Saturday, November 1, 2014


I am going to start my post about my EMDR session with a little explanation of how the brain works and I am going to do it like my therapist explained it to me...your brain works a lot like your digestive system. It takes info/food, sorts through it, keeps the stuff it needs and gets rid of the rest. Let's say you are a Mom and are thinking about the birth of your child. You can describe how you felt to hold your baby for the first time down to the tiniest emotion. No matter how clear the memory is, however, you don't reexperience the feelings you felt, just like you can talk about the pain but you can't feel it. In my case the memories are stuck like food in your throat if you choke. They can't get to part of the brain that sifts through our memories to take away the pain. Many parts of it are like it happened yesterday. Now we get to the EMDR and what it does. I am going to give you the basics and anyone that wants specifics let me know and I will give you the name of a great book on the process. Very basically, EMDR starts the brain into a left to right sorting motion while you relive certain memories in you mind. My therapist will pick up a trigger (something that makes me reexperience the pain) and ask me to think of the trigger while I hold little keychain size things in my hands that alternate vibrations from right to left over and over. Sometimes I say I am to the end of a memory and we stop and sometimes she stops me. Sometimes the triggers are very large in scope like the wreck up to the point they are about to put me in the helicopter and sometimes they are very specific, like the scream I heard but didn't know if it was me or Mom. Once done, she will ask me on a scale of 1-10 how the memory feels. Yes, I know this sounds like some crazy fad therapy but it has been proven over and over in cases of PTSD and the cases have shown the process permanently corrects the processing of the feelings. If I am at a one or two on the scale, we move on. Some memories like Mom's can't be expected to lower a lot until more feelings are processed. Some memories can be completely processed in one session. It is truly amazing! As far as my personal experiences go, after the first session, I am exited beyond words! I didn't leave completely exhausted like some people do but I did have physical and mental feelings. I was definitely tired and I felt like my blood was running ice cold. I wasn't cold but I was cold on the inside. I had to stop at Walmart and, while there, the cold wore off but the tiredness increased. I felt different but couldn't really put it into words. Since it has been almost a week, I can tell enormous changes in some areas. One of the most powerful changes has been my dreams about Mom. They used to all be about her not dying just leaving because she didn't love me anymore. Those have changed. I feel like I am moving through some of the grief process with her death. Another change was my desire to get back to my normal life. Instead of waiting another month to go back to work, I am going back as soon as my leave expires on the 9th. This will not be a popular decision with my therapist or psychiatrist but I feel that it is right for me. Other changes are spending more time out with friends and reconnecting with friends that I had lost contact with. I feel like I am fighting my way out of a box I built around myself. I am even exploring the area around my new apartment instead of waiting until I need something to get out. I am making better choices about the people in my circle of friends and have the desire to invest in myself. There many other small changes that are wreck specific which are allowing me to open up and be happy again! I still have a long way to go but the first step was huge and I can't wait to take the second!!! Thank you to everyone that is there for me even if only by text or Facebook. You don't know how much you all mean to me!

Monday, October 27, 2014


I am just going to sum up that year as the year of the mystery disease. After going to UT Southwestern to try and find out from multiple doctors in multiple specialties, we still don't know what it was but it hasn't happened since 2013. 2014 has been the year of the PTSD. It got to a point that attempted suicide twice (luckily I didn know the ants needed a both failed miserably). After finding out that my attempts could cause permanent liver damage as well as kidney damage, it made me thankful that I didn't die but not happy I didn't die in the wreck. It goy to the point that my work was being heavily effected and a look could send me off into a tearful panic attack for no reason. I got a psychiatrist who thought I needed some time away from the stress of work but that didn't do anything but more stress because of insurance issues. Finally, just from a lucky remark about my PTSD, someone told me about a therapist certified in the EMDR method of dealing with PTSD. THe woman went on and on about how the treatment had changed her and her daughters lives. Noting and respecting this woman's opinion as well as my own research on EMDR made get an appointment with my therapist. Getting ready for tomorrow's big day of actually beginning treatment has been different from any other therapy I have had. I felt that I was heard and the therapist was going to actually help me...not just ask how I felt about something. I feel it is important for me to chronicle this part of the journey because EMDR sounds like the answer to my prayers but is a very mentally challenging road to take. Hopefully I have found something that can shared to help others in similar emotional states. I might not be able to write for a couple of days because my therapist stated that most people feel so emotionally exhausted that many sleep 15 hours the day of the treatment 15 the next day too. I am excited about this journey and can't wait to share my successes and failures with everyone.

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Update

Thankfully, the spots on my lungs are clear now so the we're just pockets of infection. Unfortunately, I got sepsis due to my third bout with pneumonia in the past 5 months. I seem to go from fine to seriously ill in 3 days. Each time it has gotten worse and, this last bout nearly took my out. If I get it again I get to go to a pulmonary specialist...I have an impressive collection of doctors. After a couple of days in icu and about 5 days in the hospital, things are back to normal. I will right another update when something changes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's been a while...

