I need some help to come to terms with a few things

I ended up in ICU after a couple of drinks followed by a packet of very strong pain killers. I suffer with very strong depression after a terrible past experience. I woke 8 hours after being admitted to find myself with a catheter bag :(! (My horrible past was of a sexual assult) & I can't help but think "omg who seen me 'down there', how many were watching? Was it male or female? They could have done anything whilst I was asleep', they surely have no right to do something as invasive as taking underwear off and going to such a private place?' :( I feel disgusting and violated and keep telling myself it was all for good reason? :'(

7 Replies

  • Dont worry about it, getting paranoid will only make you worse, thank god your still alive, find a hobby, enrol at your local tech, learn a trade, do anything to get out of the house etc, good luck

  • Sexual assault is a terrible thing and can cast a shadow over the victim for life. I think you probably may benefit from some therapy as a survivor. It is not unusual for these feeling and doubts to emerge at times of stress like being admitted into ICU but there is help out there.

    Try the Lucy Faithful Foundation they may be able to assist.

    Good luck Simon

  • That's a horrible feeling love. To not know what has happened and to feel violated. It must be scary and weigh heavily on your mind.

    There are a few things you do know:- in intensive care, you are looked after by a team of people, not just one person, so the chances of sexual assault are really low. Intensive care wards are locked- people have to buzz to get in- and you are never left on your own- so it's very unlikely anyone came onto the ward while you we're asleep that would have assaulted you. Plus the ward staff are very protective of their patients. It's scary, but it's very unlikely that there has been any type of sexual assault while you we're asleep. There are systems and procedures in place specifically to prevent vulnerable patients being at risk.

    Thinking about the catheter itself- you must have been pretty ill. The doctors had no way to tell that you were going to be awake in 8 hours, and made their best judgement as to what care to give you to keep you alive and safe. Doctors don't undertake procedures lightly- you must have needed it at the time. Also it's worth knowing that its never staff member - always two or three- so again the chances if sexual assault are very very low.

    It's hard not to focus on it: the reality is you will never know what happened in those few hours. But when you think it through, intensive care has so many staff it's probably the least likely place for anyone to get away with an assault.

    So sorry to hear that alcohol plus painkillers landed you in hospital. That's a horrible situation to have been in. Are you getting any counselling or therapy to help deal with the shock- of this and your past experience?


  • whatever the circumstances are you have suffered terrible experiences my own reason for being in intensive care was through an ilness and after eight or nine weeks in hospital i had terrible depression that was so bad i didnt think i would ever be the same again, i am 63 and with the help from icu staff and a brilliant afterteam i started to recover., but without my aftercare and talking to people who have had depression i could not have recovered. i had a loving family and grand children that helped. it took me a long time but i look back now after two years and thank goodness i took all the help there was. IF ever want a chat click on and i will do everything i can just to help Take care love xxx

  • Thank you all so much for all the long, detailed replies (I did not think anyone would reply!) I know I'm lucky to be here but I just don't feel it :( I feel so low.. I know there are worse things happening to nicer, lovely people on this site and I don't feel worthy to be posting here if I'm honest. I'm receiving visits daily from home help teams for depression/mental illnesses. It doesn't really help me :( I have an appointment with a specialist tomorrow whom will hopefully get me on the right medication (anti depressants,ect.) & About hospital I felt violated that someone went "there" whilst I was out of it :( horrible knowing something happened in such a private place and I had no say in it :( horrible feeling! Are they allowed to just do that!? :( thanks for the support it helps :( xxxx

  • Yes they are "allowed" to catheterise without consent. Medical staff have to make a judgement but also have to adhere to the Mental Capacity Act. If the procedure is absolutely necessary for the sake of your health and possibly your life, then they are permitted to do it if you cannot give consent and it is reasonable to presume that you would be incapable to give that consent for some hours. The problem with painkillers is that they can cause liver and kidney damage which needs monitoring. The only way to accurately monitor fluid balance is to catheterise the patient.

    Please arrange to see the ICU staff. They should be able to talk you through what happened. You also should get counselling xxx

  • I was recently in intensive care, I had a seizure and it was decided I should be sedated. When I woke up in ICU I also had a urinary catheter and all my clothing was removed. They also attempted 2 spinal taps as the first one was dry and no fluid was obtained. All the doctors on ICU are males. I Had just turned 17, I should have been in a paediatric ICU but where I live the local hospital only has an adults. Instead of transferring me they thought it was fine to put me in an adults. I am so haunted that they removed my clothes and placed in a catheter also that they put me into positions to remove fluid, and there's a good chance they have seen me fully naked. I would feel more relaxed if it was a nurse with the urinary catheter but as I was unconscious I highly doubt it was. I feel so violated and am finding it hard to sleep at night.

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