Showing posts with label Chicago Block. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Block. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The PTSD Injection, SGB, Stellate Ganglion Block Holds promising results

*Disclaimer*

This is my opinion of MY life, of my husband, of OUR experience.  If you chose to have the shot for PTSD as well, you may not have the same results as us, and Family of a Vet, INC, myself, my husband, my employers, Dr. Lipov, or Chicago Medical Innovations cannot be held responsible for results that differ from ours.

HOLY. 

It worked. 

I am seeing my husband tonight.  The one who always gives me the window seat.  The one who opens every single door and says yes ma'am in that sweet lover way.  The kind of behavior I have ever only seen by Veterans, and more specifically, combat Vets.  I *love* that.

The first thing I noticed in the ride back to the hotel was that my husband did not one single time engaged in nervous antsy behavior.  When my husband starts keying up he gives off subtle physical cues that I have been accurately trained in.  In the past 6 years with my husband, I have become the professional mitigator.  I know whats going to happen LONG before he actually amps up.  The look in his eye.  The hand rolling.  The posturing. 

NONE of this happened tonight.  Not on the ride home.  Not at  that hotel.  Not at the supper.  I was well aware that the shot was working.  You know how?  Because *I* was at ease.  He was calm, ergo, I was calm.

So I took a stab.

Straight for  the heart. 

You know in PTSD world, we fight hard, we fight fast, and we fight dirty.  Well,  I am no exception.  I have lived with my husband for 6 years.  I'm a skilled killer, too. 

I said two words to him that I KNOW would send him off the charts.  I won't say this here because I don't want to trigger anyone else....mostly because I can't be there to help you calm down....

But I said it.  At the steak house on Algonquin road.  He, with his mouthful of steak, he hadn't eaten all day, stopped chewing and looked at me, cocked his head....

"What'd ya say that for?"  He wasn't angry, he was confused. 

Happily, blissfully unaware, and confused.

James!  You didn't get up and run out!!! You didn't freak on me!!!! The last time I tried to talk to him about these two triggering words he covered his hands over his ears and screamed at me.

This time was merely a "wha?"

SO what did I do?  I had to call my bff right there at the table and tell her it fucking worked.

So I told her while we ate, and apparently I said the words a few more times....totally aware of what I was doing, I hung up the phone.

James, do you realize I just said it three times more?

And he said, No, you said it four times.  And there we sat.  Completely okay with it.

This is huge.  This is HUGE!!!!!!!  I don't know if this will last, but I do know this.  My husband would do it again.

And so would I.

Monday, January 16, 2012

As real as it gets....The PTSD injection....searching for relief

The jig is up.  I'm not as strong as I look.  Not right now, not at this moment. I'm a little bit broken.

I'm freaking terrified.  It didn't dawn on me how nervous I am for this (my husband to get the Stellate Ganglion Block) until my old coworkers working the night shift showed up at work tonight when I finished my new shift (until midnight).  Mother Theresa, my most beloved RN who is very much a cheerleader for me, walked on to  the unit, and anxiety just paralyzed for me a minute.

I so wanted to crumple to the floor.  At her feet.  I don't know if this is the right thing to do after all.  But her calm and ever so compassionate presence lifted me off the floor.

One of my closest confidants, Brannan, you may know her as the founder of this operation, FOV... thinks this was meant to be.

"You walked right into it, Kat."  Did I?  I sure the heck did.  I called the doctor, I tracked him down, I asked him to help us.  I asked.  I hope to God this works.  People say, "I'll pray for your family" and I hope that God believes in us.  We certainly don't deserve his belief in us, but if he does, I won't argue.

But I think of ALL the combat vets I know who have struggled, who are still struggling, and I think, I have to be strong.  My husband is a little nervous, he told me so, but he seems okay... he is strong.

I went with a coworker again and we worked out.  I pushed myself for the third day straight in the gym.  Snot pouring out of my nose, sweat pouring off my body.  I haven't been *this* nervous in a long time.  If ever.  It felt good to push myself.  As I was working out my friend asked a little about if I was nervous, and my chin started quivering.  The tell tale sign of my about to break down in full on tears and snot.  But I just kept pushing.  I got through it. 

Driving home after our workout, I thought, I just need to get home and I'll be okay and we can put this whole thing into perspective.  I walked in my door, greated by the thump thump thump of our Golden Retriever's tail (his name is Soldier of course), and was shocked by what I saw.

A spick and span, army cleaned, obsessively cleaned house.

Oh Shit.

This only means one thing in my world.  When I am away and my husband cleans like this, it means he is anxious.  Its what he does with his nervous energy.  So he doesn't have to think about whatever it is that is bothering him.  He hasn't done this in awhile,  so you can imagine my surprise...

