Monday, January 26, 2015

Seven Weeks

Still dealing with a lot of trauma and PTSD. The triggers are a bit much though....being in a hospital three days a week at the Recovery Center for Substance Abuse. The unit I am interning in is on the same floor as the acute stroke unit. I would pass by the stroke unit on my way to the Recovery Center. I started to enter the Center through the Outpatient side so I wouldn't have to walk by the stroke unit...

For the first two months I was there in September and October, I wouldn't leave the offices because just walking on the until, seeing the patient food trays, patient rooms and the smell of the hospital is also a trigger...

Funny enough we're reading about all the different type of traumas in school. I just closed a case at the hospital this week where I was working with a 29 year old veteran from the Marines who has PTSD.

Because of the experience I had, now I'm hypersensitive and feel each time when the shunt over drains or pumps too much in my stomach. I also have occasional pain in my abdomen and have had what I think is nerve pain and throbbing in two parts of my brain. On the left side and on the top right corner. There is numbness there too. Not sure what it is when I go see the new neurologist perhaps he/she can offer some insight. Counting down the weeks until I get my eye fixed which will be on the third week of March. 

I have an appointment next month to meet with my dentist to get fitted for a stabilization splint to wear inside my mouth at night. It's suppose to help alleviate the symptoms of TMJ disorder I developed after all the brain trauma experienced last March. 

When I'm not going crazy with everything that's been going on I make some time for art. Currently dealing with the PTSD and trauma slowly through EMDR therapy. It's hard to get people to understand therapy is a process. I think some people just want everything to be better instantly because they themselves can't handle or don't want to think about the pain you are experiencing. 

Seven weeks until I get my eye fixed the third week of March. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


 I'm in pain most of the day in some part of my body. Sometimes I can take a pain reliever and it will go away only to return again at some point later on in the day. It never ends.

I will be having eye muscle surgery towards the end of March. Also around the same time as the 1st anniversary of my multiple brain injuries. I've had some people say really insensitive comments regarding my recovery: Things such as,  'I should just stop being angry or there are people worse off than me. 'I understand all of these things, I was in rehab for three months I saw people who lost both
of their legs and had to use prosthetics, others had strokes in their foreheads and could no longer speak, some were paralyzed from the neck down. I understand I am fortunate to be able to continue the work I was doing prior to when this happened. At the same time, I had four different injuries and have pushed myself to finish things like school or other projects I am working. It's hard enough getting people to understand why I have issues with regulating my emotions now. I've had to correct these people (some family, friends) and remind them of what I'm trying to do is not easy.   I wonder how others would react to experiencing the following: re learn how to walk, stand, swallow, feed yourself and breathe after you've had two brain bleeds ( one intracrainial on the left, another on the right side, an intraparenchymal ) a hemorrhagic stroke and a traumatic brain injury.

I laugh and cry for longer periods than I did before.  I have less patience for people using their car horns just so they can get somewhere quickly. Not to say poor me or anything (I'm usually very good about not doing so ) The entire recovery process has been a struggle.  I have a lot of ptsd and trauma associated and multiple grieving processes with how my body used to work and how things are now.

Besides the issues with my eye I may be at 85% back to where I was before all this began. However, I still regularly have pains behind the muscle in the my eye, inside the iris and nerve ( it's nerve damage and not related to my eye muscle according to the neuro-opthamologist. I feel every time the shunt over-drains in my lower abdomen or at the top of my head. I've become hyper sensitive from everything that has gone on over the last five years. I've also come to the conclusion holding on to some anger will not let this happen again and forgiveness is overrated in certain situations. It's been difficult functioning with only one eye exposed. I've had double vision for 10 months now. Lately, I've been struggling with transportation and having to wear the tape on my glasses.  It will be a year in March.  I have mixed feelings about the 1st anniversary. Grateful to be able to do the work I do, as there were good things which developed out of this horrifying the time it makes me both angry and depressed.

My drawings are better than they were before, but my hand writing is different. My had doesn't move the same way it did before...