Why I'm Here - PTSD Mess

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by BrooklynRider, Mar 31, 2007.

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  1. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    In September, 2006, I left my house for a party two blocks away, where I was to meet my life partner. I had two drinks at home and left at 8:05PM. The next thing I remember, I am waking up in a hospital tied to a bed, IV in my right arm.

    When I was 6, I broked my left arm pretty bad. I had a compound fracture in that arm with an open wound. The doctor set my arm in a closed cast and I developed gas gangrene, disabling and severely disfiguring my left arm. I was transferred to a hospital about 50 miles from my family and spent my time there largely alone. At night, they tied me to the bed, even though my legs has so weakend I could not walk.

    So, when I woke up in this hospital in September 2006 and was tied to the bed, I freak out. I had a rush of adrenaline and I broke free of the restraints. A nursed asked me what I was doing and I told her, "I don't remember checking in here and I am getting out." Without another word she tossed a plastic bag with my belongings on the bed and walked away.

    I had no notion of the time, but guessed I was in a local hospital two blocks from my home. I followed exit signs and finally popped out the door to find myself by piers in on the Brooklyn waterfront - about as far from my home as one might get. I walked about 20 blocks to a subway and rode 20 minutes to the stop closest to my home. My partner was waiting for me, upset, wanting to know what happened. I did not know.

    I had not viewed a mirror, so unbeknownst to me I was wearing torn blood covered clothes. It wasn't until I got home that the swelling and pains started to kick in. I tried home remedies, like icing myself, but ended up going to the emergency room where my personal physician has rights. At that hospital, the triaged me and thought I had a broken kneecap, broken collar bone, broken jaw, a hole in my upper lip and contusions to the right side of my face. They asked what happened. I didn't know.

    Ultimately, I had torn ligaments in my knee, a severely bruised jaw, broken clavicle, hole in my lip and the facial contusions. My family went to the first hospital to get the records and ambulance reports. They refused. My partner went to get info armed with legal papers establishing his power of attorney. They refused. My doctor sent a record release to the hospital three times. They refused. My doctor had to threaten legal action and finally we got the report. This should tell me what happened.

    We turned to the ambulance report. The EMTs never filled out the exact location where I was picked up. A box was checked indicating they had responded to an emergency call. All the writing was totally illegible. The hospital apologized and shrugged it off as the work of "volunteer ambulance drivers." I called 911, which by law must record all ambulance pick-ups. No record of me, although my wallet and all my personal belongings were on me. Both the hospital and ambulance drivers had my correct name and address. In much pain and with a lot of duress, I went to the local ppolice precinct to file a police report. They refused. No pick-up location on the ambulance report meant no area of jurisdiction.

    I was in the first hospital for 12 hours. I later found out it is the county trauma center. Whatever happened was bad enough to bypass the local hospital for the trauma team. No one made any attempt to call my partner or family. They had my driver's license, which had my address on it. My phone number is listed under that number. No call. My insurance card was in my wallet and I am on my partner's work policy. Both his name and mine appear on the card. They knew I had next of kin. They never called.

    We looked at the records of the first hospital. They had my maladies listed as "alcohol abuse" - I know I had two drinks prior to leaving home - and a lacerated lip. THAT'S IT! The stated I left in "good condition." Counter this report to the one 6 hours later documenting I had torn ligaments, broken shoulder, contusions on the face, deep abrasions on my elbows, and a hole in my upper lip. Good condition?!?
  2. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    Because my left arm is disabled, the immobilization of my right arm for the broken shoulder left me profoundly disabled. My damaged knee made it impossible to walk. I could do nothing but lay on my sofa. I had to be fed and attended to by friends. I couldn't even use the bathroom on my own. I was out on disability for 3 months.

    In this time three complications came into play: (1) the accident and subsequent profound handicap triggered severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, recalling my childhood accident. I was now a basket case (2) My shoulder felt somewhat better, but my body refused to produce new bone growth. Perhaps, due to medications I take for being HIV+. (3) My knee could not be fixed until my shoulder healed, because I needed to be able to support myself on crutches.

