Newbie here!

Newbie here!

Hi, I'm Noelle, I'm 28 years old and... this is my story, in a nutshell...

On 4th June doctors at the Royal Derby Hospital made the decision to put me into a medically induced coma to protect my brain, because I was suffering from Aspiration Pneumonia and severe complications, (acute respiratory distress syndrome.) which reduced my blood oxygen levels to 35%.

They injected me with adrenaline to increase my heart rate, as both heart rate and BP had dropped to dangerous levels. Doctors then performed tracheal intubation and I was placed on a ventilator because I couldn’t breathe for myself.

My family and boyfriend were told to prepare for the worst, and that even if I survived I may still have been brain damaged due to lack of oxygen.

However, by some stroke of luck, I awoke on the 7th June, brain damage free (that’s debatable of course) and was subsequently moved down to a step-down ward on the 9th June.

On the ward I had 2 pretty much sleepless nights, napping for 10 mins at a time on the first night, and up to an hour on the second, both nights I had horrifically bizarre dreams and suffered awful anxiety.

Turns out, going home and sleeping in the arms of my boyfriend, and the wearing off of all the drugs, made the nightmares fade.

It's now a month later and whilst I'm not amazing, psychologically and physically, I'm getting there.

I have awful headaches, some nightmares and flashbacks and a shortness of breath. I get tired really easily too.

4 Replies

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  • Hi Noelle,

    It seems you've been incredibly lucky to come through such a critical illness so quickly and with no major damage, having had a similar illness (3 month in ICU) I know how difficult the recovery can be but it's very early days for you, unfortunately your body has been through a major trauma and ARDS can take some time to recover from as it has given your lungs a major shock (that's why it's sometimes called shock lung), the nightmares will fade with time but we never seem to forget them.

    The human body is an amazing thing and with time and age on your side hopefully you will make a full recovery but it does make us realize we've been given a second chance and how precious life is.

    Best wishes on your continued recovery

    Bill

  • Thank you for your lovely reply. It's nice to know this community is here for me to talk things through with.

    I hope you have recovered well.

    After reading your story, it seems we are both VERY lucky!

    Best wishes.

    Noelle.

  • The main thing you will see on the forum you are not alone. I was in a coma for 12 days and ICU in total for 32 and they told my wife twice I was not going to survive the night. Even though I was in MOF a long with my lung problems something kicked in and fought back. I was known as the "chest drain man" and was surprised when I was having some blood taken some months later the nurse said "Oh your the chest drain Man" I was having blood tests every 2 hours.

  • I wasn't in very long but it still affected me terribly. My family were also told to prepare for the worst and that if I survived I may have brain damage.

    It wasn't until they woke me on the third day and my mother explained what was going on, that I started to fight. Before that, I wasn't even absorbing the food they were feeding me through the nasogastric tube.

    I'm glad you're feeling better Mr Chest Drain Man.

    Good news for me, I just got the all clear on the chest front, my xray was clear.

    Bad news is, my liver is damaged. :(

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