Monthly Archives: March 2019

Conversations with myself

In group on Thursday, we talked about things we do before going to sleep; what’s helpful, what’s not, and other things that keep us awake.

One woman brought up replaying instances where she needed to stand up for herself, times she wished she had handled things differently, or practicing for upcoming conversations she would have that might be uncomfortable.

That topic brought up something that I’ve been [doing? experiencing?…] in the last several months, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it, though I haven’t given it too much thought till I was reminded of it in group: dialogues that start as rehashing experiences, but that divert into more of something along the lines of listening to a tv show playing in the background.

I start out in control and participating in the dialogue, but somewhere along the way, it becomes something I simply listen to. It’s not necessarily related to the topic or experience I was rehashing in my head originally, thought branches off from there. I would say it’s me falling into dreamland, but my eyes are open half the time, and I’m still doing my bedtime routine…

It kinda reminds me of the time I’d get into a zone, and just write fiction. It’s really similar to the feeling of disconnect from the stories I’d put to paper, and it’s definitely not memories or current events… I similarly forget the details and most of the topics once out of “the zone”. I’m guessing if I’d written it down, it would be one of those things I reread over and over again as if it were new to me at each reading…

It’s such a weird experience, and not weird at the same time.

I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s hallucinations, or dreams, or something else. Sometimes I worry it might be hallucinations, which would be really scary, coz that would mean there’s something wrong. I have no history of non-drug-induced hallucinations, so them starting this late in the game means problems… And then I feel like I might be developing some hypochondriac tendencies, coz none of the testing this far has revealed anything, which means there can’t be anything actually wrong or they would have found it by now… Right?

Someone please convince my brain to stop messing with me…


Disconnect (dissociation?)

Still feeling so disconnected from any part of the past… It almost feels like “living in the present” taken to an extreme level; nothing from the past holds connection right now.

The furthest I feel connected to is maybe this weekend, but even that’s sketchy.

I don’t know… Hope it resolves in short order.


Inappropriate?

I’m struggling a bit with understanding if the physical therapist I saw today was inappropriate with his comments. L says he definitely was, as his comments were very devaluing.

I was telling him about my bad days since this whole muscle thing started (basically, load up on pain meds, and veg on the couch because I physically cannot do anything else). He said something along the lines of “Netflix and bon bons… So you’re basically the person I’ve been making fun of all this time”. He kinda laughed as he said it, and it wasn’t in a mean tone. I was a bit taken aback by it, but tried to roll with the “teasing”. He seemed to be joking with everyone in the office as we were walking back, so I assumed he was just being goofy.

Prior to that, he also commented “so you’re scared” at one point when he was reading my paperwork. When I looked at him confused, he elaborated that he saw I wanted to be told everything he was going to do before doing it… At this point, if he hadn’t been giving me negative vibes, I probably would have disclosed my PTSD, and maybe given him some cursory info, but… I wasn’t consciously sure why I didn’t offer more info, I just didn’t. In hindsight (and after several hours of processing the encounter in my head), I’m glad I didn’t disclose anything beyond what he immediately needed to know for the PT.

At another point in history-taking, I was explaining my anxiety and agoraphobia since this muscle thing happened, and he commented “how’d you ever find anyone to marry you with all this anxiety & not going out?”

There were other things that bothered me also, like his distinct lack of personal space. I’ve been to physical therapy before, and I’ve not had any of the PT’s sit so close while doing the initial assessment. At one point, he rolled his chair right up to mine, and basically blocked me from moving when his legs touched my knees. I pushed my chair back, and to his credit, he moved away and to the side with his, but that didn’t last long. Within a few minutes, we were back in that position. He was a hair further away the second time, but it still made me really uncomfortable. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t move away again.

He seems to know what he is doing in terms of the physical therapy (maybe?), But he either has no filter, doesn’t understand social norms, or just doesn’t care…

I told L about my interactions, and she was able to label it as devaluing and inappropriate (I had simply presented it as being uneasy about the guy, but not being sure if I was taking things harder in light of my history). She was mad enough that she wanted to call the office and get me either switched to another PT, or to switch offices completely. Unfortunately, the office was closing by the time she decided this, so we tabled it for another day. I suggested I return for my Monday appointment & see if that was just a fluke. If he still makes me uneasy, then I’d either confront him about it (unlikely, as I suck at confrontation, but big dreams of standing up for myself), or cancel my other appointments with him and ask to switch PT’s and/or offices…

Part of me still thinks he was just kidding around and being a jerk, but then, that’s not his place as a new-to-me medical professional… Sure, I joke and kid with people, but not in that way, and not with people I’m not more familiar with…

:Sigh:

I don’t want to get him fired or anything. I don’t want him in trouble, but I don’t really want to work with him either. I keep going back to feeling like I’m just taking things the wrong way, that I shouldn’t be bothered by these interactions, but… I am.

Ugh! I have bring so unsure of everything. L is sure, why can’t I trust her insight?? I keep thinking maybe I presented it to her in a biased way… I’m probably just overreacting. It’s probably nothing, and I’m just attributing meaning that isn’t there…


I feel like a fraud (derealization, depersonalization)

… i feel like a fraud. It’s not a new feeling. Been struggling with it for so, so long. The depression in high school felt fake because I couldn’t think of a legitimate reason for it (read: blocked out the ickier stuff, and felt the domestic violence at home wasn’t reason enough). Getting into an out-of-state university felt like a pity move on their part; they must have needed to fill a certain quota of out-of-state students, so they let me in. Passing any of my classes at all was both a miracle & a fluke. It was both easy and incredibly difficult. Mental health was nose-diving hard, but for some reason they didn’t kick me out; another pity move on their part. I frequently dissociated weeks or months at a time (landing in the emergency room, or not making it to classes due to major depression), but some part of me showed up and did enough work to get a degree.

