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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Haven't really talked about this before.

I've been sitting here for a while thinking Should I publish this? Should I not publish this? I don't know why I'm hesitant to talk about this when I've shared so many things.

I'm struggling a bit with an old demon. Night terrors. My nightmares have been coming back and as such, are preventing me from sleeping soundly throughout the night and have also made me dread bedtime. I haven't really talked much about this, but in 2010 I was diagnosed with PTSD after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease. I experienced a lot of trauma from the multiple life-changing illnesses and being extremely ill for most of the year 2010. In addition to the night terrors, I lost my appetite, I cut myself off from all my friends and family, not even a phone call here and there. I lived with so much fear that I felt like I was going crazy. I rarely left my house and for almost 9 straight months I cried every single day. It's hard to explain without sounding exaggerated, but after the 3rd autoimmune disease diagnosis in a 5 month period and a 2nd unsuccessful heart surgery to correct a heart condition, I lost my ability to sleep, to concentrate, to live normally. That's when the nightmares began; vivid dreams that seemed so real that in my dream I'd tell myself I was just dreaming, but then right after would think oh my gosh I'm NOT dreaming- this is actually HAPPENING. (It wasn't). I had nightmares that ranged from having snakes in my bed, attackers in my house, having my heart stop and tons and tons of dreams that my blood sugar was low while being physically unable to treat it. I dreamed that I was always dying in some way, whether it was someone killing me in my house, chasing me down and killing me, or dying from one of my many medical conditions. In my dreams, I was always alone where no one could save me or find me; where no one was ever around to help me, which is much how I felt in real life, that no one could save me from all the diseases that had plagued me.

The doctor put me on sleeping medication to help me get some much needed sleep. After about a year and a half, things started to improve enough where I wasn't taking the sleeping medication, but since the spinal cord injury diagnosis in July, the nightmares are back and I just can't shake them. I did try counseling but found it too slow of a pace to work. One hour a week just wasn't cuttin' it. I know this stuff takes time, but at a $45 copay for each visit, and really needing to go at least weekly, it just isn't something I could afford to do long-term (I have insurance where you still have copays after you meet your out of pocket maximum). I recently had a dream that was so awful that I woke up screaming. And last night I had a dream that someone broke in my house, and the dream was so real that I sat up on the couch with a hunting knife next to me and I didn't go back to sleep. I was a complete zombie at work today. It's time for me to re-connect with my doctors and see what other options we can come up with. I don't want to be doped up on sleeping pills which don't solve the problem anyway, and I don't want to keep living in a place of fear. I'm wondering if a group setting-type meeting might be a better fit for me. I always associated PTSD with people who went to war or people who were crime victims. I'd be almost embarrassed to go to a meeting and tell people why I have it; it just doesn't seem like it would compare to the tragedies they've experienced. Whatever I do I just know I won't let it get out of hand before I decide to do something about it. I won't let it destroy me like it almost did in 2010. My positive thinking, my faith, and belief that life WILL get better won't let it.

Consider this a segue. I'd rather talk about things that make me happy. Like food.

This is the first week in a while that I didn't have a menu plan in place, nor did I spend my Sunday chopping and food prepping for the week. The end of last week was busy and so was the weekend (two volunteer shifts at church) and next thing I know, the weekend was over. Tonight I made a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants dinner. I threw some chicken breasts in a pan and seasoned the heck out of them with a collage of rosemary, onion powder, salt, pepper and oregano. Flash fried with a wee bit of olive oil just until the outsides were slightly browned but still raw inside and threw them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes (this technique keeps them juicy and not dried out). While those baked, I looked in my cupboards and fridge and realized I had nothing that went together meal-wise or made sense, so decided to be creative. I used the same pan that still had the chicken seasonings still in it and threw in a can of organic pinto beans (drained and rinsed), fresh mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, and some jarred organic kalamata olives that have been hanging out in the fridge for a while. I added a few more seasonings and voila


Not to shabby.

Well, it's time for me to wind down and get ready for bed. I'm hoping the bad dreams will subside for tonight so I can get a full night's sleep. I don't like starting my week off so tired.

7 comments:

  1. Sending you ALL SORTS of loving and supportive vibes. You have been on one crazy roller coaster, and it totally makes sense to me about the PTSD.

    I can't even imagine how hard this must be.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Nikki. Hopefully other folks with multiple autoimmune diseases will find comfort in your strength. Keep writing :) Sending you lots of gluten free hugs and wishing you peaceful dreams. Zzzzz :)

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  3. Don't underestimate the things you've been through. You've had ALOT on your plate for quite some time now and the PTSD makes sense to me. I really hope you are able to find a treatment that works for you so you can start to sleep peacefully.

    Sending lots of hugs and positive thoughts. Will be thinking of you!

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  4. A diagnosis of Diabetes is enough to bring on PTSD. Add in everything else and it's no wonder you're having Night Terrors. Sending out good, peaceful thoughts for a good night's sleep. (((hugs)))

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  5. Wonderful post!! As someone with PTSD I know that this must have been very hard for you to write but being honest is a great step towards recovery. Good for you!!

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  6. One thing that may help with the dreams is making yourself physically exhausted with exercise in the late afternoon/early evening.
    I have also had multiple major health issues in a short time period and it's scarier than separate because I get a feeling of just always waiting for something to go wrong.

    I haven't had any new life threatening diseases in two and a half years (since I had acute pancreatitis) and it's really bizarre to think about the fact that maybe the next shoe isn't going to drop, or at least not any time close to soon.

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  7. This was a really interesting read, I have a best friend who suffers horribly with nightmares. To probably the same extent as you describe, but I don't know how to help her. It's not something I have thought of to link with diseases but makes a lot of sense! Thanks :-)

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