The Intensive Care Experience Part 3

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Health,PTSD,Self-Development  

Continued from The Intensive Care Experience Part 2

Intensive Care

Alyssa was lying motionless on the bed.

Tubes in her body and machines connected everywhere.

The constant beeping of the machine that measured her heart rate and humming of the other machines were the only noises in the room.

Looking up at the rows of information on the computer screens, I refused to think about her blood pressure reading only 50/20. I sat at the side of her bed simply staring at her face as if at any moment she would open her eyes, look at me and say, “Hi Mom!”

My brain kept saying, “Breathe in, breathe out and don’t panic.”

That was easy for my brain to say while my heart was wailing. Brains are so unfeeling and rational.

I touched Alyssa’s fingers and remembered doing the same thing in the same way immediately after she was born. There was no movement this time. I bent to smell her skin and began sobbing with my heart praying, “Dear Heavenly Father. I have no right to ask you to leave your child on this earth, but I just can’t bear to lose her. I don’t want to bury her. She is the light of my day and I would give you anything to spare her life. Oh please don’t take her.” That scenario happened over and over again.

During one of those sobbing-praying moments, I remembered that I had posted my testimony of Christ for my daughter on my blog. Alyssa had been so touched that I would profess it to the world unashamed. She had specifically thanked me for writing it. What if I was prompted to do that because she was supposed to see me share my convictions before she died?

My mind tormented me.

My heart felt that at any given moment, it would explode with pain.

Throughout the days and nights, there were nurses checking this and doing that while the doctor read the chart and checked things herself. My family came and went which is now all just a haze of them telling me to eat, drink, sleep, bathe, walk… I kept thinking, “What is their problem! Why won’t they just be quiet about the things I should do?! Can’t they see I do not want to leave my daughter?!”

I realize that they were concerned with my welfare and loving me, but at the time I just didn’t care about anything to do with me. So I sat by the bed in the same clothes, unbathed and without proper nourishment.

Days and nights were filled with long seconds that turned into long minutes which in turn became long hours.






Alyssa remained the same.

By this time, I was already completely in a life fog. I remember disjointed activities and just an overwhelming feeling of gloom and despair.

However, after all the great care and thousands of prayers said on her behalf, Alyssa eventually opened her eyes and walked out of the hospital with only a few reminders of this horrendous experience, such as:

  • weighing twenty pounds less
  • missing huge chunks of her memory that still have not returned
  • her attitude presents an overall feeling of maturity

For weeks I have walked around in the lingering traumatic fog.

I’ve worked.

I’ve blogged.

I’ve talked to people.

I’ve cooked, cleaned, slept, bathed, shopped and watched television.

I only remember bits and pieces of all of it.

Then late last week, I suddenly felt some sunshine in my soul. The fog was beginning to lift! There are still times that I burst into tears because I look at Alyssa and feel a sudden shot of overwhelming gratitude that she is ALIVE. My joy…it is joy and not just happiness…is almost more than my body and especially my tear ducts can handle. I won’t ever really be the same, but that’s okay. I think in ways, I’m better and I’m sure in a matter of time, I will be able to resume my multi-tasking with efficiency.

I am especially so very thankful:

  • to people everywhere that prayed for Alyssa and my family
  • for the EMT’s that arrived within ten minutes of Mom placing the 9-1-1 call
  • all the emergency room doctors and nurses that worked quickly yet were still kind to me as I sat sobbing in the corner of the room
  • for the PICU nurses who took such great care and extended constant attention to my daughter
  • for the PICU doctor that sacrificed long hours watching Alyssa
  • the frank and candid way that the doctor revealed the possibilities for both life and death
  • to Alyssa’s dad and stepmother who immediately flew here to help in any way they could and were in the hospital when she woke up
  • for my family who supported me in ways I don’t know and can’t remember, but I know that they did because that is what families do
  • for the people at work who have been so supportive, understanding, kind and helpful while I struggle to return to my productive self
  • to everyone who has written me emails or left comments to lift my spirit, offer comfort and express care, concern and assistance

Most of all, my gratefulness is to a loving Heavenly Father, who for whatever reason decided that it wasn’t time to take Alyssa from this earth. For a merciful Father that listened to my begging pleas of “Oh God! Please don’t take my baby!” with patience and excused my panicked disbelief in Him.

