Blow me over with a feather: PTSD

I had my first visit with the psychologist today to discuss issues surrounding my brother’s death, as well as everything else that has happened since day dot. It’s probably as well she had a new looking pen, there was plenty for her to write down. She was much better than other psychologists than I have seen previously, so much more engaged, not the usual ‘mmm, right’ that leaves you wondering where to go next.

As I discussed events recent and past I mentioned how I often relived events over and over, often vividly, especially when I felt I’d made mistakes, constantly judging myself for having done so. It was the bullying from my childhood that often replayed though, constantly reminding me of what had occurred. Based upon what I’d discussed she suggested it was highly likely I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was a little shocked to say the least, I honestly thought this was limited to people in the military, or those who were raped or similar highly traumatic incidents.

There’s an eye-based therapy they can use which will assist with transferring the memory from short-term to long-term, thereby removing the memory from likely being relived over and over. My little sister, currently working towards becoming a psychiatrist, says the therapy is very effective in practice, so I am encouraged to hopefully move forward and get past these long-lived memories, finally.

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Cancer claims another in my family

The past six months I have lost a number of my family. It all started in September when my godmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, then just two weeks later she was gone. The following month my Dad’s sister passed, thankfully not from illness.

In December, Aunt Bev passed following a several year battle with ovarian cancer. Her long battle was a painful one, it was such a cruel way for her to die. Whilst she was battling her own cancer, her husband, my dad’s brother was diagnosed with a tumour. Despite several operations his outcome was terminal, and sadly today he too passed just two months after losing his wife. 

Cancer is such a dreadful way to pass. I am grateful my godmother Margaret’s suffering was brief, barely knowing she had it before she was gone. Unfortunately Bev and John endured prolonged periods, but thankfully had good support networks to ensure they were cared for. 

All are missed, hopefully one day cancer diagnoses will be a thing of the past or easily cured. 

Ovarian cancer

I last saw my Aunt Bev back in the mid-1980’s when a teenager, so I didn’t really know her any my Uncle John terribly well. A few years ago, in her early 70s, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, which sadly today claimed her life at the age of 75.

It is so sad that you live a long life not to pass in your sleep from old age, but in pain from this horrid disease. I lost my God Mother a few months ago to Pancreatic Cancer just 2 weeks after her diagnosis, the only good thing for her was not suffering a protracted battle like Bev.

My step-mother, Joy, has since Bev’s diagnosis posted daily posts of roses on Facebook to try boost her spirits as best she might from hundreds of kilometres away. Bev often commented how much the gesture meant to her.

Let’s hope that a cure for this and other cancers is not too far off, it would be nice to know that a diagnosis is no longer met with fear but the knowledge we can cure it. RIP Aunt Bev.