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How to deal with upcoming trigger

Discussion in 'Medical' started by Briar Rose, May 22, 2018.

  1. Briar Rose

    Briar Rose Member

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    Hi,
    to get to my question I have to talk abit about my trauma first. I hope my writing will stay understandable because this is very emotional for me.

    I have ptsd from medical issues and procedures from my early childhood, until my 20th birthday. I was born with a genetic disease which causes me orthopaedic issues and had a lot of surgery’s as a young child. A lot of my childhood I spent in hospitals and around doctors’ offices. I had to handle pain and fear of death very early in my life. My partens weren’t a help either, but this is another story.
    Things got really worse when I was 15. It should have been my last surgery, but the doctors made a few mistakes.
    I was in enormous pain for month, nearly lost my leg, had unplanned surgery’s again and again to fix what went wrong. In the last surgery I lost so much blood that my heart stopped beating, I was lucky to survive.
    And all of this to get out of it worse than before. The mistakes they made were unfixable, and I am not longer able to walk more than half a kilometre without pain. I loved dancing and jogging before my 15th birthday. My knee, spine and foot are damaged.

    Hospitals, are horror for me. And I have massive trust issues about everyone around it. I wasn’t able to go to the doctor for years, until I found my current family doctor. I don’t know if this is the right word, we call it ‘Hausarzt’ in Germany, which would be house doctor. He is very gentle with me, knows and understand my story.
    But half a year ago I was diagnosed with MS. I had to go into hospital again, because I wasn’t able to see clear when I woke up one morning. It was so terrifying!
    I had to stay there for over a week and went through a lot of tests and medication.
    With this new diagnosis I know I am forced to have doctor’s visits often and regularly. There is no way I can avoid it. And hospital stays are a belike possibility. I don’t know how to handle it!
    All these things are major triggers for me and in my near future, my next MRI is at the beginning of June.
    My neurologist is very understanding, even everyone in hospital was really careful, but it leads into retraumatization anyway. I am having nightmares for over six months now, a lot of flashbacks and intrusive memories, and I am really struggling with dissociative symptoms…it feels like someone turned the clock back to step one.

    Does anyone have a similar situation?
    How do you deal with events you know are triggering? How to get through this?
    I am really afraid how my life should go on, with all these constant triggers.
    I am thankful for any advice!
     
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  3. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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    I have hospital trauma. I have decided that if I have a serious condition I will most likely not deal with it in a conventional way. No more operations as I know that will lead me into trauma hell. Here, the hospital staff are not trauma aware and it gets super ugly.

    It is great that your hospitals are more aware of the issues you are dealing with. It is also great that you have understanding doctors. Maybe try to focus on that as much as you can to try to reprogram your brain a bit. I understand, based on my own experience that it isn't going to go away but I think the idea is to carry gratitude as much as possible to break the old hopeless/painful/helpless patterns.

    I haven't kicked my own issues with this so I can't be much help to you. Just letting you know that I realize how difficult this is. I am sorry.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  4. Briar Rose

    Briar Rose Member

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    Thank you for your reply @shimmerz!
    I dealt with it like you before, avoiding it totally. I don’t think I am changing this if I am not forced to, it’s just too much.
    At this morning I was like a robot, no emotions, just acting. That’s one thing I am afraid of either, now I am much more aware of what is going on around me.
    My Neurologist was very gentle, he took a long time for me at that morning, and decided that I can go on my own without ambulance if he called the clinic before. I had to promise I will go, because at this point I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and he told me he is only doing this because I had a clear mind, and no paralysis.
    So my boyfriend was able to go with me, even in the Emergency room. This is something I try to hold on to, that he seems to be the right doctor for me, and the clinic also, but it’s tough.
    Since then, I am not able to watch TV because of all the ‘pictures’ triggering me, I am freaking out when I hear an ambulance, even if I wasn’t in one it just screams ‘hospital’ for me awaken horrible pictures…even writing about it now is tough.
    Also, I was able to find and MRI office outside an hospital, this might be helpful, but the atmosphere around medical stuff is always the same.
    The thought that MS is likely to get me into situations I am not able to control is freaking me out at this point.
     
