I’m writing this blog 500 miles away from home, sitting in a Red Roof Inn, hungry, and counting down the hours until I head to a local hospital today for an endoscopic procedure that will hopefully go a long way towards correcting the severe gastric reflux problem I have battled for years. I will get general anesthetic today, rather than “twilight sleep” which is what I experienced when I was “scoped” last fall.
Although Beth is with us, Dora is not. It is easy to bring Beth’s homeschooling. Dora missed nearly the whole week of school last week because of the flu. She couldn’t afford to miss three more days, and we were reticent to deal with her perpetual snarkiness when I was down for the count. Therefore, she’s staying with a neighbor.
We had dinner last evening with my husband’s aging parents. I explained GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) and the probable origins of it (genetics, anatomy and stress). My father-in-law brought up the topic of a new vaccine available for Shingles and we discussed the fact that I have had Shingles as well—albeit a very mild case. I had one lesion on my back in the mid-90’s, and it occurred at the absolute peak of my personal family crises. I had an extensive telephone interview with a hospital pre-registration lady regarding my candidacy for general anesthesia, and we discussed my migraines.
I recently sent my mom to her doc to be evaluated for GERD, and I now believe she has battled it for years as well. My dad was a migraine sufferer (but they have stopped now.) I know many of my medical issues are genetically related. But how much has stress impacted them? How many of the reasons behind my preparing for this surgery relate to my stressful lifestyle?
There have been time periods in the past 15-20 years when the stress in my household was physically palpable. I lived in a constant state of stress. It was inevitable that my body reflected that stress. Even if and when I did a credible job of holding things together, I couldn’t prevent the escalating stress from impacting me physically.
There are many references in the literature to the high resting cortisol levels that are present in our traumatized kids. I have little doubt there are high resting cortisol levels in the kids’ equally traumatized parents. I am thinking of all you folks out there who are dealing with the direct and indirect physical fallout of living with traumatized kids.
I’ll try and post a post-operative report tomorrow morning!