the depression is making me not want to bother and I need to bother, in regards to calling a chronic pain support group. It made me feel bad because she doesn’t get how severely limiting my depression can be in reaching out for new support. I can’t just put the “bother” aside and do things. That isn’t how things work.
I know I gripe about therapy a lot on my blog but it is how I process what goes on and how I am feeling. Things that happen in therapy stay with me and I go over it to try and deal with it. I have a lot of trauma to sort through and it is still affecting my ability to deal with stuff. My depression is severe and I often think about ending my life. I have been in therapy for nearly thirty years. I think the only thing it has done is keep me alive. I have been hospitalized more times than I can count. I have learned things but sometimes those things don’t come up when I am in a crisis or feeling really bad. This is why I don’t find DBT helpful because when you are in the heat of the moment you aren’t going to reach for a piece of paper or manual for help.
I get so frustrated in therapy because I feel like I am not heard. Right now the therapist is of the opinion that she is the expert and that I should listen to her. I honestly don’t like this. I feel like this is patriarchy. It burns me to no end when I think of what she said when I was at my most vulnerable. I don’t know how to bring this up. Even as I was trying to cancel session she was of the opinion it wasn’t a good idea. That maybe so but don’t I have a right to cancel when I feel like it? She said we should at least check in because of the level of my depression is so severe. So I agreed on that point. I will have a check in with her tomorrow. I don’t know if I will talk about her idea that her being my clinician is best for me. The paternalization needs to stop.
Severe back pain and PTSD doesn’t mix
The past few hours, I cannot straighten out my back without severe pain. It is causing me to have flashbacks of the time I was first diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome. I remember not being able to walk or stand on my left leg without severe pain. Now I have back pain and my left ankle/foot is going berserk, which is causing me great anxiety.
I emailed my psychiatrist because I didn’t know what to do. I would have paged her but it’s late and I don’t want to bother her even though I am freaking out. I am trying to calm myself down by distracting and reading tweets about the game. Sitting is difficult but laying down is worse because my thoughts go crazy. It also increases my ankle/foot pain so I can’t win. I was able to brush my teeth but it hurt. I couldn’t use the prescription toothpaste because I had to sit down. I hate that I have to use two toothpastes at night.
I’m hoping this pain is caused by the weather. The temp has dropped several degrees and usually that brings me pain. I don’t know if it is going to rain or not. I am guessing it will because it usually activates my back pain. I haven’t don’t anything I shouldn’t have done or lifted anything heavy. It annoys me when I am hurting for no reason. It could be a delayed reaction to the beds in the psych unit. I was on a hospital bed but it was lumpy.
Sox are leading 3-0 as of now. The pain is driving me nuts. It’s all around my waist and lower back. I am trying to reassure myself that it is NOT cauda equina syndrome as there would be more symptoms of the syndrome but with my ankle and foot tingling and throbbing, it’s hard. My brain knows that it’s not CES but my feelings are like yes it is. You need to go to the ER right now. I am in panic mode and I don’t like it. I took an Ativan to calm down. Hopefully it will also relax my back muscles so they don’t hurt as much. I already took my pain meds, except the strong pain med, which I am contemplating. I have never taken it for severe back pain before so I don’t know if it will work. It’s funny, while I was in the hospital, the pill color was orange. The ones I have at home are white. Same size, just a different color. I have never seen it orange before.
Well, the score is now 4-3 Angels. Damn Price sucks. Giving up a gift of a 3 run lead. I don’t like him at all. Never have. I took the strong pain pill and hope it helps, or at least allows me to go to sleep. I really hate having PTSD. I remember nearly everything while I was in the ED and them telling me I needed surgery, the surgeon sees me all for 10 minutes and then says yup, 830 in the OR. I was scared shitless. I asked him when I would be able to walk again and he said three days. It was a week before I was able to move my toes again, with effort. I never want to go through that again. I will kill myself before I need another emergency back surgery. Two was enough for me.