Archives For Trauma

10967916_s

The last tumor, a leiomyosarcoma, was removed from my daughter through a liver and gall bladder resection in July of 2014. I am happy to report that she is well. Something, if not multiple things are scanned every three months. When she says she’s tired, I worry. When she doesn’t feel good, I worry. I’m always worried. I am so grateful she is still here.

At the time of my daughter’s last cancer diagnosis, I was recovering from a broken leg and still had contractors working in my house repairing the extensive damage caused by a broken water line to the icemaker behind the refrigerator. I am happy to report that my leg has healed completely. The contractors are gone. Now anything that normally happens in a home – a burnt out light bulb, a faucet leaking, even a dead plant causes stress and triggers my well-worn trauma response. The record drought has not helped. But I am grateful to finally have some peace and quiet. Continue Reading…

Leiomyosarcoma

The wave is coming!

There has been so much going on since my last blog post necessitating my absence. In July, from a biopsy, my daughter was diagnosed with a leiomyosarcoma in her liver. This required finding a liver surgeon to determine if this was operable, while all of her and my usual doctors were on extended vacations. We knew the wave was coming and were trying to strategize how to get to the highest ground to be able to survive the hit. Continue Reading…

IMG_0834

On July 5th while my husband and I were visiting New York City we decided to go downtown to Ground Zero and see the new ‘Freedom Tower’, the ‘Memorial’ fountains and the 9/11 museum. It was a pure coincidence that we were the there the day after Independence Day and not one that the Freedom Tower was designed to be 1,776 feet tall. That day was also the day after the anniversary of the death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence.

My husband and I met while working at One World Trade Center and here we were almost 27 years later peering into the fountains contained within the footprints of One World Trade and Two World Trade. I stood mesmerized as the water cascaded over granite walls and fell into infinity. Etched into the perimeter of each fountain were the names of those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and 1993. The fountain memorial was very profound and moving. For me it was symbolic of the collapse of the buildings and the vacuous plunge to a state of death and then infinity. It also reminded me of the initial and long-lasting hole left in the heart after the death of a loved one. Yet even still I mused that water was symbolic of life. I also noticed that the fountains were surrounded by rows of mighty oak trees outlining the outside footprint of the missing buildings. Continue Reading…

11134638_s

It has been a few weeks since I wrote anything!

The Accident

My husband and I took a much-needed vacation for ten days in Hawaii. It was at least 7 days until we both could unwind enough to get into the ‘hang loose’ groove.

Then on day 7, my husband slipped on some wet tiles in the lobby of our hotel and hit his head on a large tree pot and saw stars. I had food poisoning that night. The next day was beautiful weather and slathered in sunscreen under an umbrella, we sat on chaise lounges on the beach enjoying the surf. Continue Reading…

8350920_s

 

“All morning they watched for the plane which they thought would be looking for them. They cursed war in general and PTs in particular. At about ten o’clock the hulk heaved a moist sigh and turned turtle.”

John Hersey, writer Hiroshima

During the past few months I have been seeing various physical therapists, first for tendonitis in my wrists and arms. The pain then moved to my right shoulder where my shoulder blade is now protruding hence necessitating a new physical therapist. The quest to release this pain and get back in alignment is also augmented by seeing a myofascial release practitioner. See:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/expert-answers/myofascial-release/faq-20058136)

Trigger point massage at physical therapy is highlighting the fact that my muscles are frozen in spasms and knots not just in my right shoulder, but also throughout my entire back and along my spine. I wonder, how is it I can be in so much pain and for the most part am not even aware of it until I am touched or it becomes so bad it then enters my awareness?

The physical therapist does not think this is the result of any injury or trauma, at least on the physical level. So what is left – emotional injury, psychological injury, repressed feelings, stress trauma? This is the next quest in my journey of healing—to determine what is causing this and fix it. Continue Reading…

18108411_s

I am a great fan of the Charlie Rose show. On December 13, 2012, he hosted the Brain Series 2, Episode 12, entitled ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’, (PTSD). His guests included Dr. Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and Professor at Columbia University, Murray Stein, MD, MPH from UC San Diego, a professor and Director of of the Anxiety and Traumatic Disorders Stress Program and other medical professionals and researchers.

The premier guest on the show to expound on the personal experience of PTSD was Retired Lt. Colonel John O’Brian. He is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and was described by Charlie Rose as an American hero, with 25 years of service, a recipient of the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge.

Dr. Kandel went on to describe the ‘fascinating’ disorder; PTSD is unique because they understand the cause. The cause of PTSD is a physical threat to oneself resulting in tremendous fear and helplessness. It causes severe anxiety, panic, depression, recurrent nightmares, bad, frightening thoughts, helplessness, and avoidance. It also is the ongoing fear that the trauma will come back and is going to happen again Continue Reading…