Recovering, like a deer in the headlights the last few days, after survival mode, wrapped in a cocoon on the couch, heating pad on my belly, TV numbing anything not numbed.
Samuel says, “It’s sunny out,” and he closes the back door softly behind him.
I look out the back window from the couch longingly, but frozen in pain and the snail’s pace of healing time, I turn back to the TV in my dark cave, releasing a breath, relaxing back into survivor mode.
Checking the web on day three of clear fluids a bolt of fear stabs like a bullet, in and out. C-Diff caused from Amoxicillin can be life-threatening and cause permanent damage. Maybe it’s time to call the MD.
She sends me home with Flagyl, those poison horse pills I’ve taken before to wipe out Giardia, another obnoxious infection from drinking contaminated campground water. But I hold onto them because my imposed fast might be what saved me. By the time I see her she feels I’m beginning to show signs of improvement and may not need it. It can cause as much pain as the now extremely inflamed colon.
My numbness continues even as my body heals. My mind and heart do not open. I feel robotic, though intensely grateful that I am healing. There is nothing inside, I am hollow; like knocking on the Tin Man’s heart, boom, boom, with an echo.
My body is doing better, but I wake in the night and my usual self-discipline of gently telling myself to stay in bed until sleep returns does not work. I give up. It is only 1 am and a long night lay ahead because for some reason I cannot sleep. It happens again the next night.
I have learned much from fellow bloggers and thoughts of PTSD, a much talked about and shared issue, makes sense. I tended to my body, now to tend to my mind, heart and soul. You’ve taken a hit. You need to be gentle. You need to appreciate how much you just went through, not march on like a soldier as if nothing happened.
I feared for my life…again. It’s not the first time this year. My whole body went on life-threatened mode, not just the physical body, all of it. Warning bells clanged loudly, continuously, activating the system. And the system commandeered my ship without notifying me, becoming a ship alien, and foreign, one I cannot access but am allowed to ride along with silently as if strapped down in the passenger seat quiet and confused, no thoughts, feelings or emotions.
I walk the meadow ever so slowly, my mind wrapping me on the head, “Step it up, jog, go faster, do SOMETHING!”
I won’t. I won’t give in to you voices. I take my time, snapping out of the reverie, that third dimension others call dissociation, and awake to the now, taking in the tall grasses as the breeze make them dance, and the ripples on the water like scattered diamonds swirling by. I rest in the sturdy Adirondack chair now covered by the shady leaves above. And I am numb.
I plod back up, then around again and again, resting once more on lap five. I think of how pretty things are. I don’t feel them.
Once I realize what’s going on, PTSD, I sleep better night three. I added too much too fast to my BRAT diet and upset things. (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) But I’ll pull back, retrace my steps and start again, try to forgive my mistakes, and be gentle with my tendency to go too fast. Much of that is related with the PTSD’s effects and not my lack of character. I will work at shining the light on my victories instead, and to celebrate them.