Let’s Talk Diagnosis….

Yep, you get your diagnosis and you become a Winner…. believe it or not, you really do become a winner when you get diagnosed with PTSD. Dont believe me? Indulge me a bit.

A funny thing happens when you get diagnosed. You get vindicated. There become a reason for all the strange things that are happening to you. That’s right, the nightmares, the flashbacks, the anxiety, the irritability, the craziness is happening for a reason and you now know why. You have PTSD. You can access the resources, you can seek out treatment and you can finally understand why. But your diagnosis is also the start of the hard work still ahead of you.

The funny thing is that with a diagnosis of PTSD, you will also get a couple of other diagnoses thrown in for fun. For me, on top of the PTSD diagnosis, I have recently been diagnosed with depression or should I say a major depressive episode. That is over and above the depression that is entwined within PTSD, along with anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks and everything else. Does it change anything? Not really but it definitely provides more perspective as to what is going on for me daily.

All this to say that I have PTSD according to the DSM version 5 with a side dish of depression thrown in for fun. As bad as it sounds and truly is, once you get diagnosed, you have a few choices to make on what you do with it. For me, it was an easy choice, I got help. And I continue to seek out other means to get help with my focus being on finding a group comprised of first responders for a peer to peer connection. Basically, it’s because as much as I write about it, I only those that are going down the same path know what you mean.

The other choice I made might sound a little strange but I am trying to make my diagnosis a positive. I’m taking this opportunity to become better, stronger and more alive. I made the choice to allow PTSD to be a first place ribbon. To Win the battle with PTSD.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. It all in how you frame it.

What was I saying????

Yep, the struggle is real people. The stories are true. The effect is mind blowing, really. Your memory takes a nose dive with PTSD. Well, at lest mine has.

You kow those times that you go to another room, say the kitchen, and as soon as you get there, you forget what you were going to get? Well, I don’t even have to get up off the couch now and I have already forgot what I was planning to get once I got up from the couch and go to the kitchen…… Yes, it is that bad. I can easily go a whole day with this scenario playing out every hour on the hour, if not more often than that.

From what I understand, it has to do with the fact that the PTSD has kind of rewired your brain to work differently as you are enveloped by the trauma, side effects, syptoms and all around fun that it brings. Remembering what you need to do is the least of the concerns that your brain has. Its the perfect examle of how PTSD effects EVERYTHING in your life.

But I have found away around it, sort of. I make notes. Heck, I have even made notes to remind me about my other notes. I kid you not. I have to remind myself to check the calendar on my phone before I agree or decide to do something to make sure I’m free. That’s even if it is for something on the same day. My mind just can’t seem to hold on to anything too long.

Perfect example. I will call my wife to ask or say something that at the time seemed important. But if she picks up, I’m a blank and have no idea why I called her. I have to take a second an quickly scan my memory to see if I can remember why I was calling her. If she doesn’t pick up, she might as well not bother calling back, because unless I wrote it down, it’s gone. Sucked into the PTSD vortex, only glimpse of the memory to be seen as it swirls away.

Yep, PTSD and memory does not see eye to eye, except if it is the negative stuff. Those memories easily pop up and invade your thoughts non stop. But if you are trying to remember if you put your son’s agenda in his bag, forget about it. Not going to happen. If your out for dinner and having a good time, you can be assured that a PTSD memory will pull up a seat and plop down for you to endure for the rest of dinner. You can recall all the words spoken, the images engrained in your mind, the sights and smells but you can’t remember what you ordered as an appie.

PTSD affects your memory, or st least some of it.

Rules, Rules, Rules…..

Unfortunately, in this day and age, and partly due to the fact that I am sworn to secreacy, I have to be somewhat careful about what I write.  Like, for instance, I won’t be using real names associated to any event I talk about.  Nor will I be giving specific details about any particular incident and hope to even go so far as avoiding the use of the locations where much of this stuff happened.

Why you ask?  Well simple.  Out of respect to those I worked with and those I were there to help, assist and serve.  If along the way, you figure out the location or people invovled, please don’t share it.  Simply contact me so that I can change the wording (I’m serious about my desire to protect those in the stories).  And beside, the small details are not important to the Journey I am writing about.  The important part of the Journey is the big picture trauma and how it has affected me and the things that I do to try and deal with it.

The other thing is not necessarily a Rule, per se.  It is more of a warning.  I am brash, I have a brutal sense of humour (occupational hazard), I am opinionated and I might say things that could be taken the wrong way.  I’ll just say “Sorry” now but in this Journey so far, I have learned that you can’t sugar coat things to make others feel better about the fact that I have PTSD.  Surpressing the feelings and opinions is part of what got me into this mess so I won’t let it continue.

THIS BLOG IS NOT FOR SNOWFLAKES.  There, I said it.  you might get offended and upset by reading what I have to say.  Sorry but this is about my real life Journey in dealing with a tidal wave of shitty situation.

Oh, and I might actually have a “Strange PTSD Thoughts” page but I am still mulling the idea over.  I can say that if I do have that page, it will not be for the faint of heart.


And my golden rule………  If you comment of a post, don’t be an ass.

The Journey Begins

Okay……  So this is a preloaded page from WordPress.  It even had this super neat quote from someone I never heard of and a fancy picture or two.  I have left the header picture for now but got rid of the rest.

I will sart posting shortly but first I have to figure out WordPress and all the features it has.  Who knew a blog would be this complex?  my last blog on a different platform was soooooooo simple.

Buy lets be clear, this post doesn’t mark the Journey’s beginning.  Far from it.  The Journey started a long time ago and this blog simply marks the start of me sharing my story.