The Nightmare of Post Traumatic Stress
The nightmare of PTSD is that one never knows what is going to trigger it. One never knows
how one is going to respond in a situation, and I have learned to try to keep my triggers at a
minimum level. But there are some things that I cannot control and tried to do the best I could with this particular incident that has thrown me into full blown PTSD since Monday.
One would think that reaching out and telling medical professionals your truth would be a good thing. That these medical professionals would be supportive, listen and want to help you in any way possible. I thought that the conversation I had with the nurse Practitioner went well. I thought that we were all on the same page.
It all started when I went to the VA to get my ankle checked out. The Nurse Practitioner noticed that I had not done a pap smear for over five years. I told her that I was there about my ankle.
There was a student NP in the room and I was not comfortable talking to the NP any further. She kept pushing the issue. I got made and said, “I have not done this in five years because it is really triggering.” Then she joked and was like we could knock you out. I told that sounded great because that would be the only way that I would ever do one. So she told me to get myself prepared, call and make an appointment.
I kicked the idea around for two weeks. I called the VA made one appointment and then called and canceled that one. Then I called back and made another appointment. I reached out to the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator. I opened more to the VA then I ever have. I was told last Monday that the NP would call me on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. It got to be
Friday, I was pissed that I had not heard from the NP. I called to the VA to cancel the
appointment. It took me getting loud and angry for them to have the NP to call me back. I told the NP my truth about why I was so scared of the pap smear and pelvic exam. I thought that we were on the same page and there was an understanding to how triggering this exam was to me.
So on Monday, I go for the exam. I start crying. I turn red. I stop breathing and they tell me to
keep breathing. I get a massive headache. They give me an ice pack for my back. I get dressed and leave. They take my blood pressure in another room where it is 144/115. I am still crying and cry the rest of the day and night.
Tuesday comes along and I call the VA to talk to the NP. After seeing my reaction of Post
Traumatic Stress, they finally prescribe a medication for anti-anxiety and set me up with the
Choice Program. So today, I have been on the phone fighting with the VA and Choice Program telling them that the NP told me that she had put in a consult for me to be in the Choice Program. Of course, they say that they have not received the consult yet. I call the VA back and talk to another lady. I tell her that there is no way in hell that I will EVER step foot into the VA again. Finally, she says that she will they will get the ball rolling.
I spent the rest of today crying, talking to the suicide crisis line and talking to a couple of my
friends. All of this could have been stopped if they would have bothered to listen to me when I was advocating for myself and was telling them my truth. I said, “This exam is very triggering for me and I am asking for medication. Or better yet, it would have been better to see a real doctor that is a GYN that knows about rape and PTSD.” What happened is fubar and I will never be having another pelvic exam.
So tomorrow, I see my therapist for the second time this week. I have cut my thigh because I feel like I am nothing. No one can or will respect me. I feel like I am just a walking piece of meat that can be raped and no one cares about. I am tired of everything being a fucking fight. I am tired of no one listening to me or other survivors. I straight up told them what would happen during this exam and they did not care.
It's the following Wednesday and I am still triggered. I am still having severe PTSD
I want to be able to sue the VA and Military to get the pay back to the day when I was raped, lost my career, emotionally abused, retaliated against, betrayed, emotionally abused,
Everything that happened this week is FUBAR and I should have been taking care of by the VA.
I should have a choice in who my provider is. I should have a choice of what medical facility I
go to. I should have real insurance and not have to deal with Veteran Affairs. I did not ask to be raped, retaliated against, lose my career, have my life changed forever., and live with complex PTSD.