Tag Archives: PTSD

day 5 and a flare

Day 5 and a flare (warning, long post)

Last night, I had to go to the bathroom kind of late, around 2300 or so. I was also hungry so went downstairs. I must have went down four steps and my ankle went out on me. It became really painful. I stopped and hung on the bannister to prevent falling. Pain subsided a little and I went down a few more steps only for it to happen again. Shit. I held on again to the bannister and waited for my ankle to calm down a bit. I knew the downward motion of my ankle was causing it to get annoyed. I finally went down the rest of the stairs and did my business.

When I came back up to my room, my ankle felt okay. The game was late as it was on the west coast and I couldn’t stay up as I needed to be up at 6. Around midnight, I turned in, or tried to. My body pillow was a mess and was not making me comfortable. I must have flung it off the bed as when I came up to my room today, the whole side of it was on the floor. It collected all the dust that surrounded it. Great. I used a lint roller to get it off. I just decided to use a regular pillow and somehow fell asleep. I woke up about three hours later in pain. It was too early to take the 12 hr pill so I took the immediate release. Two hours later I was still in pain so took the longer acting med. I was early but oh well. I then slept for about an hour until my alarm went off.

I took my morning meds and then went downstairs to brush my teeth and wash my face. I was deciding on what to wear. I thought I could wear shorts but it was too cold and it was kind of rainy. I decided sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt were in order. Except, I couldn’t find the one I wanted to wear. I scrounged my bed and it was nowhere. Oh well, just go with the one I usually sleep in. I left to catch the bus. As I got to the corner, the bus I was to take rolled by. Luckily, another one soon followed so I didn’t have to wait long.

I brought my Dostoevsky book with me. I had 45 minutes before PT. I got coffee at the lower end coffee shop and a coffee roll. When I finished the roll, I got to reading until it was time to leave for PT. PT was not so great. She gave me a few new exercises but I think I am going to have trouble doing it on my left side due to moving my damn ankle/foot. I might have to wear the AFO (ankle foot orthotic) to keep it stable. We just did the right side and she explained what muscles were moving. Then she massaged my hip. She said my muscles were hard as a rock. I said like a tennis ball and she said yes. Some parts of where she was touching was bothersome to my thigh muscle. I had to remind her that my L2/L3 surgery fucked it up. We talked about the PTSD and stuff that surrounded my pain issues and she offered some concrete grounding techniques which I will try as the ones I were using were not working. I chiefly use distraction and music. She had me laying on my back under some kind of box thing. As we were ending, she moved my knee to my chest and my back cramped up badly. It hurt so much. I was able to walk out of there but I was hurting. I came home because my next appointment wasn’t until 1500. I made a fried egg that I kind of overcooked the yolk. Then I went upstairs and was hoping to catch a nap. Well my ankle said no to that soon as I laid down. I left an hour early than I wanted to. I went to Starbucks for espresso and a Danish.

I read my book as I brought that with me. I was going to get some serious reading done. But my god, did Dostoevsky talk and talk and talk. It was about 4 chapters of the prosecutor giving his closing argument. When he was finished, so was I. I have about 8 chapters left in the book and I should be able to finish the book this weekend. Progress. I promised one of my suicidologists that I would read her book so I will. It should be somewhat easy reading once I remember where I put it. HA. Don’t know if it is buried on my bed or I put it somewhere else.

I went to my psychiatrist appt. I gave her the run down of being hypomanic without euphoria and the cycle I seem to be in. She didn’t read anything I sent her but she said she would read it as she always does. I felt kind of deflated because I really wanted to talk about the article I sent her. I couldn’t bring it up if she didn’t read it. I actually was not really present. I just glossed over things and she accepted it. I told her my therapist wanted to meet with me twice a week but I am not sure if I can do it physically, especially with physical therapy sessions going on as well. I had told him I would think about it and get back to him. She thought it was good to be seen twice a week. Then we made an appt for two weeks and I left.

