Is he in pain or just hearing my voice should I stop talking?

My husband is heavily sedated but sometimes when I talk he screws his face up and crud there is no noise as the has breathing tube in his throat I'm now scared to talk as I'm worried I'm upsetting him do any of you remember hearing loved ones and crying or was it just becouse you were frightend of dreams and could feel the tube I just want to know if I'm a help or hinder to him as he's going threw enough without me upsetting him by talking

13 Replies

  • When I was in ICU, on a ventilator, and sedated, I could hear my family talking to me, but I didn't believe it was really them, I thought it was the cruel nurses imitating their voices, trying to trick me into opening my eyes.

    It wasn't until my daughter started to talk about something only she knew about that I dared to peep at them, and it really was my darlings. Is there something only you and he know about that you could say to him?

    I realize it's different for everyone, but it's possible he doesn't think it's really you.

  • Yes well I read his daughters letter to him saying she missed him she's only ten maybe that was what sparked a reaction I'm not sure?? Thankyou for your reply sorry you went through such an ordeal hope you are well now, he's having tube put in his throat tomorrow can't remember the name for it so hopefully he will be more aware of me "really" being there and they are going to slowly take him of sedation

  • It definately helps. I recall hearing my families voices albeit I thought they were in imminent danger of being kidnapped and drugged (which is what I thought had happened to me) but I do recall having an "internal smile / laugh" at some of the things being said by my wife / sister / brother in law. I strongly believe that even though in a coma, intubated and not moving, people do still hear and they are trying to make sense of what has happened to them, trying to piece together how they got there. That is what I was doing and I do remember small bits of stuff, doctors, nurses, my wife, children even when I was supposedly comotose. It does really help or at least it did for me.

  • My husband was in an induced coma for 10 days and says he had no memory of me talking to him at all - or indeed any memory at all. But I would find that often when I talked to him his blood pressure would rise and he would be fighting the sedation. It was very hard as you not sure if you are helping or hindering but the fact there was some reaction to me showed he knew I was there. I would keep talking but as the other replies have mentioned the level of paranoia and confusion are huge so keep it really simple and keep telling him you and him are ok and safe. Good luck and stay strong.

  • My wife talks about me responding when she spoke to me during my coma. I also cried a lot both during the coma and when I awoke. Many of these were tears of joy because I was so happy to be alive and to be with my family again. Some where tears of frustration because I could not communicate and some were tears of grief because of my loss. My advice to you is not to over think it and be there for your husband as much as possible.

  • I dont remember my husband, who visited me twice a day every day, talking to me but my young children rarely visited as ICU is a fairly traumatic pkace for under tens and in my dreams/ hallucinations i remember screaming at him to stop talking to me and go and find our children who were missing/kidnapped in Lichtenstein! Luckily for him i was sedated as im sure id have punched him as I was so cross in my dream!

  • Thanks for your replies he had a tracheotomy put in today and they are slowly reducing his sedation I was talking to him and he cried then smiled and then it looked like he was mouthing something I just reassured him that he was ok not to worry he was fine and told him he couldn't talk yet but he will do soon his heart rate went from 114-140 so I gave him a kiss and said I'd be back soon I didn't like to say I was leaving incase this upset him I thought it was best to let him rest it's been a long day praying he recovers miss him so much ;(

  • I don't recall hearing anyone, I spent seven and half weeks under sedation mainly because I was fighting the ventilator, my wife tells me all the monitors would respond when she or a family member spoke to me, I was locked in this bazaar virtual world, I've since discovered a lot of it revolved around what people were saying to me and my brain was just making up a picture of what it was interpreting, to wake up and find you've had a tracheotomy unable to speak can be very distressing.

    My wife can fully understand what you must be going through, she spent Xmas 3 years ago sitting by my bedside not knowing if I would come through it or not, I still feel guilty to this day for what I put her through, even now my son and daughter never like to talk about it they find it to upsetting.

    You can be assured he's getting the best treatment possible and will hopefully make a full recovery, I'm sure you just being there is a great comfort to him.

    Best wishes

  • Are you OK now

  • Hi Lori,

    I consider myself very lucky to survive as I was given a very slim chance of survival with my lungs taking a massive pounding from pneumonia, severe sepsis and ARDS, which left them looking like a patchwork quilt, reduced lung capacity and poorer gas exchange, but I'm still here enjoying life at somewhat of a slower pace that can be frustrating at times but things could have been so much worse. I became involved with ICUsteps about 3 years ago giving me the opportunity to help others know they are not alone on that long road to recovery, I've also spoken at conferences and study days for healthcare professionals giving them an insight into life of an ICU patient, it's also been great therapy for me being able to give something back.

    Best wishes to all patients & relatives on their continued recover in the future.


  • Jayswife, When I was on a ventilator, I was given a board and pen and paper so I could communicate, Most of what I wrote was rubbish, but I thought I was making sense,

    The nurse held the board for me, and I couldn't lift my head to see what I was writing, but even so it helped me.

    Does your husband have something similar?

  • No he's still not with it still on some sedation tonight I went to visit and he was looking around squeezing my hand but they noticed his stomach had swelled and he was passing gas so we had to leave so they could put him back to sleep as he looked distressed and so they could have a look and see what the problem is.... Yet again in petrified!!

  • Ps thankyou for your replies it really helps me cope bless you all xx

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