As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

I'll Tell You Mine if You Tell MeYours.

This is yet another busy week in my schedule. All this week I'm involved in Lucy Monroe's Online Readers Retreat. While visiting with a few new friends and readers yesterday, I realized that there are a lot of you that have a story about PTSD to share. I don't mean a novel or even a long visit with a therapist. But... I am gathering personal stories and invite you to share them here. WARNING! If you post here today (October 9, 2012) your comment/story goes live in the comments. If you prefer instead to share them only with me, wait a day or two. Your comment will then need to be monitored by me. If you tell me right up front of your comment, "Please keep private," or "Okay to use as Author Fodder," I will do just that. I will keep it private or come back and glean from these stories for some of my future novels.

Your story may be as seemingly benign as mine or as devastating as all get out! I would appreciate that any bloody or gruesome details be somewhat left in the dark so as to not "trigger" another's PTSD. Please feel free to respond to one another's comments, but only in a supporting manner. I want this to be a "safe" place for you to share.

My early serving of Trauma.

Seatbelts have not always been used in my family, but as I was young, only nine, Mother insisted I put mine on. I responded with, "Only if you do too." We buckled up and the two of us were off for our hour long trip over the snow and ice. Mother drove the Oldsmobile Dad had purchased just before his death and I guess she had to finish up some business that day in the city. Okay, the city was one of those along the I-15 corridor in Southeastern Idaho. The sun wasn't up yet but we could see evidence of its coming up in the distance. I don't think Mom was going too fast. She rarely sped but we came over a hill and hit black ice. The car went sailing. We must have flown 70-80 feet in the air before the crusted snow grabbed the tires. Tons of heavy automobile collided with first the pristine snow, then the sagebrush beneath. Whiplash snapped my neck then it was silent. Not even the engine made a sound.

I don't remember how long we sat there, stunned. I do remember Mother trying to crank the engine. Nothing.

Mother coaxed me to undo my seatbelt. It took her a minute or two to shove her door open against the cold. "We'll have to climb back to the road and hope someone comes by and gives us a ride." The crusted snow cut at my legs and I wished I would have worn my snow boots instead of my Keds. Soon it didn't hurt anymore, but I knew the snow was still sharp against my tender skin. We hiked to the road. Sometimes, when the winter conditions are just right with melting, freezing and wind the snow gets a crust that a dog and sometimes a child can walk on without sinking. That morning, every time I tried to walk on the snow, I broke through. I finally gave up and tried to follow in Mother's footsteps. I don't remember crying, I may have, but the damp on my cheeks only made them colder. At last we made it to the highway. I wanted to stop and wait, even sit down. Mother wouldn't let me.

I hated that walk. I don't know how far we got. I just remember how my feet hurt with every jarring step. Finally, someone came by and gave us a ride. They took us to the car dealership and Mother had to leave me with a mechanic to get warm while she went back with the tow truck driver to get the car. I don't know if she knew the men or not, but he didn't hurt me and I was reasonably thawed out when Mother, the tow truck driver and our car arrived.

To this day, the sound of snow, slush or ice hitting up under the wheel wells of a vehicle sends a shudder up my spine. There are other residual effects, compounded by more experiences that haunt me. I don't drive in the snow. When a snowplow comes up the street, my world stops...waiting for the crunch I know is coming. When it finally passes, I breathe again.

Minor, don't you think?

Post a Comment