Christian Living

PTSD: My Life

PTSD My Life TW

As a first time expecting mom, I read books on what to expect during pregnancy and the first years of raising a child.

The books where filled with all types of interesting facts around parenting. I also read information on  Postpartum Depression but that was not what would become my journey.

PTSD, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become my journey.

For a few years I have suspected that I have PTSD but I kept shaking it off. I mean it’s easy to not focus on yourself when your child’s medical life is so complex. Over the years I have developed a lot of tricks to help me keep things under control. This past spring, things started get a bit crazy with Lilly. I  also reviewed the book Does My Child Have PTSD? By Jolene Philo. Then my daughter’s paediatrician commented that she was concerned about me developing PTSD.

I started seeing a counsellor and apparently I do have markers of PTSD. Now I have to have a discussion with my family doctor about it.

My emotions froze when Lilly was born. One thing I used to tell myself for a while was, “Lilly went through the trauma not me.” This is a myth in itself, which I learned when I had A-man. There was nothing normal about Lilly’s newborn days.

13 Days in NICU, respiratory support, MRI’s, and an EEG replaced things like bonding with your baby, introducing your child to grandparents and so many things.

When life started looking “normal,” is when my emotions unfroze and I was hit all at once with fear, anxiety and depression. The anxiety attacks would hit me during unexpected times like sex, in the shower or shopping. At the same time Lilly started having cerebral palsy twitches and seizure like activity.

I quickly learned to put my emotions in a box and deal with Lilly’s needs. I couldn’t deal with ER trips, medicine changes and hospital stays on top of panic attacks. Something had to give so I learned ways to deal with it. Over time this has became a theme with me. I have taught myself to focus on the facts and not the emotions.

Over the years I have learned ways to keep things under control; prayer, meditation over scripture, saying No, positive music, working out, have a positive goal to focus on and blogging are just a few. For the most part it works except when things escalate with Lilly’s medical issues. Today I am sharing some of the things I struggle with.

Regression & Illness – Lilly deals with a physical regression that also seems to happen whenever she gets a really bad virus. The mixture of the two can take months before things settle down in our house. During that time I often let my mental health self-care slip. It usually starts small like skipping a prayer time or work out then escalates as time passes. Then it just leads to a huge hot mess!

Health – My PTSD affects my health. It causes me to lack sleep, escalates my fatigue levels, messes with my stress hormones and my weight and will often trigger asthma symptoms. Sometimes my body reacts to things that it shouldn’t. It’s a daily struggle to keep on top of everything and can be quite frustrating.

Being Social – Big groups were never my thing before Lilly and now I try to avoid them. Idle chit chat exhausts me. Trying to read body language and wading through moods can drain me emotionally. I’m lucky the people I surround myself with get it. They can tell that I need to be more quiet by the look on my face and then they let me just fill a seat. Sometimes I enter conversations and other times I just relax drinking tea.

Surgery – Lilly’s upcoming surgery is a huge trigger right now. Sometimes it can be hard to focus on the positive when as parents, we have already had the worse case scenario with her. People will make comments like, “everything is going to be fine,” “nothing is going to happen.” The person inside of me is thinking “no it’s not because the worst has happened.”

I have never seen battle, fought a fire, or been a first responder. My life consists of cooking, laundry, play-dates and drinking way too much coffee. I also battle PTSD due to a medical trauma. It’s not who I am but part of my testimony.

Candice

This post is linked up at Turn It Up Tuesdays, Different Dream link up

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18 thoughts on “PTSD: My Life

  1. PTSD is extremely difficult to live with. Most days are seemingly so normal but nobody understands how a simple word/memory/image etc can trigger such trauma and fear. What I find harder again is people who dismiss it because it’s not the trauma of say a war veteran or a rape vitcim.

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    1. Amy that is exactly one of the reasons why I kept putting it off. I’d tell myself people have dealt with a lot worse. Thank-you for stopping by and commenting.

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  2. Triggers are so unique from person to person. Anything can be one and it’s so hard to explain to others. Even just a smell or a sound can trigger you and it can be hard to pull yourself back. A great support team, therapist and medication can do wonders. Having people who are supportive and try to be understanding is such a blessing. If you need to talk, feel free to contact me. I have an anxiety disorder, and have wondered if I have a form of PTSD myself at times.

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      1. We should definitely. I have weird triggers. TV shows that I would watch with people…it’s a bit strange.

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  3. I did a rotation in the pediatric ICU. While working there I saw and admired the dedication the parents gave to their sick children. From this experience I can understand a little of the time and energy you spend taking care of your daughter on top of regular parenting skills. Especially when having to deal with “small” things like a virus that can turn your world upside down. It’s easy for me to say, but take the time to care for yourself so you’re also able to care for your kids. Thanks for sharing this at Turn It Up Tuesdays

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  4. Stopping by from Turn it Up Tuesdays and boy am I glad you were one of the chosen. I have had similar experiences since my DD was born. She was in the NICU and then developed heart problems. She had a heart transplant and although we’ve been relatively lucky as transplants go, she has had multiple heart surgeries since and some other issues. I wrote a blog post today that I feel I am now constantly guarded in my emotions. I don’t feel any extremes, including joy. And this post really struck a chord with me. I thought it had to do with my job and my trying to be the “mature” one when others were around, but I really think it has more to do with my fear and anxiety as feeling any emotion in an extreme way. I will be checking into some counseling myself I think. It has been seven years and I think I have other issues as well – but this really hit it home for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Triggers are such a problem for me right now. My main two are mens cologne and little children. Yeah like going anywhere and not seeing kids is easy. My CPTSD is an ongoing fight for me daily. Being new to blogging I appreciate your post.

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