Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sacramento, California

Between our savings and the few grand my parents left me, we began to look into retirement communities sometime in late 2012, eventually settling in a luxury park the summer of 2013. We have a beautiful 2-bed, 2-bath 1983 home, though I’m astonished by the amount of traffic and daytime noise here, which mostly comes from landscaping sounds.

In January of 2014, we took the $7000 worth of travel credit I won back in Oregon and went on a weeklong vacation in Maui. It was easily the best week of my life. I did things I never dreamed I’d ever do. We both loved every minute of it. We snorkeled, went down in a submarine, and went catamaran sailing. All the while we attended a luau, enjoyed the ocean and the pool at the fancy resort we stayed at, along with dining, shopping and whale watching. The island of Maui and Lanai were so alive with color I’d never seen anywhere else. I hated to leave in the end and return to cold, boring NorCal.

Everything changed on July 9 of 2014 when I had a traumatic experience with my thyroid medication a few months after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (and high cholesterol). My heart was booming in my chest and I thought I was having a heart attack. I have struggled with the medication on and off for the last three years and dealt with a kind of anxiety I’d never experienced before 2014 during my worst of times in life. It was, and probably always will be, the most terrifying moments of my life. So traumatizing was it that I switched medical groups and doctors, and began therapy rather quickly. I felt like my old team of doctors weren’t willing to be very helpful or informative. My new team of doctors acknowledged and explained what happened and I learned a lot more about the drug itself.

Quite unexpectedly, my therapist and I developed more of a bond than usual, but then she “thought it through,” so to speak. This left me with mixed emotions. I was hoping for at least a friendship, but I also totally understood that she was bound to ethics. I just felt it would have been nice had she not led me on to begin with.

She performed EMDR therapy on me and taught me a few techniques to help alleviate my anxiety, which has been very helpful. I don’t expect to ever go back to the person I was before the trauma began, but I do my best. I have found that PTSD has a way of both strengthening and weakening the spirit.

I also went into perimenopause around the same time and this helped to fuel my anxiety, along with my ADD and rapid HR.

And early 2016 I reunited with my sister for the first time in 25 years. It was quite an emotional reunion. I also got to see two of my nieces. We first went on a cruise to Mexico, which was mostly a shitty experience because I had a heat stroke. The land part of that vacation was definitely more enjoyable than the sea part of it.

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