My ankle was kind of giving me grief but it wasn’t bad until I got within two blocks of home. Before the Walgreens by my house, there is this dead end street that leads to some houses. The sidewalk has a little handicapped ramp that, to me, is very inclined. I walked down it and it brought me almost to my knees. Pain was so fricken bad. I had to stand in place until it settle down. It was the same as last night when I was going down the stairs but 10 times worse. I didn’t know what to do. My sister was away (or so I thought) and there wasn’t anyone else I could call for a ride. I took my blessed time limping home. The block that lead to the final block to my street was hilly and downward. OMG did it hurt to walk downhill. I had to stop a few times to catch myself. I finally made it home and my sister’s apartment door was wide open as well as my door. I called for my niece but there was no answer. I stuck my head in my sister’s apartment and called for her again. My sister was home making dinner. My other sister was there as well eating some kind of cheese plate. I had some cheese and pepperoni and chatted with my sisters. I then went upstairs. I took my things up the stairs carefully. I took a seat in the kitchen and my ankle just went berserk. I had no idea how I was going to walk down the hallway to my room. I was in a serious flare. I have been on the new med for five fucking days. I have no idea if CRPS doesn’t care if you take meds or not. I posted the question in my support group. I am still waiting for an answer or support. I had to take the med when I finally got to my room. It was two hours early but I didn’t care. After I made dinner with a boot on, my ankle still flared again. I took the breakthrough med. It is going to be a long night and I have been up for 15 hours so far. I cried in pain while I was in the kitchen. My mother was oblivious.

I don’t know what to do to make this pain go the fuck away. I thought the new meds would work and they did for a bit. Until I walked that handicap ramp, which I will never fucking do again. I wish I could say the same of the stupid stairs but I live in a two floor house so that isn’t possible. Even wearing the boot didn’t help. More than a few weeks till my date. I wasn’t going to go through with it. But I change my mind. I could still change it, again. I haven’t told anyone about this because people keep saying they need me and that makes me feel guilty. Someone also reminded me of the ripple effect and I told her to stop talking to me. I don’t want to hear it. I just want to be left alone in my misery that no one understands. I am so done with explaining about how suicidal I am and not getting any understanding about it. Not that I want support for it. That would be ridiculous. But to know at least where I am coming from rather than have supposed opinions. I just have become callous to anyone that thinks they know me.

I did ask my psychiatrist if she thought I was “treatable”. She said yes. But that is all she said without any elaboration. I am in too much pain, both mentally and physically, to tell her what I am thinking. I am also afraid of telling her what I am thinking for fear of another hospitalization. I won’t go this time, not unless I make an attempt. That is the only way I will go back. I just hope to be successful. Things will be really bad if I don’t succeed. I am scared though. I’ve never tried this method before. And if I don’t get it right on the first try, I am kind of screwed. I am just messed up.

Anxiety, pain, and PTSD. What a mix

I am having moving pain, going up half way my leg and back down to the bones in my foot. I’m kind of freaking out because my nerve injury started that way. It is setting off PTSD for me. Have had nightmares all night so not sleeping well. Took some ativan, neurontin and fiber because my bowels are stuck again. I am fearful of what is going to happen when I change my meds. PT said take the laxatives before dose. Great. Also if pain doc for some reason doesn’t prescribe me my meds, I am screwed. I need a refill of meds this week and don’t see him till late Friday afternoon. Emailed my pcp this concern. I don’t want to be out of meds on a weekend. Just a little more anxiety this week.

I went to PT yesterday. She said I have one of two muscles pulled that affect the groin but not sure which one. The good news it is not coming from my back and I don’t have bursitis or arthritis in my hip. If I did, she would send me back to my doc.

It was good seeing her. She is still recovering from a little major surgery. A muscle in her thigh popped out. Yikes! Even while she was examining me, her leg started to fatigue. She had the surgery last month. I feel for her.

