Friday, November 06, 2009

Morose. Part 2

Part 1

So last November I started going to a therapist to help me get rid of this emetophobia. I told him all about my neurologist’s findings, which were that my last seizure wasn’t really a seizure, but a pseudo-seizure. The pseudo-seizure was brought on my the stress and panic that my daughter’s vomiting caused. Everyone has a seizure threshold, and mine just happens to be very low. The seizure the mind's way of protecting itself from the bad situation. It just shuts down. Thus in a stressful situation I will panic to the point where I have a seizure. And puking sends me into a panic, so I have a seizure and then puke, reinforcing that puke is a bad thing. See how that works?

My therapist and I worked through my puke issues until I was able to successfully watch people vomiting on video (thanks YouTube!). Then my doc said "Next time your daughter is sick, I want you to be present but not involved. Let your husband handle the situation but you should just be in the room." Sounds simple enough.

Now Macey is a puker, so I knew the day would eventually arrive when she puked again. And lo and behold that day came in late August. Craig had the girls out running errands an he called me to say "We're coming home. Macey is not right." Sure enough when they got home that little girl was pale and sluggish. She wanted to go to bed and said her tummy hurt.

I tried to stay calm, even though I knew it was coming. I put her in bed, got a bucket and a towel out, and told her that if she needed to throw up just do it in the bucket. She said she didn't have to throw up, but I told her it was there in case she needed it. I went downstairs with Craig and tried not to fret about it too much. Then we heard the thump on the floor. Craig ran upstairs and I cautiously followed. Then I heard her being sick as I was on the stairs and I hesitated. I knew I was supposed to go in there but I was scared. I took a deep breath and kept going up the stairs.

I was approaching her room, and I could see Macey and Craig kneeling around the bucket. That was all I needed to see, and I felt a seizure coming on. I turned and ran down the stairs and fell on the floor of the living room, the seizure feeling washing over me. Then I thought "No! I really don't want this to happen!" I started hitting myself in the head, HARD, saying "No! No! No!" as I did it. And for some reason, that worked. It scared off the seizure. I decided I just needed to get out of the house, so I put on my shoes and ran out the door. I just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, and walked until I felt mostly normal. Then I went back to the house.

Craig was there, searching the house in a panic for me. He was sure I was having a seizure somewhere and he couldn't find me. Oops. I never told him I was leaving the house.

The next time I went to see my therapist he was surprised that I had been unable to handle Macey's sickness. We were talking about how it felt for me to almost have a seizure, and I got a flashback about how it feels to go into one, and I almost had one in his office. That was not very pleasant, with me lying on the floor with cold cloths on my head. I was getting much worse, not better. My doc decided that he had grossly underestimated how bad this was for me, and after some discussion we decided that I had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) associated with my seizures that is triggered by vomiting. He suggested EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for our next session.

That next session was the session where I was sad about Blair. I didn't mention it to him, because I didn't see how it would effect anything if I was sad about her since it wasn't at all related to what we were working on. So we had an EMDR session, which was very revealing.

What we do is we sit facing each other, but he is to one side of me so he's not directly in front of me. Then he asks me to re-live the experience in question - this time a seizure - while I watch his fingertips as he moves his hand back and forth about two feet from my face. I'm just to move my eyes, as this activates both sides of my brain to work on the problem. Basically the theory is that the mind has the ability to heal itself, and the EMDR helps it happen. He waves his fingers in front of me for about 30 seconds or so, then asks me to close my eyes and tell him what's going on.

These sessions are very interesting, because my mind takes me places I didn't think it would go, and there's this internal dialogue that takes place. It's really trippy. For instance this session went something like this -
Oh, I remember what it feels like to have a seizure and this sucks!
I can't handle this!
Yes you can.
No, I can't!
Sure you can.
I don't think I can.
You don't need to have a seizure every time you're scared.
But I am scared!
It's okay to be scared.
But I can't handle it when she pukes! I won't be able to be there for her when she needs me!
I'm a bad mom!
Your mom was there for you when you puked and she didn't freak out.
That's true. I'm just as strong as she is.
Craig also was there for you.
Yes, I trust him completely.
You can do this.
I would be so ashamed if I couldn't be there for my girls.
You have the determination of an ox. You can do anything.
Can I do this?

That's how the session ended. I went home and the next day was plunged into darkness.

To be continued...

Part 3


Achieve1dream said...

Wow scary! I also have a phobia of vomiting. Only I just go into a panic attack and cry. I know how you feel, although I think yours is a lot worse. Keep at it. You can do it.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're doing alright. I just recently found your blog and have really enjoyed it. You are inspiring me to finally follow through with my dream of trying out dressage.

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