Imagine being on a roller coaster without a lap bar or shoulder harness, spinning upside down, swirled around in circles like a Gravatron at a fair and the floor drops. You want to pass out. You have no control. You feel frozen in time yet want to die or the ride to stop at any cost. You can not control the ride, your emotions, thoughts, feelings and feel 110% helpless. All that happening while replaying what terrified you in the first place and then it plays over in your head over and over and over. Reliving the event every time.
I had lived through brain surgery and I had NO CLUE that I had this or that it was going to happen to me. A trip to the dentist made the chain of events that forever changed my life happen. And please don't be afraid to go to the dentist. It wasn't his fault. In fact, I can't thank him enough for understanding.
This is a subject I almost NEVER talk about, even with my wife.
I mean I blab about clusters, migraines, and tension headaches every chance I get to spread awareness and let others know what we deal with to make it easier for someone else who suffers to get empathy and understanding. But PTSD is something I never talk about.
My wife sees me experience headaches. as I moan, scream, lay in bed and stop living life because of the chronic headaches. She see's that. Even though she see's tears run down my face from PTSD she doesn't see what happens in my head and heart. And how deeply it has affected me.
I really thought it only happened to soldiers. ? Sure because they see what most humans should never see and they do it for us and our freedom. I almost feel guilty admitting I have PTSD because I am not a soldier. Right?
So here I am having had brain surgery awake. Basically, they drilled into my head while wearing a halo sitting in a dentist chair in the hospital. The brain has no pain receptors so the only feeling is the sensation of what they are doing. Imagine taking a cordless drill with NO DRILL BIT and just holding the side of the cordless drill beside you head against your head and squeezing the trigger. I mean the vibration is the best way to describe what I felt. However what transpired after brain surgery is hard to explain.
They had me look at a clock on the wall and pay attention to it. Yes, I was awake during surgery. When they turned on the neurostimulator I seen two clocks then one clock turned upside down. yes, one of my eyes did a 180.
So some time later I go to the dentist for cavity and cleaning. Like any other person would. He started the drill. And to put it mildly. I lost my shit. Everything I explained at the beginning of the blog was happening to me. Room spinning like I was drunk ( I do not drink alcohol). The chair felt levitating. Like a hoverboard from Back to the Future. I felt dizzy, nauseous, drunk, unsteady, weak, scared as hell, freaking out, panicking. I wanted to stop. But nothing the dentist did could help me. Trust me he tried to bless his heart. I was crying and panicking and all that was going through my head was the brain surgery I had gone through reliving it over and over and over. It was worse than the surgery. I was....and I am ashamed to say this...afraid I lost my marbles so to speak. I thought I was mentally ill and permanently going to stay that way. An ambulance was called and my wife and son. They soon rushed over and arrived as the ambulance did. Took me out and sent me to the hospital. On the ride over started to calm down. Enough to answer questions. The only thing I remember is the paramedics saying in an incredible daunting voice " You had brain surgery for headaches?" in total disbelief. Not in a negative way but like its the first time he heard a man was on the moon.
The ER doctor came. I don't remember anything other than "Sir I believe you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". My wife and I looked at each other like "he isn't a veteran."
Eventually, I got to therapy and I would rather not repeat the techniques they used
or thought they used to help me with because to this day I didn't agree with it. I do appreciate the help I got.
Now as you know reading my blog you know I used medicinal magic mushrooms to treat my cluster headaches. And research has been proven that psilocybin has been a known effective treatment in helping PTSD. So is my PTSD better because of Psilocybin? I believe so. Do I want to stop treating my cluster headaches with shrooms to find out I am wrong? NO.
I am not telling anyone who has PTSD to do mushies to treat their PTSD. But educate yourself and read. It may save a life. Marijuana is also an effective treatment for PTSD.
I am not a doctor. I don't claim to be or recommend treatment to anyone. But I know what is helping me.
I had a couple episodes in the past year. Once was seeing a movie. I won't say which one but a bad guy was going to drill into a guys head in a dentist chair. Little did the lady beside me at the movie theatre have any idea why I was crying, shaking and shut my eyes. My wife knew.
I cant stop living my life but not watching movies or living life in fear of seeing a similar event occur .I have to keep living.
When I wake up or have reoccurring thoughts through my day of brain surgery I deal with them the best I can and how I know. I don't ask for empathy from anyone because its more invisible than my disease. And truthfully only another human with PTSD who has experienced a traumatic event in their life can fully appreciate the severity of PTSD. The rest can only empathise and have compassion.
But do NOT think for a split second I want anyone's pity. PTSD is real. 22 veterans a day commit suicide in the US because of it. The first step to getting help is to talk about it. And get help.
This will probably only ever be my schpiel on PTSD and chances are if you know me you don't know I have it or I never talk about it. But I have to. I have concluded that it may save a life telling someone I am there with you and its ok. Reach out, A friend, a family member, a doctor. There is hope. You are not alone.You matter to me. You are important and I BELIEVE YOU. whether you had brain surgery, you are a veteran or just experienced a traumatic event in your life.
I care. And I am alive because someone else did too.