Just when I thought it was safe to go out…

blasted ambulance
wailing down the street, top speed
stops me in my tracks

For the first few months after Ike-a-saurus' trach-o-drama extravaganza last year I had a really hard time every time I saw an ambulance on the street. Especially the yellow and blue ones. I would have to pull the car over and hyperventilate and cry a little bit and then everything would be kind of OK (at least OK enough to resume driving). After a few months of that it got to where I could see an ambulance and be fine UNLESS it had its lights and siren on. Then – freak out. A few months after that, I was OK as long as someone else was in the car with me… all of this until the point where I could be in the car, see a wailing ambulance, and not lose my shit.

Time, acceptance, subsequent trips in ambulances – it seemed like all of these things combined to help calm me down.

Until today.

What makes today different? Beats me. Maybe it's all the health care talk, flashing me back to a dark time. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it was a song on the radio. Maybe it was the actual, physical movement I had to take to take to pull the car over to let the ambulance go by. I don't know. But whatever it was set off a reaction that I haven't experienced in several months.

I think seeing all of the cars pull off to the side so that the ambulance could get through the traffic was the kicker. I immediately flashed back to being in the ambulance that first time with Ike. He was in the back and I had to sit in the front with the driver, watching the traffic scramble to get out of our way. Something about the cars pulling over today… well, it turned me into a big mess. That was at noon, and still, nearly 4 hours later I feel exhausted and shaky and cry-y.

Not really sure what the point of this post is, other than to say dammit, I thought all this mess was behind me.


7 thoughts on “Just when I thought it was safe to go out…

  1. That’s pretty much the way of PTSD. You think you’re okay and then, suddenly, you aren’t. We call it the Tyrannosaurus Effect in our house. The symptoms come out of no where, seem impossible, defy reason, and leave you feeling hurt, exhausted, and confused.
    There’s a longer essay about it here: http://marsbarn.typepad.com/raindogblue/2008/11/tyrannosaurus-r.html
    This was written about trauma associated with police work, but I think your situation fits in there too.


  2. After all the trauma you went through, that’s not an odd reaction. I’m so sorry you have to relive it. I hope it gets better, and that someday it just does go away for good.
    I was thinking of you and Ike the other day when I read this article
    I’m not sure it is at all applicable to the treatments Ike needs, but I thought it might be interesting.
    Take care!


  3. People assume that because we have been “through it” that it is somehow easier for us. IT’S NEVER FREAKING EASIER! You just hope that you deal with it better next time around . . .
    I feel ya . . .


  4. Great Tyrannosaurus post! That’s totally how it was today. A big T. Rex jumping out of nowhere.
    And Karin, I SAW that article about the boy getting the new trachea. Amazing! It makes me very glad we banked Ike’s cord blood, just in case…


  5. Yep, PTSD sucks. But after what you have been through, it’s only natural. I hope that you can find some relief and help in dealing with this.


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