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When I lost my leg, my whole world was turned upside down. This is my story…
I began to equate love with being thin. Still, on the outside, I worked hard to make it look like I had it all together.
It wasn’t like my body crumbled at once. I didn’t suddenly lose movement in my fingers, toes, shoulders, elbows, spine, jaw, and knees. For me, it was a slow, painful progression of immobility.
I found myself in the E.R. with a brain aneurysm. It took a huge toll on me physically and mentally. My family went through their own trauma as they watched me suffer.
How can a boy expect to fill Dad’s shoes when he leaves?
I know that taking care of myself – body, mind, soul and spirit - needs to be my first priority. I’m still on a journey to find balance in life.
Shortly after having my blood tested, a nurse called and said, "You have to come to Emergency right now." I soon learned I only had 3 to 6 months left.
Going through the agony of chemo is horrid. But what happens when the cancer comes back, right when you thought you’d beat it for good?
I never know when it will hit me, nor why. Some days, I can do everything I have planned. I can even enjoy biking, hiking, or snowshoeing. But then, it hits me yet again.
I’ve always been ambitious, motivated, and focused on success. Because of multiple head injuries I spent three years in bed.
Indefinite quarantine meant that now, not only did I have the virus that was igniting fear worldwide, but I couldn’t go back to work and I didn’t know when I could.
News that would normally be cause for relief and joy was just another twist and turn on my emotional roller coaster.
I was always counting down the days until I could get my prescription refilled. Eventually it came to the point where pills became the most important thing in my life.
At 63, I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, caused by a rare case of pneumonia that I never knew I had. My lungs were completely black. The situation was dire.
Anytime life got to be more than I could bear, I found comfort knowing food was available to me when I wanted it. I would eat even when I wasn’t hungry.
I was different from most girls I knew. I wanted to be a boy.
Our New Year’s resolution for 2015 was to get pregnant. That might sound like a simple thing to some, but for us it was a huge and intimidating goal. It would take a miracle.
It seemed like getting an abortion was the right thing to do at the time. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional whirlwind that came soon after.
When he was late for work, when checks bounced, when he was caught in a lie, I blamed everything but the pills.
I dealt with a lot as a child. Stability and security were foreign concepts to me. I thought I beat the odds and survived. Unfortunately, the cost of that survival was high. My PTSD laid dormant until a new event brought it back to life.
After swimming in a motel pool, a man followed up alongside me. "Just wanna walk you to your room, make sure everything's all safe for you." When it was over, he ran a bath for me. I was still in that cold water when they found me in the morning.
I had been very careful on the plane, in the airports, and in my hotel, but because of the increased risk, I was stuck at home for two weeks.
Little by little, I became the player I had always dreamed of becoming. A sudden injury changed everything.
The day I saw those two lines indicating a positive result on my pregnancy test, my whole world completely turned upside down.
Having burnout felt like living in a world where up was down and down was up.
This holiday season promises to be very different from any we have ever lived. How can we best cope with those changes?
We could do very little then; we can do much more this time around.
PTSD affects not only the person suffering from it, but the family as well.
It's not what you do some of the time, it's what you do most of the time that counts.