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One Year From Now

Life with a preemie #17

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I was aware that our stay in the NICU would deeply affect our family for a long time to come, but I don't suppose I really understood how that would play out practically until this last week.

Yesterday I had to go to the doctor for an iron test. I got in the car and drove down to Clovis Community, where our general practitioner has an office. They have a snazzy new parking garage so I pulled in to park. As I looked for a carpark I noticed that I was breathing faster and my heart was racing. I was starting to have an anxiety attack. I couldn't imagine what could be causing it until I parked the car and looked around. The new parking garage is almost identical to the one I parked in every day for over 80 days at Fresno Community. I had to talk myself into actually getting out of the car, reassuring myself that I wasn't going to visit Timothy but just going to my own doctor for a basic test. I've read that a lot of parents, particularly moms, that have children in the hospital for long periods of time suffer from varying levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I can easily imagine how that might be true.

Last week I went out somewhere, I can't remember where, and when I came home Nathan was really upset about something. When I listened to what he had to say, he was telling me that he thought I had gone back to the hospital to visit Timothy. He still prays often that Timothy will get better and won't have to be in the hospital anymore. Obviously he knows that he's home, but so many days and weeks I was gone and Nathan just didn't want that to happen again.

It's going to take time to heal. For all of us.



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