I can't believe it's been over a year since I have posted. Time passes so fast! In the last 16 or so months some things have changed drastically and some none at all. The one thing that never changes is that I am blessed to surrounded by the love of my family and friends. Another thing that never changes is how much I miss Mom. Unfortunately, I still have the dreams about her being alive and just leaving because she didn't love me anymore. I know this comes from a mixture of how bad I feel for not being with her at the end and the fact that my last memories of her were that she was basically fine and yet I wake up to find she is gone. Going to her grave didn't really make a difference. Seeing her name on a piece of stone didn't mean anything. My grandmother's name had been on the double headstone she shared with my grandfather since his death before I was born. I had gotten a snow globe that let you put a picture in it so she would have something of me with her. Yes, it sounds stupid but I just needed to leave something with her. One of the most difficult things I have done is to watch the video of her funeral. It warmed my heart to see all the people who came to pay their respects. Seeing her in the casket was surreal. My brain says she is gone but my heart says she can't be gone.

Physically, I continue to prove Dr Glogau wrong as far as being in crippling pain. There are good and bad days but I try to keep a smile on my face and just work through it it. Each time I see him, he gives me the enjoy it now because it is going to get worse speech. My pelvis being being higher on the left side has caused bursitis in my right hip but that was resolved with just one cortisone injection. Surgery number7 to lengthen my Achilles tendon turned out to be a lot more involved that originally expected but Dr Desai is my hero! With the tendon lengthening and moving a couple of muscles, he changed my life! Gone are the days of being scared I would fall with every step. Now, I still have to be really careful, but I can live my life. That day in the wheelchair, when I decided to fight, I never thought I would get to this point! Physically I have blown away everyone's greatest hopes. Now I do face a new hurdle...I have 2 spots on my lungs. Since they were found when I had pneumonia, they couldn't tell what they were so I have to go back for more X-rays next month. After a month on a respirator, I think they are scar tissue. The drs say they could be infection, scar tissue, or a multitude up to cancer. Even though I have never smoked, I grew up around second hand smoke so I know cancer is definitely an option (especially since Mom had breast cancer and dad died of cancer). I am not discounting it but, getting all freaked over cancer when it could easily be nothing seems like a huge waste of time! I didn't get to this point by dwelling on the worst case scenario!

I want to end this post with a saying that is written on a necklace I never take off...My mother was the greatest gift to me. Patient and kind, she loved me unconditionally. She was all I could ever hope to be. May she rest in peace with you Lord for eternity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Replacing the zoom zoom...

I very quickly decided that I was going to have to get clearance to drive and find a car or poor Kip was going to have to devote his entire day, 5 days a week to toting me around. He was amazingly great about it but, when I started having some sort of appointment almost every day (some days more than one), I just couldn't ask him to keep it up. 

Before the wreck, new car shopping was just about my favorite past time!  There was also something I liked better and wanted. When I bought my Mazda 6 (on 6/6/2006 yes, we laughed about it then), I made a vow that I was buying a car that I would pay off and keep at least a year after that so I would have a decent trade in (instead of upside down) and a chance to get some extra money in savings. So much for that great idea!  Now car shopping was scary. Some of my friends friends wanted to try to turn it into something fun and we would go around doing test drives all weekend. I wasn't ready for that. First of all, walking around a dealership on a walker wasn't my idea of fun and getting behind the wheel wasn't either. Luckily I had a dr's appointment within a few days of making my car buying decision so I could get the ok to drive before I changed my mind. 

I didn't know where to start. Usually I went car shopping because I fell in love with something I had seem on tv so it was just a matter of finding the best deal.  Cute was all that mattered!  Now cute wasn't impotent at all. All I cared about was their safety record. When I look back, I am VERY impressed with how my Mazda held up in the wreck. The fact that everyone involved wasn't killed instantly shows how much has been done to improve the safety of cars!  Unfortunately, my car innocence had been destroyed. We get in them everyday and never give a thought to the fact that cars are dangerous. There are people that would walk from New York to LA before the would get in a plane even though you are far more likely to die in a car.  Some of those people will argue that they have control of their car but they don't have control of the plane. The thing is, you have control of your car and you might be the world's best driver, but you don't control what goes on around you. My wreck happened so quick that all I remember was the sound of the crash and spinning. I couldn't control the girl that hit us. Once you realize that you have very little control, driving is scary. All you can do is be in the safest car you can afford!  Of course Volvo is known for their safety features but I knew I couldn't afford that. Being in my 4th month of being off work and only getting 60% of my salary, price was definitely a big consideration. Something kept taking me back to the Volvo site. One day I noticed a 2008 S40 with just under 11,000 miles at a great price.  Soon we were signing papers and it was time for me to drive off the lot. Of course Kip stayed with me, letting me follow him to lunch and then to the place to get my handicapped tag (more on that later). Finally it was time for Kip to push me out of the nest and both of us to drive home. Driving turned out to not be as bad as I thought it was going to be. It took a while for me to not flinch every time someone got too close to me and for me not to freak out if I drove past a wreck. I still hate driving outside the city and beyond hate driving on two lane roads. As we approach the second anniversary of the wreck, I can finally say I passed a car on a two lane road!  That was one of my big moments!!

