PTSD?

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MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010

To start with I've been cleared of any symptoms of PTSD. I hardly have any bad dreams & when I do they're really not THAT bad. Last night was the exception. My wife & I decided to opt out of watching fireworks last night. My wife's knees were acting up & there would be a lot of walking involved. It seems that about half of the homes in my block & adjacent blocks had their own fireworks show. This is normal & not all that disturbing. Last night was the mother of all fireworks exhibitions. Teen aged boys were running around the whole neighborhood shooting off firecrackers, mostly M80s (1/4 stick of dynamite) & all kinds of other pyrotechnics. It started about sundown & lasted until after 0100. It wouldn't have been all that bad except they were going between the houses chasing each other. To have a half dozen M80s going off about 3 feet from my bedroom window & boys chasing each other with Roman candles in my & most other's yards was very disturbing. I have 2 dogs & 2 cats & they were terrified. I never saw any of them shake so much & cower constantly. It about broke my heart.

There was about a half hour of peace but it started up again. I found out a police car had entered the scene & drove around for a few minutes. Someone must have called them unless they heard it their selves.

I finally fell asleep as I can sleep under most circumstances. My wife can't. She said I started talking in my sleep, something I never do. I was giving orders to my "men" about things like fire discipline, calling in an air strike, artillery & reinforcements. I also mentioned that our sniper team should take out the obvious leaders of the attacking force. I was in the middle of a "major firefight". When I woke up this morning at mt usual 0530 I was exhausted & it took me a while to figure out where I was. I have only a vague recollections of my dream but I remember I had them. I never had them before.

I sincerely hope that they used up all of their fireworks & this isn't going to be a reoccurring event tonight. I certainly don't want to develop PTSD in my own house. My brother-in-law, also a Military retiree has it bad. He can't stand even one small firecracker & no longer hunts & he was an avid hunter before he experienced war.

I had to get this off my chest. I'm sorry. I had to counsel a few of my soldiers in the past & I hate to think that it's my turn for counselling from events in my own neighborhood.

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Colin
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Joined: 08/16/2010
Fireworks-PTSD

Thanks for sharing this, MSG Glenn.

I remember a few years ago when there was a small sign that vets could put in their yard reminding others to be considerate of firework use. We had a post on it here, but I haven't seen these signs very much, and I imagine many people aren't even aware of the stress that their firework use can have.

While it sounds like your 4th of July was intense (I don't think I'd ever be okay with people setting off fireworks near my windows!) I get constantly annoyed by the people who think the fireworks should be a week-long event. We had people setting off fireworks the Thu/Fri before the 4th, all the way to the Fri after. I feel for anyone that has PTSD symptoms (no matter how mild) when fireworks could literally happen at any moment.

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
Thanks, Colin. I just had to

Thanks, Colin. I just had to get it off my chest & vent a little. I can't remember any other "episode" happening to me before. I have two stages of sleep. One I call my "Combat Sleep" where I'm at a light sleep & can come instantly awake if I hear a strange sound. Then I go into what I call my "Coma". I sleep like the dead although if awoken I come awake easily. What probably set if off was the fact I was in combat sleep most of the night & missed the deep sleep.

Normally explosive sounds bother me not at all. I don't jump like my brother-in-law does. I was in underwater demolitions in the Navy & I really enjoy a good explosion, LOL. I love fireworks & when my wife's folks were still alive & living on a lake I'd be shooting fireworks off all around the 4th. That was until my brother-in-law retired from the USAF, though. When I was in my late pre-teens I & my cousins would make our own firecrackers out of homemade black powder. It still amazes me that we have all of our eyes & fingers, LOL. Some that we made could probably blow tree stumps out of the ground, LOL. My cousin lived on a farm where neighbors were at a distance.

I'm totally out of any nervousness now & sleep very well with no bad dreams. That's a relief to me. There are some firecrackers still going off but very sporadic & at a distance. They don't bother me at all but the pets are still a bit jumpy. I slept straight through a huge thunderstorm last night.

Colin
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Joined: 08/16/2010
Re: Thanks

Sounds like you had some fun - glad to hear you've kept all your limbs AND the ability to sleep!

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
LOL

Caught my younger cousin (he was a year younger than me, his brother a year older) shoving a lit firecracker in a small hole in the ground & then got on his hands & knees to look straight down, LOL. He received a double tackle that time.

I've been sleeping like a baby these days. The one thing I liked about the 4th of July barrage was the smell of gunpowder, LOL.