Trauma

Trauma

Good Morning everyone 8weejs ago yesterday I was admitted! My friend sent me this last night, & wanted to share with the very people who will understand this, hope it helps, I am struggling at the moment, life has gone back to normal, My family have all gone back to DEVON, friends don't call in every day ect but I am still very much there! Did anyone else feel like this? 

Sarah x

4 Replies

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  • Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing that, I'm sure it will resonate with many here in the community, I think the hardest thing is accepting what will become the new normal which can be very difficult to come to terms with in the early days after ICU, in the beginning family and friends are there to support you but often slowly drift away never really understanding how traumatic a life threatening illness can change your life forever, with comments like "it's time to move on and put it all behind you" words that cut through you like a knife with their lack of empathy.

    Life does get better with time and the bad memories fade, we may never be the person we once were, I believe we become richer for it with greater empathy and understanding for others that have had their lives turned on it's head, but the greatest reward is having a second chance of life and making the most of it.

    Bill  

  • I said to my hubby "I miss hospital" yesterday. He said "why?"....it was very hard to explain. I was in a coma for 3 weeks then renal ward for 2, released 6 weeks ago and am driving a bit and starting a phased back to work scheme in 1.5 weeks which I am dreading. I miss the regularity of hospital, the rhythms and timetables, I even miss my stomach injections, blood tests, being weighed at 5:45 each morning, having my blood pressure checked at 3 am, having bloods taken at 6:40 am. Lunch arriving at 11:45, I mean, what's that all about??? I miss the nurses checking on me, I miss my husband feeding me. I'm sad, it's all going "back to normal" but I'm no longer normal. Thank you for sharing the above xx 

  • Sarah - many thanks for your post. In answer to your last question: yes.

     I very much like the quotation your friend sent you. I'm no expert but I think the concept of the 5 stages of grief is open to interpretation and criticism. In particular, the alleged final stage: 'acceptance'.  Your quote suggests it's more complicated than that, and I agree. And I think that although there are many common themes in both the concept of the 5 stages, and experiencing serious trauma in intensive care, there are some major differences too. Being in ICU is a very specific and extreme set of circumstances. 

    You mention your family and friends - I hope that they will keep supporting you, even 'from a distance'.  But I discovered with some of my friends that it can be very difficult, if not impossible, for some people to imagine, and empathise with, what we have been through in ICU. It's almost beyond imagination.

    There was one long-term friend, who visited/contacted me rarely when I was convalescing at home (I live alone) despite living a couple of miles away, and on one occasion when I asked her to undertake a very small, but urgent, task for me, did so extremely reluctantly.  And this is a woman who is a very experienced, and very professional, counsellor. So I learnt that one of the things I needed to do, in trying to come to terms with the 'new normal', was re-evaluating my friendships. That can be quite hurtful.

    Apologies for the length of this post! please have courage, the bad days when you are struggling will gradually diminish. Be kind to yourself, and thanks again for sending us this wonderful quote.

  • My husband is now on anti depressants and off work as he keeps having flashbacks. Thanks to bupa we have arranged CBT for him but never underestimate the impact this has on family members and friends too. I have had friends refuse to see me in a coma, drove the wrong way around a motorway roundabout, visit me like trauma whores, and also be completely amazing. Xx

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