Now I have the new car bug again.  Safety is still King, but I am looking at cute too!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Home sweet home...

After signing my new lease and some where did Shermaine leave the key, I was home. Bailey didn't hate me for being gone for three months but she took her frustrations out on Kip and the Time Warner guy!  When he was sure I was settled, Kip left and I was completely alone for the first time. I think if I could have gotten up and run after him I would have. The warm fuzzy of being home had quickly turned to pure terror. My physical therapist made me promise to keep my cell phone charged and with me at all times. I sat there, looking around an apartment full of boxes, scared to get up. Of course, all it would take was one phone call and Kip would have come back to take me to stay with him and Kristi or Mary would had one of her girls come pack me up for the trip to her house in Brownwood. No matter how scared I was, I was determined to make it alone. Of course, for me, alone would always mean with an army of support. 

When I finally got enough nerve built up to try to move around, I realized how exhausting it was to move from room to room. My 600 sq ft apartment seemed like 6000!  No matter how tired I was, I vowed not to use the wheelchair unless I absolutely had to. I walked out of rehab on the walker and I was NOT going to use it at home!  I made it to bed and just collapsed!  I had forgotten what a real bed felt like. I had also forgotten the simple joy of rough Bailey kisses. As scary as it was, it was nice to be home and feel like a normal person again. 

The girls at my apartment office sent me welcome home balloons and offered to come help me with anything I needed. Shermaine came by every night and wouldn't leave until I was tucked in with a bottle of water and coke by my bed. Kip bought concrete stepping stones to boost my favorite chair up so it was easier to get out of and was also the person that took me to my constant dr's appts and physical therapy. Kip also got me out of the house several times a week to go walking at the mall. As tough as it was, it was also fun getting out and just hanging out with Kip. 

Slowly I started cooking a little and figured out ways to get things where I needed them. It might not have been the normal way but I made it work.

Of course, as you gain confidence, you start being stupid. I was walking around my apt some without the walker some (I had a trail of furniture and counters to hang onto). One day I went to the bathroom without the walker and fell. I knew better because the bathroom floor could be slick. Also, my left foot was stuck in a position that made it almost like walking on tiptoe on that foot. I don't remember much except for being on the floor and my cell phone being in the bedroom. One of the things that concerned my occupational therapist in rehab was the fact that they couldn't teach me how to get up from a fall because of the limited weight i could put on my left leg and right wrist.  Now, here I was, on the floor, with no clue what to do!  I slowly drug myself into the bedroom and figured out a way to climb into bed. Luckily I was fine but my confidence took a big hit!  It took a while before I tried to walk without the walked again!  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One last look at rehab...

Before my rehab stories are over, I do want say there were happy times.  There was a never ending line of visitors. It was fun for my family to meet my friends. On one occasion it was pretty interesting. We will just say one of my friends lives an alternate lifestyle (nothing illegal). She was talking and a few things slipped out. No one seemed to notice but a few weeks later Kip was like hey ???  I just laughed and said yep. lol

There was also am insane ritual every morning. I guess all the old people get up with birds but not me!  At 5am they came around to get your stats, at 6 it was time for for meds, 7 was breakfast and therapy schedules, then at 8 it was time for therapy. Everyone that knows me, knows I do not do mornings!!!

Another funny thing about rehab was my wardrobe. One of my friends brought me a bunch of work out stuff but most of the bottoms were shorts or capri's. Sure, shorts were cooler but my legs hadn't seen a razor since thanksgiving!!  Sometimes my workout stuff looked like a colorblind 5 year old picked them out in the dark. My favorite (NOT) was my Christmas pajamas!  I don't know why I worried about it considering the situation but it kind got to be a joke with my friends. 

The most fun part of my therapy session was when the cute therapist tied me up. Ok, so he really but a belt around my knees because I didn't have the strength to keep my legs together during my leg lifts. Everyone teased him about liking to tie me up. 

After finding out my wrist was broken, I had to change up my therapy. Instead of doing the hand bicycle I got to play wii bowling!!  I made fast friends with a man that had also been but on the wii. The funny thing was that we were both right handed and suffering from right side injuries yet we STILL beat the therapist!  

Yes, there were some fun times but, good or bad, my time at rehab was quickly coming to an end.  I was finally going home!!!  My last few days of therapy were teaching me how to do things and making sure I would be able to manage on my own. Mary wanted me to come to Brownwood so she could take care of me and Kristi and Kip were more than happy for me to stay with them for a while. The thing was that I wanted to go home. I wanted to see my cat Bailey, who is my baby. I wanted to not have people hovering over me all the time. So, after practicing getting things out of and putting things back into the refrigerator, simulating cooking and doing laundry, and getting in and out of the shower using a shower chair I was deemed homeable...great word huh!  lol. 

I also practiced walking outside with my walker. When you are stepping off a curb with a walker, it seems like stepping off a bridge!  My last hurdle was practicing getting in and out of Kip's SUV since he would be the one that would be picking me up. That went really well so I was headed home!!!