You are not alone. I struggled for the first year to 18 months with this "recalled memory" horror. I would have dreams of my recovery, I had horrific flashbacks to the time I was hospitalized, and I would physiclaly get ill at certain smells. To this very day, Dial soap sends me into a tizzy of emotions because that's the only soap I was allowed to use for months. I also can not under any cir****tance stand the smell of gauze. I know that sounds absurd, but seriously, when I had to use gauze for my csection incision last year, I thought I was going to puke. I'd start dry heaving and stand there crying because it brought back memories of changing out all the dressings I had on my abdomen.
Even at three years out, I still have flashbacks. My husband was deployed and I was truly all alone. The only company I had was a home healthcare nurse who came in a couple times a week to pull labs, help me bathe and check my vitals.
My surgeons were convinced I was suffering with PTSD, and they were probably right. I refused medication. I just trudged through it. However, it was the most traumatic event I have ever experienced in my life, and do not believe I will ever be fully free of the after effects. The nightmares & flashbacks have lessened over time, but I highly doubt I will ever be able to fully recover from those months of hell.
I do a lot of internal reflection, I celebrate how far I've come, and I have said often that I would endure it all again to live the life I have today. That is all true, I have celebrated the birth of one daughter last October since my VSG and recovery, and will be celebrating the birth of another son this October. I have a life free of obesity, and eating issues that I work on daily, but I am stronger because of everything I went through.
For me, I have to truly recognize just how far I've come. Our marriage endured pure hell, and we're stronger because of it. My husband suffered tremendous emotional distress on top of being deployed to the hell hole of Bagram (which is affectionately called Mortarita Ville because it's constantly being bombed by insurgents), he had to deal with his dying wife and not allowed to come home. Our son was sent to Texas to be with my family during the first month of my recovery and John was stuck there. We had little to no communication because of his location. Every time, we hear of him possibly getting deployed, I am taken right back to those phone calls and memories of how horribly stressed he was over my recovery. I was guilt-ridden for months on end because I knew my recovery put an even bigger strain on him.
All I can offer is that I had to find a positive in all of the hell and turmoil. There was so much bad, but I survived and I'm thriving, we're thriving as a family today because of my VSG. That's the only thing I can tangibly hang onto in those times of anxiety and frustration.
It does get better, I promise, but it all takes time.
Band to VSG revision: June 3, 2009
SW 270lbs GW 150lbs CW Losing Pregancy Weight Maintenance goal W 125-130lbs