Caveat: the following post is not to trivialize one person's experience over another. Each person handles what is put in their path in the way they're equipped to deal with it. What George may find severely traumatic may not even register on Alex's radar.
It's cold and flu season and in our little corner of the Pacific Northwest the flu virus is virulent and intense. There have over a dozen fatalities from this flu strain to date. Those of us in my house typically deal with little more than a seasonal cold, which is bothersome but benign. I'm super neurotic about hand washing, and we "eat clean" and get a good nights sleep every night.
The ACES study revealed that the higher an adults ACES score is the more likely they are to deal with assorted health challenges as an adult. These include but are not limited to stroke, cancer, obesity, broken bones and so much more. To learn more about the ACES study use this link: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean
My ACES score is a six out of ten. I have the most bizarre biochemistry of anyone I've ever known. Are the two related? I can only hypothesize. I react to the slightest food intolerance is some very unique ways, none of them consistent from the last. So I'm always carefully listening to my body whenever anything new is introduced.
Last week I was lying in bed watching television when I felt pressure in my chest like an elephant was sitting on it. I also experienced pain in between my shoulder blades in roughly the same region. I reviewed everything I'd eaten, that I could remember, in the previous few days and came up blank. I didn't want to worry my children who have seen me carted off by ambulance more than a few times due to my epilepsy. So I asked my husband to take me to the firehouse that is less than two miles from our home.
I was hoping the paramedics would check my heart rate and tell me whether or not I needed to go to the ER. I wasn't that lucky. The next thing I knew I was in the ambulance on the way to meet another ambulance with more appropriate staffing. My husband was told to meet me at the local hospital so he went home to get the kids and explain to them what was going on. The very thing I was trying to avoid.
The paramedic put on the EKG stickers and hooked me up to all the appropriate monitoring equipment and asked me all the appropriate questions. I got to the ER and there's a traffic jam of paramedics with folks on stretchers. After a wait they got me to a phlebotomist to take some blood for testing. Then they told me I'd need to check in and wait in the lobby until they had room for me. I walk out there to check in and I see at least 40 people who are clearly dealing with the flu.
I looked for a place to sit as far away from everyone as possible. The germaphobe in me was annoyed and grossed out. I had just heard the nursing staff in the back discuss with the paramedics how completely off the mark this years flu vaccine was and as a result every hospital in the area was backed up. They assured me they were staffed to handle it.
My family arrived while I'm was waiting and the four of us are surrounded by a cesspool of germs for five hours while I'm waiting to be seen. My trauma child came up several times and asked for a hug and told me they were worried about me. While digging in my purse for a lip balm for child one I found I had one of child two's clinical aromatherapy blends in my purse. I got the clinical aromatherapy blend out my purse and applied it. A nurse was periodically rechecking vitals of folks in the waiting room when she got to me I wouldn't let her put the thermometer in my mouth. I didn't care it was a "new box and a new probe cover". I wasn't taking any chances.
An hour later I was finally given a room, and half an hour or so later, finally seen by a doctor who ordered additional blood work to check blood marker levels. I'm not uninformed about reading labs. I had asked, nee demanded to see my lab work so I could make an informed decision on whether or not to continue to expose my family to these germs. Staff refused my requests.
Once I was back in the room I was able to see my lab results because they left the computer screen open. I'll just say there was no excuse for me to be there seven hours. The first labs should have streeted me. The second round of labs the doctor ordered took an hour to happen due to staffing shortages, then the time to process. When the doctor finally comes in to tell me I fine I ask about my levels and in terms of specific data. As you can tell by now, I'm not an easy patient.
I start taking off the EKG leads, by this time there are three different sets, two put on in the ER, the doctor asks if I can wait a minute for them to do it. I said, "Your definition of a minute and mine are too different. This is not my first time removing the sticky EKG pads." I arrived in the ER around 7:30pm and it was 2:15am at this point.
We struggled to wake up my trauma child who had ran out of steam on the waiting room floor. My husband knowing me well after 17 years had put his own coat under our child as a barrier between the child and the germs. It was a good idea but didn't prove to be very effective. Trauma child moves around a lot in their sleep.
We arrived home and everyone did what he or she felt necessary to get ready for bed. I took a shower and washed my hair, trying to get all the germs off me. We turned off all alarm clocks so we could catch up on sleep. I woke up less than six hours later sick as I can ever remember being in all my 49 years.
When my trauma child woke up and we were all in the living room I got a scared "Are you okay?" every time I coughed. My fever was a 101.X, and being hypothyroid my normal body temperature hovers in the 93.7 to 94.6 range. I spent two days in my recliner. Only getting up to use the restroom on day one and day two I was able to do a soak in a clinical aromatherapy bath. The rest of the days were spent sleeping. I can't even begin to tell you how many "I'm worried about you." "Are you okay?" statements came from my trauma child. My husband did everything he could to reassure our child but my health is a very real concern in our family. Between my epilepsy and my weird biochemistry, we never know what to expect.
By day three of battling the flu with every holistic arrow in my quiver I was on my feet. The "only" thing I was still dealing with was a very painful deep mildly productive cough. I was well enough though at this point to make a clinical aromatherapy butter to support my body's defense system. The use of my herbal, clinical aromatherapy, bone broth, probiotics and sleep gave my body the supports needed to fight off this wicked flu.
It's been five days since I was seen in the ER and all that's left for me to contend with physically is the last of the congestion. It will take a lot longer than that to for my trauma child. I was in trauma child's room to set up a diffuser because they started complaining of not feeling well and I noticed a letter I had written them in October when I traveled to the NAHA Conference.
I am glad they had that letter to remind them how much they are loved, wanted and cared for while I was sick. It gave me an idea to write several other letters to each of my children for future health scares and whatever may come around the next bend. To also write a letter for each milestone in their life between their current age and having their own family. A letter is a poor replacement for a mom or dad, but when a child is impacted by trauma, having a mom and/or dad who cared enough to plan ahead for the moments they may not be there to help steer their child, or celebrate with them, reminds the child in those moments that you loved them so much that you wanted to be there one way or another.
Trauma children frequently blame themselves for any and everything that goes wrong. Adult trauma children often feel undeserving or fearful of happiness. For example, I spent the first year of my marriage waiting for the other shoe to fall. I had nightmares something tragic was going to happen to my husband. I experienced this again during my pregnancy and after our genetic child was born. I hope that the letters I will write to my children will speak to them about how much they deserve to be happy. I hope they get the message from the letters that they're not responsible for anything that happens to me in the future. I hope the letters give them the courage to go out into the world and live and love freely knowing that they were loved, wanted, and cared for deeply. Feel free to do the same for your children, love never expires.
©2017 Cynthia Tamlyn-CCA
DISCLAIMERTHIS BLOG IS FOR INFORMATIONAL & EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN DOES NOT CONSTITUTE, PREEMPT, OR SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE NOR IS IT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, CURE, TREAT, OR PREVENT DISEASE OR HEALTH ISSUES.ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING OR APPLYING ANY OF THE SUGGESTIONS CONTAINED ON THIS BLOG.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.