So I have decided to do something that is really out of my comfort zone. I have had many changes in my life and many before and afters, but I am sharing my NOW.
I am not sharing my photos but rather my story. I have been intrigued by all of the hype of doing 22 push-ups to raise awareness for PTSD.
I really love the idea behind this, but because I workout and do my push ups etc, I felt inspired to go ahead and take it an extra step further and share my story to raise awareness and end my silence.
I am the spouse of a PTSD survivor but I have also suffered from post pardum depression and now deal with anxiety and depression.
💕I have learned that God sometimes enables us in order to help others and with grace of God I will be okay.💕
My life with Joe has always been amazing, crazy, adventurous, not always easy but always changing to make us stronger together.
When Julia, now our youngest of 5, was only 6 months old my husband Joe got in a head on collision and almost died at the Argyle turn off. He lost control and slid on ice into oncoming traffic and got t -boned by the same size truck going at least 95km/hour.
He suffered 2 fractures in his neck and back, a blow to side of his head which resulted in a severe head trauma.
So trying to run in the hospital with a car seat and baby in hand to see if my husband was okay, my neighbour came out and warned me that he was in bad shape and strapped to a gurney.
He couldn’t move. When on the hwy he was waiting in the snowplough until ambulance arrived. He jumped down out of the plough and the impact of landing made his knees buckle to the ground. Upon landing on the ground below, his legs were numb from the waist down. When the paramedics arrived, he had no feeling in his lower body.
So it killed me to know that he had to ride in that ambulance all by himself, and I can’t even imagine what he was going through.
By the time we got to Selkirk they refused to take him off the board because of his injuries.
Well many of you don’t know, but I whole heartedly believed in the power of prayer and have always been a believer.
See originally, I sent Joe to the city because we were having company( our pastor Chuck and his wife who married us) and our brand new hand made table and benches we ready. We wanted chuck to bless our home and and the amazing couple they are, they drove straight to the hospital when I called them. We ate Lynn’s bacon wrapped appetizers although I had no appetite, while we waited for Joe to go for a cat scan and MRI.
At this point he had been lying on that board for over 6 hours and had absolutely no feeling in his lower half.
When Pastor chuck arrived, I broke.
He’s been there for us a couple and how do you not question your faith when this stuff happens?
Chuck asked him if he could pray over him and pray for healing and possibly a miracle.
Shortly after, he went for his tests the doctor came out into the hall way and gave us the best news.
It was a true blessing and as far as miracles go, that actually walked out of the hospital that same day. We were back in the hospital the next night as he was suffering from a severe concussion.
But within the weeks, and months following his accident, things progressively got worse. Prior to accident I helped him run a successful plumbing and heating business. In the months to follow, his suffered from short term memory loss; defeating him and his abilities to handle stress or even those simple tasks were next to impossible.
My husband was amazing at his career. He excelled and received honours in college and was very respected(and still is) in his trade.
So what was to follow for us was what I soon thought would crush us.
In the spring after his accident( he went from having 7-10 service calls per day to struggling to get through one.
He began to suffer from daily memory loss, severe anxiety and depression and our business suffered as well as our family, and our marriage.
I finally convinced Joe to go to his Doctor(which took months)where he found out the most devastating news. We knew that he was suffering from a head injury from a blow to the head during his accident, the effects of a concussion going untreated.
But he was diagnosed with a extreme case of PTSD, and Post concussion syndrome(mild brain injury).
Besides his fractures in his back and neck, his body physically was okay.
The weeks and months following proved to be the toughest for him, his family and me.
Besides constant thoughts of suicide, depression and anxiety I had to take control and get our family through this. Most people who have PTSD end up using a substance to numb the pain. Alcohol can be an evil factor, even though most of us drink for fun.
What I forgot to mention was that a short time later he decided it was best to quit the business. Keeping in mind that there was no job to move forward with.
I really really struggled with this, as I was there helping him build our business. We almost lost our house and didn’t even know our next move. But in all of the darkness there had to still be a beam of light.
I struggled with my direction and what I was destined to do, I knew the drive to help others was alive inside of me.
Although I had started running bootcamps it was only a part time income. With the struggle of trying to get through raising 5 kids, running a household and a husband who was suffering I honestly prayed for a miracle.
One night Joe went online on and found a local plumber posting for government of MB as a maintenance plumber. Being the only one who applied for the job and of course being over qualified, he thankfully got the job. Things got much worse while he worked in portage la prairie, and driving the highway became next to impossible because of his flash backs, headaches, memory loss, dizziness and anxiety and depression and many other symptoms arose.
9 months later(November 2016)he was taken off of work by his doctor. He was having countless dizzy spells, blurred vision, balance issues and loss of a lot of short term memory. January 2017, Joe last his license because he was having symptoms that were making him unsafe to drive. He was on disability for 8 months and then last May tried to go back to work.
I knew that the moment I met the single dad 3 young kids, there was something different. He supported me through my struggle with post pardum depression and all my anxiety after having Joseph, supported us financially when I left on stress leave from my job and always had us as his first priority.
His first warning: The summer before his accident he had emergency surgery and had to shut down business for two weeks. His second day back to work he was on the job site after a slow recovery and weeks of pain killers he almost cut thumb off with a tool. Again, rushed to the hospital and undergoing surgery to reconnect a severed ligament he was put in a cast(second warning).
Just over a month later was his third and final wake up call when that truck slammed into him that cold stormy day.
Knowing how that day could of ended so differently, I am so blessed with what I have because it could have all been gone in a heartbeat.
In the last 4 years I have silently been the wife of a PTSD survivor, and continued to struggle with anxiety and depression but I am still feeling blessed that what I still have is my complete family and the support of my husband and family.
These last couple years were not easy, most times it was damn near impossible. But we are not perfect, and we have many flaws and hickups. But thankfully Joe has been getting some help, I am praying more and trying to take care of me a little more, and we have been trying to mend our family and our marriage.
💁🏼♀️Fast forward to February 20, 2018, after only 10 months of working and having many more symptoms and troubles Joes doctor has taken him off of work indefinitely.
We are currently not getting ANY income replacement because Mpi has to send him to all the doctors and specialists for a re assessments. So we needless to say it’s been a very tough couple of months with as we fall further in the rabbit hole of of trying to support our family.
I run bootcamps part time and try to make as much as I can, but trying to manage many things from the home front and helping raise 5 kids and manage the animals and the yard and also being responsible for all joes appointments and having to go with makes for a very full plate.
I have had to cut class times and be home more to be with joe as many days are very tough.
Although life throws us curveballs and sometimes worse, we have survived.
I have survived.
Whether it was taking on 3 new step kids and adding 2 more to the mix for a total of 5 kids, getting married and having a shotgun wedding, buying and growing out of our first home in less then 2 years, moving from the city to 80 acres, starting a couple businesses from the ground up, raising kids, taking care of house and yard, running a business, caring for my livestock and the list goes on.
This a page that my amazing client set up ☺️
I am not perfect. I am real. I am a fighter. And I want to inspire.
If I can help just one person know that they are not alone by sharing my story I feel that is my way to inspire.
I have ALWAYS believed that everything happens for a reason and God opened my eyes. It was the opportunity to spend time focusing on my husband, our marriage and our children.
So here’s to the next adventure thats in store and working on some new changes, new direction and continued hope and faith.
I hope to continue to inspire you with my daily life of caos and unexpected events and document as many cuddles, funny moments and memories💕