Anyone in south Wales that holds support group?

Hi there I was just wondering if there were any support groups in the Wales area especially in or near south Wales. Have recently left hospital after being in for seven months just over three of which where in icu. Am really struggling g to cope as for anyone this is a huge ordeal but am only 23 and am having to learn to walk and am suffering to sleep abe having horrible flashbacks and nightmares. If there's anyone who would even being interested in maybe being a pen pal that would be great. Thanks

Amy

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  • Hi Amy,

    The nearest ICUsteps support group to you is in Bristol, the details can be found on icusteps.org under support groups. I know how difficult it is trying to come to terms with what happened to you, I to spent 3 months in ICU just over 2 years ago I remember how bad it got with the PTSD, depression and the learning to walk again often thinking was it worth surviving if this how life was going to be, but I now look back at those dark days and think yes they were bad, but now things are so much better I used my experience of that time to help others find their way back to some sort of normal life by starting a local ICUsteps support group here in Hastings which is a bit far from South Wales, but if you want to drop me a line I'm happy to offer all the support I can.

    Best wishes in you recovery. :-)

  • !Aw thank you so much for offering support :) I may take you up on that offer lol speak soon Amy

  • Hi Amy,

    We don't currently have any groups in Wales but the number of local support groups is growing and I hope it won't be too long before we have healthcare professionals from your area wanting to help get a group going.

    Sorry to hear you're suffering in your rehabilitation and finding it difficult to cope. I know it can be hard in the short term and recovery can be so very slow but these things do normally get better with time.

    The other thing to remember is you're not alone. Most of us who have been critically ill had no idea about the world of intensive care and certainly not about the physical and psychological issues we have to overcome as a result. I hope at least that the knowledge these things are actually quite common for ex-ICU patients is of some relief as so many struggle with these things believing it's just them.

    If you've not seen our information booklet already, I'd certainly recommend having a look on the website at icusteps.org/guide

  • Hi Amy,

    My experience was similar to yours though I wasn't in for as long, and I'm a bit older (31). I have been home nearly 8 months now, and my walking is still a big problem, but I have improved loads and on a lot of days the gratitude that things weren't worse really keeps me going. I do have black times too and definitely have my ICU memories/ delusions kept safely in a box where I don't go very often.

    You aren't alone, but in addition to electronic support it has been so vital to me to have people around me. I find I do have to really work at friendships now, because I am the one with the time and the slowness and the one unable to do a lot of things, so others do carry on their busy lives, and I have to make so much effort to go anywhere, but it has been worth it. Friends and family look different for everyone, some back off, but I really do hope you have that sort of support.

    I would also see your GP, keep up with whatever appointment you have, it seems horrible to have a life that revolves around appointments in those early weeks and months, but it is at least a structure to hang things on. What are your days like? What did you do "before"?

    I too am happy to be supportive at a distance if it would help, and wish you the very best in recovery.

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