Struggling to Get/Stay Grounded

Had an appointment this morning with my OB-GYN nurse-practitioner.  It was just to get my Nexplanon implant put in finally.  (First I was on vacation, then they didn’t get their shipment of implants on time, and then I got my period the week of the election, and I didn’t have time to do it that week.  So it’s been several months that I’ve been trying to get this done.

The procedure itself went fine.  It’s just a shot of lidocaine, and then they stick a little plastic tube under the skin in your arm.  I guess some people get squeamish about it, though, because she made a big deal out of, “The lidocaine will sting, but only for a minute.”  I stick needles in myself twice a month, and the Humira stings a hell of a lot more than the lidocaine.  I had to bite my tongue so I didn’t laugh when she was making a big deal about the lidocaine shot not being a big deal.  I also had to try not to laugh when she made sure I understood I could have unpredictable bleeding with Nexplanon.  I have unpredictable crapping my pants, which sometimes also involves bleeding.  So some random bleeding?  Really not a big deal.  And there’s a 20% chance this could stop my periods altogether, which would be amazing.

But then she basically had me cornered.  She wants me to come back in three months for an exam.  “Just an external exam,” she said.  (She knows I have sexual abuse issues.)  She specifically mentioned a breast exam, an abdominal exam, and looking at my vulva.  (“Without touching,” she said.)  I get the point, I do.  My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer before she turned 50, so I’m at higher risk.  I can handle her poking at my belly–god knows my gastroenterologist does that enough already.  Maybe I can handle a breast exam, but that’s iffy.  But anything involving my pants not being on means MAJOR panic.  The only reason I can deal with colonoscopies is that my gastroenterologist knocks me out completely, so I don’t have to be aware of it at all.  But I know myself well enough to know that if I’m already there in the office, and she tells/asks me to do something, I’ll let her.  I’ll even say it’s okay if she asks, even if it’s really not okay.

Even the conversation was incredibly triggering.  I went from talking about Star Trek and knitting patterns to staring at the floor, barely able to speak.  Mostly all I could do was nod or shake my head, and what I did say was just one or two word answers.  “I guess,” “Okay,” “I don’t know,” “Maybe.”  She wanted me to look at her and say I’d come back in three months, and I couldn’t.  I couldn’t look at her, but I did say I’d come back.  “We can just talk about how the Nexplanon’s working if that’s all you can do,” she said.  But they don’t schedule appointments that far out.  That was weird to me–I mean, Christ, I’m lucky if I can get an appointment with my gastroenterologist within three months.  So that means I have to call and schedule an appointment in March, and I don’t know if I can make myself do that.  But now I feel like I have to because I said I would.  If they’d just been able to schedule me for an appointment while I was there, it would’ve made it a whole lot easier.

Since then, I can’t really get or stay grounded.  It started in her office–my vision started to go weird like it does when I dissociate, where the colors get dimmer, and things blur and start to disappear.  I managed to get home–C took me, and apparently I faked it well enough that she couldn’t tell anything was wrong–but since then, I’ve been really messed up and out of it.  I keep shaking, and I can’t get warm no matter how high I turn the heat up or how many blankets I hide under.  I listened to a guided relaxation recording that helped a little, but I’m still really not okay.

I don’t want to have a body anymore.

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13 Comments

Filed under c-ptsd, did, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, ptsd, sexual abuse, trauma

13 responses to “Struggling to Get/Stay Grounded

  1. I wish I had some encouraging words but really I just have empathy. I get that staring at the floor and being so cold that I can’t warm up…Panic stinks! I have really been trying to figure out in my head why all this abuse stuff still affects me so strongly. Like I totally get it…I do…but I keep wondering why I have to be such a mess every time I try to deal with it…every time I am reminded by it. I am ready to not have a body as well LoL
    xxxx

    • Yeah, I really wish I could be over it by now. I mean, I’ve done tons of therapy. I understand what triggers me and why, and I know how to manage those triggers so they don’t completely run my life. So I should be able to cope now, right? I mean, I’ve done the work, and the traumas happened a long time ago. It frustrated me that I can still get so triggered by something, especially when I anticipated and planned for the trigger ahead of time.

  2. I hope that implant provides some relief for you. I’m sorry that you got triggered at your appointment.

  3. It is incredibly bold of you to share your experience with the blogging community! Your honesty and emotions are raw. I hope that you find some relief in your writings and that they are therapeutic to you. I envy your strength in sharing your vulnerability and experiences! Keep fighting each moment as you face it!

  4. Thank you for posting this. I know that feeling of being triggered. I often feel helpless in the face of the illness and the incredible amount of bullshit
    that comes with having an illness that is psychiatric but then I remember
    that I have strength and people who care…

  5. Sending you tons of hugs, I know how triggery exams are. I hate them too. At least she knows that you have abuse issues, I hope that she is mindful of that fact. But it sounds like she was? It sounds like she would be ok in 3 months if you just simply cannot do the exam. XX

    • Yeah, she’s actually been really understanding of my abuse issues, and she was willing to give me birth control without an exam since I’m fairly low-risk. (Not sexually active, no family history of gyn problems, and she ran blood and urine tests for STD’s that all came back negative.) A lot of doctors basically hold birth control hostage unless you let them do an exam, but she never did that. I assume OB-GYN’s probably end up seeing a lot of women with sexual abuse histories, and I think the medical establishment in general is becoming more aware of the consequences of abuse and the importance of trauma-informed care.

      She did say it was okay if I still couldn’t do an exam in three months, but I also know she’ll keep getting on my case about it until I let her do it. I kind of want to tell her to just do the whole thing, including the internal exam, and just let me dissociate because it’s the only way I’ll get through it. But that wouldn’t really work because then you have to do it all over again the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. What I need is to find some way of being comfortable with it–or, if not comfortable, then at least for it not to be incredibly anxiety-provoking and traumatic. But I can’t imagine any way of becoming okay with it.

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