Author Archives: Samantha Jane

Some progress on the physical stuff (or, at least a direction to look in)

Saw the pcp on Tuesday.

L had the idea to make a comprehensive list of all the symptoms that have come up in the past year or so. It helped tremendously! We were able to give it to Dr. S, and she was able to get a better picture of things. She’s thinking that a lot of it can be related to a potential cervical vertebrae problem; we just have to figure out imaging. I have a chest piercing that had the radiology nurse really uncomfortable last time, enough that she said they would refuse to do further imaging from the waste up unless I had it removed… that would take a surgical procedure, and I’m just not interested in losing it forever if I can find another center that will do the imaging… so I’m waiting to hear back from her office about the next steps around that.

She’s also going to set up a referal for a second opinion on the neurology side of things, but I have to send her a copy of the neuropsych report so she can include it in the referral. I have that pulled together, just need to make it out to the post office to mail it.

I really hope something is figured out around this, and I hope there’s an easy, painless, non-invasive fix for it…

In the mean time, we are trying meloxicam for the pain… I took the first dose tonight, and I’m wired. The first 2 hours after I took it, I felt hyper, as if I’d taken an upper. I hope, if that’s one of the ways my body reacts to it, that it goes away soon. It actually helped the pain for those two hours, but it wore off quickly… it was the lowest dose though, so maybe a higher dose will help longer? I dunno, but it was nice to feel pain-free for those 2 hours or so.

So, we’re have some other things to look into. Hopefully one of them will yield answers.

Advertisements

Hypersensitivity to smells (gonna whine now, feel free to skip reading this)

Back in November-ish, smells started to bug me. I’m not pregnant; I’m 100% sure of that, but strong (and many food) smells turn my stomach.

I mentioned it to my doctor, and she suggested I contact a local taste and smell clinic. They have a long wait, and I just sent out my paperwork yesterday, but I’m hoping they can give me some answers.

The hypersensitivity to smells is just one more thing that seems to be piling on to my list of weird symptoms that come along with the muscular pain.

While I’m waiting to hear back from the clinic, I’m struggling to get through the day dealing with most smells making me very uncomfortable. I’m hyper aware of the smokers in the building, I can’t stand the smell of cooking food… it’s so uncomfortable, I find myself wanting to cry (well, that & the muscle pain/cramps). Mint is a tolerable smell, so I’ve gotten into the habit of dabbing mentholatum rub under my nose to curb the nausea…

I dunno… the clinic’s website says they generally can only help about 1/3rd of the people they assess. I hope I fall into that 33%; I don’t want to have to live with this hypersensitivity (though my mom also has a similar intolerance for smells. She developed it in adulthood…)

I’m so tired and run down. Triggers around loss abound, and it’s not helping anything at all. A friend’s 6-year-old daughter died unexpectedly Sunday morning (in her sleep, cause as yet unknown, though she had several serious medical issues), it’s coming up on the anniversary of Chow’s death, my brothers in law’s dog passed away the same day I felt like someone died, but couldn’t think of any anniversary… and my 40th birthday is around the corner. I don’t feel 40. I don’t want to be 40. I shouldn’t have ever lived this long… Dr. C suggested that maybe this dread of age is rooted in past experiences (especially since it’s paired with the feeling that someone’s passed away)… it kinda makes sense… doesn’t matter though, since she’s now off for 2.5 weeks in the tropics, so I can’t really process that with her beyond Monday’s brief conversation.

I guess I have a fair amount of reasons to cry, but it still feels unwarranted… I’m just so tired.

The depression hit super hard a week ago Monday, and very suddenly; it felt like a switch was flicked. The intense depression hit, the muscle cramps and pain started, that bitter taste came back (it colors everything I eat or drink)… the smell thing is just intensifying… it’s all so oppressive…

So yeah, whining…


worthlessness

More questions for y’all:

How do you overcome worthlessness? If you’ve always felt like you had miles extra to make you worth basic human considerations, how do you inch up that gargantuan ladder?

Intrinsic worthlessness has been a topic of conversation lately, in both therapy, and the rest of my life.

The biggest obstacle I’m hitting is my lack of ability to make any part of this service dog thing happen. Every time I get even a hint of savings towards a prospect, something comes along to wipe it out. At this rate, I’ll be dead before I have enough money for an appropriate pure-bred prospect… and I’m not sure I’ll have the energy to follow through on the level of training needed for a successful and bomb-proof service dog.

My inability to save makes me second guess if I’d really actually benefit from one enough to put in this much effort. I only have so much energy, and mine’s fast running out. The holidays have been a huge drain this year. I barely have enough energy to be politely social with people, forget trying to figure out how to make a service dog work.