    By January, I had fallen into a depression. I was someone who "handled adversity well." I wasn't handling this. It was six months later and still no bone growth. In the meantime, I had a major falling out with my family because I took them to dinner and a Broadway show that they found "offensive." I ended up on a subway platform, half on / half off waiting to jump in front of the next train. Something clicked in my head and I went out and scored very strong and dangerous drugs and got high for three days.

    I had become incapable of functioning. I was deep in depression. I had never experienced depression before. It was totally debilitating. I was down 25lbs from the accident, unable to function, and a danger to myself. I voluntarily went to the psych ward.

    There they pumped me with drugs and made one medical blunder after another. My childhood injury had made me wary of hospitals and doctors, but a locked ward is not a place to assert yourself to strongly. I was having severe problems with my shoulder and needed an orthpedist. Instead of getting treatment, a note was put in my chart statingthat a "team of doctors" had examined me and medical recommendation were made. I had never been treated or seen by any team of doctors. Nurses on staff wrote chart notes to that effect. A major investigation ensued.

    I got out of there within eight days. A week later I had a severe kidney stone attack. A normal stone to pass is about 2mm x 5mm. Mine was 8.5mm. I was treated with surgery to destroy and remove the stone and a stent was placed between my kidney and bladder. An intern came to remove my catheter and, in process, ripped out the stent. It was back into surgery for me.
  3. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    I was released from that hospital. Saw my orthopedist and he scheduled me for shoulder surgery on February 27th. I submitted to a medical procedure that put me back into the "profoundly disabled" column. I had a state-of-the-art plate put in my shoulder and had a bone graft as well. The question is still: am I generating new bone growth? I find out next week.

    In the meantime, I am on antidepressants and feeling pretty good. My knee is a mess still, but I get up and walk at least five miles a day.

    I was so surprised tonight, because I had very calm, peaceful, and vividly clear suicidal thoughts. I've survived all of this and yet I feel so done with everything. I am getting EMDR therapy for the post traumatic stress and I have been diagnosed bipolar II. I think my depression has lifted, but I have these thoughts.

    I have used drugs before as an escape. I'm not an addict and all the medical professionals agree with that assessment. I use drugs as an escape - very methodical - and it is often in tandem with extremely abusive sexually behavior toward me. I haven't had a drink since the day of my accident and no drugs or desire for drugs since I used in January.

    All I want to do is die. I have pills on top of pills at my dispsal from all these treatments. I just want to go to the beach, cut my wrists and float away. The thoughts don't even disturb me. I find them very peaceful and satisfying. Last night I just felt like, "this is what I'm going to do."

    I'm 44, a reasonably good looking guy, with a partner who loves me. Sure I've gotthis disabled left arm, but we all got something. The huge scar on my right shoulder bothers me more than I thought, but that's not the issue. I just feel done. No drive. No desire to do this anymore. Besides, I am one person. Who really cares in the end? I admit it is strange, but I could do it so easily. If I think too much about it, I become enraged. I have a lot of rage stored up and when it wells up, I direct it inward. I hate my life. I hate myself. I only wish I could sirvive to kick me in the head after I'm lying there dead. Nice, huh?
  4. lilboyblue

    lilboyblue Well-Known Member

    you have been through a lot, some really awful things. I hope everything turns out well for you too.
  5. Henry Krinkle

    Henry Krinkle Member

    You're my hero.
  6. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Bloody hell!

    You have fought and come through despite all forms of adversity. You have been abused and treated appallingly, yet you fight on. You are a true inspiration of what mental strength can achieve. Ok, so right now you might be feeling suicidal, but aside from that you are pretty amazing

    It would be awful if you went through all that for nothing, and if you killed yourself, it would be for nothing. You would have fought and survived all that for no reason at all.

    Why do you think that death is the right thing for you?

    With regards to your family, have you tried writing them a letter or something? They might respond to something that they can read over and over. It's unfortunate that there is a rift there, but rifts can be healed.

