“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
I can’t really bring myself to allow anymore emotions onto the surface other than what I wrote early yesterday morning about my grandfather. I do need to write I just also need to make sure I don’t fall apart in doing so. I thought I would talk about what it was like for me to visit my grandfather in the hospital while he was in ICU.
As many of you know, I developed PTSD from everything that my mind and body has had to endure and it continued to get progressively worse with each new traumatic experience. The hospital is a major trigger for me. Anything hospital related is a huge trigger for me. Hospital gowns, hospital bracelets, hospital smells and sounds, everything. I needed to see my grandfather yesterday. There was just no way I could not see him.
Luckily for me, he is in a hospital basically on Long Island which is unfamiliar to me. So the drive there wasn’t upsetting to me in anyway. When I made my way up to the surgical ICU floor he was on, I realized I needed to desensitize myself a little bit because I was so hyper aware of the fact that I was in a hospital. So, I allowed myself to get acclimated to my surroundings by not looking at anything except the floor or the wall for a little bit. I didn’t want to see patients being wheeled in, IVs, or just any visual representation of the hospital. I could feel an enormous amount of anxiety that I needed my body to adjust to before I could begin really seeing typical hospital images.
When the time came for me to go into my grandfather’s room, I just asked my dad to point to which bed he was in since there are four people in the ICU. I walked in and I tried as best I could to focus on him and him only. I took a good look around at all of the machines and all of the tubes that were attached to him. I thought if I only focused on his face that I might get startled if something were to beep, and add to that he was attached to a lot of things so it would be pretty hard to avoid seeing it anyway. Once I familiarized myself with many of the things that I had seen far too many times over the past 12 years, I was able to calm myself down.
I don’t want to get into the emotional part of what it was like to actually be there with my grandfather in the state he was in but it was good for me to know that I could be there for not only my grandfather yesterday, but my grandmother and the rest of my family as well. I know with every fiber of my being that if he was at Mt. Sinai Hospital it would have been an entirely different story but he wasn’t and the fact that I knew how to handle myself and work with my body and my emotions to do what I needed to do yesterday was a huge deal for me.
It is good to know that I am a lot stronger than I sometimes give myself credit for.
It is also a good thing for a lot of you to remember as well.