In which I question my own sanity

As the vast majority of people who regularly read this blog already know, Oliver was pretty sick last November. (You can read most of the entries for November to get the whole story)

I have been having issues all month dealing with anything that reminds me of November of last year. Is there something wrong with my brain? Someone tossed around the term PTSD, and I felt like, hey, sorta like that! But is it really a “disorder” or is it just normal reactions to something that scary? I mean, I know it’s not full on PTSD, I’m totally functional, but then a song will come on the radio, or I’ll run across someone talking about life in a hospital, and I’m just bawling my eyes out. Can you have a minor, tiny little case of it?

Seriously, I was driving around listening to an NPR piece on the value of hospice care, and it was fine until they started talking about why being at home with hospice was better than staying the hospital because at the hospital it’s hard to really get rest and you lack privacy and are on the hospitals 24 hour schedule. And I was suddenly overcome with fear and depression and sadness and was crying.

It’s not something that happens every day. This month has been bad. Talking about last year’s thanksgiving will set me off. And last year we had an amazing Thanksgiving. We got to come home. And Bobby made him and I turkey and mashed potatoes and we sat around and looked at Oliver and waited for Landon to come home from Grandma’s house. I got to sleep in my own bed that night. But thinking about it makes me cry.

Before November rolled around, it was improving. I’d say maybe once every 2-3 weeks I’d have that sort of thing happen. This month I’m back to every few days, which was how I felt when we got out of the hospital. I think it’s getting better overall. I’m hoping that once we get through this year and Ollie has his second Thanksgiving, I’ll feel better about the whole thing. His first “REAL” Thanksgiving, so to speak.

I know I’ve got friends who have had similar traumatic events happen, am I crazy? Or normal?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Crystal
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 10:39:30

    Yes it’s normal Post trauma. In therapy I learned to do the following: when you feel the emotion try to recall what specific image or thought immediately comes to your mind. Then think of a rewrite/reprogram for that. So if your thought is remembering him with all his tubes, you think of something truthful, simple and reassuring to say mentally to yourself whenever it comes up. That can be something like, “he is stronger and we are a stronger family because of our experience.” nothing patrionizing or silly. Something that you feel inside is true.

    Like how I look on our time last year when we ran out of food- my rewrite is, “and we learned to appreciate each other and our friends because of that experience.” This acts as a neutralize to the painful memory without invalidating your feelings.

    Reply

  2. Emma
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 11:12:27

    My former roommate was diagnosed with “High functioning Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” when she returned from Afghanistan, so, yes, you can have a functioning form of PTSD. There’s nothing “mild” about it, you’re just functioning on top of it. Make sense?

    Either way, it’s something you probably want to talk to a doctor or psychologist about. If only to help you address your underlying concerns.

    Reply

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