Yesterday’s Thoughts

April 7, 2008

Post-traumatic Stress and Ill Children

A personal story in the Times talks about the impact of having a severely sick or injured child on parents. There isn’t any data, only personal stories, but startled me into recognition of my own condition. I still sit upright in bed in the middle of the night recalling the five seconds when I turned away from the wee one and she wandered into traffic. That nothing terrible happened in those five seconds has been the difference between a life that would have been very difficult to endure and a more or less constant source of joy in my life.

The days of waiting and worrying about the older girl as she lay ill in intensive care, twice, are also permanently engraved on my memory and stored in my body. I find and feel that concern every time that I get to see her and admire the young woman before me. That it all turned out well in the end was fortunately, but I still feel the toll.

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