I will never view medication the same again. Be vigilant in knowing, understanding and monitoring the side effects of all the medications you and your family are prescribed. Do not just believe everything is fine because the prescription is a well known and tested medication. Everyone’s body is chemically different and will react to the medication differently too.

Being over vigilant with medication is my new attitude towards health care.

In a way, we are starting all over…Making new memories and enjoying experiences with a renewed attitude of appreciation for each other.

So life continues and today appears to be just another normal day.

Well, almost.


The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PJ June 25, 2010 at 1:18 am

Hey Kiddo! I found a couple of verses that might help also.
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren,whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Before I read your post, I also found this one. 2 Timothy 1:7 – for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I know being comforted is easier said than done, but I am going to keep praying for you to gain more and more strength until EVERYDAY is a good and positive day for you. (you are one of the strongest people I know.)Remember to God, Weakness (to ask Him for help) is Strength.

Love ya!
God Bless!


2 Bossy Betty June 25, 2010 at 1:50 am

Oh my goodness. What an incredible experience. I could not even imagine what you went through.


3 kelly June 25, 2010 at 2:21 am

i am so sorry that you and your family had to experience this. as a nurse, i am happy to hear that during your scary,sad experience with this trial, that you received good care.


4 SpitFire June 25, 2010 at 2:26 am

If I may ask, (And if I missed it in there, I'm sorry) what was the medication that caused such an issue? I've had medication issues before, so I'm curious. Plus it may helpful to other moms of teenagers.


5 Grace Adams June 25, 2010 at 2:33 am

I can't even begin to imagine how excruciating that experience was for you. I am so glad she's okay.


6 Home's Where My Heart Is June 25, 2010 at 3:59 am

Praise God for happy endings. I read your testimony for Christ you included..the picture you said was your favorite and you said "I can almost feel Mary's pain at thinking someone had taken Jesus' body and then the joy at recognizing him standing before her." When I read your words I thought that was probably how you felt when Alyssa woke up.

I am overjoyed for you and your daughter. I can't even fathom what you went through, but I'm so, so glad she has pulled through. Thank you for sharing your story.



7 Mrs. Mother June 25, 2010 at 4:17 am

I am so glad she is doing well now. I would also like to know what the meds were. When I was 14, my doctor prescribed two drugs that aren't supposed to be given together, and I nearly had a heart attack. I was much luckier than Alyssa and others in that it could have been much worse.

I am now a follower of your blog. I hope you will reciprocate.


8 misssrobin June 25, 2010 at 5:33 am

I am so happy that your daughter is okay. I hope that your life and hers will be trauma-free from now on.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and in so doing sharing a beautiful testimony of God's love. It's so easy to say "Thy will" until we're in the moment. What strength you showed.

And your expressed gratitude is further testimony of your belief of His hand in your life.

Well written.


9 Gretchen Seefried June 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

Thinking of you and your family…and so relieved that you made it through this. This is an important story to share-and good warning for us all; I can be way too laissez-faire when it comes to medicine. Thank you.


10 Natacha June 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

As a mother I just couldn't imagine what you were going through… this sounds very scary and emotionally draining… my prayers are with you and your family…


11 mangiabella June 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm

so touching – praying for you new friend…."though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day – for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all – so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


12 viewfromdownhere June 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Oh my gosh, I just read this entry and then went back and read the ones you previously wrote. What a horrifying experience for you and your family. I am so glad that she is ok, and I continue to pray for you and your family.


13 Teresha@Marlie and Me June 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I was so happy when I reads the part about the sunshine returning!


14 Jireh Ministries Foundation, Inc June 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Thanks for sharing the whole story. I remember as this was happening, as you had found some time to post a note to let us know about the situation and to pray for your daughter, and I was wondering what you were going through and the longer it was the more frightening it became.

So glad we have a happy ending to this story!

I actually began reading the posts backwards from III to I and by the time I got to the beginning it really hit me. When you are a parent, you relate to not just your own children, but what it is being a parent,(to any child).


15 Danica-Dragonfly June 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm


I do not know how you found the words to articulate this tale to the rest of us.

Very touching and a mercifully happy ending.

Onward and upward from here, right?

