• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Insurance Funding Request

Did you know Firefly products may be funded by your insurance?

Learn More
Back to Firefly Blog

Can We Talk About Medical PTSD?

Can We Talk About Medical PTSD?

Last year I wrote a blog about caregiver PTSD; a very common, yet unacknowledged phenomenon that occurs in parents of special needs kids.

I talked briefly about the medical PTSD aspect that affects two of my children, but there was, and is, so much more to say.

I don’t think I have met a child who is not afraid of the doctor at some point.

I remember hiding under the exam table when I was little, wishfully thinking that the doctor would open the door, think I wasn’t there, and leave me alone.

That fear subsided as I got older and more mature, but for kids with medical PTSD, that fear almost never goes away.

Many people mistake Medical PTSD for anxiety, and not to minimize the effects of anxiety, but this is something totally different.

Medical PTSD, from my own experience with my kids, can actually cause anxiety that spills over into other aspects of their life.

Medical PTSD is melting down the minute we enter a medical office of any kind; the smells, the atmosphere, the scrubs all bring back traumatic experiences of being hospitalized numerous times, the pain of recovering from many surgeries and being poked and prodded too many times to count.

Medical PTSD is not even able to examine my child properly in some instances because they won’t, and can’t calm down long enough. We have to have all dental procedures done under general anaesthesia because of this.

We try and combine dental work with other procedures that require anaesthesia to minimize stress and recovery time.

Medical PTSD is regressing emotionally after every hospital stay, every procedure. Sometimes it takes days to bounce back; sometimes, it takes weeks.

Medical PTSD is being scared to let Mom or Dad out of your sight when you are in the hospital, even at 8 years old, even if it’s just when they run to the bathroom, to sneak Ninja style out the door once your child falls asleep so you can do a cafeteria run or grab some much-needed coffee.

Medical PTSD is seeing absolute fear come over your child’s face at the mention of going to the doctor’s, even if the appointment is not for him.

Medical PTSD doesn’t only take a toll on the child who suffers from it; it affects those close to them as well.

Parents and caregivers of children with Medical PTSD experience their own form of distress, watching their kids go through all that they do.

So, to all the parents and caregivers of medically fragile kids out there: I see you, I get it, and you are not alone.

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Jennifer Arnold

Meet Our Blogger

I’m passionate about raising awareness about disability issues through education and outreach. When I’m not wearing my writer hat, I’m usually trying to control the beautiful chaos in my home.

View Jennifer’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on

Purchases on $99+

US Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of $99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 6 month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 6 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00.
  • Individual items that are less than $99 qualify for special financing when combined for a total of $99 or more in a single transaction.
  • Multiple separate transactions of less than $99 per transaction cannot be combined to meet the minimum purchase amount.

Purchases of $98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend $98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • If approved, we start you off with a minimum credit line of at least $250. See FAQs for more info.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00. See Terms and Conditions tab for more info.
  • If you miss a payment your late fee could be up to $38, even less if it's your first time. See FAQs for more info.

Please wait...