You may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet over here at musicfootballfatherhood.com of late. The reason being? Post traumatic stress. In early June, all was going very well on the site, we were posting a couple of times a week and had features lined up with an array of guests and brands. Personally, we had also got into a nice routine as a family, babies sleeping had improved, all was going well.
What started as a normal June Sunday, relaxing day at home after a trip to Nandos, my wife and I were getting our daughter ready for bed. We were trying new foods, as you do with an 8 month old baby, and decided to give her weetabix for the first time. All was going well before she began to itch. Within minutes the itching developed into rashes and within seconds she was having a full blown severe allergic reaction. The skin under her eyes started to shrivel. She was dazed and her body was covered in nettle rashes. Then her face started to swell and her eyes started to close. We made an emergency 999 call and within a few minutes a first responder and an ambulance came to our house. By the time we got to hospital her eyes were completely swollen over. We were fast tracked ahead of many other clearly sick children and adults and while it’s nice to be prioritised, it’s also a sign of the gravity of the situation. Our daughter was assessed and given some medication and we stayed in hospital until around 2am. It took a couple of days and some continued medication for the swelling to go down and her face to look normal again. 2 months on and luckily all is well now and although we’ve had to adjust our diets (our daughter has a wheat allergy) and be careful with what we eat, our princess is doing extremely well and everything is back to normal.
I’m always quite calm in emergency situations. I’m that person that will take control, stay focused and do what’s necessary. I’ve always been able to make good decisions when the pressure is on. I did that in this situation too. But what I wasn’t prepared for was what was going to happen in the days and weeks after. I couldn’t sleep properly for awhile. I kept reliving what had happened and thinking about how much worse it could have been. I kept having flashbacks and picturing my daughters face as the swelling was getting worse and her eyes were shrivelling. I kept googling ‘allergic reactions in babies’ and reading horror stories that ended much worse than ours. I couldn’t focus at work and would randomly feel very emotional for no reason at all. While I had put my emotions to one side during the actual incident, the realisation of what had unfolded in those moments to our beautiful little girl were being relived over and over again in the days and weeks after.
After a while I realised I had post traumatic stress, albeit a mild version. What really helped was being able to talk to my wife about what was happening. I learned that you need to talk about your thoughts and accept the reality of what has happened. I’ve learned a valuable lesson here as life is full of ups and downs and it’s not only how you deal with things in the thick of the moment but also how you take care of yourself afterwards. Thoughts and emotions can manifest some time after stressful and disturbing events and it’s important to look after yourself, talk and practice some self -care. If you take one thing from this article then that should be it.
As a result my plans were completely thrown out the window and the website took a back seat. It took a while for life to get back to normal and for us as a family to get back into our routine. In addition, in between the incident and this post I’ve also been busy looking for a new job and just enjoying life in general, hence the extended break. But now I’m back and motivated to write again. There are so many things to say and so many things to write about, I’m excited about musicfootballfatherhood.com again and can’t wait to push the brand forward!
Have you experienced PTSD? What are your tips for dealing with it. Please contact me via social media, I’d love to hear your thoughts.