Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Tag: PTSD

Cupcakes, Crafts, and PTSD Oh My!

Cupcakes, crafts and mini bouts of PTSD, oh my!

For the first time in six years I’m doing a birthday party for one of my kids…at my house…with cupcakes, and crafts…in the month of November.  *Cue dramatic music*

We have so many birthdays the month of November. It’s a crazy time of year. Two of my own children, two nieces, two of my siblings, one of my sibling’s spouses, multiple cousins, and friends that have become family…..all have birthdays this month.

This is the month Brent Got Sick. A long time ago. I figured once the five year mark passed the month of November, kid birthday parties, ambulances, the exit for Regions Hospital, and the sight of intubated people on television shows would magically move to the “okay things in my life” column.  For the most part, things that truly trigger strong emotions in me regarding Brent’s illness have moved into the “okay” column. However this week I continue to find myself on edge. I was downtown with a friend going to an event. We got off at the Regions exit. An ambulance shrieked past us and I fought back tears. My daughter wanted to make special puppy cupcakes for her party and I started crying. (My dear friend made the most amazing cupcakes for the party six years ago – all various kinds of puppies…hence my tears.)

Life marches on. As do I. Tonight I’m taking Littlest to the store. We are buying the supplies to make fondant for decorating her cupcakes. At her party that is on Friday. A party taking place in our home.  My friend who made the cupcakes last time shared a recipe and is on standby to come help – for emotional support or technical support – I’ve never made fondant.  She may be needed on both fronts.

Another dear friend knows I’m struggling. I want to make sure my daughter has a special party. It’s not her fault I have demons to exercise. My friend offered for her daughter to come and run the party with my older daughter. She’s bringing the labor, I’m supplying the margaritas. And yet another friend…one far away…encouraged me to write this.

Lately I’ve become fearful of sharing what I’m feeling. I want to be funny and entertaining….I want to share that part of myself with you. Instead…the last year….I’ve been in a weird place. Not feeling great and trying to navigate my life with a chronic headache.  I’m trying to find my way to where I want to be. I am working really damn hard actually. I’m getting there. I’ll get there.

One cupcake at a time.

 

#nanoblopo

#PTSD

#birthdayparties

 

PTSD Sucks

My husband had surgery in mid December. He got hurt snowboarding. I didn’t deal well with any of it.

PTSD sucks. 

Seeing him semi-conscious pre-surgery with a nasal cannula, hooked up to an I.V., with blankets covering him to his chin put me back to a place I never want to return. His eyes were closed, his breathing was slow, and I was helpless.

It wasn’t the same thing. He was going to wake up and be just fine. Not have to learn to walk again. Not have to be in the hospital for weeks. Not come home and be helpless.

PTSD sucks.

My behavior was normal. Completely and totally normal. My mind remembered the fear and anxiety and my body reacted. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was testy and OCD about the house being tidy. I made sure everything was done and done properly and then would sit in my closet with the door shut and sob uncontrollably until one of the kids needed me. Finally my husband told me I was scaring the kids and needed to go to the doctor. That statement, “You’re scaring the kids,” punched me in the gut. The kids have always come to me with their problems and fears. Always me.

PTSD sucks. 

I went to the doctor. She assured me I wasn’t the awful human being I, in that moment, believed myself to be. She explained anger can be extreme anxiety. That my body was using muscle memory of a traumatic event and that was why I hadn’t been able to eat more than a yogurt a day in over a week. She told me….it was time to go back on anxiety meds for a little while. I sat there and cried, relived to hear I wasn’t going crazy, I wan’t going to be like this forever, and that I wasn’t an awful human.

PTSD sucks.

The sun didn’t shine in my world for a while. I was still upset and testy. I worried incessantly about my husband, his interpretation of rules, and his recovery. I quickly learned to keep that to myself as he’s an adult and unlike last time, he’s just fine. I was trying to control a situation that wasn’t mine to control. Letting go was, and is hard, but necessary.

Last week, I felt like myself for the first time since he got hurt. I didn’t plaster a smile on my face and chatter out of fear of anyone seeing through my act. Those closest to me knew better but respected my need to attempt to act normal. I smiled a real smile. Laughed without forcing it. I went snowboarding without guilt. I found my happy.

