Yesterday was tougher than the previous few days were, which was mostly due to my therapy appointment, but also the continued issues of the wasp stings, insatiable hunger, and a generalized feeling of queasiness all morning.
The logistics of the therapy appointment were fine: no major tardiness, no excessive rudeness from the receptionist, etc. With that said, we started exploring my trauma more deeply after tabling it for months. The discussion was understandably triggering, and my brain found its well-worn PTSD grooves to inhabit the rest of the day. I’ve been plagued less often by the demons of vivid daytime flashbacks in recent months, likely due to talking about it less and maybe some degree of healing. (I can’t say the same progress has been made with nightmares.) However, yesterday, the flashbacks came at frequent intervals (6-8 times per hour) rather than the typical 4-6 times total per day as of late.
Another major change in the flashbacks is that I used to experience them much more viscerally. For example, I would actually sense the same pains in my body that I incurred during the attack. I would often find myself physically checking my body for the wounds which have long healed because the flashback felt so real. That virtually never happens anymore. The flashbacks feel less personal and real; I can extract my current self from them and recognize instantly that while upsetting and true to what happened, it’s just a memory and not my current state. This definitely feels like progress, though I must admit that I caught myself scanning my body for damage a few times with more graphic flashbacks yesterday.
It’s possible that stirring up the traumatic memories and the resultant numerous flashbacks increased my hunger because after the trauma, and often when I think back on it, all I wanted or want to do is eat. And eat, and eat. It’s also likely that my body is just adjusting to my wildly different diet and abnormal hunger levels could be logically linked to that. Either way, I seemed to be scavenging for food all day and tried a new food that totally upset my stomach. That’s been nixed from the list!
I feel mostly better this morning, so at least the problem seems to have been cleared out. It’s not uncommon for me to have residual effects of an incompatible food for days or weeks.
My anxiety about the lack of obvious resolution of my wasp stings grew yesterday as well, mostly because I was so nauseous in the morning, and the doctor warned me that systemic symptoms, like nausea, can be indicative that I’m having a toxic reaction to the venom. Fortunately, after some well-chosen snacks (which I didn’t feel like eating), the feeling mostly subsided. The massive swelling, redness, and intense itchiness remained alarming, but since it was only day three post-stings, this is not necessarily surprising.
I ended up not going to urgent care, and doubled down on my at-home treatments once I got home from therapy. Because my stomach was so upset from eating anyway, I was lying on the couch all afternoon, which made icing and elevating the ankle easier.
It was another night of icing every few hours and applying anti-itch cream. To my delight, the swelling seems to have gone down somewhat when comparing my circumference measurements. It’s still very itchy, but the overwhelming heat seems much better. It’s now just warm to the touch, rather than the prior feeling of it being nearly as hot as touching a burner! Hopefully, I’ve finally turned the corner and this whole debacle will be behind me soon.
My doctor told me if I’m stung by a yellow jacket again, I should administer an epipen. Accordingly, he called in another $60 prescription for that to my pharmacy (why are these injections so expensive, even with insurance?!). We are struggling to find an appropriate extermination method, but one is vital. This is absolutely an example of where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This has been miserable!