    Hang in there and keep fighting, you have come through too much to give up now
  7. theleastofthese

    theleastofthese SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Dear Brooklyn;

    You sure have gone thru hell and back. You have some incredible inner strength, whether you're aware of it or not. I have no answers for you except to say that we will be your friends and supporters, your shoulder to cry on, your sounding board to scream at, and your helping hands to reach out to you when you feel yourself slipping away.

    Can you change doctors? It sort of sounds like the ones you've seen aren't too compassionate, or I may have read it wrong. At any rate the care, if you can call it that:dry: , that you received is worthy of a lawsuit, to say the least. Being denied access to your medical records and records of your treatment, the whens and wheres and whos, sounds like fraud to me.

    Be of good courage. Please don't harm yourself. You're as deserving of life as anyone. Even tho your life recently has been so very rough and hard to make sense of.

    We care about you.:smile: I care.:smile:


  8. Henry Krinkle

    Henry Krinkle Member

    Um, why did you delete my post? I was only agreeing with certain aspects to build some comradery. You can't just defy everything that people believe in and expect them to suddenly realize you're right.
  9. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    Henry, I didn't delete your post. No forum-god powers here.
  10. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    Throughout my life, I've had suicidal thoughts at times. This past January, I couln't function. I was going to counseling, to drop in groups, seeing my doctor and I couldn't break through. That day on the subway platform was as close as I got. Instead I went for the drugs, which I explained in more detail in the Self-Harm forum. I desperately wanted to not be here - anywhere.

    Last night, the thought occurred to me, quite out of nowhere. I just saw myself taking the pills and cutting my wrists down by the ocean and floating off. It was very soothing. I didn't have any conflict well up inside of me. I seemed almost perfect and serene.

    I've had one of "those" lives. For all my rather extreme experiences (and I didn't even get into the junior high and high school years), my life has been grand. My 20's were better than my teens. My 30's better than my 20's. My 40's are better than my 30's. These last 8 months have been the hardest.

    I feel like I am coming out of it, but I still have physical and emotional challenges ahead. A part of me contemplates what to do with this giift. For truly, all these experiences allow me to relate on a viscera level to so many more people in difficult and dire situations. You know? It's how do I make this valuable? On the other hand, I just feel done. Used up. It has been a life of persistent challenges. Spiritually I have evolved to view these things as the burdens I have chosen.

    I just feel very challenged right now. I've outfoxed death so many times, I am ready to just surrender. To some degree, all of these experiences have raised my empathy level with oithers to a point where life is painful. I absorb people's pain. People in need or in suffering gravitate to me for support and wisdom. It sounds weird, maybe even ungrateful, but I am lonely where I am. There is so much emotional hurt, physical pain, general suffering that I just instantly relate to that I feel very lonely. I feel isolated, although I am very social with great support around me. I feel intensely. I know physical, emotional and mental pain AND abuse. I know discrimination as a guy with a deformed arm. I know hate as a gay man with HIV.

    I don't know what to do with myself. I feel like a flame that was fanned into a bonfire. I can't contain it. I don't know where I go with all of this. What am I supposed to do. I quiet my mind and nothing comes. I do lots of volunteer work with folks with life-threatening illness and those dealing with grief and loss. I have a decent job. I am in constant talk with the universe asking, "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??" I get no reply.

    I am usually always on the go. Run five miles daily. Produce workshops for HIV/AIDS and Cancer sufferers four times a year. Now, I am just exhausted. I could cry. I could cry for days. My life has finally caught up with me. The post traumatic stress therapy is so enlightening, but so painful. I love it and hate it simultaneously. I feel llike a machine whose wires all melted together. I'm not depressed. I just feel "done."

    Well, my mom is very unstable and through my EMDR therapy I see how volatile my childhood was from very early age (2 or 3 years old). I was a terrified kid. There's a lot of emotional distance there. I try to do the who "honor thy parents" thing, but it is just too abusive for me. My mom and sisters are very close. My mom is committed to being a helpless old lady - she is neither. She is 68 now. My older sister is now my pushy, cold mother of my post high school years. My younger siste with three kids is the mother I grew up with, shrill, mean and the perpetual victim. I'm probably more like my dad, who they all have issues with. He abandoned the family after the divorce, when I was 14.

