Why does it still hurt?
Today I needed to get a foot X-ray from a three month old injure. My doctor sent me to a local hospital which I’d had the pleasure of visiting the ER of three times in a four month period over a year and a half ago. This is the life of a mom with many small boys; my own visit was also due to injury caused by those boys. I’d never seen outside of the ER before even though this was the hospital I was originally suppose to deliver my fourth son at a little more than a year ago. When I walked into the hospital in search of the imagining department my first reaction was, “this is a really nice hospital.” Within seconds, however, I was hit by a bigger, tougher reaction, as I choked back tears and a sick, sinking feeling.
This hospital really wasn’t similar to the hospital I gave birth in almost 14 months ago, with the exception that it was pleasant looking, had a cafe on the first floor, and a little outdoor sitting area. Despite this, I was immediately transported back to my days visiting the NICU last year. I was completely surprised by these feeling because this wasn’t one of the hospitals that I’d spent time in with my youngest. Still these memories were triggered. The feelings subsided a little during my X-ray, but they came back strong again as I attempted to quickly peruse the cute gift shop that really resembled more of a store at the mall than at a hospital. This time I was overcome by memories of our stay at the Children’s Hospital over last summer and the gift shop there. I wasn’t able to hold back tears and felt suddenly nauseous, so I bolted for my car.
When I got to my car I began to cry. I couldn’t help it. I knew it was stupid, my baby was healthy and fine and with my neighbor, but my emotional self seemed oblivious to this fact. So I just allowed myself to cry, figuring that I must have needed it. After a few minutes I stopped, but I was then overwhelmed by a need to see and hold my baby. So as soon as I was able to compose myself, I raced home to see him.
It seems crazy that something that seemed so unrelated triggered feelings I thought I was getting beyond, yet it happened. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to walk into a hospital again without falling a part. I know it hasn’t even been a year since we finished our hospital stays, but my littlest guy is doing so well, so why aren’t I?