What!?! My physical pain is from that?

Hey. I'm going to be honest with you.


I am....


EXHAUSTED.


And, I don't mean - a little tired. Or, a nap would greatly help - kind of tired.


I mean...


I'm pretty sure that if I was given the chance to go to sleep until I woke up naturally - I would sleep at least an entire year. And, I'm not exaggerating.


See, now that I am finally in the stages of recovery from a life long 'bout of PTSD with on-going trauma. My body is now trying to heal. And that - is exhausting work regardless of the number of years that my body has gone through this.


But the saddest part of all of this is, that I don't think ANYONE knows how long this will take to reach full recovery.


Because most people are not taking into consideration - what trauma can do to the body, and how repeated trauma truly can damage and impact your body... usually without you even realizing it until you are in recovery.


This is because, "Trauma isn't only a person's emotional and psychological reaction to an intense or overwhelming event, it can lead to physical manifestations that are felt in the body too." (USAtoday.com, https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/health-wellness/2022/01/20/trauma-physical-impact-body-how-to-release/6562449001/)


I'll be honest. I never made the connection between my aches and pains to the trauma that I have endured most of my life, until I read that article. The article caught my attention, not just because of the title, but because of the opening image. It's a picture of a man standing with his fist clenched. And, I immediately was reminded of going to my primary care physician a little over a year ago about a new unusual issue.


I was waking up every morning for two weeks straight, with my right hand balled into a tight fist. And, my hand was completely asleep. So, I wasn't able to easily open my fist - because my fingers wouldn't respond on their own. I would have to take my other hand and physically force it to open up, one finger at a time. All while enduring the very painful pins and needles of the nerves being woken up. I would then need to massage my hand for a while to get the blood flowing in it again, and get the color back into it.


I never would know how long my hand was like this while I was sleeping. But, I knew that it had to be for a while - because my hand was soo tightly squeezed into a fist - that my fingers where white. Not just my knuckles.


And yes... it took me enduring this for two weeks before I went in to see the doctor about it. Because to me - this was just something weird. Nothing to be alarmed about (and yes, now that I'm typing that out... I am seeing how crazy that sounds. But, that my friend - is part of suffering from PTSD.)


When I went to see my doctor, she agreed that it was odd behavior - but didn't seem too concerned with it. She said that she would just refer me to physical therapy, but told me that more than likely it was just carpal tunnel syndrome. Even though that didn't make much sense to me - it was a diagnosis, so I took it. I went to the physical therapy appointments, and even though it hurt - it never made it any better. So, I stopped going after the initial 8 visits. I got the hand braces that were also recommended by the doctor, and tried sleeping with those on - even though it felt like I was in traction with them. The good thing... is I learned to not make clenched fists while I was sleeping. But, the pain in my hands has continued to get worse. I haven't talked to my doctor about it again, as her next suggestion was to meet with a surgeon.


I don't know about you...


But, in order for me to meet with a surgeon - I need to be on my death bed. I just don't go for anything "elective" when it comes to needles, and cutting anything open on my body.


Regardless, while looking at the title of this article, and then having the photo pull at my memories... I started to read and then quickly finished the article. And I found myself sitting there nodding my head through most of the article.


"With chronic trauma, if a person is constantly experiencing hyper-arousal (a soldier in a war zone, for example) their body may stay in that state." (USA today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/health-wellness/2022/01/20/trauma-physical-impact-body-how-to-release/6562449001/) This is what I believe was happening to me.


I believe that after long periods of time with chronic trauma, that my body was speaking out - by attempting to roll itself up and try to disappear.


So, how do we fix it?!?


Yeah, I know. You were thinking the same thing. In the article, Sara M Moniuszko speaks about needing to release the trauma from the body. She mentions that yoga is one of the best ways.


But, speaking of someone that now suffers from a lot of physical issues - all from being traumatized (repeatedly). Thinking of going to a yoga class for those that are struggling with releasing the trauma, truly sounds like all kinds of torcher and more pain. So, that's not going to happen.


"'A lot of times our body is trying to communicate to us when we're not in a good spot,' said Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association." ( USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/health-wellness/2022/01/20/trauma-physical-impact-body-how-to-release/6562449001/


And although here lately, I wish I would have had someone tell me that, I can't promise that I would have considered it. Boy do I wish that I can say that I would... but, I'm not so sure.


But, the fact is - I am now 50 years old. And I have half my life left to live. And, I am determined to live it.. and LIVE IT OUT LOUD!!


So, this means:



Making a list, and doing it! Including:


  • Stretching

  • Walking

  • Bending over

  • Breathing deeply

  • And....

taking a break when I need to.


So, that's what I'm going to do now!


I'm going to open up my google, and do some stretching.


Let's do it together! I know that you can benefit from it too.


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