Life with PTSD

Nearly 4 years ago this room looked entirely different.

The window pane was not covered with paper for privacy. There was not a tent covering the doorway. A make shift wall was not in place sectioning the room in half. There was no equipment.

Instead there were chairs lining that wall. A table in the center of the room. A couch along a wall you can no longer see.

How do I know this?

This was the room we were placed in while our son was down the hall...his life desperately trying to be saved. This was the room the staff poured into crying as they told us they did everything they could. This was the room we sat in as the floor fell from beneath us as the ceiling crashed down on us. This was the room we were in when we were told our son died.

If you asked me the last place on Earth I’d ever want to be I wouldn’t have to pause to think; it would be this room. Yet here I ended up several days ago.

My youngest, our rainbow, suddenly went limp in my arms as his eyes rolled back in his head. I frantically yelled his name over and over trying to get a response. The flashback slams into me. The last time I saw my third child alive he being carried to an ambulance. He too was completely limp...and gone...

I can’t go there. I need to be here in the present. I start yelling. Wake up! Wake up! Please wake up!!!

He is disoriented but he is back. On the verge of calling 911 we decide we can get him to the ER faster.

Once we are there I explain what had happened to the check-in woman behind the counter and glass; tears silently sliding down my face. We are told we’d have to wait in a quarantine room until the nurse comes to take us to our room. My gut instinctively knows where we were going. The room is to my right. I had been avoiding even looking in that direction hoping it would somehow make it magically non-existent.

The closer we get to the door the harder it is to breathe. The tears flowing endlessly now; one after another after another. By the time we are in the room I can hear the sobs escaping my body with no control over them. I have mentally time traveled back to the worst day of my life. I’ve never been in this room since that day. I see myself sitting in a chair next to the window. Then falling to the floor. Screaming. Begging. Pleading. Please don’t let this be real...

Suddenly a nurse calls out our names and I am forced back to the present. I nearly run out of the room. Our little guy is evaluated and has had a febrile seizure. He is ok and I could not be more grateful and thankful.

Days later the harsh reality of our ER trip still lingers.

The loss of my child, every memory and moment surrounding his death is forever imprinted in my mind, heart and soul. It is something I cannot escape. Just when I think I may have a slight grip on my grief I am slapped in the face with the reminder - there will never be a grip on this life.