OK, so busy week ahead. I have a psych screening appointment on the first that will dictate whether I get into a group CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Group at the VA. On the fourth I have early morning pulmonary function testing to see what condition my lungs are in. Then on the evening of the sixth, I go in for a sleep study to see what the docs are going to do about my sleep apnea. And then, on the seventh, I drive down to DC to stay with a friend the night before the big Veterans Issues Panel the morning of the eighth at the National Press Club. As I said, busy week. And I'm already getting irritable.
Issue One: The CBT Groups
I keep telling myself that there is absolutely no reason for the doc not to accept me into the CBT Groups. I pretty much do that on my own and I am focused on learning how to cope successfully with PTSD. Not to mention that I can share a lot of what i learn on my blog as I learn. Regardless, there is a nagging doubt in my mind that the doc won't see me as a good candidate - then where does that leave me? I will beg if I have to. I am not to proud. I need to find other like-minded veterans who are at the same place I am - willing to learn.
Issue Two: Pulmonary Function Testing
What happens if they tell me I have irreparable lung damage and that I will never be able to be active like I used to be? What will that do to me? I am asking myself the question now and I hate the prospect of living that way. Ever since I was in the hospital a month and a half ago, I have been a non-smoker. I just hope it wasn't too little too late.
Issue Three: Sleep Study
What if they tell me that I have to wear a mask for the rest of my life when I am sleeping? What if they want to do surgery to take out my tonsils and my adenoids? What if they want to do surgery to fix the deviated septum? I shudder at the thought of all three for different reasons. One of the above is going to be the outcome of the study.
The fear of the unknown is making me extremely anxious. All I can do it stay as positive as possible and communicate with my wife. I already told her I am getting irritable and why. We have a game plan. I am going to continue to work on deep breathing to help control the anxiety. The last thing I need is a panic attack on top of everything else that is going on.
As much as I am looking forward to the Forum in DC, I am really putting myself out there. I am nervous as hell that my questions and comments will not be well received. Time will tell. At least I will be facing that with a guy I served in Iraq with. I know he's got my back!
But, tomorrow's another day. Monday, in fact and I will be starting off the day with a little gratitude.
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.