Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The PTSD of Relapse

I had my first pain relapse in over a year.  I have no idea what caused it.  Could have been flying, insomnia, decaf coffee, a disturbing movie, a butterfly flapping its damn wings somewhere.  All I knew was the pain was back, and I dropped down the shaft into the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) pit.

I huddled.  I made frantic phone calls to doctors (none of whom returned them...sigh).  I went to the dark places of forever, never, always.  I clung to my heating pad like it was a life raft.  I had no conception that this would ever end.  The years of relief I lived between the onset of my pain condition and this current relapse disappeared.  The reassurance those good years could have offered was dissolved in an instant by the first waves of pain.  My rational mind went walkabout.  It was just me, my heating pad, and my terror.

Except for Richard.  He became my memory.  He once again hoisted up the mantle of hope and draped it over my sunken spirit.  He reminded me that I was in PTSD-land and that while my now was awful, it wasn't predictive of my future.  His voice and sanity reached me.

I went back up a step on my meds.  I unwound.  I reached.  I'm doing much better now.

Richard just came into my office as I was writing this and put his arm around me and chanted, "I'm so happy, I'm so happy."  Me too.

1 comment:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Richard reminds me of my husband who is the rock of stability that my pain needs when it flares like yours did. When that happens it feels as tho it will always be this way and always has been this way and why do I even bother to wake up when this happens... and on and on the thoughts and feelings spiral. Until Ormond says, "This will pass; let me hold you til it does." And slowly the spiral winds down and the pain recedes and life returns to what passes for normal around here.