How are we existing with this nervousness and not clashing.  We are both buzzing with nervous, excited, scared energy, but we haven't fought, we haven't argued, we haven't even really talked.  We haven't even really discussed what is going to happen.  We just both have the quiet resolve of "it will happen." 

This almost seems fake.  Like a big joke.  I haven't talked to Kevin the assistant, or Dr. Lipov himself, or his public relations woman since the day they said to come.  I have the tickets, the hotel, everything I need has been mapped out and placed before me.  The sick and twisted part of me says, you'll get to the airport and TSA will say, No these are fake tickets.  I'll get to the hotel, and they will say, there is no reservation for that name.  I'll get to the clinic and the staff will say, Dr Who?  We don't have you scheduled for today, sorry. 

But, enough worry.  Enough what if.  I have been KILLING myself with What ifs.  I so love that game, and I am VERY good at it.  What if he has a seizure, what if it doesn't work, what if he freaks?  What if it fails? What if it works?  What if it works how do I go back to work and believe in what I do at my job?  What if it works and HE can't believe in his job anymore?

This one time, this one true very important and life changing moment, I have one thing to say.  And for those who know me intimately, you know how hard but sweet this is, 

"God, let your will be done."

Good night, we travel tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Injection for Ptsd.....The journey to peace

The "Stellate Ganglion Block".  Stellate. Ganglion. Block.  What started as my venture to research alternative methods to treating PTSD (which my Iraq combat Vet has....and what now has my family by the throat) has turned into a potential miracle for my husband.  For me.  For our three small children.

Potential.

I first read about the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) on stripes.com.  An article posted about an Anesthesiologist,Dr. Eugene Lipov.  Hmmmm I thought.  I'd like to interview him for Family of a Vet's (FOV) radio show (on blog talk radio for you who don't know).  Afterall, I am now the Veteran's Health Advocate, and people need to know their options.  Options outside of the box.  Options that are feasable.  Was this feasable?  Was it cost effective?  Was it even a viable option for the majority of our veterans? I needed to know.

So I did what any resourceful 30-something who knows nothing about working as a Sr. Staff in a national non profit did, but all about the drive necessity brings....I googled him.

And I found him.

"Dear Dr. Lipov, my name is Kat..."  uh no.
"Dear Dr. Lipov, I am writing to inquire about your....."  nooooo, too pompus.

"Doc, my husband has PTSD, but PTSD has my family"  That could work....

So I emailed him.  I don't remember what exactly I first wrote, but I caught an old collegue of his first who is now in Fort Sam Houston.  She had nothing to say on the matter.

Then I caught his Director?  Assistant?  Kevin.  I caught him.  And we emailed.  I don't think I conveyed the severity of the issue at hand the first few emails, but soon enough I received a call from Dr. Lipov himself.

Holy.  Shit.

The first thing I noticed about him was he has an accent.  Russian I thought, it made me think of an old priest I used to take care of, and my brief nostalgia was halted when I realized I am trying to work here.

There was a break.  Silence.  And do you know what I asked him?  Really?  I asked him,  "WHY? Why do you care about us?"  Why does he care about a combat vet with ptsd?  Any of us?  He's a pain specialist....PTSD is not the pain he specializes in.

Or is it?

I can't tell you what we talked about truly.  We talked about barriers to care, why this shot wasn't getting a lot of attention and so on.  He was kind.  He had a very nice voice.  And he was *very* passionate about this.  He was the first person who ever put to light to me that there is a lot of things standing in his way....Pharmaceuticals.  I swear Big Pharm is a very deep and complicated issue in our world people.  There are many good things, but many not so good as well, and that is not our topic for now.

So fast forward to me emailing some talking points to his right hand man Kevin.  And I also bought his book on Amazon.  Exit Strategies..... I read it in a day.  Easy to read, very to the point, and a good primer on PTSD.

And thats where this little trist ended.  I tried booking for the show.  Nothing.  I argued with myself to give him more time, I wrestled with the fact that he had called me (which is kind of out of character in my opinion of busy Doctors) but now I was getting no play.  What changed? 

thats when fate whispered, "your life is about to change....."

I was called in the evening the other day by Kevin.  We were coming.  He was inviting us.  We are GOING.  My husband and I are leaving on Monday....

Tuesday, January 17th, at 11am, my husband, who still struggles with PTSD, is undergoing Dr. Lipov's "Chicago Block".  We are flying to Chicago, by the grace of the Universe, by the grace of Dr. Lipov, to see him.  To meet him!  In the flesh!  To get the shot for PTSD.....


Written by Kateri Peterson, a native of Minnesota.  Senior Staff at Family of a Vet, INC.  and Proud (and Damn LUCKY) wife of James, Army Veteran, who honorably served from 2002-2006.