Because it was my groin, she started moving her hand feeling about and when she got to a certain point, I started to get uncomfortable because of my sexual abuse history. I felt uncomfortable telling her but she quickly stopped and I was grateful. That area has always made me tense, even with female doctors. I didn’t see my male pcp on this issue because I didn’t want him touching me there. I know they need to and they are professionals so aren’t going to hurt me but it still makes me uncomfortable and tense.

I didn’t write a blog yesterday because I couldn’t think of a title. That is usually the first order of business. Then I can write. I had stuff to talk about but without a title, I couldn’t write. I tried for 2 hours and then gave up.

Most of the night, I’ve been having nightmares. I don’t know why. I am not prone to them. Usually i just have weird or bad dreams but nothing that wakes me feeling scared and have to turn on the light to know it was a dream. Just felt like people we out to get me. I am sure the anxiety i am having this week hasn’t helped.

Not sure what I’ll be doing today. Probably sleeping but I’ve been up since 330 and despite taking my meds, I don’t feel tired 2 hours later. I had a fluffernutter. It is a sandwich made with peanut butter and Fluff, a marshmallow spread. It is a New England staple as Fluff was invented in a town nearby Boston. They recently celebrated the 100 year Anniversary of the patent being sold to a factory in Lynn, which is north of Boston.

My ankle bone is being hammered like it was when I woke up two hours ago. Guess I’ll have to add the strong pain pill to the mix. I hate bone pain more than any other CRPS pain.

the hubbub

The hubbub

*****WARNING COULD BE TRIGGERING*******

Not sure if anyone of you remember the TV show (US) ER. The actor that played Dr. Green, Anthony Edwards is one of my favorite actors. When he left the show, I kind of stopped watching it because the story lines stunk. Anyways, today he wrote an article on Medium.com about his sexual abuse by a pedophile. He wasn’t the only boy affected by this. His best friend was raped by the guy. He wrote about how pedophiles prey on their victims and often use the word “love” as a way of controlling the victims and their emotions.
It hit a deep nerve, something I have never talked about on here before. I was molested by a family member. Other family members knew this one did this. They warned me about them but they seemed like a nice person so I didn’t heed the warning. Even after they were jailed, I was blamed for the abuse because I was warned and that I should have known better. I was 12 when it started and didn’t end till I was 14, when the advances were more advanced (for lack of a better word). They were 12 years older than me. One day we were on their couch, and somehow we ended up on the floor. They pinned me down and I couldn’t break free. Their genitals were over mine. The only way for me to be free was by saying I loved this person and had to kiss them multiple times and to say it over again. I was really scared because they were at least 250 or more pounds and I was a mere 125. When I was free, we just sat on the couch but they sat close to me and they put their arm around me so it would touch my breast. I kept moving their hand but it didn’t matter.

Another time, we were in their pool and the pool’s ladder had injured their genitals but being a pre-pubescent kid, I didn’t know that. I just knew their groin hurt. After the pool, it was the same deal. They would lock their front door as we “watched” TV, careful to put the chain lock on so there wouldn’t be any interruptions. This time, I was messaging the area. I don’t know how they got me to do it but I did. Turns out after a little while I was messaging their privates while they were in their underwear. My hand was not on the underwear part. I refused to see what I was doing as it felt wrong. When I stopped the message, they continued and when I looked over at them, their privates were out in plain view. This asshole then asked me if I wanted that kind of message on me. I said no but had a few breast strokes and kisses, not intimate. I felt sick once I realized what I had done.

Years later when I accused this person of abuse, they denied it and even their partner denied it because they would have seen the “signs”. Yea, right. It all boiled down that the perpetrator loved me and that was why they did what they did, out of love. I was so sick by this. My mother blamed me because I went to the pedophile’s house a lot of the time. I couldn’t help it. It was better than my home life where I had an abusive father, though I would much rather have my father’s abuse over the pedophile’s. I am glad my father was never told what this pedophile did or they might not be alive today or worse, my father might have said that I deserved it in his narcissistic mind because the pedophile wronged him by “destroying his family”. My father would always blame someone else for his wrongdoings. But that is another issue for another day.

