1.) James was so anxious and so suicidal that he couldn’t even muster the self-preservation to get into inpatient treatment.
- So anxious and so suicidal – It is expressed that James suffered severe symptoms due to his debilitating PTSD.
- Couldn’t even – This statement implies that the following action is insignificant and trivial, which the author did not have the right to assume.
- The author implies that it is a simple task to gather the courage to enter inpatient treatment through the phrase “couldn’t even muster the self-preservation to get into inpatient treatment.” Therefore, this statement expresses the author’s opinion on the topic.
2.) With three kids, eight, five, and two, and Kateri’s full-time job—as a VA nurse, actually—she could no longer manage his emotional plus physical problems: rheumatism consults, neuro consults for TBI, plus a burning rash on both feet he got in Fallujah in 2004.
- This statement implies that Kateri has a busy schedule.
- Could no longer – Kateri must have attempted to handle her husband’s disability on her own for a period of time.
- Rheumatism consults, neuro consults for TBI, plus a burning rash on both feet he got in Fallujah in 2004 – This categorical claim lists the emotional and physical complications that Kateri’s husband dealt with.
3.) Finally they enrolled him in a private clinical trial to get a needleful of anesthetic injected into a bundle of nerves at the top of his collarbone.
- Finally – It took Kateri and her husband a while to begin this process.
- Enrolled – Kateri’s husband most likely had to fill out some sort of application to get involved in the trial.
- Private – The trial was probably not well known.
- Clinical trial – The trial was experimental. Therefore, there was a chance it could not work.
4.) That’s when her symptoms got worse, precipitating another meltdown, this time at a steak house where she took him to celebrate his newfound calm.
- Kateri’s secondary PTSD symptoms intensified after her husband’s procedure, which helped him.
- Precipitating another meltdown – Kateri felt on edge while waiting to see if her husband would begin showing PTSD symptoms once again.
- Kateri experienced these symptoms in an environment that is not typically considered stressful. Therefore, this could be sign that her secondary PTSD symptoms are quite severe.
5.) They’d “assumed the normal positions,” she with her back to the restaurant, he facing it so he could monitor everyone, and suddenly, a server dropped a tray out of her periphery, setting her circulatory system off at a million miles a minute.
- Assumed the normal positions – The way in which Kateri and her husband sat in restaurants was a usual event for them.
- The action of Kateri’s husband facing the restaurant so he could monitor everyone was so that he could be aware if something dangerous occurred.
- Suddenly – The dropping of the tray was not expected and was potentially shocking.
- Periphery – The server was not in Kateri’s direct line of view.
The server dropping the tray made Kateri so nervous because she was anticipating her husband having a “meltdown,” as she called them.
6.) “He just ate his steak like nothing,” she says.
- This statement implies that Kateri’s husband would have reacted differently while eating at a restaurant if a tray was dropped before his procedure.
- Kateri expresses surprise.
- The statement shows that the procedure worked, at least initially, by helping Kateri’s husband to stay come when the tray dropped instead of having a flashback.
7.) “When you’ve become hypervigilant, the place you are most functional is on the battlefield,” McGill’s Brunet explains.
- Brunet states that when you are extremely aware of sensory details, which can bring on anxiety, that you are able to function in high stress situations, which is the battlefield.
- This statement expresses the idea that Brannan’s husband, Caleb’s, mind is still prepared for war through hypervigilance.
8.) Caleb, despite his injuries and his admission that war was pretty excruciatingly awful, told me he wishes he could go back.
- Caleb’s injuries are so severe that he can no longer serve in the military.
- Caleb wishes that he could return to the military, which is surprising considering the daily struggles that he endures now due to the war.
9.) Kateri, despite wishing her system hadn’t learned to run at a heightened state, at this point is like a drug addict, needing stimulation to maintain it.
- Learned – Kateri’s body has adjusted to her hypervigilance.
- At this point – Kateri’s symptoms have progressively worsened and proved problematic.
- Like a drug addict – By comparing Kateri to a drug addict, the author is implying that Kateri cannot function without constantly being at a heightened state of mind.