    I don't have any regrets about not speaking to them. I did it to take care of me. My interaction with them was always in their isolated suburban world. That night out was my attempt to reach out and invite them into my world. Show them interesting and nice things. They hated it. I tried to write them afterward. I kept the letter in inarguable terms, talking how I felt. The answer was "all we ever hear about are your feelings." And the final slap was "shame on you." When I told them how hurtful I thought that phrase was, I was called "evil" by my mom and got more "shame on you" from sister. There's obviously more there, but that's the gist of it.

    I'm really not a subscriber to "victim" mentality, but I'm not subjecting myself to that kind of crap anymore. I'm 44 and when I get together with them it is always 1974 and I am 12 all over again.

    So much has just piled on me these last few months. If my x-ray next week still shows no bone growth in my shoulder, I don't know what I will do. There are moments when I am just stabbing myself to death inside (to great satisfaction.) I know my rage will be stoked and that puts the me I hate so much in danger. It's a real internal struggle.
  11. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    To be quite honest. I am not entirely sure what I can say to you. You are an INCREDIBLY intelligent and articulate guy, you know your mind and can make astute observations.

    But I do like to talk even if I have nothing to say, so please just humour my ramblings.

    You sound like you have given a lot to everyone else. You have done an awful lot in terms of helping and supporting people. Maybe that has caught up with you. Maybe now you could take some time to yourself, to recharge your batteries, to allow yourself to just stop fighting, exist and then fight again. By that I mean just 'be' if that means staying in bed and not doing anything, then maybe thats what you need to do. You will reach a point where you start to think 'ok, I can do this again'.

    You mention that you love and hate EMDR at the same time. That is good. It shows that it is challenging, and opening old wounds, yet that you can see the benefit. That shows you that there is hope out there for you, that your life won't always be this hard, that things can get easier. Maybe you can hold on for that.

    I am sorry that you suffered so greatly in your childhood, within your family, and it is a shame that it has repeated itself with your sisters. It sounds like you know exactly what is best for you, and I hope that the decision you made is what's right for you. You are strong and know your own mind, I'm not going to try and change it or put forward another argument, I think you have probably weighed up all sides and arguments already.

    Maybe you could make a plan for if your x-ray shows no bone growth. I don't mean a suicide plan. I mean, if it shows nothing, then plan what you will do that day, ie straight away come back on SF and get some support, then phone a helpline to try and get some support. Anything like that, that way you can implement it and get some support when things seem bad.

    Sorry for my ramblings, I have an inability to shut up :p

    Take care of yourself
  12. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    My doctors are shocked. I've been to lawyers and, since I ultimately got my records, there's nothing for them to do. As for the ambulance and 911 center, I talked to four law firms. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but they said the situation is si unique they never saw anything like it before. I had one tell me he suspects I got by (1) the ambulance (2) a police car or (3) an off-duty cop or fireman. They said the info is so expertly buried that only someone who knew procedures would know what would stop me in my tracks. No laws were broken, just protocols.

    I have too much healing to do to worry about legal affairs. It does get ne jittery that all this disability is based on an accident that "never happened".
  13. BrooklynRider

    BrooklynRider Well-Known Member

    You have been incredibly kind. Quite the antithesis of your user name. I appreciate the time you take to communicate with me. Some good stuff in there for me to consider.
  14. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Good, that's all I wanted to achieve.
  15. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    Scum is right. You are extremely articulate. Have you ever thought about writing an autobiography? It could be very cathartic, and I have to say, I have never heard anything like this before in my life. Sounds like you have one of those "You just can't make this shit up" lives. I read your story with rapt attention, and I'm sure others would too :) I am not really worried about you though. You are obviously a very strong person, and not really prone to impulsive decision-making (except for your occasional "escapades", of course, but it sounds like you are starting to understand the reasons behind them). It does however, sound like you might need a little "me time". Don't let the world use you up! As for your family, well, sometimes we have to make our own families if the ones we were born with turn out to be crap :) Please let us know what happens with your doctors appointment. In the mean-time, best of luck and I really hope you feel better.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2007
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