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When People Assume Everything's OK Because Medical Issues Are 'Behind Us'

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“Well, isn’t it great that all of that is behind everyone now?”

An innocent comment — and pretty logical, too — when I mentioned this week is the five year anniversary of one of our most major medical issues.

• What is PTSD?

“But it’s not behind me. It’s always right in front of me and behind me. That experience changed me so deeply I am not the same person I was the day before and I’m not sure I am the person I am meant to be yet either.


Shivers — feeling cold even in the summer.

Rapid breathing — can’t catch your breathe.



Inability to focus or complete a task.

Need for quiet.

Aggravated by even simple requests.

Exhaustion but can’t sleep.

Fear of letting the emotions out.

That’s what it feels like when the anxiety attacks. Sometimes there is a warning and I can adjust to keep it at bay — to keep it from overtaking my carefully guarded self.

It won this week.

Five years ago, I almost lost The Hubby. It was a simple surgery gone bad. It was terrifying. It was hours and hours and hours of unknown outcomes and trusting doctors I didn’t know to save him. If you want to know what was happening at this exact time five years ago, I can still tell you. I can tell you what I was wearing. I re-read that blog post I wrote — and all exactly accurate. What I never wrote was the surgeon telling me she didn’t know if he would survive. That for a couple hours in the middle of the night no one could say the outcome would be a good one for him. It didn’t tell you about the hours I sat in that room, listening to the machines beeping asking for a miracle.

Yes, I understand it is over and that the outcome was the best — Hubby came home and recovered. Doctors even now remark they are amazed he survived what he did. I know all that. I acknowledge all that and I am so so so grateful for it. All of that is very logical.

Anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder don’t care so much about logic. They are always there, lurking in the background for me. I manage those feelings pretty well — I think — by simply making sure they don’t get the best of me. I smile when I want to scream, I take a deep breath when I want to crumble and cry. And I just keep moving forward, one step at a time, when the overwhelming waves of worry and fear and sadness try to take over.

Life goes on and other things need my attention — my children need my love, my job needs my creativity and my husband needs his wife. We are OK. We are all here. Together. That is what matters.

Originally published: May 27, 2016
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