I have PTSD from my child’s illness.

No, I don’t need a doctor to tell me that. I can tell you that because I am living it.

Ask me what my biggest fear is.

Ask me what haunts my dreams.

Ask me what it’s like to live with the what if’s.

Ask me what it’s like to relive the worst moment of your life over and over.

I can answer it all with one word.

Paralyzing.

Let me say it again. It’s paralyzing.

I can’t unsee the events that transpired on January 3, 2017. I can’t describe to you what it feels like to watch your child’s entire body convulse like a bad horror movie for 45 minutes. I can’t tell tell you what it feels like to watch 20 medical professionals wheel in a crash cart to your 4 year olds bedside. I can’t tell you what it is like to watch a doctor call a different hospital for advice because they are obviously out of their depth. I can’t tell you what it’s like to watch uncertainty and sympathy play across 40 eyes as they watch you follow the stretcher carrying your lifeless (I don’t use that term lightly. She was unresponsive, breathing on her own but no other signs of life) child down the hall. I can’t tell you what it’s like to watch the interstate roll by from the front seat of an ambulance as your child lays lifeless in the back.

With each little thing I find myself fighting (and mostly losing) to the voice in my head that says she is fine.

Falling behind in reading? Well that’s obviously from the scar on her language center on her brain. The doctor warned us this could happen.

Phone call from the nurse? She must be having a major seizure.

With her I automatically go to worse case scenario. I even make up scenarios. I find myself making contingency plans incase something were to go wrong.

I recently read an article and this doctor said it best:

““It’s my belief a parent who’s traumatized is always expecting the other shoe to drop, will always be scanning the horizon,” said Dr. Richard J. Shaw, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford.”

I’d love to tell you that one day I’ll stop expecting the other shoe to drop but I’m not certain it will happen. I am certain that I will learn how to cope better, I’ve already learned so much. But I honestly can’t imagine a future where the worst case scenario isn’t playing out in the back corner of my mind.

““As parents, we want our kids to be safe,” Dr. Kassam-Adams said. “Once you’ve been through this, you know they will never be 100 percent safe, and it’s hard to stop thinking about it.””

Another quote from the same article -click the link to read more- .

These doctors they get it. How hard it is to be a parent and to have to witness things no parent should ever witness. How you have to claw your way back to a new reality that is scary and full of uncertainty. How once you get there, you have to learn to be okay with it. You have to learn how to keep on living even when time seems to have stopped.

I’m still fumbling my way through, trying to make the pieces fit. I’m still dealing with the guilt of pressing the pause button. From January 2017-September 2017 everything was focused on Olivia. What exactly is her diagnosis? What is the prognosis? What is our new normal?

In March 2017 our beautiful second born turned 1. She didn’t get the big fancy party, pictures or anything. We were at Le Bonheur again. I wish I could tell you that her life didn’t take a back seat but the truth is it did. Not because we don’t love her. But because I knew she was okay, she was going to be just fine so I put my efforts into making sure my oldest was going to be just fine too.

It’s a hard line to draw and a hard reality to face that the siblings of kids with more complicated medical issues will undoubtedly have to make sacrifices.

Sure in the grand scheme of things missing a birthday party doesn’t seem like much. In reality it’s not, it had to be done. The fear is that truthfully it was probably just the first of many sacrifices my other kids will have to make. Despite my best intentions and efforts to keep that from happening the reality is, more than likely it will happen again. (Y’all this could and probably will be a whole other post.)

Truth be told. Logically, I know it will all work it in the divine scheme of things. I know that God loves my kids more than I do. I know that God has only good things planned for our families future. I know that God isn’t surprised.

We live in a broken, fallen, sinful world. Our kids don’t get to escape that. Kids get sick not because God decided to not pay attention that day, but because we live in a sinful world. Despite my wishes and prayers that kids -especially mine- wouldn’t have to live with the results of sin. A concept some aren’t even old enough to grasp yet. I know and I believe in a better world that is coming. One without pain and sickness. One where kids don’t have to suffer.

So on days where I can’t get the what if’s out of my head. The days where all I can do is press forward despite the haunting images playing out in my head. Those days. Those are the days where I lean the most on God. Those are the days where I have no choice but to surrender my fears, my anger, my unbelief to a God who is waiting to carry my burdens. So that I too can have peace in the moment, peace for everyday life.

I’m thankful not only for my God who gives me such peace, but for a family {my mom- a voice of reason, a helping hand; my husband- another voice of reason, a steady hand} who reminds me peace is always within my reach if I would just reach out and accept the hand that is offering it.

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