PTSD sucks.

You just have to see it through to the other side.

The path…

The path though uncertain is beautiful in every aspect.

This is Progress.

It’s been a while since I talked about Dr. Evil being sick. I view this as progress and consider it a success. A couple of things have happened that took me “back” but I haven’t stayed there. Not back. Not anymore. Here’s what progress is for me….

A few weekends ago, I felt all the old ick resurface. Now I have the skills to deal with the feelings that slam me….but the emotions still take my breath away for a time.

Saturday the girls found the cane Dr. Evil used while recuperating. It made my skin crawl to see that thing. I know most view items like this as just that….a thing. For me, in that moment, that cane took me to helping Dr. Evil around the house, watching him struggle to walk, seeing him exhausted after walking three steps. The girls were playing with the cane, transforming it into a crutch and making pretend casts. I smiled and watched them play from a distance. I didn’t want to engage and inspect the “broken leg.”

Then they gave it to Dr. Evil and he leaned on it. I looked at him and said, “No. Don’t do that.” I walked away. I was instantly grumpy – my defense mechanism. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

And then…..it was okay.

Today the cane is still about in the house. I finally told the girls I would rather they play with it somewhere else. A year ago I would have thrown it away and cried. Today I asked them to move it and went on with my day.

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Life is good. We’re all good. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars for my family. Days go by where I don’t think about what could have happened – but didn’t.

This is progress.

Get Back To It

I hate sirens. M’kay?

I have heard more sirens, seen more ambulances, witnessed more medical personnel offering assistance, and observed people needing medical attention in the past few days than in several months combined.

I’m dealing. From the outside I’m doing fine. Observed by friends as being “just fine.” Progress – at least I can appear to be fairly normal.

Inside I’m cringing, crying, and trying to hold my hands from pulling on my hair. Still progress – I’m not actually doing any of these things.

I thought I was over this. I thought these types of reactions and feelings were part of my past, no longer able to interfere with my present. Until recently reactions brought on by sirens have been extremely minimal or nonexistent.

I’m not reliving, I’m not wallowing. I having a visceral reaction to the sounds of sirens. My heart races, my mouth goes dry, and I feel like I’m going to vomit. I curl my hands and crack my knuckles. I walk quietly with my head down. I hyper focus on those around me and try to concentrate on the words coming out of their mouths.

I don’t hear or comprehend any of it.

I nod.  I smile. I engage.

I get past it.

But typing this out, I’m sitting in a room full of friends watching television, trying my damnedest not to cry. I’m on vacation in one of my favorite cities in the United States. I should be focused on the moment, enjoying this amazing weekend.

And I am.

Except when I’m not.

My new goal : Experience whatever feelings I’m having, let them go, and get back to living.

 

Because living is what it’s all about.

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today….

Dr. Evil was created by a stupid virus.  I can’t take it back.  I can’t wish it away.

I want to travel back and somehow prevent Dr. Evil from getting sick. But since I can’t time travel I’m trying to move forward instead of looking back.  That doesn’t mean I don’t look back.  That past events don’t creep into my present.  Or affect my attitudes and moods.

If you’re new here….the quick and dirty version is one day three years Dr. Evil didn’t feel well.  The next day he was on life support.  In an induced coma.  For 10 days.  A septic staph infection led to kidney, heart, and liver failure.  Staph pneumonia.  Rhabdomyolysis.  And all the fun things that go along with all of that.  He got better when many thought he wouldn’t.  Even had a doctor tell me she expected to attend a funeral not hear about recovery.  Dr. Evil learned to walk again and went home about 5 weeks later.  He spent the next few months recuperating and I spent the next few months in crisis mode.

When Dr. Evil returned to work and returned to normal, I fell into a million pieces.  I didn’t know how to function since crisis mode was no longer necessary.  I started seeing a therapist.  And have been in therapy ever since.

So today is the day it all started.  An anniversary if you will.

And I’m not sure how I feel.

One minute I look and realize how amazing my life is right now.  Dr. Evil is healthy and happy.  He is completely recovered and has ZERO issues from all that happened to him.  Our children are great.  I have met amazing people.  I’ve started this blog and made my way into not one but two books.  I have learned to speak my mind and stand up for myself in ways I never could before.  My family has snowboarding because of all of this.  We will always have that together.  I have amazing friends that have become family.

