Friday, October 15, 2010

Did I Hear What I Think I Heard?

  I was stunned, confused, then figured the Col. was just playing with me. I told him not to even joke around like that. He was not joking. He was serious. He actually wanted me to go against everything I believed in about medicine. I blew it off. The look in his eyes was telling me he was for real. I know how much pain he is in. I have watched him waste away to a shell of the man he was when he was admitted. He was a tall, good-looking man in his early seventies. A fighter pilot in his youth. An avid golfer. He made me tell him all about my round of golf every time I played. I could tell how much he missed it. I could tell how much he missed life, in general. Bunny spent as much time as she could with him but he insisted on her not staying all day with him. I guess it gave him time to work on me to convince me to end his life. He must have realized that it was going to take a lot of convincing on his part to get me to pull it off. I did not give it much thought, at first. He was relentless. The Col. was a very intelligent man and I'm sure he was used to getting his way. After all, he was a squadron commander of an air fighter wing. I could sit with him for hours, and often did when the unit was not at capacity, listening to the many stories of his dogfights in WWII and the Korean war. He was an ace and had never been shot down. He had some close calls but always made it back to base. I had wondered if the decision to end his life was ever discussed with Bunny. I still wonder, to this day. He knew that his time was not that far away but, once before, the doctors had tried some experimental drugs and he, amazingly, got to feeling better. The immense pain he constantly was in was evident in everything he did. You could see it in his eyes. Those steely green eyes were losing their brightness. The doctors could not tell him how much time he had left. I felt that he was going to be in charge of when that time would be. He had one hurdle. Convincing me.   theblogmeister

The Question

So far, it has been a quiet night. My favorite nurse, Nancy, is working with me. There would be only two staff that worked the night shift. A registered nurse and a medical service specialist. That is the name of the job I perform. I do anything that the nurses do with less pay. I am an NCO while Nancy is a Captain. We hit it off the first time we met and enjoyed working the night shift, together. Our unit is a male orthopaedic surgery unit with 25 beds. The Col. slept in room 225. It was the only single bed room on our unit. It is also an isolation room where, if need be, we can gown and glove in a separate room before the room where the Col. slept. I had spent about thirty minutes with the Col. before I made my rounds to check on my other patients. I had 4 pre-ops for the next morning and had to make sure each one understood they were not to eat or drink after midnight. The ward got quiet after our post-op patients received their pain and sleep meds so I peeked in on the Col. He was still awake waiting on me to finish my nightly duties. He had been on our unit for several months and knew the routine, well. The reason we had a terminal patient on our unit instead of the medical unit is because of the isolation room. If you have any knowledge of military life you know the importance the active duty personnel give to a retired full bird colonel. They are treated with the utmost respect and with this particular full bird I had grown to respect him and know him more than I should have. He, and his wife Bunny, were fantastic people and I had grown to love them. This is not a good idea when you know that he is terminal and will die, soon. There was something special about Col. DeBarge that made me forget his medical prognosis. We became great friends and everyone on our unit knew that I was headed for an emotional abyss. I was warned by more than a few that I was getting too emotionally connected to him. I could not help it. He was something. Little did I know that he would impact my life and bring me close to the edge of insanity. Just six words started an avalanche of emotional pain, so intense, that it would affect me for the next 32 years. Those 6 words were, "Will you end this, for me?"  theblogmeister

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Busy Day

  My little brother called me this morning and asked if I would Join him and two others
 in a golf tournament. I have not played any golf in two years because of my back surgeries. I agreed to give it a shot, no pun intended, and had a great time. We played 4-man best ball and came in 3rd place. Actually, we tied for 3rd and because of the tie-breaker we were out of the money. But I had a blast. I am sore as hell, right now, and I hope that Bastard the Col. feels it, too. I know that won't happen. If he bothers me tonight, I will get a 7 iron after his ass. I am in the process of trying to get links to other blogs that deal with PTSD so I can inform my readers. Knowledge is power. I hope I am able to get some much needed uninterrupted sleep, tonight. I will let you know how it goes.
  I have decided to go back to the beginning, go back to 1978 when all this started. I will continue my journal until I reach the time I was diagnosed with PTSD. There will be some posts that will deal with the previous nights dream but I will try and keep this journal on course. Strap in, my friend, because you are about to take the ride of your life!    theblogmeister

