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

Friday, February 25, 2011

Touching and other things

Easy stuff first:  I am proud to announce that after 2 hours of work my desk is again visible, my cord to plug in my laptop for network use can be found, and it turns out I do have a telephone.  This is good stuff.  I've been so insanely busy that I have had no time to sort papers and figure out what needed to go to the shred bin.  That turned into a mess so bad I told my boss today if I couldn't fix it I was going to take over someone else's desk.  I have no succeeded, which is fabulous.  I also forgot lunch and ate an embarrassing amount for supper.  Oh well. I haven't had much to eat in a week so maybe that was catching up.  I also got everyone scheduled for tomorrow, when I'm making up Monday and doing a training session with a new assistant (yay) and people actually let me schedule how I wanted to schedule.  Which is nothing short of a miracle.  Scheduling is NEVER that easy.  I put easy-going people on, but still.......And the best thing is as long as the trainee is there I don't have to do vitals.  Which is a great break as doing full vitals 5 times daily gets old.

There are ways things are getting a little better.  I seem to be doing ok without valium now, at least until the next med change.  I'm sleeping better with allergy covers on my bedding and am only exhausted 20 hours per day instead of 24.  I also seem to be reaching toward my routine; I was up at 5 twice this week, too sleepy to do what I used to do but awake, and today was up at 4:15 and was sleepy but did manage to pay a bunch of bills which really makes me feel good before I have to go to work.  I get anxious about "did I forget" unless I pay them as soon as possible.

On the other hand, Dr. Mind kind of freaked me out.  There are times he waits for a chance to attack with something that he knows is a huge deal that will take me a long time to work out but that I am ready for/need to approach.  This was one.  We were talking about touch and how I work in one of the only professions where touch is still a good thing, and after he said that I told him about being taught that as well as the positive effects of touch on pts and so I consciously try to touch every pt. at least once per session, beyond the clinical touching that doesn't matter.   I should have known to watch it.  But I was led into that one, and he then stopped and talked about how not to be offended but it's something to think about, that I'm a person too and need touch and where do I get it.

I couldn't answer much then.  I've thought nonstop since though as he probably anticipated I would, and the answer is just sad.  At the time I said something about my mother and sister hug me, and the baby is a big thing b/c she can touch me and it's ok, and that otherwise my weighted blanket substitutes.  Which is hugely true.  But the more I thought the more I realized that I wasn't so accurate.  I love cuddling my niece.  I'm ok if my mother or sister hug me; I don't like it.  Aside from my niece the only really enjoyable touch I get is snuggling with my cats.  I'm thinking that's not a very positive thing........I might be human and need touch but the truth is that unless it's touch I initiated that I hate it and even then sometimes I hate it but do it because it's what I believe in doing as a therapist.  In my life, it is too hard.  I feel safe-ish with my mother and sister but not really.  I think I know why but need to think more.  But mostly, I hate being touched.  I can't think of a situation where I'm ok with someone touching me, even when it's clearly with my permission like in a medical setting.  Dr. Body tries really hard to keep things safe, rarely touching me except through clothes even if he normally touch skin.  If he has to he's very careful.  He also lets me avoid a lot of things that are touches that go too far, like tongue depressors.  I can't remember the last time he used one; I think I had strep.  And even then I've had strep and he's clinically diagnosed it rather than making me handle a strep test.  Which I will forever be grateful for.  But then I am thinking, ok, so what?  In one sense big deal.  I already made decisions that this is not an area I have a ton of desire to fix.  It's just so many memories wrapped up in so much pain.  Yet at the same time it is unreasonable to expect to go through life with nobody ever touching me.  There's a time coming fairly soon where I'll be the patient-first to the surgeon who repairs my ankle, then to anyone providing post-surgical care which may be a bit more complex thanks to MAOIs, asthma, anesthesia and the fact that I already have a history of not waking easily for anesthesia add up to since I believe what I'm having done is often an overnight I'm assuming it will be.  And there will be casting/bracing that will change with time, and then therapists who will have to do a lot of touch to help it heal.  This rehab as I understand it especially at the beginning will involve a lot of them stretching and moving and treating pain because it will be some time before I'm doing a ton with it myself.  I need more information but from what I understand I'll have quite a while with very limited use.  I'm helping this some by planning to try to get a PT I used to work with and respect greatly to take me as her personal pt. because my last PT experience was just not good and it's hard to trust someone with the rehab that I know is vital for this thing to heal.  There are 3 levels of this surgery (different versions of the surgery but 3 grades of repair; the version I'm having is a little more intense but nothing like level 2 or the AWFUL level 3).  I want it rehabbed right.  Which means touching.

If'I am honest any situation that I know I"m going to be touched is very anxiety provoking.  In 2 weeks I have a day of gynecologist followed by ankle doctor.  I find I dread both equally because both are going to touch me.  That's interesting as I thought the gynecologist was the worst thing EVER until I realized this, but apparently on some level all touch that is potentially threatening is bad touch. And by potentially threatening I mean anything that I don't feel is totally acceptable, like touching my arm while I am wearing at least 2 layers, preferably a winter coat.  And truly that is the only touch I don't hate.  I need 2 inches of bulk before touch is ok.

I think I have a problem............We'll fix it, somehow, but I never realized how much of an issue this is.  I know where he got the idea from, ok I did and then it left my brain; I'm tired, but he's going to get a surprise when he next sees me.  Because somehow this has to improve.  Touch bugs me so much that i'm noticing that as I get used to patches again I have to right with myself to not take it off early because it starts to bug me after 10-12 hours.  I had that issue at first, but got so that as long as they were in the right places I was ok.  No longer.

I'm falling asleep and haven't even had meds.


1 comment:

Michal Ann said...

Please forgive me if this is really insensitive...but is touch "good" for you if it causes so much anxiety?? Who can say you "need" to be touched? Praying that you're feeling secure and comfortable under your weighted blanket.

When I am cold and/or in pain, I use a heating pad that was recommended 15 years ago at a physical therapist's office. I put 5 pounds of BROWN rice in a cloth bag...in this case, a zippered pillow case. You could easily sew a bag for the rice or just tie the rice into an old pillowcase with a piece of string. I cover the rice bag with another pillow case which I launder as needed. Warm the bag in the microwave for 3 minutes.

I call my rice bag "Norm" because Norm RICE was mayor of Seattle when I first learned about the comfort of this heating pad. "Norm" is wonderfully comforting to me both because the rice is warm and weighty on my cold feet and/or my chronically sore hip. Everyone who knows me knows NORM!

I hope this helps!

Now, I'm off to the microwave!