I am from the States. Will I ever be back to who I was before my illness? It has been two years, how long does it take? How do you cope?

I spent over a month in the hospital, two weeks icu in a coma, the rest in a step down unit and acute rehabilitation. I still get flashbacks and panic attacks, not often. I have a lot of holes in my memory and still hate having my bedroom door closed. I realize that the memories from icu were hallucinations (nurse trying to kill me, dead people being wheeled around the icu), but it all still seems real. I see a therapist, but I don't talk about it with friends or family. It can feel lonely.

5 Replies

  • Hello, get well soon, i had exactly the same problems when i was in ICU but i was ok after a week or so, i was more interested in what it was all about, i saw things that were not their at all lol, people etc, it was strange, you need a pass time, find a hobby or something, i enrolled at the local college (plumbing) i am back to normal now, i was in ICU because i had an Epileptic fit in my garden, i walked into my pond of all the things to do, its a large garden lol

  • Time heals but how long it takes may differ. Have you tried medication for PTSD? Does your health provider offer any follow-up, can they go over your medical notes to help put any pieces of the jigsaw together?

    Friends and family may feel your battle is over and indeed won; you're out of hospital after all but the psychological injuries aren't visible. I'm 2.5 years on and getting there. I hope my daughter's birthday, the anniversary of my time, will eventually be only joyous.

    Talk about it here, it's where you can 'talk' anytime of the day and night knowing that you're not alone and that, my friend and fellow survivor, is where you will find the most understanding support x

  • Well said Kulta.

    Twash, it will get better, it does get better. Unfortunately it takes time & everyone heals at their own pace. Its been nearly two years now since I was in ICU. Like all of us who have been given a second chance at life, enjoy it. Finding this site has been a revelation & reading the various posts has been both formative & reassuring. It tells you that you are not the only one with problems after ICU. You are a member of a unique club. All the best for the future.

  • Thank you to everyone. I am grateful to have found this site. Here in the States hospitals are only now starting to understand what is happening in the icu.

    I had an acute pancreatitis attack. Doctors have no idea what caused it. They thought I was better and released me. But I stopped producing insulin and went into DKA and eventually a coma. i had nerve damage and lost the use of my foot and went to rehab to relearn how to walk. I am doing well. It is comforting to know that this site is here.

  • Hi Twash, Kulta says it so well ! When family and friends don't understand and you feel alone, this really is the place where you can find understanding and support.

    I live in Australia and it is almost 2 years now since I spent 7 days in a coma in ICU on life support and 2 months in hospital before being discharged.

    It's been a struggle but each day I am mindful of the gift of life, a second chance to live. I am so grateful to all the beautiful people who kept me alive in ICU and on the surgical ward.

    I feel a special connection with others who have survived their own ICU crisis and are courageously doing their best to recover, fit in, and feel safe again.

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