Last year, we call can agree, was the pits. We all suffer, as this new year begins, from PTSD, previously the domain of warriors returning from battles in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
I have a unique variant of PTSD, one that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. For several months I’ve endured Pandemic Tension & Stress Disorder.
Uncommon, unwarranted, unkind.
I’ve experienced tremors, shimmies and shakes, joint-jumping jolts. Increasing throughout the day in frequency and intensity. Each shock a secret, a movement that crept up on me and disturbed my peace. My own private earthquakes on a 0 – 9 Richter Scale.
The jolts didn’t hurt, but they got on my nerves.
I endured all manner of empirical medical tests: blood panels and testing of a urine sample. Brain MRI and EEG. All inconclusive and – worse by my book – no offer of relief. While physicians may have failed, I’ve been blessed with five guys who provided components of comfort and trust. While good insurance can cover expensive tests, the gallantry and grace provided by my five guys was the best shelter – and freely given.
Guy numero uno was, of course, my husband. He gave unconditional love, support, and patience. He worried and prayed, problem-solved and endured. As always, he gave all, especially his love.
Guy Two was my steadfast yoga instructor whose restorative classes have held my tightly-wound body parts together for years. I particularly like his classes because, as a heavily-injured ballet performer and instructor, he was attentive – intuitive even – of one’s needs and provided stretches and poses accordingly. He said I reminded him of his mother. When I was able to meet her once, I agreed.
Hey, I say, whatever brings one special attention is all good. A gift to be accepted and cherished.
The third young man is my massage therapist. He also works intuitively, releasing muscle tension I wasn’t aware that I carried. A deep tissue massage, almost Rolfing, was the break-through of my muscle tremors a month ago. I nearly gasped at the pain but remained steadfast in my trust of his endeavor on my behalf. Slowly, surely my muscles, ligaments, and joints wiggled and jiggled out of their herky-jerky patterns.
Guy four was my physical therapist, with whom I’m a forever-patient, working through revolving injuries of shoulders, ankles, and knees. He problem-solved the need for heat for my stressed and fatigued muscles. Thank goodness I already possessed three heating pads at home. My husband had bought each one… he knows I’m his one-and-only pain in the a**.
My husband, the former jock, also reminded me of the benefits of Gatorade – the product which replaces electrolytes. The final guy who worked on my holistic team was a practitioner of alternative medicine strategies. He told me of a line of products called CALM. Yes!
Do you, did you experience PTSD. What’s your fix, Constant Reader? What do you do to be you, pandemic or not?