Friday, April 26, 2013

The Worst 6 1/2 Weeks of my Life ...

From a Deranged Mind Perspective.

My life - as I knew it when I woke up that morning - changed in one moment.  The moment my body came crashing down on the floor with all the weight on one place - my wrist.

The pain was ... well ... astronomical.  

I remember screaming as I lay half in and half out of the bathtub.  Papa Bear had no idea what had happened but could surmise that whatever it was I hadn't drowned.  I was making way too much noise.

Up to this point, life during that time period had been very difficult for me anyway.  The on-going process of recovery from trauma wasn't going well.  People, especially people close to me, misunderstood and turned on me.  Venting frustration and overall disapproval.  Saying things like:  "After all, you don't have cancer."  Even saying that the emotional recovery I'd experienced and was an on-going process was heading the wrong direction.  Shaking my fragile self esteem to the very core of my being.  Thus ushering in a different phase of the journey.  Acute psychological trauma/injury  heaped on top of everything I'd been dealing with up to that point.

Life once again became a daily struggle.  Not just to survive, but to maintain even a facade of normalcy.  I struggled daily to regain what I had lost.  To deal with the present trauma.  Affects piled onto affects.

And then my mother died.

Coming back from the funeral, what little strength and resources I had were completely exhausted, I could barely function.  Everything was a chore.  There was no energy left.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.

Even simple things like grocery shopping overwhelmed me.  Life as I knew it came to a screeching halt.  Unable to do the simplest things.  Unable to enjoy life.  Unable to cook and prepare meals for my husband.  Unable ....  My world seemed to circle around that one word.  With "not understood" coming in a close second.  Only people walking closely with a victim of trauma, PTSD, etc. understands what it's like.  Outsiders looking in don't have a clue.  Not because they're intrinsically mean, but because
"it" doesn't have a name (i.e. cancer) that their mind can grasp.  And because they're not motivated enough to read the literature available and research trauma, how it impacts the victim and how to walk with, encourage and support the victim.

Most of that time from September to mid-November  before I broke my wrist is only a blur in my mind.  One grey day after another.  A struggle to get through.  To cope.  The most common feelings:  being overwhelmed; exhaustion.

Then I broke my wrist.  My right wrist.  My dominant one.

If I thought things were bad before, they suddenly got worse - much worse.

My life already defined by "couldn'ts" became much more limited.  I couldn't dress myself at first.  I couldn't knit. I couldn't crochet.  I couldn't even write.  I couldn't open cans.  Even making the morning coffee required some creativity.  Now my life was even more defined by the word "unable" as emotional fatigue/injury collided with the physical.

Constant pain.  My swollen fingers protruding from my blue cast like fat, green sausages.

Most of the things that kept me halfway sane, like knitting, crocheting, writing, were gone.  Driving too.  I became a "shut-in" for all practical intents and purposes only leaving the house, my safe place, when escorted by someone, usually my long-sufferin' spouse.

Christmas was coming on.  More couldn'ts.  I couldn't make presents. I couldn't drive to buy presents.  I had no idea what to buy people anyway.  Ideas wouldn't come, the mind was so disabled.  Overwhelmed.  In pain.

Even the painkillers weren't working well.  The help that normal people receive when they're going through a difficult period i.e. a diagnosed disease simply wasn't there.  No meals brought in - even though it was physically impossible to prepare any.  No phone calls of concern.  Nada.  I was left, for the most part, on  my own to struggle through and meet my/our basic daily needs as best I could.  My therapist told me that I needed to rest in order to heal.  But how to do that?  How to rest when every formerly mundane, routine task (a) still needed to be done and (b) required more effort and creativity than ever?  How to rest when the outside support just isn't there?

Yet, somehow we made it through.  I say "we" because it was Papa Bear taking care of me, taking care of his "injured" den mate   He did the dishes.  He carried laundry up and down stairs.  He opened cans of cat food (for which the cat was immensely grateful).  He cut my meat.  He drove me places.  He even dressed me the first few days.  Always sheltering me.  Always watchful.

Even while working a physically demanding full-time job, he came home and did the daily chores.

How to end this posting?  Usually, I find something positive.  Some hope.  Something on the up side to leave my reader with; however,  there are times in life,when not much positive is happening and the best one can do is deal with what life has thrown at them.

This was such a time.

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