Mad Like Alyce

To the nurse who encouraged me through a trigger

When you have PTSD, there are all kinds of little things that can set off a trigger. A phrase. A sound. A touch. A smell. I certainly experience these on a fairly regular basis, and each time… I’m frustrated. Even though I know the triggers themselves are beyond my control, I just simply have to focus on what I DO have control over and manage my reaction to said trigger.

But as with all things in life… there is one that gets me every time. Needles. Now, I have always been afraid of needles. I was the child that had to be held down by 4 dads for my kindergarten shots, and who locked myself in the bathroom at the doctor’s office at age 9 because I didn’t want to do a blood draw. Over time, I started to at least tolerate this fear… until suddenly I couldn’t. Perhaps this phobia was exasperated by my PTSD, but since I started experiencing my PTSD symptoms I have continued to struggle.

Now, I still allow shots and give blood, etc. I just handle it to varying degrees. Shots make me extremely shaky. Giving blood (Just a little for tests. A donation would be the end of me!) often makes me pass out. But when it comes to an IV… checkmate. It’s not the fact that it is getting put in but that it is still there that gets me. Like a violation of the very substance that makes my physical being. I try so hard to tough it out… but usually don’t make it too long before breaking down into hysterical sobbing. It’s not fun for me, and its not fun for whoever is placing said IV.

I’ve had over 10 medical procedures in the last 6 years that have required the use of an IV, and much to my incredible embarrassment and humiliation… I have reacted this way. Every. Single. Time. Anytime I interact with a medical professional and the use of a needle is required, I warn them. But when it comes to an IV, I still don’t think they are fully prepared. Their reactions have varied. Some surgeons were wonderful and allowed me to be put out before the IV was placed. Others would chastise me and comment on how this is what happens to spoiled children, as if my PTSD was a by-product of my upbringing. I even had an anesthesiologist attempt to make me reschedule to a different facility, as if I wasn’t humiliated enough.

But for my most recent procedure, I had a very different experience and it was all because of you. When I explained my predicament, you listened without judgment. Understanding my fears, you brought me something for the anxiety. When the meds were not kicking in fast enough, you held my hand and asked me if I would be ok to proceed.  I made it further into the whole procedure before crying than I ever had before, and when the sobbing began you kept your composure and encouraged me. I know that type of bedside manner is often reserved for children… or at least that’s how I feel. Regardless of what you actually felt about administering to a sobbing 20-something woman over an IV, you made the procedure far less traumatic then it could have been.

So even if you went back to the nursing station and exclaimed to your co-workers about the hysterical woman in bed 12, or complained to your husband later that night, I still will never be able to tell you how much your understanding and compassion in those moments meant to me. Just know that on that day, you made such a huge difference to me, and getting me safely through a trigger is no small feat. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials


  • I should be in bed, but instead I'm fighting sleep and fooling around on Photoshop. This is a mirrored version to complete a full face. I have my makeup out and ready for a new look, but have nothing left in the tank today, so here's my last Gwen Dylan... for now ;)
Also, I forget how asymmetrical our faces can be until you flip a photo, or in this case, mirror it. Even just flipping it looked so strange to me!
  • I’m having waaaayyyy to much fun with this one, and it’s just the makeup! I think I might have to start this cosplay this weekend... what’s a good material to use to make a fake shovel blade? I’m a nube when it comes to fabrication, so any and all advice is welcome!
  • You GUYS this might have moved to my favorite makeup of all time. Gwen Dylan, inspired by the cover of iZombie: Dead to the World. I think I might have to make this a full scale cosplay, what do you think?

The zombie half was created using @mehronmakeup water paints. Wig is from @ardawigs (I think it is the Magnum Long Classic in Titanium Blonde). Eyes were photoshopped to match the comic book cover.
  • You may know of Liv Moore, but do you know who Gwen Dylan? You guys, i'm really really pleased with how this turned out! Modeled after the cover of iZombie: Dead to the World, Gwen Dylan is the original iZombie heroine, a revenant zombie that must eat brains once per month to retain her mind, which is easy, seeing as she is a gravedigger. 
The zombie half was created using @mehronmakeup  water paints. Wig is from @ardawigs (I think it is the Magnum Long Classic in Titanium Blonde). Eyes were photoshopped to match the cover.
  • Some like it hot! Unlike Liv Moore in iZombie, I would get some pretty bad heartburn, but that doesn't stop me from adding Sriracha. I think the most disturbing part of this picture is that even though I added white to the foundation to get that "ultra pale" look, you still can hardly see the difference between my face and hands... sigh. #palelife #zombie
  • When you get those late night munchies... Another look at this Full On Zombie Liv Moore from iZombie. The more I look at this, the more I love it... why do I procrastinate in posting things for so long?!? I've got a few blog posts in the works for projects that I started last year! I should hopefully have more things up in the near future. In the meantime, bon appetit.
  • Happy Valentines Day! I'll always love you for your BRAINS!!!
I did this iZombie Liv Moore in Full-On Zombie back before my surgery and just haven't gotten around to posting until now! I had wanted to come up with some kind of Valentines day themed look to kick me back into things now that my arm is mostly functional, but I was just struggling to think of what I wanted to do. Valentines Day is just not my thing. Unless there is chocolate. I Digress.
Halfway into my glass of wine, I realized this was the perfect time to post this look. I technically have a video, but the jury is still out on whether or not to post it just yet. I'm mostly just glad to be at a point where I can start experimenting with makeup again!
  • Anybody else struggle this time of year? I’m looking at these lovely sunbeams from my Alice In Wonderland shoot this summer to bring some sunshine to my day. I’ll be doing just fine, then be lying on the couch trying to feel like I can breathe again. I know it is ok, and these increased symptoms will pass, but it’s certainly not fun, especially when I have projects and ideas id like to tackle, but can’t get past this paralyzing anxiety. What do you guys use to help with SADD? #SADD #anxiety #ptsd #seasonaldepression  #winteristheworst #whydoilivehere
  • Halfway done! Still a ton to do, and I’ve learned ALOT already, like how not to sew in an invisible zipper, that I need a seam ripper, and need to invest in real fabric shears. But it’s actually coming together! Having never used a pattern before, I admit I looked at the pile of paper with some skepticism. Also, it kind of matches my couch. 😂 #cosplay #sewing #mccallspatterns #mccalls #mccallscosplay #spacesuit #plussizecosplay


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