PTSD and Stress and Cortisol, Oh My!

I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately. Not life-or-death stress or flashbacks, thank God, but relocating-across-the-country stress.

Fundamentally, everything is going well. The third bid by a mover came in nearly 25% less than the other two, and all three had equal qualifications so that made for an easy choice. (Just FYI, if you ever get bids from movers, know that they will meet the lowest bidder’s bid to get your business.)

Anyhoo, a few days ago, I tried to apply a United Airlines credit towards our August flight to Phoenix. I won’t go into all the tedious details, but suffice it to say I was on the phone with Customer Care an hour and a half, was disconnected twice, given incorrect or contradictory information multiple times, and at the end, somehow came away without any tickets. It was like The Twilight Zone.

Later that night, I went into my American Express account and saw United had charged me $200 four times and $1 four times. And I had no tickets!! When I called Customer Care again, they couldn’t find me in the system and denied this ever happened.

Talk about denial of reality! I was looking at the charges online.

Oh. My. God.

You’d think a tiger bounded into my room the way I instantly flooded with stress hormones. My heart pounded like crazy. I was covered in sweat inside a minute.

I immediately called American Express, told them the charges were not legitimate, and requested a new card. I don’t know what the heck was wrong with the personnel I spoke with at United, but I sure wasn’t going to take any chances in case a scammer was in their midst.

Man, did I wake up feeling awful the next day.

Cortisol is one of the stress hormones which flood in a fight-or-flight response. Too much cortisol leaves a person feeling hung-over–wired and tired. It makes a person’s system acidic, too, which means less oxygen coursing through the body.

Over the years, I’ve discovered a couple quick remedies to help get rid of inflammation.

One is baking soda and water. I drink a quarter-teaspoon with water 3X a day.

I also make a high-alkaline drink made of the juice of one lemon (lemons are acidic until they hit your metabolism, where they are rendered alkaline), three tablespoons apple cider vinegar (only apple cider vinegar, this, too, metabolizes as alkaline), two teaspoons of maple syrup and 8 oz. water. Mix well and down the hatch!! Not only will this make you feel good quickly, your skin will turn luminous and your hair shiny.

I’ve seen tears referred to as “acid dumps” because of the amount of cortisol they contain. That’s another good reason to cry.

Meditation, Trauma Releasing Exercises and work-outs are great for relieving my stress, but I like to do nutritional things, too. When my body feels good, my mind follows.

I ended up charging my United tickets online with my Visa (without applying the credit.) I sure wasn’t going to call Customer Care back a fourth time (I supposedly spoke with a supervisor the last time, but he was so impolite and plain wrong about their credit policy, I don’t believe it was the supervisor). I wrote the head of Customer Care telling him what happened. I hope he writes back and provides some kind of solution so I don’t lose that $400-plus credit come September. (You can only use a United Airlines credit within a year of purchase.) I haven’t heard anything back yet.

It would be great if I wouldn’t unpredictably freak out over stuff, but I haven’t perfected my Serenity Now! ability. (Remember that on Seinfeld?)

In the meantime, I’ll continue with my daily deep-breathing sessions, TRE, meditation and anti-inflammatory drinks.


PTSD Frozen in Time