It Is 4am and I am Still Here

  What the hell are you doing up at this hour? Well, thanks to my good friend, " The Demon," I will not get much needed sleep. I did sleep for a couple hours and am grateful for that. I do not want to sound like a complainer. My readers may think that way. The fact of the matter is I want my readers to try and see life through my eyes. I am also grateful that I did not have a terrible dream that jolted me out of my bed, per usual. I have some days, although with sleep lacking, that I do rather well. Those days are becoming less, unfortunately. I did relive my traumatic experience once again. This time the Col. must have been under a tight schedule because he spent little time with me. One little victory! I really am exhausted, though. I will try, through prayer and reading my bible, to find the strength I need to make it through another day. later    theblogmeister
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Light Is Gone

  It is dark outside. I can feel my heart rate exceeding its normal limits. I do not want to go to sleep. Could it be that the more I talk about Him at the conscious level I am giving Him power over me? I capitalize the pronouns for a reason. He is alive, to me. He lives in the dark recesses of my mind waiting on the chance to show His strength. I have tried, in therapy, to depersonalize Him. My therapist thought it important to try and not talk about Him. Use imagery, a type of therapy that uses visualizations to control or change mood and behavior. Everything I learned in therapy made sense to me. I do not understand why, when the sub-conscious takes hold, I still dream of this man. It is probably not a very good idea for me to be writing about Him this close to sleep. I think it may reinforce His presence. If I watched black and white movies all day, will I dream in black and white? I am rambling, doing anything to avoid the inevitable. Will He come, tonight? Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake. I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen   theblogmeister

Where Do We Go From Here

  I am seriously considering hypnotherapy, again. It seemed to work for me the first time. How well will it do this time? I am at the point of near desperation. Sleep has been almost non-existent for me, lately. My anxiety level goes way up when the sun goes down. I'm afraid to go to sleep because of the fear that my sub-conscious puts me through. There was a time that I used the narcotics to deal with my Demon, as I choose the Colonel by that name. It is almost evil. What is puzzling is that all thoughts originate in my mind. Does that mean that I am evil? Could it be that I am possessed? I really do not know exactly what that means. My mind seems to have control over my thoughts while I sleep. Seems, hell! It does have control. So, I ask myself, who controls my thoughts? If I had total control over my thoughts, whether awake or asleep, I would not be having these occurring dreams of a person that I killed over thirty years ago. Am I, without knowledge, creating this turmoil? Is it a way to punish myself for what I did to a human being, going against the Hippocratic oath, by "doing no harm?" That is exactly the root of the problem. I have known this. It is nothing new. Yet, as soon as sleep finally overtakes me I will meet up with Him, again. Am I going to have to kill Him, again? I damn sure can't bring him back to life. The truth is that he never died. His physical body died when I dosed him with morphine and potassium chloride. His, I don't know what to call it, ghostly? part of him lives on. It is, and has been, his mission to never let me forget and to make me pay for what I did to Him. When will we be even? I want my debt paid. Because of Him, and my spinal stenosis, mostly Him, I cannot provide properly for my wife. She is the one that chases Him away at night. She is the one that holds me and makes my fear go away. What can I do for her? I really don;t know how she does it. I am grateful to have her. Later   theblogmeister

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Could Use Your Help

 I will not ask for handouts. What I will ask is if you would take advantage of these great deals on Amazon through my website and I will get paid a little. While I am waiting for my VA claim to go through the process the only income I have is social security disability and my ex-wife gets half of that for back child support. That's OK, I owe it to her. I do need some help, so, please consider clicking on amazon from my website and buy some great items at very good prices. Thank you for your help and prayers, theblogmeister, David