The next minute I panic.  Dr. Evil has a cold right now.  Doesn’t he know he IS NEVER AGAIN ALLOWED TO BE SICK IN ANY WAY OR FASHION????  He’s away on travel.  I can’t be there to control anything.  What if…what if…what if.

The next minutes I’m pissed.  WHY DID HE GET SICK!?!  WHY AM I STILL SO SCREWED UP ABOUT IT?!?!?!  Why isn’t he screwed up about it at all?

The next minute I’m nervous.  I know there are people who judge me about my reactions to this whole thing and even more so for being ‘public’ about it.  People I don’t even know in real life!

Then I’m thankful.  I’m thankful we have a second chance at…everything.

Then I’m happy.  Life is good.

Did I mention this all can happen in the matter of a few minutes?  Multiple times a day?

And there are days I don’t even think about any of it anymore.

Then…there’s today.

D-Day in my mind.

I can’t take it back.  I can’t change the past.  I’m so thankful it’s a distant memory for Dr. Evil.  It’s becoming less of a nightmare for me. That sounds dramatic.

There are days I’m dramatic about the whole thing.  There are days I refuse to talk about any of it.  There are days I don’t shut up about it…even when it’s more than obvious that I should.  Many times I’m passive aggressive and super snarky.  I know Dr. Evil wasn’t ‘there’ for the worst of it and I was.  We did not have the same experience during the same situation.

Not. Even. Close.

I’m not very understanding many times.  For a long time he didn’t talk about it at all.  Now and again he mentions it.  I don’t always know what to do or say and usually end up in defensive mode.  I want him to talk about it but then when he does I’m not ‘there’ for him.  When I talk about it I feel like I’m annoying him or don’t get the validating I’m seeking about my role the past few years.  It’s a weird dance to navigate.

HIs illness and recovery is a part of my reality.  But just a part.  Not the whole.

And not the most prominent part.  Not even close.

But for today…and the next few days….it is.

I’m can’t help it.  I’m done apologizing for it.  Thanksgiving is hard for me.  That seems counterintuitive.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a miracle in my life.  I know this.  I embrace this.  But just a few years ago I spent Thanksgiving Day eating a dinner prepared by friends and family in an ICU meeting room wondering if Dr. Evil was going to live or die.  I refused to think or even entertain the possibility of him not making it.  But it was a very real possibility.

Today is a day.  Just another day.  And one day…this anniversary will be just another day.  But I kind of hope not.  I hope it changes into a day I only rejoice in.

That day will come.  I am hopeful.  I’m working towards my happy.

I will find it.

Absence Makes the Heart…

Grow fonder?  Right – you’ve all missed me right?  Say yes, please – my fragile ego would love that.

Well, absence makes my heart beat like a wild and crazy thing afraid it’s going to stop.

Yes, it’s that time of year again folks.  The “anniversary” of Dr. Evil’s ‘birth.’ degree earning spawning.

And he’ll be in Germany on the three days that rock my world.  Making new and happy memories.  Wait – he doesn’t have many memories of those three days – just feeling like crap for a day or two and then that’s it until December 1st.  (And that post – the one for December 1st – is going to rock folks – I’m planning it already.)

I will be here.  With our spawn.  Trying to make fun new memories.

While not reliving the bad ones.  At least not over and over.  And over.

There’s the 19th – we had the birthday party for Eldest Female Spawn – he was miserable.  There’s the 20th – it was a Sunday and he felt like a mac truck ran him over.  Then there’s the 21st.  The day they put him in a coma.  For a LONG FREAKING 10 days.  And that was 2 years ago.  One day, hopefully soon, I won’t be ruled during these days by fear but will rejoice in the new memories made.  Be more thankful than fearful.  More “look what we’ve done in the time since ‘then.'”  More “oh yeah – that one time in November we went on this amazing trip – and oh yeah – it did coincide with the days he got sick – I didn’t realize those days lined up again….”

This year – I’m so thankful because I’m fearful if I’m not thankful enough….something bad will happen.

