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Kevin has decided to be evaluated for PTSD. I am both pleased and relieved he has made this decision. (Like all mental health issues, the afflicted person has to want to do something about the issue.)

In other good news:

- we've found an over-the-counter potassium supplement that agrees with his digestive system. The combination of omeprazole and potassium is working well to keep him on an even enough keel to eat and keep it down, although he's still eating only small amounts at a time after the week-long stomach unpleasantness he had in late November.

- we have figured out an arrangement to make our living room more presentable and consolidate the sewing/crafting things into one room. It involves turning the master bedroom into a studio, but it will be good all around once we're done.

- after a frosting failure, I used melted almond bark coating to hold together 24 graham cracker gingerbread-style houses for Laurel's class party. The kids loved it and I returned home 23 houses and some candy lighter, but heavier by over half a dozen large premixed frosting bags. I promptly gave three bags to one of the feral children after she knocked on our door and asked if she could have them. (I realize in hindsight that I have no idea if her responsible adults were aware of this, but at worst I gave a bunch of kids whose parents I don't know a bunch of sugar on a Friday afternoon.)

- I am reasonably satisfied after over a week of tweaking my model in SketchUp that I have a stable tank model to print and use as gingerbread templates. I'm going to get some pirouette cookies at the dollar store to use for the tank gun.


Dec. 19th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
hehehe! Gingerbread tank! I approve. :)
Dec. 20th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
<3 your Professor icon.

I still have to go out to the dollar store for the pirou-whatever cookies, but you could go into a diabetic coma from the volume and variety of frosting in my kitchen right now. Hell, I feel a little woozy when I look at it so I've put it all into a paper bag.
Dec. 19th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
I still that that item for you. Want me to drop it off Tuesday or Wednesday?
Dec. 20th, 2009 07:27 am (UTC)
Whenever works for you would be great. I'd be happy to buy you coffee or lunch or something for your trouble.

Also, I would like to preemptively apologize for any cold weather later in the week. The meteorologist on one of the local stations said there was about a 2.8% chance of having snow on any given Christmas and I can only hope he wasn't tempting Mother Nature by sharing that on air.
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
I don't know what time we're getting into town on Tuesday so we can do it sometime Wednesday. I've got your number so I'll be in touch!
Dec. 20th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
I've been doing PTSD research, as many of my patients in the barrio have it. It's a war-zone their, too. I have come across many articles from places like 'Military Psychology', and the government's sensitivity is something like, "How fast can we get the soldier back into the field?" Troubling. Also troubling is that there is some evidence that being interviewed about the trauma may actually cause additional trauma. I made this mistake early on, without realizing. I don't go through a checklist now. Instead, I find the information I need in order to diagnose through conversation. It's more important to establish a good relationship with the PTSD patient. They need to feel safe and comfortable. Attachment issues are big!

That aside, you could diagnose him yourself (en secreto). I created this questionnaire in Spanish. It's actually more extensive than the usual screens for PTSD. Basically, if he answers 'yes' to more than four of these questions, he has PTSD.

1. ¿Evita lugares, personas, o actividades que le recuerdan del evento?
2. ¿Le molestan todavía los recuredos del evento?
3. ¿No tiene interés en cosas que fueron agradables o divertidas?
4. ¿Se siente más reservado, frío, o aislado de otras personas?
5. ¿Es más difícil sentir afecto o amor para otras personas?
6. ¿Siente que proyectar o planear el futuro no es importante por ahora?
7. ¿Tiene problemas para dormir o durmiendo? Tiene insomnio?
8. ¿Le asustan los ruidos?
9. ¿Escucha voces? (¿Qué dicen las voces?)
10. ¿Ve cosas que otras personas no pueden ver?
11. ¿Ahora, sale usted de su casa frecuentemente?
Dec. 20th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
I also have to say that you are a saint for going through this with him. I'm sure that putting up with him is a major task. I went through it, too. Though, my partner was not in combat. It gets better, but it is fucking hard.
Dec. 20th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
Putting up with Kevin's troubles is a constant lately, but I'm committed to not giving up on him because I think he deserves to have someone in his life that doesn't walk out or use religion as an explanation for why bad things happen.

I am always glad to see people who've lived with a partner with PTSD and didn't end up going batshit crazy from the experience.

When I step back from being in the thick of it, it is kind of cool to have a live-in research subject. I make regular notes on his expression of impulsive thoughts and emotional lability in case I might be able to make some sense of them later.
Dec. 20th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
I'm sure he has PTSD from his combat experience -- he was fresh out of training when he participated in the invasion of Grenada. I suspect any mental health oversight he experienced was minimal and he would have shrugged off what was offered anyway.
Dec. 21st, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
you ARE going to post piccies of the gingerbread tank? because that rocks in so many ways!
Dec. 22nd, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Of course! I have my pattern printed now but haven't baked the gingerbread yet.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
what kind of tank? seriously, pat's the expert.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
M1A2 Abrams. Laurel is disappointed that it will not actually run or fire, but that's a whole different school of building. (:
Dec. 12th, 2012 07:11 am (UTC)
You'll find is safer and you'll be able to increase the amount of Potassium if you don't use supplimants. Supplimants are usually salts, and absorbed into the body very fast. Low sodium V-8, Cambells Tomatoe Juice, and many smoothies are good sources.
If you have any questions, my eMail is GESICC [at] aol.com, or I have a page on facebook, www .facebook.com/#!/groups/316129295070312/
Good luck,
Greg Tyler


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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