After graduation, I’m not totally sure how I landed the jobs I landed, or kept the ones I did. The only one I’m not surprised at is the kennel job. I busted my ass at that, and the animals helped balance me. I don’t know how I convinced my supervisors that I was good at what I was doing, but they seemed to think I was. I even got promoted, and hired away for better jobs with better pay… Still totally baffled by that. It’s such a stark contrast to what my life is currently like… I’m half waiting for L to figure out I’m worthless, and finally run in the other direction.

I can’t hold down a job because stress and physical stuff inevitably takes me down… But almost all my testing comes back “normal”, & I don’t believe my own stories of some of the things I remember. There’s again zero connection to any concept of abuse (until my mind & body reacts to something vaguely reminiscent of something from the past… Then Dr C reminds me that’s how trauma works. But… Then why don’t any of my medical tests confirm this? Even the neuropsych testing pointed to me being prone to exaggeration of the negative due to high levels of depression…).

There’s no conscious connection to any of the stuff I remembered while living in my old house again. It seems fake; like a story line from a book I read long ago. The story line is present in my memory, but the emotional connection isn’t. It can’t be a real memory of real events if there’s no connection to it, right?

Even things that happened in the past decade+, and I have documentation of happening, don’t really feel real. My emotional connection to memories doesn’t seem to last. I have a concept of the relationship with my ex, and there’s physical evidence of it, but it still feels just like a plot from a story I read once. Everything I remember from the past feels like a well-rehersed script. It’s frustrating. It leaves little room for feeling like a real human being (though, as I mentioned in group today, there’s stuff lower than pond scum; I’m that… So, technically, not human).

There’s also a whole lot of shame and embarrassment and… Feeling like I have no right to feel sad around the death of L’s dad 2 years ago today. Part of it stems from G being such an ass around who “truly mattered” (read: #1=him, #1.2 & 1.3 = my brother & I, and everyone else was miles below). It feels like I would fall into the “miles below” category for L’s family, so I have no right to feel anything at all around his death (when in reality, I know L thinks I should feel something. Wants me to admit to feeling something around it). It’s just so difficult to get past that early training sometimes…

I feel so undeserving of taking up space & resources.

Part of me feels strongly that I would benefit from having a service dog trained to mitigate both the mental health stuff, and the physical. When I’m put on the spot and asked to explain my reasoning though, I falter. There are other people out there who really need a service dog to get through their lives. It would just make mine more comfortable. That’s not a good enough reason. I don’t deserve the special considerations, or special accommodations. I’ve gotten through life this far, I should be able to get through the rest of it without asking for special treatment. I don’t deserve it. There are others out there way more deserving than me. Who do I think I am asking for something so huge?! It wasn’t freely offered by someone without prompting, and I’m being entitled for asking. How dare I?!

Old tapes are often impossible to erase…


Arthritis…

The MRI my PCP ordered came back showing advanced arthritis in my neck (and likely back also, since it gets worse the further down my neck you look).

It’s apparently from overuse… And I have the neck of someone twice my age.

She said it can explain some of my symptoms, mostly the tingling & pain in my left arm, but not the vertigo, confusion, memory issues, shortness of breath…

There’s nothing else there though; no disc erosion, no herniated discs… That’s a relief.

Now, off to PT to see if I can learn stretches and strengthening exercises, and also help this most recent round of vertigo that hasn’t subsided in going on 3 weeks.


“Out of the norm”

So much better today! Still got a touch of vertigo, and congested, but the brain zaps and the psychotic thoughts are mostly gone.

It’s nuts what some of these meds can do to people…

How many unsuspecting folks take drugs prescribed to them, hoping to feel better, but end up with something so much worse? How many people find themselves trapped in a vortex of side effects that medical professionals insist are not side effects simply because they are out of the norm?

For all we have advanced in medicine, we still know so little about so much of what goes on in our bodies.

I tend to be weirdly sensitive to meds; some work way better than they should, while others work in very weird ways. My reaction to gabapentin is just one example. I’ll also sleep for 3 days straight with 5mg of haldol; meloxicam works like speed when I first take it; geodon & abilify have a heavy intoxication effect; mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and gabapentin make me hypomanic & psychotic; Novocaine only works at really high levels, but then it takes forever to wear off…

My body works differently than most doctors expect, yet they dismiss my experiences and chalk them up to mental illness because they don’t fit the mold.

I’ve had more than one doctor deny my sore throat, because it didn’t look inflamed when I complained about it. Then they are surprised if I walk in with all the physical symptoms of one, but I don’t feel the pain anymore because the swelling and redness show up after it no longer hurts.

Having “norms” to judge disease by is great, as long as the person in front of you fits the norm.

There are people out there with low baseline blood pressure. Unless they’ve been seen & measured at their normal baseline, no one will figure out that what looks like normal blood pressure for everyone else is really high for them (and that’s only assuming they’ve seen the same provide or group enough to establish a lower baseline, and have it flag for said provider when it goes up).

Anyway, I wandered off on a tangent, sorry.

Keep advocating for yourself out there. Know that not everyone fits the “norms” medicine has established, and sometimes you might need to put your foot down if you are not being heard. I’ve been lucky enough to find providers that are willing to listen, and people willing to help me advocate for myself. Hope you can find that too. You got this!

(Sorry, brain is still a bit zappy & foggy, so this might not make the best of sense)


Buzzing

My brain feels all “zappy” and twitchy today.

My body definitely dislikes gabapentin.

I can’t wait for all these side effects to be done with…