With all the sexual abuse accusations coming at high standing men, whether in politics or Hollywood, it has me triggered into remembering my abuse by the various people that abused me. It wasn’t only the pedophile. I don’t feel free to say who the other family member was, I probably will in therapy but not on this media. I was also raped and abused by an ex-girlfriend. Since then, I have not had a relationship, mostly because of my nerve injury but also because I am afraid of flashbacks.

Lots to talk to my therapist on Monday. I know a lot of women and men are coming out with their story of abuse, which they should. It’s important because it gives others the chance to come forward as well. I am not saying it is easy because when I told one of my therapists about an abuser, that abuser slapped me when I was near them as it was a “false” accusation. I have kept quiet about this for a long time and it’s being stirred up. Abusers don’t like confrontation or being exposed. They will deny it to their dying breath. There is no remorse with them. My ex was kind of remorseful when I talked to her about it but she also played it off. We never became friends as it was impossible. I was hurt too much, though she did reach out a few times. She had more problems than I ever had. But Karma will get these bastards, one way or another. I firmly believe that.

My Thoughts on Zero Suicide as a Person with Lived Experience

My thoughts about Zero Suicide as a person with Lived Experience

There has been a lot of talk on Twitter about Zero Suicide and it’s mission to reduce the suicide rate to zero, because 1 is just too many. At first, I was appalled that clinicians think that is possible. I for one think that it is outrageous because there is always going to be someone who dies by suicide. Maybe not in their organization but outside their organization. But then I learned that it’s not an individual’s practice but an organization or health system that strives to achieve this goal. They have trainings and meeting with those in the suicidology world.

Something kept bugging me about this. I kept quiet because I didn’t want to anger those that are for it, though I think there are a few blogs that I wrote about it before I understood the mission. While talking to a friend that is a suicide loss survivor, the bells went off. She said that it goes against Shneidman’s questions, where do you hurt and how can I help?

I am a big supporter of Dr. David Jobes work with his framework called CAMS (Collaborating, Assessment, and Management of Suicidality). I don’t know if Dr. Jobes trains these Zero Suicide clinicians. And even if they are trained, I am not sure it will be used. Most clinicians have the attitude that their skills on suicide risk are good enough when it could be faulty. Worse, they go through the training yet don’t use what they are taught. That drives me up the wall. Why bother going to a training (unless it’s a mandatory thing) if you aren’t going to take away from it?

I really think CAMS is a tried and true framework to prevent suicide based on my experience of using it in my former therapy. I also used the Suicide Status Form. Unfortunately, my therapist did not want training in CAMS and we drifted apart, thus ending our relationship. We did, while we worked together, use the initial and tracking forms but unfortunately, we never got to the outcome form. She wasn’t committed enough to see it through and that kind of pissed me off. Every time I had a suicidal episode, she just wanted to know one question on the form, The one thing that would help me no longer feel suicidal. It is an open ended statement where the client fills in their thoughts on the matter. Unfortunately, I could never come up with a satisfactory answer as I really didn’t know the reason for my suicidality. I just wanted to die and that was that. I wrote a blog about CAMS if you would like more information about how it is formed and the use of the Suicide Status Form.

I went on the website for Zero Suicide but could not seem to find the specific training that they went through. From what I gathered on Twitter from their live tweets, some of it is CAMS and some of it is using risk factors for suicide. Unfortunately, risk factors alone are not predictive of a suicide attempt. CBT has been useful in reducing suicide attempts but not all clinicians are trained in this modality. The book by Craig Bryan on CBT for preventing suicide attempts is a good book to learn more about it. I also wrote a review on the book that you can see here.
The other thing that gets me is that no where among Zero Suicide is there talk of a person’s psychological pain. There are measures, if you look for it. Dr. Holden at Queen University in Canada has created a scale to measure what Dr. Shneidman calls psychache. See my review on the research article for more information. I think it is a good psychometric to gauge a person’s level of suicidality and pain, which ultimately leads to thoughts of suicide. This must be included in any talk of preventing or intervention of suicide and also postvention, should a suicide attempt occur.

