Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Why me?

In 2008 I suffered from a pneumothorax, a collapsed lung. I had never been a smoker & had always been fit & healthy.

This occurred from an undiagnosed fungal lung infection that had eaten holes in the right lung causing it to collapse.

After a week at the local hospital I was transferred to the district hospital for surgery to repair the lung. One week after surgery I surcomed to MRSA, a "super bug" & spent 16 days in the Intensive Care Unit, lucky to survive. I was then transferred to an isolation ward for the next  3 weeks, out for 3 & then back for more surgery & a isolation ward  stay of another 7 weeks.

This was followed with almost 1 year of recovery at home & constant medication & the realisation that my lifespan had been shortened considerably & that I would be unable to participate in some activities that I had previously taken for granted.

The isolation from my home & family had meant that my children had missed out on birthday celebrations & my husband had carried the burden of the household  while still running a business & trying to see me in hospital & meet the needs of the children. While getting some help from friends & family, most of the responsibilities had laid with him.

This created a huge burden of guilt.

Feelings  of "why me?" & constant analysis of what I been through dominated my dreams & daytime thoughts. Frustration at not being physically fit as I had been before & being unable to do even the simplest tasks,  manifested as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, a condition that usually effected people in war zones or accidents but can manifest in people who have had any sort of trauma in their lives. This prevented  me recovering as quickly as I should have.

The main problems were eating & sleeping & crying all the time. The PTSS, a type of depression, made me not want to eat & sleeping was difficult as I was plagued by nightmares. My weight plummeted to 50kg. Not good for someone 5" 7' tall & resulting in muscle wastage.

My problem was finally diagnosed not by my GP but by the immunoligist at the hospital.He was concerned that was crying every time I came to see him & was not gaining weight as expected.

After returning to the GP , a mental health plan was established. This involved sessions with a Councilor, taking the antidepressant "Cipramil" 20mg twice a day. The Cipramil took around 2 weeks to kick in but slowly I started to feel better. The councilor helped too with strategies for coping such as rejoining the school PTA & participating in activities that I could physically cope with. If I felt tired, I would have naps, no matter what the time of day. My protein & carbohydrate intake was increased.

Over a period of 6 months I slowly gained weight & muscle strength & was able to do more with the children. My dosage of Cipramil was slowly reduced after until I was able to do without it.

Today, 4 years on, life is busier than ever. My health is still constantly monitored & I am very conscious of living a healthy lifestyle especially eating well & getting enough sleep. My weight still goes up & down & I have "good" days & "bad" days but generally the good out ways the bad.

Writing for InfoBarel also helps as a creative outlet & something enjoyable to do!  Something I can recommend to anyone!