Still Awake

  I have not gone to bed since my uninvited visitor last night. Fear is a great motivator. I understand, more than any, the need for sleep. I sometimes hope that complete exhaustion will render me comatose, therefore, giving no quarter to My Demon. I will not fight Him the way I fought Him for almost 25 years by the use of narcotics. It is so tempting to fall back in those old behaviors. The use of narcotics worked but they came with a hefty price that I am not willing to pay. So, how do I deal with the monster inside me? I have tried to turn my problems over to God. I have tried psychiatry. I have tried hypnotherapy, with some success, I might add. I am in the process of using pharmacology under the guidance of the medical profession, excluding narcotics. I do, however, take narcotics for a back problem that has caused me to have 4 back surgeries. The morphine is kept in the custody of my wife and she ensures that I do not abuse them. I have been admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility to treat my PTSD which involved group and individual counseling. I have tried emotive therapy. There definitely is no lack, on my part, of dealing with this problem. My grown son says I am a piece of shit and will have nothing to do with me. I do not understand his hatefulness of me. I have tried to be a good father to him but he will have nothing of it.
  Other than what I previously mentioned my life is going great. I only wish for some undisturbed sleep. Am I asking too much?   theblogmeister

Can't Tell The Difference

  I barely heard my wife tell me that she was going with my daughter to take our grandson to the E.R. I had taken my meds, so, I was pretty well out of it. Later, I don't know how long, I heard the sound of the front door opening. I was not completely
awake, trying to listen for my wife come to bed. I heard nothing since the sound of the front door opening. I raised up in bed and turned on my bedside light and found no one in bed with me. Hesitantly, I got up out of bed to see where my wife was. Her car keys were on her computer table, her shoes where she takes them off. She had not left the house. Where was she? I checked each room, one by one, and she was no where to be found. I was walking toward our bedroom and the door was closed. I had not closed the door. I could see light coming from under the door. Bright light. Where the hell was that coming from? I did not have a light that bright in my bedroom. As I was reaching toward the door handle I heard a voice from behind me. "I would not do that if I were you." I recognized the raspy voice of the Col. I turned to confront him and he was not there. I was frozen in place. I told myself that I was having another nightmare. I did not think this was a dream. It was as real as I am sitting here writing about it. I called out to the Col. "Show yourself, you bastard." No response. "What's wrong, are you suddenly a coward?" I must have been screaming because my throat was hoarse. I was about to yell something else when I felt a hand on my shoulder and my wife's voice asking me if I was alright. I could not speak for several minutes. When I finally was able to talk I told my wife everything. Then I began weeping. She helped me to bed and I stayed with her until she fell asleep. How I envy her sleep.  theblogmeister

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Dream That Turned Into a Nightmare

  Every since I was a small boy my dream of becoming a doctor was real. That is the only thing I wanted. To be able to heal the sick. To improve the quality of life for others. To save lives. After graduating high school the dreams of my youth never faded, they only became stronger. I entered the U.S. Air Force to begin the long hard road of becoming a doctor. After medical training I was assigned to a 250 bed hospital at Eglin A.F.B. in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. My on the job training started on an orthopaedic surgery floor. I was like a sponge. I learned something new every day. I had some friends that were doctors that would let me scrub in on some of their cases. There was nothing that was standing in my way. I became the best tech on our floor. I knew how to set up any type of traction equipment and when doctors orders were written for a type of traction equipment to be set up they asked for me to do it. The doctors and nursing staff knew that I could be counted on to get the job done.
  The day was September 18, 1978. It was the day that I threw my medical career out the window. I had done the one thing that ruined my chance of ever fulfilling the dreams that I carried with me throughout my life. Had it not been for Colonel Renold DeBarge, I know, without a doubt in my mind, that I would be practicing medicine as we speak. Think about it for a moment. One action changed the course of my life and has caused me so much psychological and physical pain beyond comprehension. Because of that lapse in judgement I have become an emotional and physical wreck. I am not asking or expecting sympathy from anyone. I made the mistake and am paying for that mistake every day of my life. It is easy to say that I should have known better. That I got what I deserved. Bullshit. I was a 19 year old kid that was manipulated by a very smart retired Full Bird Colonel that wanted to end his life but knew by doing so, he would ruin his wife's chance at receiving his retirement and pension, probably his life insurance, too. I blame my commander of our hospital unit by seeing I was getting too attached to the Col. and instead of reassigning me, she granted the Col.'s request that I be totally in charge of his care. She warned me that I was getting too close but what did she do? She made damn sure that I stayed close. Am I pissed? You damn right I am! I see his face constantly. Terrorizing my psyche. My life was worth nothing to the Col., or, my C.O., for that matter. I am in the process of filing for service-connected disability for PTSD. Even that will not be enough.    theblogmeister