Doctors now think Emma has a mild form of post traumatic stress disorder--more specifically, Pediatric Medical Trauma Stress.
Several studies have been done now which link children with cancer, and their caregivers, to PTSD.
Here is one description:
HYPER-AROUSAL (Taken from After the Injury in regard to children with PTSD)
Hyper-arousal also starts with a natural and normal response to danger – the “fight or flight response.” After an injury or accident, this “fight or flight” response might not turn off, even when you are safe.
- Your heart keeps pounding and you start sweating.
- Your body is still on the lookout for danger.
Another great site on the subject is the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia site. They talk about the symptoms preventing a child from performing every day tasks. This, in particular, seems to be Emma's issue.
Still, I am astounded daily by this child's strength. She recognizes that she has a "problem", and you can literally see it in her face as she fights it. I have no doubt she will overcome, and it inspires me to keep going. Really and truly.
Have you ever witnessed this type of strength in someone else? Did it inspire you to do a little better? Try a little harder? Become a little greater?
I ask for prayers for Emma, as well as any child (or any person in general, really) who faces this. It is heartbreaking, to say the least.