My final thoughts of Zero Suicide is that it is a novel idea but as Dr. Shneidman says, “How many suicides do you want, and I say I don’t want any, but I want there to be the freedom to do it. I study suicide but I am not pro-suicide. I’m for suicide prevention.” I share his sentiments. I do not like the talk of “suicide is not an option”. To me, that is hindering free will. I do hope the rate of suicides goes down, but the way that health care and mental health are going, I think there will be more before it lowers, especially among the chronic pain patient population.

Eclipse 2017

Eclipse 2017

My sister was in the path of the eclipse as she was down in South Carolina. She got really cool photos, which were similar to those on Facebook and Twitter. I was in Starbucks and didn’t care much for it as there was overcast. I saw some guy in the foyer outside with the special glasses and did see things go dark for a little bit and then bright again. I stayed where I was inside the store.

I wrote in my journal as I was having my espresso. I didn’t leave as late as I wanted to as I got up around noon time. I caught the 1300 bus, which had some kind of idling or brake problem as it was making awful noises at each stop or red light. I had bumped into a family member while waiting for the bus. They are still contemplating therapy but is scared of being put in the hospital for “being crazy”. As much as I have tried to reassure this person that will not happen unless they are a threat to themselves or others, I still am not getting through. It hurts me so bad to see them suffering so much.

After I couldn’t write anymore in my journal and saw the loads of pics of the eclipse on Facebook and those my sister sent me, it was time to catch the train to see my therapist. He didn’t pick his nails as much today and was attentive to what I was saying. It kind of freaked me out a little because I was getting used to him being silent all the time. In the beginning of session, I had to hold back laughter as he was wearing cranberry pants. It looked totally ridiculous but whatever. Who am I to judge?

My ankle was getting sore on the way home. I caught the first train that came to the station and luckily, the bus had just pulled up. I didn’t have to wait for the 1730 one. I was looking forward to chicken cutlets but when I came home, I smelled stir fry. I was totally disappointed. I was a sweating mess and had to change. I made a dish and had supper. Then I took a much needed shower. I had wet myself and needed new underwear. I drank a lot of water when I came home as I was really thirsty and didn’t feel like making iced tea like I usually do. I’ll probably have to use the bathroom soon as water just goes right through me for some reason.

After the shower, my ankle was cramping on me while I was drying off. I was due my next dose of pain meds so I took them when I came to my room. Now an hour later, my ankle bone is being tortured. I fucking hate this shit. I need to be up in 12 hours, I’ll be lucky to get to sleep tonight. I’m glad I took a shower so I don’t need to in the morning as I have a feeling it is going to be rushed. I need to catch the bus in the opposite direction I usually take as I got to go to another train station to see my neurologist. It’s an appointment that I need to go to only for her to email my docs about her diagnosis of CRPS. I want her to do it in triplicate for my PCP so I don’t have to go to anymore new docs. I am just seeing the specialist and hopefully he won’t recommend me seeing anyone else because I’ve had it with the profession, except for my psychiatrist of course. I took a strong pain pill. Lord only knows when I will have a bowel movement. I thought it was going to be today but nothing so far. I really hope I don’t get hit tomorrow while I am out and about. I am about an hour and half away from home, 45 mins of which I am on a train the whole time. Just makes me nervous because my bowels can be unpredictable at times and when I need to go, I need to go NOW, there is no holding it in because of my nerve injury. I haven’t taken stuff to go because I am out and about. It is going to suck so bad when I do go. I am not looking forward to it.