I know this isn’t true.  But that doesn’t stop the thought from rolling around in my head.  Especially after he pulled this one on me last winter.  With some of the same symptoms he experienced the previous year.

December 1st felt like Christmas two years ago.  Last year it was a huge sigh of relief.  He’d been ‘awake’ for a year.  A full year.

This year I think it’ll feel like Christmas and my birthday all combined into one.  And Dr. Evil – as the gift giving time of year is approaching – I’ve sent you a picture of what I want for Christmas/Anniversary/Birthday/Valentine’s Day.  It’s easy – it’s pretty inexpensive – in fact – it’s super inexpensive as it would take care of 4 gift giving opportunities.  This is just like an infomercial!!!   (And by the way – yes – all those wonderful days do occur between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.)

It’s the wedding band that matches the ones we wear.  Just like the one I wear.  And the extra one I wore for a month while he was sick and then recovering.  His.  And I never want to have to wear his again.  Ever.

Now…he’d better always plan on wearing his from that day forward or I’ll go Total Evil Joy on his arse.  Can you imagine the action figure?!

So this year, I’m making new happy memories.  We are going out to pizza.  They are going to bed.  I’m drinking wine.  That’s a start, right?

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EJ out – to try to keep my dog from eating my spawns’ lunch boxes.

 

I’ve fallen out of the Top 25 Humor Blogs yet again!?!  Can you help a girl out – click on the juggling lady there on the upper right.  You’ll be casting a vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs.  Thanks!  Let’s keep that Evil Joy Action Figure in the bag and not force her creation just yet….the teenage years are approaching in force here…got to have something in the bag.

Time…PTSD…Perspective

It’s funny how a series of events – when considered as a whole – seem crazy.  Then one moment or comment puts it all in perspective.  Or maybe a couple of comments.

(If you’re new to my blog – I am currently fighting off PTSD from all the events surrounding the creation of Evil Joy and Dr. Evil.  You can read about how it all started here and here.)

In the last 10 months I’ve started to deal with the emotions and consequences of all that happened.  Before I thought I was.  Been seeing a therapist for over a year.  But until 10 months ago I didn’t really accept I wasn’t dealing.  I was going through the motions and making the appropriate responses.  Now…I’m dealing.  (Sort of – the “currently fighting off PTSD” versus experiencing it…..well…yeah…that speaks to my attitude at times….)

Dealing with the reason ambulances make me cry.  Dealing with the fact that I ROCK under pressure.  Then CrUmBlE after – and over and over.  Dealing with crying – learning and ACCEPTING it’s okay to cry.  We went through a lot.  And once I quit trying to make it stop and accept the emotions – it’s not so bad.

I mean…what happened….that is the stuff of nightmares and horror movies for any wife and mother.  And if you know me  – let’s just say “worry wart” doesn’t even touch the tip of the crazy that is me.  And that was ‘before.’  Now…”worry goiter” may be a little closer to the truth.  Like this weekend.  Dr. Evil was fine all day on Saturday and we did some work at his sister’s home – helped get it ready for market.  On the way home – he started sneezing and was super congested.  Now…normally I’d be like, “Suck it up – you’re fine.”  Except not with him.  He never complains.  Ever.  So asking if he feels okay is pointless.  All night long I kept waking myself up checking to see if he was breathing.

Stupid.  But it’s my reality right now.  I am that crazy insanely worried woman.

And.  It’s okay.

..

Also in the last 10 months I’ve been at several medical scenes.  A friend experienced extreme low blood sugar.  Another collapsed at the gym.  Another was in a car accident where Awesome Amy and I were some of the first passer-bys to stop and assist.  And Friday I witnessed someone either have a stroke or seizure and drive their car down a steep embankment into a ditch…right next the interstate entrance ramp.  I was one of the first people down to the ‘scene’ but was too damn short to open the car door (it was locked and the window was down but I couldn’t reach).  Each and every one of these effing events had several police cars, ambulances and on occasion a fire truck present.  Before Dr. Evil and his ambulance and illness experiences, I would have been upset but not to this level.  It triggers everything all over again.

While each of these events occurred I was fine. My friend – the parent of someone in the car accident said, “If anyone had to call me, I glad it was Joy.”  I do well in pressure situations.  I function and do what needs to be done.  After.. I turn into a shaking sobbing mess.  And still am when I think about it.   So I’ve learned to accept the emotion, experience it and let it roll off me.  (Very zen of me, right?  Imagine me in the lotus pose looking peaceful….)

