I did a lot of walking around campus today.
I had an appointment, then lunch, then three more appointments, all over campus back-to-back. When I set off on this string of appointments at 9:45 a.m., I was a bit nervous about how things would go, if I would have the stamina to make it from one end of campus to the other so many times.
Turns out I did just fine. My steps were sure. No dragging my feet or stubbing my shoe into uneven concrete. Just walking like I had somewhere to be and thinking about the days I spent in Ames going from class to class to class before reaching the Daily office. Better enough to remember good days from 10 years ago, instead of spending all I’ve got just to get through today.
I had a good day. And I made a plan to make sure it stays that way.
- The time I spend doing research will be limited to one hour each day. (Less is OK, more won’t be.) And I’ll finish blogging by 10 p.m. so I have time to decompress before going sleep.
- I have some phone calls to make next week and some research to do about ways I may be able to get help for this processing period. But I’ve been reassured that it is normal for someone who has been through a trauma to sort of unpack the related emotions, memories and experiences well after the fact.
- I’m also going to learn about mindfulness meditation.
This was suggested to me as a way to combat my urge to rush up and talk with every pregnant woman I see. This urge is intense, and I’m sure would completely freak out anyone I actually approached. I want to ask “How is your back? Are you feeling any pain in your pelvis? Have you talked with your medical team?”
I want to protect them. Even though diastasis symphysis pubis is rare, pelvic instability or pelvic girdle pain is a lot more common. Logically, I know it is wrong to assume every pregnant woman is experiencing discomfort, but I can’t help but think “could she be the one?” and “could she be spared the pain if she knows to ask questions?”
I think about that for me. If I had known to ask questions, could all this have been avoided? Was I wrong to accept the theory that the pain at my right SI joint was round ligament pain? Was I too stubborn during labor? Logically, that doesn’t matter a bit. But for some reason I feel like knowing would help.
It is no way to go through life, thinking of this injury as some kind of danger, out there waiting to find its next family to attack or new mom to debilitate. And it seems unpacking what we’ve been through and getting back to a strong mind-frame will be my first challenge of Phase 3.
I feel like I’m just now coming up for air — after a little more than 10 months. I’m feeling the emotional equivalent of that giant deep breath you take when you finally emerge on the surface of the water, so deep it almost hurts your chest. Hopefully, this plan, phone calls and research will keep me moving forward.
PTSD is not just a diagnosis for folks in the military who’ve survived various missions. It includes any traumatic event. And I would guess you would have it. This event affected every aspect of your life. I would be ticked, I would be paranoid, and… I’d probably see someone – a counselor – about it. Someone who works with folks on medical issues. Perhaps someone at the hospital where your specialists work.