So, yeah. How do you overcome intrinsic worthlessness? How do you trick yourself into being ok with having needs, or asking for something, or feeling ok with extra effort to make something work?


Are dementia, Alzheimer’s, and trauma reactions related?

So, something that kinda connected in my head, but may not actually be connected in reality, were memory-related disorders of the elderly, and memory-related disorders connected to trauma.

Dr C often described dissociated trauma memories as “bubbles” of memory and understanding. I happened to be describing dementia in that way to a friend, and suddenly they both made sense in the same way: nothing else exists in the moment of a flashback, only that moment. Often times, the same is true for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients; they exist in the moment of the time they remember, but nothing outside of that. They forget loved ones, major life events, aging… the same is true for flashbacks, only flashbacks seem somewhat easier to ground from. Age-related memory issues seem to make it a more permanent state of being.

I’ll have to look into whether or not there’s research on any potential connections between age-related memory issues, and trauma-related memory problems…


How do you break the cycle?

A friend posed a really good question today: how do you actually break the cycle of [abuse/anger/self-harm/ insert whatever cycle applies]?

I didn’t have an answer for her.

I know my brother and I have both broken the cycle in our family, but I have no insight into how we did it. I know I have a deep-seated fear of becoming my father in any way, shape, or form. I think my brother also has that fear, tough I’m not sure.. since we never talk about that kind of stuff… but… how did that enable us to step back from the abuse?

I know I’ve had bouts with rage. They weren’t anything close to what my dad would display, but they were close enough to have me feeling like shit about myself.

So what helped after moments like that? I have no idea. Other than being scared of myself turning into G, I really don’t know what I did that allows me to control my rage…

I used to self harm, in a number of ways. I no longer use that outlet, but again, I have no real clue what changed. Yes, there is a huge fear of being hospitalized again, but there has to be more to it than that… right?

What is it that enables some of us to change patterns, while others are still mired in them? What’s the push that moves some of us out of the only patterns we’ve ever know, but keeps others stuck?

I don’t think it’s a personality thing, because that would mean only some people can ever change. I believe everyone can change, so that can’t be it.

Is it better insight? Not totally sure, because my friend is pretty insightful (I’d say more so than I am), so it’s not just that.

…but what actually is it?

I’ve been told that changing old patterns takes time. A therapist once told me in response to being frustrated at my slow rate of change; “you’ve spent 20-something years using that skill. What makes you think you can change that in a few short months?”

She had a point.

I had practiced my poor coping skills for more than half my life. It would take at least a few years to perfect not cutting…

But is time and fear the only thing that helped me change? We didn’t focus on alternates in therapy; we just addressed the trauma (repressed or otherwise). Was that the key?

So what happens if there isn’t trauma hiding behind the anger, or the trauma was addressed, but the anger remains? How do you resolve it?


Insomnia

That fear of going to sleep is back. It’s not debilitating, but it’s making it difficulty to get rest.

It’s not really connected to anything in the present, I’m just anxious and uncomfortable about going to sleep, even of I’m exhausted.

I used to be ok if i stayed on the couch, but lately it’s there too. I suddenly don’t like night time, though I’m paradoxically most comfortable in the dark (or, part of me is because even as I write that, it doesn’t totally ring true. Part of me has always been uncomfortable with the dark hours, but part of me feels most comfortable there… it’s so confusing sometimes).

Anyway, I’m nervous about going to sleep. I’m nervous about the nighttime… and I’m out of the mj that helps me sleep, so there really isn’t relief.

I’m exhausted, but I’m afraid to sleep. Even of I get sleep, I don’t feel rested, but i also feel the need to keep going. I’m having trouble just sitting still, or just being. I need to be occupied. I need to have my mind focusing on something else. I need to avoid thinking and feeling at all costs… it feels like I’m running from something, but again, I’m not quite sure what.


dumb question…

can you have flashbacks of non- trauma memories?

Or, at least I don’t think that bit was traumatic…

It happened at mil’s house tonight, both the kids were doing their homework. Our great niece kept doing anything but reading, and MeeMa kept telling her to “read [her] book”. For a few seconds, I was a kid, hearing that same phrase while doing homework… it was my aunt saying it? Or maybe my mom? I’m not really sure, but it was an adult female in the family and it wasn’t bitch… Or maybe it was?

It was so strong in the moment that it happened, but it’s mostly faded now.

I did recall feeling uncomfortable, like i was waiting for more fighting, but… it was such a weird moment… and it wasn’t a flashback directly to a domestic violence moment (the only kinds that come with visuals and sound for me. The sa memories are 90% physical with only the vaguest sense of what the situation actually was)…

I dunno… it felt so real though, and it’s so dissolved now…