It has been a year since I almost lost one of my children; had she not already been at the hospital, she would have died.
I have been extra sensitive and angry lately, and now realize that I am mentally reliving the experience over and over. She had been sick with what was diagnosed as a “virus” the day before and sent home from the ER to rest and get well. The next day, I took her back to the ER and she was diagnosed with pancreatitis and admitted.
Thank goodness I took her back. That night she experienced respiratory failure, and if we had been at home, we would all have been sleeping and never known she stopped breathing.
Her right lung and trachea had collapsed, so she had no airway. Since then she has been diagnosed with chronic lung disease and receives multiple daily respiratory therapies. These therapies quadruple when she is sick, so we have to have a good plan in place.
I realize now that this was a traumatic experience and that I am experiencing some post-traumatic stress symptoms. This is the first anniversary so the experience is still fresh. I imagine that time will help heal, but I know that it will still be remembered every year on the anniversary date.
I may check on her more now through the night, take her into the doctor for any little sniffle, or just watch her while she sleeps, and that is okay. I see other parents going through the hospitalization of their children on social media and I feel sad for them and nervous all the same.
No parent should have to see their children sick or in pain, so hug your little ones tight tonight. I know I will, and I will be so thankful for every day I have with them because I know that that could change in just a blink of an eye. Stress takes a huge toll.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.