More dry needling
This is my new stuffy, Jim. He is so soft. A dear friend gave him to me today. It made my day as my day hasn’t been so great as you read along…
I had PT today and more dry needling. The left side hurt like a mofo and still does. It is so sore but the right is tingling. I had to contact the PT to find out if this was normal or not. She said it was as long as it isn’t going down my arm. It isn’t. I am to alternate with ice and heat so am doing that now. It is already starting to feel better so I am glad I called her. She said it is because it is undertreated. I think I only had one area done instead of two and that is why the muscle is angry right now.
I had a good session with therapy. We talked about trauma and how things are with my sister. She gets me triggered which then can make my pain worse because CRPS is a brain condition. So I told her there was a book on managing chronic pain through CBT but I don’t understand some of what the book is trying to teach. She is getting the book so we can go over it. Shit got real. I had to agree to work on this in between sessions and now I am wondering what the fuck did I get into. She said skills is what I need and this is all skill shit.
For the thing I work on I told her I would go through the book and see what I could do. I am overwhelmed with pain right now and am having flashbacks about shit that happened years ago. I am literally terrified that my sister is going to come barging into my room any moment just to scare the daylights out of me. I know rationally she isn’t going to but the fear is there. I am so anxious and it is just worsening my neck pain.
I am supposed to drink a lot of water after the dry needling but I have a love/hate relationship with water. So I just drank a whole 32 oz bottle of Gatorade. I just took my night meds so I hope the Ativan helps some of the tension I am feeling with the PTSD stuff. I am so tired but still kind of fearful. I have been texting my friend about what is going on and it has helped as well as writing it out. I did text my therapist but I don’t think I will hear back from her. It’s too late. Maybe tomorrow.
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.
Yesterday I was really down and needed to talk. I felt I had to tell my youngest sister I was depressed so I texted her and we spoke for a few minutes before my therapy session. I feel all I did was worry my sister as she didn’t understand where I was coming from. I told her I just couldn’t get the stuff in my room done because it was too difficult for me with this shoulder pain that is bringing me down. I am in more pain lately because of it and it is really making me depressed. I just don’t see a way out other than suicide and no one wants that.
I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday. I asked her if I needed therapy and she didn’t know how to respond to it. I was in a really depressed state while talking to her. I was also in pain with my shoulder. I tried massaging out the pain but I wasn’t successful. I really hope tomorrow’s PT session helps. I talked about being in pain in therapy. I felt like I was falling on deaf ears. Just like when I was talking to my middle sister about it. I sent her some memes (sister). I don’t know how else to get things across to my family how bad things are with me. Then my therapist thinks I got to change and I was taken aback by this. She has been hinting all along that my perception of my family needs to change so that I don’t get so upset by them because they are not going to change.
I know I have talked about finding another therapist but I just can’t right now. My depression is too disabling. I will stick with this therapist because I am tired. I don’t have the energy to look for one. The one I am seeing isn’t bad. I know she wants the best for me and that is why she pushes me and challenges me so much. Maybe I should tell her to lay off so hard. I am seeing her tomorrow afternoon.
I seriously need to lower the Latuda. My muscles are spastic at times and that isn’t helping my shoulder pain. I changed my PT appointment to virtual today. I don’t know if this is going to be helpful or not but it snowed and I don’t want to risk falling because of snow drifts. My sister said it was messy out so I really don’t want to go out. Besides, the temp changes have caused my ankle to flare up so walking wouldn’t be good for me today anyways.
I went out yesterday to get my haircut. It had been two months since I seen my barber. It is always good to see him. We talked shit and it felt good. I love my haircut. I get it cut the same way all the time, bald fade and light on the top, though I am letting it grow. I took a shower and it exhausted me afterwards. My back cramped up because someone turned down the heat in the house so the house was cold. I didn’t want to leave the shower stall because it was nice and warm.