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.

Hello!

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

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  • My first attempt at a stone makeup! Used Mehron water activated grey base, black to like the creases on my had (so many!) and black and white stipple fir more dimension. Turned out pretty cool, I'm hoping to do a full face application soon!
  • Today was a lesson in moderation. I have too much on my plate, and sometime you just have to accept that it is ok to accept defeat and just relax. This burned hand makeup was inspired as half of a poem(see previous post). Since the inspiration required two hands, I actually did all on this with my non-dominant hand! Gelatin for the burn scars, and my Ben Nye  bruise wheel for color.
  • i have loved
with hands closed
and hands open
both are accompanied
by their own type of pain

by @andrewcoonswriting 
This was truly an example of art inspiring art. If you haven't read @andrewcoonswriting poetry, you need to follow him asap! Having both suffered heartbreak and chronic pain myself, this poem spoke to my heart, and I knew I wanted to use it for my next makeup look. 
The two types of pain display an open hand of stone, and a curled hand of burns. A love present but immovable, and love that burns hot and fast, leaving us scarred for life. 
Check out more of his work and keep an eye out for his new book of poetry, "Living with it," coming out in September!
  • So. Thirsty. Glycerin makes a great base for cracked and peeling lips. And you actually can't drink wearing it... at least, not without a straw. Now back to my morning caffeine infusion. I used my Ben Nye bruise wheel for the minimal colors, and my usual foundation to color the glycerin "skin."
  • Bloody knuckles! Today calls for a quick makeup and an early bedtime, as my sciatic nerve pain is approaching 11... I wanted a wound down to the bone, so I built up the torn skin with gelatin and rimmed the inside of the wound with black, leaving bare skin in the middle to take the appearance of bone when the look is done. I toned the gelatin with red water activated paint, and filled in with a rust and stippled purple to simulate the start of bruises. Finally, I coated it all down in blood. Not bad for a quick and dirty makeup!
  • "EAT SLUGS MALFOY!" Not a fun spell, and not one to attempt with a faulty wand. This "bonus" Chamber of Secrets was born literally from the thought that my ice cube tray looked like slugs! I had to pair my vom with some extra eye bags from a day of puking slugs. "Better out than in."
  • As promised... part two for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Basilisk after being blinded by Fawkes the Phoenix. This was a faster approach but I still think it turned out quite nice. The edges of the punctured eyes was made with glycerin, and I tried out my new Ben Nye scan blood! A great way to take a typical snake makeup to a different level.
  • Back to my Harry Potter series... nothing is more essential to the plot of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets than the Basilisk! I actually Iove the hell out of this one, done with mehron water activation paints and fishnet stockings. Aannndddd, since I was not on top of my game last week, I'm bringing you a two for one! Check back soon for part two of this look.
  • This look was a not so successful attempt at a major broken dose... think car accident minus other scrapes. Things I liked: I feel like the beginning of the bruise settling into the cheek was great. Not so much: I wanted to replicate swelling and added glycerin to build up the ridge on the nose. I think I needed to blend it out a little bit more, as it looks too abrupt. I also feel like this look has far too much red and purple in it. I think I could've accomplished a much better makeup with far less color, another one to try again soon!

@madlikealyce

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