PTSD- My Story Part 1

PTSD

 

This has been a very difficult post to write. It’s one that I’ve been wanting to write, but the inability to put it into words hasn’t allowed me to. Everytime I sit down and put my fingers to the keyboard, nothing comes but a stream of jumbled mess.

So…I just delete and try again another day only to have the same results.

Maybe I wasn’t healed enough. Sometimes I still don’t think I’m healed enough.

It was May of 2015 when I sat in an office and spent an hour answering questions about my life. I’m pretty sure I spent the entire hour ringing my hands and staring at the floor as I answered questions in hushed tones. I already knew what she would say and where this was going to lead. After all, it had only been weeks before that I was sitting with my primary physician for the third time in only a few short months and she told me this was beyond her scope…

“I believe you’re experiencing symptoms of PTSD. We need to refer you to someone who can help you manage.”

Wait what?!?! I was not ready for that. In my head I knew it was more, but I was not ready to hear it out loud.

The term had already been thrown out there so of course I researched (because what else is google good for) and had a little time to digest before stepping into that first session in May.

Nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow. The months of weekly sessions. How deep she would make me dive…but that’s a story for another time.

By the end of the session it was confirmed…

“Well, those type of symptoms will come along with the PTSD..”

She said it so nonchalantly. Somewhere along the way in all of those notes she was taking, she had diagnosed me.

I remember asking her again because I felt like I needed to be sure I’d heard her correctly.

“Yes, this is PTSD. You’re not alone. It’s understandable.”

I started to tear up but fought it back. I refused to break down.

She spent the next several minutes telling me this would be a long journey, how we needed to work on coping skills, how I would need weekly sessions for the foreseeable future and lastly the medication.

She already had such a handle on who I was after the first session that she didn’t trust the label on the bottle to tell me what to do so she gave me a handwritten note asking me to take it and how to take it. She said that the handwritten note would appeal to my need to please and not disappoint. I felt like I should be able to handle this on my own (obviously failing miserably at it) but in reality I didn’t fully grasp what I was up against. Not until much later on anyway.

When I closed the door to my car and began to drive away, the tears poured out. Uncontrollably. Soon the tears became sobs which quickly lead to pulling over on the side of the road to have a panic attack. I felt so many emotions that I couldn’t even begin to describe each of them. The basics were covered, there was angry, sad, hopeless, guilty, but there were others and I didn’t take the time to identify them because it felt like they were smothering me, like I would never breathe again.

It literally felt like I would never breathe again…

 

 

 

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How to Pass Kidney Stones

kidneystones

As I type this, I’m literally on my couch writhing in pain. It’s been almost a week since my lithotripsy and these suckers are really making their way out.

Before this procedure I had 5 stones, all 7mm or larger. Also, it should be noted that this past procedure marked my 16th lithotripsy. Yes 16th. I’ve also had a percutaneous nephrolithotomy which is much more invasive.

Back story goes like this…I got my first kidney stone in 2005, when I was 20. My first lithotripsy was in 2006. I’ve had at least one procedure a year, sometimes more, since then. They’ve done every test and we still have no idea why I produce so many, so quickly. Not dietary, checked the parathyroid several times over the years, I’ve increased my water intake to an insane amount every day. Crazy!!!!!!!

Anyway, this post is not about preventing them since I obviously don’t know how to do that 🙂

This is strictly about tips I’ve learned along the way on how to pass these painful things.

1. DRINK, DRINK, DRINK

This one seems so obvious. but can be difficult sometimes. To help, I have a very large water bottle (like this one) and I force myself to drink on a time limit. I’ve also seen people write on water jugs with times to make sure they are getting an entire jug down by the end of the day. If you prefer smaller more portable bottles, try one like this or this. Any way you decide, just do it! It’s so important.

2. MOVE

I know it hurts guys, but you’ve got to get up and move. If you’ve been to the doctor then I’m sure you’ve got some medicine. Take it and go for it. I only go walking distance from my home just in case, but I will get outside and walk or try to play with the kids the best I can. Yes it’s painful, but it gets the stones moving quicker.

3. Lay inverted

I learned this one from my urologist. When I have stones, I do this twice a day for 15-30 minutes. I notice a difference immediately. Of course I’m passing hundreds at the moment, but if you’re looking to get one out, doing this will get it out of the kidney and headed toward the bladder. If you have stairs, lay with your head going down them. It can be uncomfortable, but it works. If you don’t have stairs you could hang off a couch or bed with your legs propped on the cushion or mattress. On the extreme side, you could invest in an inversion table. Seems like it might be something I should do myself lol.

4. Sleep on your side

Example: my kidney stones are in my left kidney so I sleep on my right side with my left kidney up. That also helps get the stones out of the kidney and start to pass.

 

Good luck to anyone out there dealing with these dreaded things. Trust me, I feel your pain.

 

 

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French Toast Bake

Found this quick and easy French Toast Bake recipe at Lil Luna (recipe here)
I baked mine for about an hour since the kids don’t really care for softer french toast. It was delicious and super easy. Kids thought it was a hit!
The best part was that it was completely make ahead. I just woke up and threw it in the oven and the kids had an awesome breakfast before school!
Scored points for mom!!

 

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