Monday, February 27, 2017

Post Traumatic Stress Disease... the gift that keeps on giving

Recently I've joined a few on-line support groups for people who survived NF. Sometimes I forget that there are going to be things specific to the fact of having been through this particular nasty disease and it's ramifications. One such ramification that nearly everyone relates to and talks about is the aspect of PTSD afterward.

This is what is going on with me...
I'm having a recurrence of the PTSD. It took me a long time to identify it, and there are other things in the mixture that are affecting what is happening with me these days, but that is a big factor. I believe it is stemming from being with my friend Sabrina while she was dying. There are many gory details that I don't need to, or want to get into here, but what I thought I could handle went into hiding in my subconscious for a few months and has been eating away at my emotional state, my sleeping, and at this point just about every aspect of my living. My PTSD was so bad after I had NF, a year later (2008) I was hospitalized for three weeks in the psychiatric hospital here in Be'er Sheva.

PTSD is insidious. You don't know that it can be responsible for depression and sleep problems, among other things. My depression has been getting so bad lately, I cannot enjoy anything. I mean, I can enjoy things on a surface level, really enjoy being with friends and in social situations, but darkness lurks for me when I try to go to sleep. I thought it was my sleeping pills not working anymore, but now I realize it is the PTSD. I haven't had it this bad for a long time. And, it took a few months, since Sabrina passed away, to manifest so strongly so that I could clearly see it. Same thing happened after I had NF; at first I even went back to work with birthing couples, and even playing horn in the orchestra for a few months. Then, at about the six month point of after NF (physical wounds still not even healed completely) I had a break down of sorts, and checked myself into the psychiatric hospital at my psychiatrist's advice. That was my introduction to psychotropic medicines and sleeping pills.

I had no idea that my PTSD could ever get that strong again.
Well, it can.

Also, problematic here is the fact that my medicines have changed drastically over the past few years, and I haven't had any psychiatrist at all in my life going over it, giving input. I've kind of used my neurologist for that because of needing to deal with the migraine problem, but one hand did not speak to the other. I went off the Fentanyl, went off Lamictal (which was specifically for PTSD), and am now on a large dose of Depilept for the migraines, and my GP raised my Cymbalta. All of this with no input from a psychiatrist. So, it's time for that.

I plan to go back to the one who I last saw at least three or four years ago, because she is the last one who knew my case. Robert tried to call her this morning, but she wasn't in today. It is urgent. We will try to get in to her tomorrow. If not, maybe they can give me someone else. She specializes in PTSD, though. We are even thinking about the possibility of another hospitalization, but are very much hoping on getting a hold of this as out-patient. The depression and sorrow are sucking away my life, I can no longer cover it up. I'll get help.

I know that Hashem (God) is always there for me, stretching His hand out to catch me when I am falling. The challenge is to stretch mine out to grab on and feel my will and life-force again. It's in me, but quite buried. Buried under hospital nightmares of the past... which are still quite present for me.


  1. B"H I am very saddened at your distress, Sarah.Can I be of any help?

  2. Courage dear friend! Follow your plan that you outline, and with G-d's help you will pull out of this. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  3. I've heard good things about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for treating PTSD. Hope it helps. Be well!

  4. Lots of Love, Sarah.

  5. So sorry to hear this. I hope you get the help you need and start to feel better very soon. Lots of love, Ruth xxx

  6. Our hands are also always stretched out to you, dear friend, if there is anything we can do, include just listening. Much love from us.