    Freida, blackemerald1 and shimmerz like this.
  5. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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    Yes, this is what I attempt to do with most things as well. Convert it into something that will balance out (or eradicate) the fear, which is usually love. Or appreciation. Or gratitude. So focusing on your gratitude and appreciation sounds like an excellent plan!

    I am not certain if this is going to be helpful to you or not but I thought I would throw it out there. I was unaware of my trauma around hospitalizations because I was adopted. When I first got symptomatic about 10 years ago now, I used to get this picture of me hiding in an all white - extremely bright room. Everything was white - floors, walls, furniture. Except the silver thing that I was curled up underneath. I had no idea what it was. What this image was. I was operated on when I was 4 days old. Totally preverbal stuff.

    I think what I am trying to say is that even without a recall of prior hospitalizations the memory still sticks. You are working through something very real and the more you can attach a different emotion to it as you walk through this current experience, you may just find that your symptoms ease a bit. I hope so.

    Yes, I get this. I am dreading the time I get that 'you need chronic care' because honestly I feel like I will be giving up my sanity to preserve my physical health and I am just not certain that I will be willing to do that.
     
    Sietz, Briar Rose and blackemerald1 like this.
  6. Briar Rose

    Briar Rose Member

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    This is something I am wondering about the last weeks. I am struggling with phantom-pain, don't know if this is the right term, this happens a lot like flashbacks, and I am having intrusive images coming with this pain. Sometimes images from things I am not likely to know, and I am wondering if my brain is tricking me or if my body is able to remember stuff I am not aware off, because of anaesthesia....

    This is really what I feel like at the moment.
    I was in therapie for years and years to work through all this. I mean I have never been completely 'symptom' free, but the last two years were a lot easier, and I struggled really hard for that...just for being thrown back to hell.
     
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  7. Briar Rose

    Briar Rose Member

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    MRI is tomorrow.
    I am struggling with dissociation I feel like I am on some kind of medication (which I am not) but I guess I will go with this state sounds better than fear.
    Had a flashback driving to my doctors office to get some documents for the MRI, I am really anxious what tomorrow will do to me...
    So grateful that my boyfriend is coming with me.
     
    shimmerz likes this.
  8. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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    Just keeping in mind that with operations there are the times post anaesthesic that we experience quite a bit of pain. Recovery is not normally pain free. So perhaps the pain flashes that are coming to you have to do with post op issues?

    Also, not sure what your thoughts are, but here in Ontario they give an ativan to lower the stress (claustrophobia) in MRI's. Just wondering if you could request if you thought that to be helpful.

    My thoughts are with you tomorrow @Briar Rose . Much warmth and heartfelt support to you tomorrow. If you think of it, could you let us know how it goes?
     
    Briar Rose likes this.
  9. Briar Rose

    Briar Rose Member

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    I din’t reply yesterday because I felt in a coma like sleep after I got home.
    The whole appointment took about four hours, and I was in constant anxiety and had to deal with a bunch of intrusive pictures, to be honest I didn’t except it to become this heavy, but I made it!
    And I am really proud that I did!
    But my body needed to rest afterwards...

    And again everyone around the doctors' office was very friendly and caring, which made it so much easier. I am so glad I choose this office, I need to drive about an hour to get there but for me it’s worth it. Even through the time where i was in the MRI they were in constant contact with me, which helped a lot keeping me in the present.
    And I dind’t choose to take any medication before the MRI, because the only possibility would be some lightly sedative, and this would make everything even more horrible for me! I need to be in full control the whole time.

    The best part is, the results look really good!
    No need for another hospital stay at the moment, and the doctor told me I don’t have to worry about this at the moment. Such a heavyweight taken from my shoulders!
    The only thing I am struggling right now is to trust him absolutely. There is this little voice telling me that they are going to make mistakes again, and the neurologist will tell me something different on Monday…
    But now I try to be proud of myself that I made it through yesterday :smug:
     
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  10. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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    Congratulations Briar Rose! Well done!
     
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