Joe Merritt SGB Update: 3 Months Later
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Joe Merritt SGB Update

November 14, 2020 | 2:48

Marine Corps combat veteran Joe Merritt did a lot of research before deciding to get the stellate ganglion block, or SGB. Despite years of medication and therapy, he just couldn’t escape the dark hole that had become his life. Listen closely as Joe describes the life-changing impact of the SGB.

It was like a film was taken off, seeing the world in a completely different way. Where do I see myself in 10 years? What do I want to do?

What do I have to do to like, get to that long-term goal?

And I’ve never, never had that thought process before.

Joe Merritt now wants to live. And for someone who has long battled intense depression, that’s profound.

I spent 35 years of my life living like I wasn’t gonna make it to 40, and now everything I’m doing is like, thoughts of like long, long term survivability.

Joe says he’s more patient, less frustrated. He’s sleeping much better. And his relationship with his family is dramatically stronger.

Probably spent more time talking to my dad in the last three months than I have in 35 years.

And as a father myself, I definitely feel like I’ve probably been more attentive, been able to listen more instead of just bark.

A powerful aspect of the procedure for Joe was hearing from Dr. Eugene Lipov that post-traumatic stress isn’t a disorder, but an injury.

Just the validation of like, okay, this is not a character defect, this is a biological hurdle.

In fact, Dr. Lipov believes the condition suffered by hundreds of thousands of veterans should be called post-traumatic stress injury, not disorder.

I would like people to think about PTSD as PTSI. It’s a biological trauma, it’s measurable. It’s not an invisible wound.  If you have the right scanner, you can actually see it.

It wasn’t just laziness or like something that I wasn’t doing on my own. There was a chemical and biological reason why my brain was unable to process through things as well as it used to be able to prior to the trauma.

Three months after the stellate ganglion block, Joe finds comfort in creating art. And he recently led a writing workshop for fellow veterans.

And I know what right feels like now because of the shot and I can make adjustments. I’m able to kind of spread myself out a little bit more and not just be sucked into my own crap all the time. Which is huge.

I don’t know if I can even put into words what an amazing feeling that is.


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