Medical Recent Hospitalization - Am I adding medical trauma?

Samantha_38

Confident
I've had PTSD for 10+ years due to ongoing childhood trauma of multiple types by multiple people. I then seemed to add "caregiver" trauma to the list after my son nearly died shortly after birth and then has also had many medical complications for several years.

Now, I was recently hospitalized with Mono, Covid, Kidney Infection, borderline appendicitis, near Liver Failure and Bacterial pneumonia with Sepsis. I by no means had covid as bad as some. I was never ventilated or in ICU but I was still there 6 days (left 2 days sooner than doc really wanted because I had to get out). I was the sickest I've ever been, and I've had a few medical scares before too, not like this. I lost so many IVs that 6 weeks later my arms are still bruised. I was in ER countless times, a place that already triggers me, and one ER doc really was not nice.

Now I'm having anxiety, fear, avoidance etc regarding that hospitalization and further medical care. I'm only 1.5 months out of hospital. I spent first 2 weeks at home entirely, still with symptoms and a severe brain fog and fatigue. I then went back to work partial shifts and have been slowly working my way up. My boss has been less than supportive, but my job is protected by FMLA.

Last week I got sick with a viral bug for a couple days. It really triggered me. I was checking my vitals constantly. I contacted my doctor immediately. I was very concerned but was able to keep working, though distracted. I was then better for a couple days then quickly got sick again yesterday. I think my immune system isn't 100% yet.

It is strep throat this time. I feel horrible physically, but I am mentally so very scared. I'm so anxious things will turn for the worst. I'm anxious about increasing work hours any time soon because I keep getting sick. That makes me anxious about my boss and co workers reactions.

I can't shake that my kids will lose me. 2 of my 3 have significant medical needs, the other has more mild needs. In hospital I was so scared that I was writing lists and lists about what people needed to know about them if I didn't make it.

Is this PTSD too, or is it too soon? Could it just be normal trauma response? Are people with PTSD likely to add further traumas as they happen in future?
 

Friday

Moderator
Is this PTSD too, or is it too soon? Could it just be normal trauma response? Are people with PTSD likely to add further traumas as they happen in future?
No matter what... it’s a series of stressors & increased stress (and proooooooobably some lost coping mechanisms, as illness usually restricts the routines & activities we use to manage our stress levels; and quite possibly new trauma)... which means an uptick in PTSD symptoms is expected. Because >>> Stress Cup! <<< And the higher your stress levels already are, before the new stress & stressors? The more symptomatic you already are, before? The bigger the uptick is expected.

Now, that’s not always the case. Many people with PTSD retain their ability to be fantastic/calm/cool/collected/clear/connected during a crisis, but fall apart / have a symptom uptick only after the crisis is over. Which gives those people time to manage the f*ck out of things before an uptick happens. But even for those people? Even a single new trauma, increased stress, OR a lost coping mechanism can drop kick them from being virtually asymptomatic, to the worst they’ve ever been as ALL their old unprocessed trauma? Comes flooding out.

So if you have ANY unprocessed trauma? Any or all of that can come surging forward with new trauma, increased stress, or loss of even a single coping mechanism. Much less all 3 hitting you in a perfect storm. Pandora’s box kicking wide open.

Does it have to? Nope!

New trauma, increased stress, &/or loss of coping mechanisms can send someone right back to day 1, or it can barely blip their radar, or fall somewhere in the middle with an increase of symptoms but to what degree varies. Great big huge giant spectrum of what’s “normal” for people with PTSD up to their eyeballs in new trauma, stress/stressors, and lost coping mechanisms.

Could it just be PTSD doing what PTSD does in response to stress?
Yep.

Could it be totally normal trauma response, over soon?
Yep.

Could it be new capT Trauma that’s going to require its own processing?
Yep.


Any way to tell or guesstimate which it might be? No. Not really. That’s the only “too soon” aspect in play. Once you already have PTSD symptoms can come on at any time, and last for any period of time. Because you already have PTSD. The only real questions are how loooooooong it’s going to take to get your symptoms moderated back down, and if you’ll need to do trauma processing in addition to symptom management? Which no one can really know, until after the fact. The good news? That’s stuff you -probably- do anyway, because you already have PTSD. As opposed to someone for whom this is all brand spanking new, and they’ve never had symptoms to manage, before; nor trauma to process. So you’re a leg up.
 

Samantha_38

Confident
Many people with PTSD retain their ability to be fantastic/calm/cool/collected/clear/connected during a crisis, but fall apart / have a symptom uptick only after the crisis is over.
This is me when it comes to my kids. My kids have so many complex medical needs and we've been through a lot. Times where 2 of them are sick with one is hospital and other in ER. I can be so level headed in those situations. Even with the caregiver PTSD I experience.

Its like all of my symptoms can just stop during those situtations though. Even my trauma one's which are normal near constant to some level all day everyday.

So if you have ANY unprocessed trauma?

Unfortunately... a lot of it. I have been in therapy for the better part of 7 years. During that time I have moved twice. Currently on T number 3. First T I was with for about a year. We did not work much on PTSD, just worked on getting used to therapy as it terrified me. I spent a lot of time just coping with sitting in the room without saying much. 2nd T was similar with some work on PTSD but it was too soon and I couldn't yet. I didn't trust him enough. 3rd T I've been with now 3.5 years. It's taken nearly that long to just build trust enough that I didn't shut down when talking about trauma. We are currenly doing prolonged exposure therapy and on 2nd event. I have countless events unfortunately.
 
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