Thursday, October 20

Our Hospital Visit & PTSD Work

I saw this quiz on Facebook and decided to try it. Here are my results:

Paranoid Personality Disorder:Low
Schizoid Personality Disorder:Moderate
Schizotypal Personality Disorder:Low
Antisocial Personality Disorder:Low
Borderline Personality Disorder:Moderate
Histrionic Personality Disorder:Low
Narcissistic Personality Disorder:Low
Avoidant Personality Disorder:Moderate
Dependent Personality Disorder:Moderate
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:Moderate

-- Take the Personality Disorder Test --
-- Personality Disorder Info --

So it's nice to know I'm just moderately nuts in some areas! I'm surprised there was nothing for anxiety and depression. Those are the areas my diagnoses lie. Anyway...

Starting backwards, today I got up and was off and running almost right away. TB wasn't bleeding and was in relative comfort so I took Kristin to school and then went for my therapy appointment. For the last month, I've been working a program used by the military to diminish symptoms of PTSD. I've never been to war but it seems I have PTSD from growing up in another kind of war zone, the home of two alcoholic angry deaf adults.

One thing I've been working on is called "stuck points". They are areas where I've given myself an incorrect message because of something that happened to me. An example is when my mom found my writing, read it, and went all ballistic all over me. That's the incident. The message I tell myself, writing is bad; writing is not safe. The feeling is shame. There are hundreds of these "stuck points". Another one is where my parents were fighting and beating on each other. In terror, my brother and I ran from the house to our neighbor's. What I told myself is that I should have been able to stop the fight and didn't; I ran away instead. The feel is inadequacy.

With that example, my therapist wanted to know what I would tell the younger me. I thought about it and said I would say I'd done the best I could and it wasn't right that I should be put in that position. The therapist pointed out something I wasn't aware of. She said my affect was that of an orator and that I was disconnected from what happened. She said through all this, she's never seen me cry. She seemed surprised.

I told her there's no point in crying. It doesn't change anything and all you get for it is swollen eyes, hitching breath and a stuffy nose. She wondered when was the last time I cried and I can't remember. I'm sure it was after Rich died but then after that--say the last 5 years--I just have no clue.

The therapist thinks I've got repression going on, a defense mechanism to protect myself against painful feelings. That doesn't surprise me. I know I can detach from my feelings very easily. I also have a wall up that no one gets through. Will any of this change? After all, I'm 56 years old and have been using these defenses my whole life. Still, I have to try.

I would like to feel whole. I've often heard Dr. Phil tell parents that if they fight in front of their kids or abuse them or expose them to bad things, it changes the child forever. It's true. My brother and I were forever changed.

TB's surgery was a success! The procedure was done at the same hospital where we had our duodenal switches, Lourdes Medical Center. We really are impressed with this hospital and continue to be in spite of the mix-up in what time we were supposed to report. TB originally had an appointment with his orthopedic doctor in the morning because surgery was to be in the afternoon. However, we were told initially to report at 9 and so he had to cancel his appointment. Then they called back after it was too late and said oops, surgery is in the afternoon, come in at 11.

I had an up and down experience with the cafeteria. I went in at 11 to get a cup of coffee and found the door was locked. The vending machines outside didn't have coffee so I checked the time to see when I could come back. As I was doing that, the manager of the place saw me and said although the place was closed for half an hour, I could wait there. "Could I buy a cup of coffee?" I wondered. She smiled and said, "You can HAVE a cup of coffee." Ah! What a nice person. After TB went up for surgery I returned for a bite to it. There were no prices listed anywhere and no grilled cheese so I took a chance on a single slice of pizza and an iced tea to mix my protein with. It cost me just under five dollars!!!! For those two bitty things! Yikes, I felt like I was on Jersey Turnpike! So they got back they money for that first coffee. ;)

Dr. David Greenbaum did the surgery so we knew TB would be in good hands. Dr. Greenbaum also did our duodenal switches. He called me in the waiting room to tell me everything had gone well and TB would be back downstairs for me to see him in about an hour. Because TB missed his appointment with the orthopedic doctor, Dr. Greenbaum refilled his script for one of his pain medications.

So TB is holding up pretty well. His next big adventure is getting his tooth pulled on Saturday.

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