I know what it’s like to live with.
I had an appointment for testing for carpal tunnell syndrome at the hospital I delivered Matthew in. It wasn’t too bad. I go through the front doors to admitting. That’s fine. They sent me around the corner to where I had to have my test. That was fine too. Right before the gift shop. It seemed all fine. The gift shop is like the cut-off zone. Just past the gift shop is the hallway with the bank of elevators and stairs that either go down to the cafeteria or upstairs to the maternity ward. I looked down the hallway, but it was all fine.
While waiting for my name to be called, one of the maternity doctors came in. Not the doctor that delivered, he wasn’t on call that day, but the doctor I saw the upcoming weeks and months prior to Matthew’s birthdate. Seeing him walk in with a nurse and laughing and unaware that one of his patients was watching him, hit me like a punch to the stomach. He glanced my direction but obviously didn’t reconize me. Why would he? I ‘m just a statistic. He went into the stair case and I was reeling. I had two feelings. Curl up on the floor and cry or confront him and ask him if the ward gives better care to the patients that have been exposed to medication. To ask him if they now have become more vigilant and watch the babies after they are born. But I did nothing. I just sat in the chair filling with emotions I didn’t know what to do with. If it wasn’t enough while I was struggling with that, a lady came out of an elevator with the same carseat as Matthew’s only hers had a happy little baby in there. I started to cry and just about lost myself when I was called in. Distraction is amazing. I focused on my tests and held a conversation with the physician. The nurse poked her head in to tell me that my husband was out in the waiting room.
When I was finished, I went out, but Amery wasn’t there. I went to the front door and back but couldn’t find him. I had a little thought that maybe he went upstairs, but he didn’t have any reason to go up there. So I waited and he finally came up from the cafeteria. I said I was ready to leave and he walked towards the stairs again. I was okay until I got past the gift shop. That’s when I panicked. I didn’t want to go any further. I kept asking him why we needed to walk this way. Why can’t we go out the front. I didn’t get an answer so I went. I got a big knot in my stomach. My heart started to pound like it was trying to jump out of my chest. My back hurt. I started to feel shaky and light headed. I felt sick. I wanted to be anywhere but there. We weren’t even going upstairs, but I took these stairs so many times while waiting for Matthew to be born. It was claustrophobic. I’ve had a panic attack soon after my car accident years ago, but this was worse. It took everything I had to keep from screaming and running. But I couldn’t make a scene. That would scare my kids. The bottom line is I’m mommy and seeing me cry and knowing I’m sad and missing Matthew, and that’s troublesome for them. So I moved quickly.
That was this morning. 6 1/2 hours ago and I still have the brick in my stomach. It feels like someone has their hands tightly around my throat. My nerves are buzzing. I can’t stand this. I am certain this is PTSD. It must be. I have never reacted to a place like I did today. I don’t ever want to go past that gift shop again. How will I have this next baby? I can’t go back there. I don’t think anyone would be able to drag me past the elevators again. The nervousness this has caused me today is overwhelming and distracting. I try to focus on other things, but I can’t. I keep seeing the elevators and being overwhelmed with the feelings I had upon leaving them with an empty womb and empty carseat. This loss I am reminded of is crippling. I need to find a way to get through this and on with my life, but if little things like this will trigger me, will I ever be safe? Are these fears hiding around corners waiting for me? I hate surprises. I’ve always said that if I died in a car accident, I want to see it coming. I pretty much have been controlling when these emotions affect me, but this hospital surprised me with a fear lying in wait to attack me.