What It Takes to Process Medical Trauma

Watching our sweet ME slowly recover from this horrific debilitating disease, that was taking her life, and causing her to live in pain that is indescribable, has been both exhausting and sorrowful at times, when it should have been just all joy. 

Living in fight or flight mode for so long (literally years) had done an absolute number on all of our central nervous systems, and this year has been spent healing all of us who were traumatized. 

This includes every member of our entire family. 

Not one of us escaped the trauma of this horrific event. 

Our therapists and physicians have walked us through our signs and symptoms of PTSD, and how to handle them. 

My therapist has supported my need to write about all we saw and felt. 

My therapists and physicians have supported me in my asking that those who know what they did to our sweet ME, to please hold whoever withheld the care, (including a 120 page document that was the key to that care) accountable. 

Writing helps me share our pain we endured, with them. 

It helps me know that they know what these decisions put our whole family through. 

I’ve attempted to do this with grace and clarity. I want my voice to be a voice of change. While I ask for accountability and an overhaul of a broken system. 

The notes I’ve written to them could on their own make a book. A book that would truly break your heart as you watch me beg for accountability and an apology to my husband.

Those notes were the only way I could communicate with those who hurt us. 

I repeatedly told them there is no amount of money that could give us back the years that were taken from us, the hours I begged for care for sweet ME, and the daily gruel of living with a monitoring system going off as her numbers continued to plummet. Watching her in 10+++ pain scale while access to care was cut off by the system. Crying myself to sleep as I lived in fear that this would continue until her last breath. All hope lost. 

Hope that many doctors were sure would come, if only we could get through this incredibly horrific process of the systemic abuse of denial of care. 

Processing medical trauma, as you watch your child literally come back to life, (just as our amazing Dr. Hoy felt so sure would happen.) is a roller coaster of emotions. 

Seeing my husband be betrayed by individuals he considered family was truly the most heartbreaking thing I have ever witnessed in my 34 year marriage. 

Watching him when he’d arrive home each day, after having to walk through the doors of a building that now represented hurt and fear, was heartbreaking. 

A place where people made decisions that harmed his little girl. 

Harmed his whole family. 

A place where he continued to work hard, hold his head high, and do his best for the company he loves. 

A place where the individuals who were involved waved at him from across the room, smiling as if absolutely nothing had happened, without ever once acknowledging the pain, fear, and suffering they had put him through. Let alone asking how our sweet ME was doing. 

Begging for those who know what they did, to please admit what they knew, was my only way to stand with my husband this year. 

My hope was that my begging, would one day help them see the pain they caused him, and their hearts would be softened enough to apologize to him. 

This act of goodwill would begin his journey to forgive those who hurt him by harming his family.  

I truly believed they would. 

I truly believed in these people I had known my whole adult life. 

I trusted that they had the hearts I remember them having when we were all young adults, coming up together, in a journey that bonded all of our families. 

I believed with all my heart, that accountability and an apology to John would come, if they were made aware of what this denial had caused to ME and our whole family. 

I trusted them. 

That apology never came. 

Even though I begged over and over for the person/persons who withheld the 120 page document to please be honest, take responsibility, and please apologize to my husband. 

Nothing… ever… was said… to offer him healing and the opportunity to heal from this trauma. 

Maybe one day they will. 

But for now, as my therapist has said, with such incredible wisdom, do something today that is self care for you. Get outside  and maybe blog a little were two of many pieces of wisdom she gave to me yesterday. 

I did both. And more. And really focused on her words all day long. 

So here is my blog post today, a day after walking  my husband through his grief of recognizing that people you once admired can indeed hurt you and still never say they are sorry. 

Hurt people, hurt people. 

Which is why we believe therapy is so important. 

I do not believe in hurting those who hurt you. It only hurts you more. Forgiveness heals you. 

We choose to forgive. 

So I will focus on my healing,  on continuing to help other caregivers who are in the battle for their child’s life, while supporting my family through love and the best support I can give them, for their healing. 

All while I forgive those who did this to our sweet ME, (as I process these last many years of watching her suffer), while still asking anyone that will listen, for accountability for their systemic failures that took years of our life, caused an incredible amount of suffering, and quite literally nearly took our sweet ME’s life. 

Forgiving them as I process the pain, while holding them accountable for their actions, and creating change, are not mutually exclusive. All can occur at one time. And should. 

PS PTSD and C PTSD are incredibly misunderstood. Please take a moment to educate yourself on what PTSD is really like. 

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

2 Responses to “What It Takes to Process Medical Trauma ”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. It will help me help others and I pray it brings you healing.

  2. The story is unbelievable and the health system and insurance guy need an overhaul in this country. I’m sure you are exhausted but all I can think is, what an incredible mother and extraordinary wife.