Started PHP

We started a partial hospitalization program (PHP) at a local hospital that accepts DID patients. Why have we not known about this program before?

Each time we come home from in-patients/residential, insurance sends us a letter, “Hi, I’m a free health coach. I’ll call you soon to see how I can help you!”

They call and ask what resources we need. We always tell them we have therapists and medications and put it back on them. “What value can you add?” They had previously said, “Nothing,” until this time!

She asked if we considered IOP (intensive outpatient). We said we wanted PHP at the Texas hospital, but the program requires that you live with someone (for your safety), and we live more than 1,000 miles away…

We said the one local trauma IOP we knew of used “exposure therapy” as its primary treatment modality and we found that method retraumatizing for our specific situation (no offense if you use or practice that treatment modality).

She asked if we’d let her look into options for us. We said sure. She actually looked, found us a program, and we scheduled an intake.

From the intake, they recommended PHP (more intensive than their IOP by double), and here was the surprising part: instead of the Trauma track, we were referred to the Mind-Body track.

This makes sense. After 4 hospitalizations and 5 years of therapy, we have intellectualized many skills. As a dissociator, applying the skills has been a barrier since we spend so little time consciously in our body.

If you’ve read this blog, you won’t be surprised that we resprained our right foot after recovering just last week. The sprained wrist (cause: a mystery) is 90%. Mystery penny-sized cut and bruise on right shin…

All byproducts of not being present or having a 6-year-old part drive a 47-year-old body!

So 3 days into the Mind-Body program, we are exhausted. There is psycho-ed (CBT, etc.), and we’re still challenged as to what “feelings” and “sensations” are, what the difference is, and how to feel them safely.

We did get hungry twice this week, which is awesome! That’s a body sensation and we noticed! Our last hospitalization was partially due to lack of eating. We got one of our traumas confused with Older Child’s oral surgery and couldn’t take in enough food to function. Eating is improving since the hospitalization!

At PHP, in addition to psycho-ed, we spend a shit-ton of time breathing. And we’re starting to understand how to use breath to self-soothe! In through the nose and out through the mouth slowly (double the in-breath). Practice is helping. So is Xanax, blessed Xanax.

We’re winding down Luvox to get off it with psychiatrist’s aid. Hospital in Texas thought it might help OCD. It hasn’t and we’ve been sleepy for 2 months 😴.

At PHP, we move our bodies. Yoga is hard. Following directions for how to use/move our body is as hard as CBT!

So we’re trying hard. We’re 3 days into a 4-week program, 5 days/wk 9AM until 3:45PM. Then home to cook and clean and parent and spouse (can spouse be a verb?). Just did first load of laundry in a week!

There’s some sad and unwelcome news in our life to share, and we’ll save it for later in the month. How much can we all stand? Let’s focus on trying to heal! Yay for trying!

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