Zen Evil Joy with Required Coffee Producing Zen.

Zen Evil Joy with Required Coffee Producing Zen.

..

Anyway – Sunday morning I was at the gym.  I am stuck on an elliptical machine until the marathon – stupid IT band.  I am following doctor’s order to a ‘T’ (bowing at you IT band – you rule me….for now….ggggrrrrrr).  He said I should be fine to run the marathon – just do what he says.  That meant four – 4 – FOUR hours on an EVIL Elliptical Machine on Sunday.  I was okay with it.  I was wishing I could be outside just running 15 miles instead.  (That makes me a real runner now, right?  I want my ‘I’m a real runner’ badge!)

I ran into someone from my old gym.  Super nice gentleman.  Always a kind word and smile.  ALWAYS.  Told him about the marathon and he asked why.  I sort of had to ask myself that.  It’s on my bucket list for 40.  But the real reason why….Dr. Evil asked me if I wanted to way back in September or something.  And I made some flippant comment (no…I never do that…) about since he didn’t die and all….  My friend didn’t know what had happened.  I shared our experience.  And a few tears.

And it was okay.  It was really okay.  The first time in a long time I’ve been able to tell someone about what happened, been a little sad, and then…was okay.  I did my time – I mean my workout – and I was fine.

It’s all good.  Life is good.  Perspective is a beautiful thing.

EJ out – to enjoy today.

I’m clinging to the Top 25 Humor Blogs on Top Mommy Blogs.  Help a girl out.  Click on that juggling lady up there on the right.  If you don’t see her, click on the title of this post and that’ll take you to my site.  If you’re on a mobile device, scroll down all the way and you should see this talented juggling lady.  One click.  You’ll be taken to the Top Mommy Blogs website.  You’re done.  You don’t have to do anything else.  Thanks!!!!

Evil Chair…Yeah…it’s the Chair…..

Evil Joy here with a post on chairs, feet, stuck feet, and painful release of said stuck foot.

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Need I say more?  
 
 
Well of course I need say more – it’s meeee!
 
As if driving to Iowa with Eldest Female Spawn for a weekend of fun taking a turn for not fun wasn’t enough…..Mom of Evil Joy ended up in the hospital with a sore neck.  And no, it’s not because I’m a pain in the neck.  Bite me.
 
See, I’m going to be a Great Aunt.  Not just a Great Aunt – I’m already that…just ask me…I’ll tell ya!  My Eldest Nephew and his wife are having a baby!!!!!  So I’m going to be a Awesome Great Aunt.  (didn’t want to confuse any of you with saying I’ll be a great Great Aunt….)
 
And due to becoming said Awesome Great Aunt, attending a baby shower in Iowa is Awesome Evil Fun!  (Shopping for said baby shower even more Awesome Evil Fun!!!!!!)
 
Evil Silliness led to me running a 5K, attending baseball tournament for Eldest Spawn in our hometown, and then driving 5 hours to Iowa with Eldest Female Spawn.  All in 12 hours.  Tired Evil Joy resulted.  
 
Then the Evil Sore Neck for Evil Joy’s Mom.  Resulting in Evil Hospital Stay.  Resulting in Evil Joy sitting in my usual not normal fashion – criss cross applesauce, one leg crossed….any which way but the normal way is how I roll.  Resulting in…….
 
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After I was able to have a minute or two with no one in the room but Sleeping Mom of Evil Joy and Evil Joy, I was able to free my Evil Stuck Foot from the Evil Chair Claiming My Foot.  I had to wait until it was just the two of us as Evil Words were bound to escape my mouth as my foot escaped said Evil Chair.
 
So….Evil Chair.  Bite me.  Wait – you sort of already did that…don’t bite me.  Or anyone else.
 
Evil Joy – stop getting limbs stuck in places they don’t belong.
 
Mom of Evil Joy – Get out of the hospital.  Come hang out with Evil Joy.
 
EJ out – to begin a day of Scattering Joy to those fortunate enough to know me.  Bawhahahahahaha!

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