Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have PTSD. It's not really a big deal now, the worst of it was in the end of college, early grad school days. But although I know how to handle it and live a great deal of my life without any real issues with it, I'm finding that the hospitalization has triggered more PTSD symptoms than I've had in a very long time, including the symptoms I've had when I've talked in great detail with Dr. Mind about the trauma.

We're just treating the whole thing as if it were a very traumatic thing. There are stories I need to tell over and over and so I do. There are things I just don't know how to process, so we work on that. And there are things that I just haven't wanted to talk about yet. Like being evaluated for OT, and how awkward it was after she started explaining OT and I told her I WAS an OT. It was not easy for either of us. Between both doctors I have a list of things that I know I have control over next time, things that definitely make me feel better. Off the top of my head they are: I will have a script for an injection if I get out of control; my meds will have an order that they are not to be given early if I am to stay awake; I hopefully will be able to talk to Dr. Mind on the phone a few times, privately; I will have a list of things I need for sensory issues so that I don't have to ask and argue each time I need a coping tool. Oh, and I will have a specific diet orders that are from the Emsam diet list and I will be allowed the foods that were taken from me for no reason this time. I think there are a few others. I can add to the list as well, and that helps too.

But the weirdest things trigger memories. Tonight I was working with someone on feeding skills. I heard the meal cart arrive and then got her tray off, and had a hard time. Because every meal that whole time I would be sitting in my room and hear the cart arrive, and then I'd shuffle down, pull my tray off, and eat my tiny bits of food I didn't want, using flimsy plastic utensils (so flimsy that there was no way to hurt yourself with them, and cutting things was very interesting). The patient was on the dementia unit and I already have trouble there. For one thing is smells like the hospital. For another it is locked, and just because I know how to get out doesn't make me feel less panickyse. I know locked up far too well now. In the hospital the unit I was on was reached by coming up the elevator (a special one for the psych units I think) and then when you got off there was the outer area. When I got there the volunteer who took me up told them who I was, they buzzed me in, and the door closed. I remember how weird it felt to hear it close. I was in a room near the door so I heard lots of people come in and out over the days, and ti always remained in my mind that if I walked over there I'd just be led away. But then I was discharged and the door was opened without anyone even thinking about it. Which was so weird. Locked up and not allowed freedom at 9:30 AM, walking out alone at 10:30. And the meal cart was just one more thing that was too much. So I spent some time trying to gather my thoughts and re-focus on where I was and that if I was panicky enough I could be off the unit in 35 seconds. But I really had a hard time.

I also was talking to a patient about the difficulties that go with being in a hospital/nursing home, and was talking about something I barely remembered. There are standard codes that are used to mean various things in hospitals. Code blue everyone knows. Code brown, missing patient. Code purple/violet, out of control patient. Etc. I know these well from my psych years. I had a very hard time with that, because for whatever reason those codes were given on all floors, including the locked one that most certainly didn't have staff who were going to be heading for the code blue, nor were the missing patients going to appear among the 6 of us. And because I knew the codes, I'd hear them at night and integrate them into my sleep and wake up dreamng I needed to do something. They'd ask about my sometimes restless sleep and I never explained, never even really understood it until tonight, but agan, it was hard.

I didn't get home from work until 10 something and I wake up like clockwork at 5 these days so I'd better get to sleep.

Please keep Julia's Gage in your thoughts. He's having a rough time and I feel so sad for him.

I don't like this. I don't get a choice, and eventually I'll process all of it and it will get better. But so many things in my environment make it hard to just forget. One home uses the same beds that the hospital had. Just tonight I was adjusting one and remembering how stupid I felt when it never occurred to me to lower the thing for the first 3 days when it was left raised after the sheets were put on.

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