care giving PTSD

When you watch the one you love and care for stop breathing twice, it effects your view of life without you even realizing it.

I have written about this before, but I cannot stay my cool and calm self when Steve has anxiety attacks.  For the longest time I didn't understand why his "anxious face" immediately triggered me. Until last night.

Steve woke up twice feeling pretty crummy and having a lot of anxiety about how he felt.  After a few hours of our normal" feel better tricks" not working, oils, massages, rearranging, praying, music, and eventually a good cry of release, he was still having so much anxiety and pain.  After I finally caved and gave him benedryl as a last resort to let the poor guy get some sleep it finally dawned on me.  There I am exhausted, scared, feeling alone, and worn out and having an epiphany.

It should be known that epiphany's are my favorite thing, but they always happen in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping.  However, this one was remarkable.  I realized that I have a touch of PTSD, about those times a little under 3 years ago when Steve died on me twice.  Because the actions he was having right before and during the code look EXACTLY like his panic attacks look.

So now, after all this time, every time he has a panic attack, I do too.  Because to me my mind immediately goes to me loosing him.  It's a head game.  ALS is one big head game.  

Laying in bed watching Steve sleep last night I realized I have work to do.  Steve deserves me to be the strong and calm Hope, and not panicking with him.  People will respond to this probably telling me it's normal and not to put so much pressure on myself.  Which I appreciate, I really do; but truth is, I DO need to work on it.  Because I CAN.   

I want to be Steve's rock and now that I know where the response comes from, I will be off to work.  I'll let you know excitedly I'm very sure when I can make it through an anxiety episode from Steve without feeling overwhelmed myself.  Because it will happen.  I'll be patient with myself but also know it Will happen.