Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Colonel Became The Demon

This was, indeed, a traumatic event. I left Florida but brought Col. DeBarge with me. I started having terrible nightmares. If you look back into some of my oldest posts you will find a diary of those nightmares. Those nightmares began to affect me after I awoke from my sleep.   This is when I found something to get rid of those nightmares. It was not therapy, well, I guess it was therapy, not the traditional kind, though. It was self medication. Alcohol only intensified the nightmares but some narcotics erased them. It started, ironically, just before I was discharged from the Air Force. I hurt my back while in the Air Force and used the VA hospital in Birmingham, AL. for treatment after I was discharged. I was prescribed percocet 5mg for the pain. It stopped my physical pain but what was most important was that those perc's stopped my emotional pain. I could deal with the nightmares and the re-living the murdering of a patient when I was high. Let's be real, here. It can be called many different things but when all is said and done you still have to call it murder. Those percocets became my salvation. I was not a murderer. They worked so good that I went to Gadsden State Community College and got a job with the local ambulance service trying to resurrect a passion for medicine. It lasted until the first call I got involving a child being thrown from a vehicle. I quit the next day. I knew that I was developing a drug habit and had to give up medicine, permenantly. I have heard that something like 20% of all medical doctors have used narcotics for themself. What was the saying, " A doctor that treats himself has a fool for a client?" Whoever made that up was a genius. It works as well if you are a divorce attorney.
  Back to my story..... later tonight. Thanks, theblogmeister

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Beginning of the End

  I thought long and hard about what I was about to do. I know so much, now, after months and months of therapy, than I knew then. I was an impressionable young kid when I became involved with the Col. I thought that I could handle it. I did not think it would bother me. I knew about euthanasia so I made myself believe that what I was about to do was the right thing. He was wasting away to a disease that was eating away his body. Not his mind, though. He knew what he was doing. It did not matter what it would do to me. He could not commit suicide and risk losing his retirement and pension and leaving his wife, Bunny, in a dire situation. I loved them, both. They were great people and did not deserve what was happening to them. It was time. I gave the Col. a large amount of morphine sulphate in his IV. I then gave him about 30cc of potassium chloride.I walked out of his room without looking back. I immediately took a right into the stairwell and walked down, exited the hospital, got into my car and drove home. Within an hour the phone rang, it was the hospital. I was told that Bunny needed me. That is all the nurses said. They did not tell me the Col. was dead, of course, I already knew. They thought that I would be in no shape to drive if I knew he was dead. I drove back to the hospital and poked floor number 2. I walked out of the elevator and there was an erie calm. Everyone was watching me as I walked toward the Col.'s room. Bunny met me at the door and we just held each other and cried. They had no children of their own but on many occasions they told me that they were going to adopt me. She held onto me and led me in his room. What I saw lying in that bed would haunt me for the next 31 years. I was devastated at what I had done. All of my emotions escaped me at once. I collapsed and had to be treated by my fellow employees. I saw the pain that I caused in Bunny's eyes. This was all my fault. Bunny had told me that she wanted me to come by her house that the Col. had some things he wanted me to have. After Bunny left the hospital I went home and was in a trance-like state. I was in shock. The doctors wanted to admit me for observation but I said no. The next day I went to my first seargent and asked to be transferred off the floor to another job in the hospital. I spoke to noone about what happened. It was a complete surprise to my friends that I worked with. I was transferred in about 2 weeks and was discharged from the military within 3 months. My company commander of the medical squadron was from the same hometown I was from and he got me an honorable discharge from the Air Force. I gave up on everything I wanted and loved. I never saw Bunny, again. What began were nightmares of unspeakable terror. I had created a monster and he would not let me have peace. His name was Colonel Renold L. DeBarge.      theblogmeister

My Story

  It's 1 am and I can't stop thinking about the story that changed my life. His name was Colonel Renold L. DeBarge. A patient of mine that cursed my life. I had been working on the Ortho floor for about a year. I was the best tech on that unit. I had enrolled in Okaloosa-Walton Jr. College to get my pre-med classes started. I was working days when the Col. was admitted on our floor. We had one isolation room on our floor and that was the room the Col. was admitted into. Room 225. He and I hit it  off  immediately. He was a retired Full Bird Colonel and a fighter pilot. The most intriguing man I had ever met. Smart, witty, full of great stories. I spent most all my spare time with him. He was also dying. He had terminal cancer with less than 6 months to live. My commanding officer told me that I was getting too emotionally connected to the Col. That I should start pulling back. So, I did. The Col. kept asking for me. He met with my commanding officer and requested me full time. Instead of telling him that was not possible, she told me that I was assigned to the Col. and no other patient. That was fine with me. Until, about two weeks later, the Col. asked me if I would do him a favor. Of course, I told him. Anything. He asked me to end this all for him. It did not register, at first. I made him clarify his request. What he was asking me to do was kill him. After he worked me for a couple weeks I agreed to do it. To go against everything I was made of, inside. I was going to be a doctor. I shall do no harm. A part of the Hippocratic Oath. I had to think about this. Think I did.  theblogmeister

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Non-Combat Related PTSD

  Post traumatic stress disorder is a disease that can be caused by a number of factors. First, one has to experience an event so traumatic that it disrupts daily life. It is a disabling anxiety disorder that people might develop following exposure to one or more traumatic events. A trauma is an event that causes intense fear during which the individual may feel like they (or someone very close to them) are about to die or experience serious harm. PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event which results in psychological trauma.
  PTSD has become a disease that has garnered interest the last few years mainly because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers are being diagnosed with PTSD because of these wars.
  I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2002 by a doctor in the Veterans Hospital in Tuscaloosa, AL. I did not agree with the diagnosis until 2008. My traumatic event happened in 1978 and my life began to spiral out of control very shortly after.
 This is my story.
  When I was growing up the only thing that I wanted to do with my life was to become a doctor. I came from a middle-class family and the only way I was to attend college was through the military. I joined the Air Force shortly after graduating high school and entered the medical field with the plan of attending college with the help of the military's GI Bill. I was stationed at Eglin. A.F.B. in Florida after attending medical training in Texas. My job was attending to orthopaedic surgery patients. I started IV's, put down NG tubes, foley caths, and a lot of patient care. I really loved my job. It was the spring of 1978 when I met the man that would soon come to rule my sleep. I will explain in detail the traumatic event that almost took my life. later,  theblogmeister

Monday, September 13, 2010

It Is Time For Change

  The core readers of my blog are military veterans, some who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as I. To continue to talk about military operations, war stories, and the like, is becoming to be a little unfair to the veterans that I serve. You understand the reason of the title of this post. I will say to any veteran, or civilian for that matter, that may have an interest in reading about my problems can do so by clicking on archived posts and finding an article that may be beneficial to you. I want to help as best I can, especially the veteran, understand what works and doesn't work when it comes to dealing with PTSD. I will also encourage comments, that I will publish, from anyone with something positive to say. Knowledge is power.
  I am going to deviate a little from my previous posts. I feel that living in the past pains of PTSD is probably not such a good idea. I lived in the throngs for over 30 years. Only when I was able to break away from my past is when I could let it stay in my past.
  I am anxious about this new direction and hope it serves you, well. You will hear from me, soon.  theblogmeister