Friday, September 30, 2011

Cystic Fibrosis, as told by two

Today I saw on Facebook that my friend Meranda posted this as her status:

My Attending said he thinks a CF patient will figure out the disease before a researcher after he and I had a long conversation. I just wish that person could be me. I'm tired of suffering and watching my friends suffer. We have to put on a smile and try to get through each day without complaining, while we're suffering--and expected to handle it like a champ. It's almost like people expect CFers to be tough and be unrealistically positive, keeping up the pace with the outside world, and exercising until our legs fall off. Why is this? Most people are laid out with the flu and yet we have to be superhuman without enough oxygen or lung function to get across the room.

And I replied to her:

Meranda - thanks for these words. I feel that we really get life and most others don't. We know not to take the ability to climb a flight of stairs for granted. We know to treasure each and every one of our friends. We're just a little more tuned in. In that way, and only that way is my CF a blessing.
 And  I stick by my words.  Today I am happy and dancing around because I have a little energy to dance around.  I went to the gift shop and bought myself some things because I had the energy to go to the gift shop.  I've only taken one short nap today.  (I plan on taking another, but not a long nap).  I'm happy because my hair is going to get washed - and my boyfriend is going to wash it for me.  And I have a boyfriend.  These are the reasons I am really happy today. 

Tomorrow I will be happy because I'm going home from the hospital and I get to eat at the CHEESECAKE Factory.  Mmmm cheesecake. 

It's days like these where I'm not at my healthiest that I try to find a couple things to be really happy about. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

PTSD Triggers

I'm dedicating this post to PTSD triggers - and the fact that they exist and I still am learning how to deal with them.  I'm working on being able to talk about what happened to me and working on certain triggers, but there are some that I have been advised to stay away from completely.  Curling up in a ball and sobbing just isn't something on my list of "fun things to do."

From the article on PTSD triggers:

"PTSD triggers may be all around you."

"Because certain thoughts, feelings, or situations can bring up uncomfortable PTSD symptoms, such as memories of a traumatic event or feelings of being on edge and anxious, one way of coping with these symptoms is by increasing your awareness of these triggers."

"Triggers can fall into two categories: Internal Triggers and External Triggers. Internal triggers are things that you feel or experience inside your body. Internal triggers include thoughts or memories, emotions, and bodily sensations (for example, your heart racing). External triggers are situations, people, or places that you might encounter throughout your day (or things that happen outside your body)"

Read that?  CERTAIN PEOPLE. For me, it's certain people, certain cars, certain situations, and talking about what happened. 

"Now, the best way of coping with triggers is to avoid them altogether."

And that's what I've been trying to do.  Because I know I'm still recovering; I haven't put a lot of effort into coping with my PTSD triggers because the flashbacks and nightmares are so bad.  I'm getting to the point where I can talk about it without flashing back, but I still get really anxious when I talk about what happened. And forget about being in the same place as one of those certain people... I curl up in a ball and cry. 

I lost a very close friend over a trigger of mine... and I'm still heartbroken about it. And I guess you could call this post a last-ditch effort to make her believe me.  Or maybe it's a last-ditch effort to show my other friends that I'm not crazy or unreasonable about this. Whatever it is, it's helpful to me.  It helps just knowing that information.  

Today I found a blog post by someone I consider a "PTSD Expert."  That's what motivated me to do a little research and write my own little post on PTSD triggers.  You can find her blog post here.

From her post I learned that I should step back and examine what I'm feeling and why.  I think I'm going to save that post and continue to learn from it.

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