Sufferer Introduction To The Group - Homelessness, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Kidnapping, Abuse, & Domestic Violence.

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Hello,
My name is Denise Pavel. I live in Woodstock, IL (where Groundhog Day, the movie, was filmed!). I was homeless for almost 9 years, during which time I was sexually assaulted twice. During one of the assaults, I experienced what the police describe as "aggravated kidnapping" as well. Since I experienced homelessness on and off during the nine year period, I also became a part of many abusive domestic relationship as well. They are basically all I know. The good news is that I have now been offered a wonderful opportunity to reside in a group home for individuals facing mental health challenges. The staff is highly trained and highly educated. They are personable and have "been there" as well. They never talk down to us. They challenge us to grow.
I am experiencing a lot of chronic pain, sleep disturbances, and depression since I moved in three weeks ago, which surprises me. I expected to be feeling so good now that I got out of the shelter and into a real bed and eating good food! But the opposite has happened. The first two weeks I was here, I went to the ER four times. If it wasn't a migraine, it was my arthritis in my bad hip acting up, or an IBS flare-up. Staff brought me in the office and told me that if I went to the ER one more time, I would lose my bed here at the group home and have to go back to the shelter. Any suggestions?I am still in severe pain, but am fighting through it. I am abiding by their rule...I sure as Hell don't want to go back to being homeless! But my PTSD symptoms are off the charts (I forgot to tell you I returned from another county back to the one I was raped and kidnapped in for three days). Any advice?
 
I don't have much advice other than to find a decent general practitioner and make appointments to see him or her on a regular basis rather than heading off to an emergency room or hospital for help.

I've no doubt you do need help with your physical ailments but probably not at the ER level? Ask them if you would lose your place in the group home if you see a GP regularly. I'd imagine not?

Having physical complaints/illnesses etc come to the fore almost from the moment one finds themselves not homeless anymore is quite common. I'm not really sure why it is so, but that is what I experienced too.

It seemed that once I had found a safe place all of my physical and mental illnesses and disabilities became more prominent. I'm not sure but I may have noticed them more because before, finding a safe place/haven I was too preoccupied with surviving ... anyway I know what you mean.

I think the thing to do is to try and keep that group placement and not do anything to jeopardize that because it seems like it is really a good place for you to restart your life. All things to do with healing, medical interventions etc., can still happen from that place.

Sort through your medical issues and slowly address them with regular medical appointments. Try not to flood the GP with all of them at once. Obviously the most painful and serious should be addressed first. Some will be easy to fix others may take a long period of rehabilitation or management. Similar to mental health issues.

Can you see a therapist in a clinic who can refer you to their own GP? That often prevents miscommunication and is more efficient.

Mental health disorders including ptsd can seem worse once you get into a safe place too. Sometimes I am sure it is often just perception of one's own health and other times it truly is that things just fall apart when safety is finally achieved. That's probably best for a therapist to sort out with you over time.

Sometimes just the continuity of being in a safe place for longer than a few days/weeks and the prospect of finding a permanent solution to your homelessness can be all that needs to happen to resolve some issues such as anxiety, depression and hypervigilance. Obviously it depends on what you are suffering from and why.

Overall it sounds like you have been through a lot @artsygirl1967 and this may finally be the place you need to regain some stability and turn your mind to a happier and safer future. :)
 

Friday

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Welcome to the community :)
The first two weeks I was here, I went to the ER four times. If it wasn't a migraine, it was my arthritis in my bad hip acting up, or an IBS flare-up. Staff brought me in the office and told me that if I went to the ER one more time, I would lose my bed here at the group home and have to go back to the shelter. Any suggestions?I am still in severe pain, but am fighting through it. I am abiding by their rule...I sure as Hell don't want to go back to being homeless!?
One could understand the group home rules about the hospital in regards to psych admits... if a person is in and out of psych holds they’re not stable enough to be in their unit / pose a risk to other residents & drain on staff resources / IE = need a higher level of care than the group home can provide. Since these are medical not psych ER trips, I would consider questioning management about whether the same policy applies. People often get in the habit of enforcing the same rules over and over, and sometimes miss that in THIS resident’s case, it’s not suicidal ideation / med management / unstable symptoms / etc., but physical health issues that are in play.

That said, it’s still probably worth getting GP, Specialist, & Urgent Care resources up and running, simply to avoid the issue. Homelessness tends towards ER as first resource instead of last resource -for good reason- and transitioning into more business hours medical care would probably ease the housing strain. Generally speaking, IBS / Migraine / Joint Pain is rarely life threatening so can usually hold off until mornin and a regular doctor’s appointment can be made. It would boggle the mind to suppose the group home also has a limit on the number of doctors appointments residents can schedule and attend, even if they do have a limit on number of emergency visits they can facilitate.
 
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