What it takes to survive chronic illness and turn it into post traumatic growth.

As I wait for the answer to the results of the meeting that determines if the medical care and treatment that was previously approved just in December is “still” approved and available to me I pick up the pieces of myself that are devastated that I am still having to beg for help from my insurance company at this stage of my healing process.

It has been a month since I have requested access to an approved practitioner to continue my care and continue to manage my medical conditions, and I am still waiting for another round of formal approval.

This is the way that people who live through insurance are forced to operate. It is absolutely cruel.

In order to get formal approval I have to exchange more personal information including them having access to my pelvic floor physiotherapist for her reports too- so they can read all about the progress my pelvic floor is experiencing get them a really clear picture of everything that is not really their business as insurance case managers who lack medical training or trauma informed training. Doctors are barely able to follow the complexity of my medical conditions with my help!!! But sure- here’s another form signing over access to every single piece of me…. Anything else I can do for YOU before you can open the gate to the care I need to survive?

Imagine as an adult having to ask permission to see your doctor, I don’t even have the right to book appointments with the practitioners that are part of my network of care without permission- Then being made to beg again for access to resources essential to my healing- that I had already fought for and had approved.

Help is on the way- but only once the process of me exchanging more dignity and allowing the insurance company that has the vice grip on the neck of my life even MORE access to the practitioners that I have been seeing on my own, and now the insurance company wants access to those practitioners too… the ones we pay for with everything we can spare (or sacrifice other things for) the ones that I have been waiting for independently for over a year- I have to fork over access to all of that too.

I have to jump through hoops and give over every single ounce of dignity and privacy that I have in order to continue to be approved. All while I suffer from the affects of the CPTSD and chronic pain that this type of fighting for my life create for me.

Then on top of it all; I have to have additional appointments with these valuable practitioners for paperwork before I can have access to them for my medical needs- it is absolutely a waste of my very precious energy, and theirs as well being inundated with paperwork for the sake of a process rather than using their time to help patients; seems a lot backwards to me.

It seems like the process’s needs go way before the patients needs here- and the process wins every single time- no matter what the known cost is to me and my body.

At what point do I get the grace to heal in safety with resources around me secure and available to me without me having to even ask?

When can I stop begging for access long enough to actually make progress?

How is it that I have to explain to the groups of people that are supporting me through this mess that I need to feel safe in order to continue healing, that when I don’t feel like I have authority over my life, or access to having my basic needs met as a human on an emotional level that I don’t really have a chance at getting better?

What does it take to survive this all?

Everything that I have. That is what I have given this battle.

Every ounce of energy. Every spare moment. Everything that I had at any given moment is given to this battle to survive.

I have spent nearly two years now figuring this all out. The progress I have seen for myself through this journey has been something that moves me to tears every single time I allow myself to think about the magnitude of my progress.

I am so grateful for my stubborn, or some might say determined nature.

I am grateful for the skills and education that my previous careers and life experiences have afforded me- because it was with those skills that I was able to find my way at least up from the rock bottom place I was left before all of this “help” arrived for me.

There were many many many days, weeks months of my life where it was only me who had me. I was the only one in my corner.

I think we all get like that sometimes, and it is in those moments that we are refined.

Those moments refine us; because they make us ask ourselves what it is that we really want.

What are you going to live for, like really live?

What does that look like for me?

From my bed I contemplated the answers, the real answers to all of these questions and any other questions that I had for myself.

This was the beginning of my journey to healing all of myself.

Prior to being forcibly removed from my life I had just been living in the façade that people are passing off as life these days. I was doing it, unconsciously and it took my life looking real bedridden-like for me to decide that I was going to be a more active part of my own solution.

I started to learn about myself in ways that I hadn’t really thought to learn about myself before.

Some might call it an existential crisis, and by definition they would be absolutely correct… but as far as existential crisis go, I faired pretty good, not bad… if I do say so myself. Considering of course that I like to expedite things, and the universe thinks she is funny- I got to do the existential crisis brought on my surgical medical trauma that triggered CPTSD from my childhood traumas all at once.

I decided I would live. Long before I knew I was curable, before I knew that I had a syndrome and not a disease.

When I found out I was curable was when I really took an even deeper dive into how to heal, what to do for myself as a whole to start seeing real tangible results in my healing progress.

I started with asking what and how I wanted to live the rest of my life.

Then I learned how to do each step as I went.

I did not know what I was doing, really. Only that I knew that I needed to wait, and that I was determined to make my waiting time as bed ridded free as I could. If I have the choice I will not spend the rest of my life in my bed.

It took me a long time to have enough energy to make it through the day without needing to rest. I still need to rest on really bad pain days- and I am even learning that if I rest BEFORE the point of exhaustion it serves me better than being totally depleted and trying to rejuvenate.

I had to learn about pacing for adrenal fatigue in order to learn how to exercise without hurting my body by putting it into an adrenal fatigue cycle.

I had to learn pain science to understand my diagnosis.

I had to learn about embodied trauma, generational trauma and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in order to manage my medical conditions.

I had to learn about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to understand the central nervous system better to help me manage my conditions.

I have to understand biology enough to advocate for the areas that have been abused, I need to protect my organs that have been riddled with damage from over processing.

Turning ptsd into post traumatic growth is a battle that I will choose to stand for every single day.

I chose growth a long time ago, and now I have progress that looks and feels like a post traumatic life is mine for the living!

The endless practitioners, the appointments and the bullshit will always come and go. Focus on progress, and you’ll win every time!

My progress. Top right is surgery date July 2019. Bottom right is 2020. Left is July 2021.

-B.💋

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