So truly happy that she's on the mend… you, too.


16 mimito5 June 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Phew…..I'm sitting here having read two completely different blog posts, but both having to do with God's grace and miracles….tears in my eyes. So thankful that Alyssa is still by your side and wondering how I would have reacted in the same situation. But I believe God gives extra grace where and when it's needed. Thank you, Lord, for this day, and these two special people:)


17 Sonja June 26, 2010 at 1:24 am

I've just been visiting your blog and have loved the story of your daughter, and how God spared her and proved His faithfulness to you. She is beautiful, and she has a mother who loves her deeply… you are both blessed. I particularly loved the testimony you wrote to her. I think you about covered it all on that one.
Love your blog… blogs!! 🙂




18 writing4612 July 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

You're so right about monitoring any medications you or your child are on. Sadly, most people take what their doctor says at face value because they have a degree. Doctors cannot predict what will happen to each individual when they take medicine, especially young people.

I'm thankful that my mom is on top of things where my health is concerned. I'mm glad Alyssa is doing well. Prayer does work!


19 Danielle-Marie January 2, 2011 at 5:09 am

What a terrifying experience. I'm so happy for you that it had a happy ending. God bless.


20 L.A.C.E. April 16, 2011 at 5:03 am

That is terrifying. May God continue to bless you and keep you.


21 Serge Thiebautgeorges May 21, 2013 at 11:51 am

I read your story about the intensive care experience, I couldn’t avoid to cry, you are a talented writer, thank you for sharing with us this story.
As a father of four and as a Christian I have to deal deal with those fears; worried when they drive, worried when they travel, worried when they are with someone I do not know and I have to trust anyway…..
The only way I have thought is to mentally repeat: “God is my protector and Bless my life and my family”
and after a while I’m calming down and breath better…
Oh I know man have no habit to share those emotions , but to be parent is certainly the best and the worst.
Have a good day.


22 Sherry Riter May 23, 2013 at 7:18 am

Thank you, Serge. I totally agree with you that being a “parent is certainly the best and the worst.” I’m so glad that Alyssa not only lived, but she is happy, healthy and really has no side effects from the whole experience. 🙂 I’m very, very, very grateful.


23 Kathy R. June 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I was so intent on your story that I had to remember to breathe. As a mom I can understand that pain you feel when your child feels pain, and the relief when she is better. I’m glad she is mending and that you are also. Sometimes it is a hard road we walk but we don’t walk it alone.


24 Sherry Riter June 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Thank you Kathy. {{{hugssss}}} I am so thankful that my story is having a happy ending. It HAS been a hard road, but each day I am stronger. 😀


25 AJ July 21, 2013 at 8:57 am

As a mother of a toddler, I tend to forget that my kid will not be by my side 24/7 like he is now. I know that my mom still worries about me, and I’m 31! The very idea of my child (who is my entire world) not being ok sends ice through my veins & fire through my heart. Praising God that your world is slowly being put back together – with your child still with you.
Thank you for having the courage to share this & your struggles to get ‘over’ what happened to you.



26 Sherry Riter July 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Thank you AJ. Children do grow up fast….waaaaay too fast. I’m so thankful that my daughter survived. My words can’t express my gratitude for her life and for being able to fight PTSD. I appreciate your comment today. {{{hugsss}}}


27 Kenny Sellards November 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

You’ve come a long way since this post. So happy for you and proud of you! 🙂 <3 …and as always, thank you for sharing. *hugs*


28 Sherry Riter November 25, 2014 at 12:46 am

I HAVE come a long way! Thank you so much for noticing, Kenny! {{{hugssss}}}}


29 maureen hugo November 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

I live in France. I have been throught several traumatic events over the past 2.5 years, a horrific personal attack, a good part of our house has burnt down, my brother, 52 died suddenly and we are still waiting for autopsy results after 2 months so on and son on …..
I would like to thank you for your blog on the END. I am now coming out of PTSD but like you it has been a long path. Some therapies specifically treating trauma have helped me greatly.
However, the physical and psychological sharing of your experiene of PSTD is a gift to many.

Thank You



30 Sherry Riter November 23, 2015 at 8:48 am

I’m so sorry that you’ve had PTSD, but happy you are healing. {{{hugsss}}}


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