Last night, I decided to go downtown for dinner and to watch the fireworks. It was also an excuse to take a bit of a break with technology. Upon arriving downtown to the restaurant that I really wanted to go to, there were two ambulances in front. Not knowing what was going on, we parked the car and headed to the restaurant to see about dinner. What we ended up seeing was sad. Sad for many reasons.
The paramedics were giving CPR to a man in the restaurant in the lobby. There were dining patrons of course in the restaurant and on the patio. There were of course the lookie loos outside looking in. I am not sure why the restaurant did not choose to close it’s front doors to avoid the ‘gawkers’ as I can call them. After more than 10+ minutes, the paramedics took the man out of the restaurant into the ambulance. The paramedics were still working on him. We don’t know the prognosis. We know the paramedic attendants did tell everyone to look the other way as they wheeled the stretcher out.
I saw the man’s wife come out towards the ambulance with another woman. Not that it mattered, but she was older than myself, maybe in her 60’s. She had a calm about her but as I know very well, it was just the ‘shock’ of the whole situation. When I saw her, a feeling of sadness came over me and all I wanted to do was give her a hug. If I had a pink Stay Strong Bracelet with me, I would have given one to her, but I had left them at home (which I never do). I think I just needed to go out anonymously and without Amanda last night. My brain was running rampant with thoughts. The wellness of this man. The emotional state of his wife. How life can be so short? You can wake up in the morning and not know what will happen that day. You can plan a dinner out and something tragic can happen.
I watched the man being wheeled out into the ambulance. I could have turned away but it was something I had to do to see how strong or weak I was emotionally. I was okay except for the sadness.
It was when the ambulance drove away and I heard the sirens. The same sirens that trigger my pain, heartbreak, fear and tears (even as I write this). I don’t know if I can ever listen to ambulance sirens again or watch them speed down the street without having a flashback of some kind. My friend Jan wrote to me – that is a true sign of PTSD. If anyone doesn’t know what that is, it mean Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am surprised when I have to explain it to others. Symptoms comes after a traumatic event and may exist ongoing for years. Symptoms may also pop up at any given time.
Amanda was diagnosed with PTSD. She had too many tragic events happen to her in a two year period. When a reminder triggered her, she would become depressed or angry or disassociated with life. Such a grown up disorder for a young girl. That makes me sad.
To all those suffering with PTSD, we must stand together and help each other out. To share and explain what this invisible disorder is and how crippling it can be to ones emotional health without care, guidance and understanding. The invisible disorders are the ones that don’t get as much attention and sometimes care.
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