A year has now gone. Why can't I move on?

It's been a year this month since my stay in ICU. I spent 4 weeks in a coma but know little about my illness. I gather bits via people and drs letters. I am now being treated for PTSD. And depression, but can't seem to feel happy that I survived. What is wrong with me. I should be over the moon and happy instead I'm not. Has anyone got any advice for me.

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  • Hi Tiaclydebonnie,

    I'm sorry to hear you're still feeling so down, I remember going through the same after spending 3 months in ICU 5 years ago, 2 months of that in a coma, it felt like my world had fell apart when I was discharged from hospital, as I'm sure it has for many other survivors.

    Sometimes it's so difficult trying to understand what happened to you when you been in a coma so close to death and yet you survived, but instead of happiness we often feel just the opposite, nothing prepares you for post ICU and that long road to recovery that often feels like life will never get better, but believe me, a year is still relatively early days in your recovery, I can remember having so many up & down days over the last five years, often feeling down around the anniversary of my ICU admission or if I suffer another chest infection.

    My advice would be try talking about the way you are feeling to family & friends or visit a local ICUsteps support group if you are lucky enough to have one near you, also look after yourself, take gentle exercise & treat yourself ever now and again, and don't forget you will always have great support from the community here as we know how hard it can be.

    Best wishes on your continued recovery.

    Bill

  • Hi Tiaclydebonnie

    Yes, I agree with Luckyone. You are still going through early days of recovery from being in ICU and one of the most supportive groups where people understand your trauma is ICU Steps. You can find out more about the charity at icusteps.org/ and ascertain whether you have a group nearby to where you live. As you have already been diagnosed with PTSD you no doubt have clinicians who are supporting and caring for you. Sometimes it is difficult to talk to your family as they are probably experiencing similar emotions to you as they had to sit by your bed during a very difficult time but people who gather together in the ICU Steps groups understand where you are coming from 100%. It is also a great group for carers and families who have been with a patient in ICU too. Take things slowly, be kind to yourself and I wish you all the luck in the world.

  • Dear Tiaclydebonnie - I agree with the comments from Luckyone and Valruss.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, please be assured.

    I think it would help if you were able to be a bit kinder to yourself - ie less of the

    'I should be feeling over the moon' and 'I should feel happy that I survived'

    If you tell yourself that you 'should' be feeling this or that, and you are clearly not, I think you are punishing yourself unnecessarily , and it may not help your recovery to be in this frame of mind.

    Those of us who post here, and who have survived being an ICU patient, often comment on how long the recovery can take. A year post-ICU is not a long time.

    We each have our own journey (excuse the word!) and what works for one person is not right for someone else - but there are some common themes. 'Making sense' of what happened to us, the nature of the illness that brought us into ICU, and the very many treatments and procedures we have experienced (and suffered) - all this takes time, as does the physical, mental, and emotional , recovery. Perhaps you could make time to do things that you enjoy (and are able to do without exhausting yourself) - sometimes the smallest pleasures can be the most rewarding. Make sure you eat well, and get some exercise, and rest, too.

    Posters on this site have, like you, suffered PTSD and depression: I'd say that is a 'normal' reaction to the trauma they have experienced. It is not a sign of weakness.

    Have patience, be kind to yourself, and try to stay positive: things will get better for you, over time. Good luck with your recovery

  • Thank you for all your feedback it's much appreciated and I'll try to listen but the days are very hard at the moment.

  • Hi Tiaclydebonnie I was in ICU 3years ago in an induced coma! After seeing my cardiologist I told him how I felt the sleepless night the nightmares etc he referred me to a physcoligist I have been seeing him since September it has been hard but worth it! I too have very hard days when I have no energy and am very irritable and wish people would leave me alone😟 Keep talking with your physcoligist and open up don't keep things locked up in your mind , keep a notebook write your feelings down it does help ! I too suffer from PTSD because of being in ICU take one day at a time Hun don't rush things! Stay strong remember your not alone xxx

  • That is quite normal, to feel like that, I feel the same too. Please be kind and compassionate with yourself, it does get easier but I am like you so down and weepy.

    Hope things start to improve for you soon.

  • And I hope they improve for you. It's hard feeling like this all the time. But keep trying.

  • If you want to have a chat on the phone, my land line is 01323 430040.

  • Greetngs from Canada,

    Dear Tiaclydebonnie, I pray you will feel better soon. Don't give up. Recovery takes time. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Warm Regards. Haly.

    I would like to thank all who have posted their experiences to share. I too have spent time in ICU and Acute Surgery unit as a result of Sepsis / Septic Shock. After being dischaged from the hospital after a three month stay, I didn't know which way to walk but I tried my best to get up each day and do my best to have a little normacy.

    I have been home for nearly five months and I never thought I would be writing about experience to share with others, but here I am. To understand my experience, I ordered copies of my health records from the hospital and having read these records over and over, I now have a better understanding of my illness. Hopefully I can move forward as time goes by. I still have my down days.

    Haly

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