I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and share with you things really can get better.
Last year as the clock struck 12 into 2013. I entered the year with a lot of fear, frustration and uncertainty. My husband had PTSD for 2 years and had only responded marginally to treatment. We had just found out about OSI clinic but had been refused a referral by RCMP health services. I had suffered a concussion while at work in the summer of 2012. I was hit by a heavy falling mirror on the back of the head while I was looking down. During the investigation of my concussion because of the very serious symptoms I was exhibiting a CT was ordered. This CT, plus 3 more and a MRI showed I had a bleeding brain tumour in my front temporal lobe about the size of a golf ball. On December 17 2012 I sat with my husband in a neurosurgeon office just hearing I needed to have urgent brain surgery to remove my tumour because although it didn’t appear cancerous in its structure, the bleeds were very concerning and it was not stable. I was at great risk of a stroke or starting to have grand mal seizures if it wasn’t removed a.s.a.p.
So my New Year 2013 started with having to tell our children of my brain surgery on Jan 16th, I didn’t want to burden them with this over Christmas. Facing my own worries and fear of the seriousness of the surgery itself, how the stress of the surgery would affect my husband and his PTSD. I also had an overwhelming concern of if things didn’t go well in surgery what would I leave behind. My children would face insurmountable grief, with a father who was not well but just copping, who would be faced with new trauma. My oldest daughter had battle an antibiotic resistant staph infection 2 years earlier which required her to have emergency surgery to save her life and full hip replacement surgery to regain her mobility. She was now well but life seemed very cruel and uncaring to me.
Well here I sit facing 2014, after having successful brain surgery and recovery. There were some difficulties this year with my concussion and undiagnosed neck injury but I am definitely on the mend. My husband was able to find a way around health services and get treatment at the OSI clinic. He responded exceptionally well, was able to be taken off his medication and had his last appointment this month. He has life in his eyes again and laughs his big laugh again. Our daughter has her goals of a career in health care so she can help others the way she was helped.
I used my time when I was faced to be basically housebound to speak out and advocate for RCMP families dealing with PTSD. I have grown in ways I never expected and I am feel blessed I was given this opportunity in life. I was shocked and honoured when Senator Dallarie wrote to me and requested I come and speak at the senate in the New Year on behalf of RCMP families dealing with PTSD. I have met so many amazing people and I have an unbelievable group of spouses and members both retired and current standing by me now. I just wanted to say where ever you are at in your journey don’t lose hope.