Icu weaning progress

Hi all my dads been in Icu now for 8 wks after a road accident . Dad has a hypoxia brain injury , the doctors are trying to wean him off the ventilator but it's a slow progress , dads getting so frustrated cause he can't talk with having a Tracki fitted . We have been told it's going to be a long recovery , I just can't seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel . Just want dad to start rehab and get better I'm devastated I want my dad back ,

14 Replies

  • It is frustrating not being able to communicate! Can your father write/hold a pen? If so, ask the nurses for a clipboard with paper. That helped me when I was still intubated, but awake. If he cannot write - my arms/hands were so weak at first - how about making a letter board and let him point or tap on letters to spell out words?

    Hang in there, recovery may be slow, but recovery is in the right direction!

    Take care...

  • Hi , no dad can't move his hands , sometimes there is a tiny squeeze when I'm holding his hand . thanks for your reply x

  • Do ask your dad about his comfort or discomfort -- ask yes or no questions, ask him to squeeze your hand to signal (once for yes, twice for no?). Ask if he is in pain and in need of meds, or if he is tired and needs to sleep (it is sooo hard to sleep in ICU!), perhaps they can give him something to help him sleep/rest...

    I'm certain your being there is helpful, but try not to ask too much - mainly try to help him be comfortable...

    Again, take care... it's a slow process, you will need rest, also!

  • Hi Sal42: you must be very worried for your dad, especially as it sounds like the serious injuries he sustained were sudden and traumatic (he was generally fit and healthy beforehand, I assume) However - common themes here on this site are 'time' and 'patience'. Sorry to say this as it's probably not what you want to hear!

    Naturally it is frustrating not being able to talk. We usually take our ability to speak for granted. Sy-n, here, has practical and helpful suggestions. I remember when I had a trachi I used to get very worried about losing my pen and notebook, and it took a lot of mental and physical effort to think what I wanted to say, make it as short and clear as possible, and then write it down.Then when the medics moved the valve and I said a few words, it was a very weird sensation (didn't sound like me!)

    I agree with Sy-n, hang on in there: recovery is happening, though not as fast as you want, maybe it would be helpful to 'take each day as it comes'?

    Best wishes

  • Thank you both for your replys it's lovely to read that you care , dad was so fit it's just horrible seeing him lie there helpless , like you say Iv got to be strong for dad and take each day as it comes , thank you both sal x

  • Dear Sal,

    Please don't take any offence to your dads frustrations, he will take time to adjust and 8 weeks is a massive amount of time to be in ICU. When I came around I told my husband he was a fu***ng stupid idiot and I was swearing my head off as people couldn't understand me. I was also still in my nightmares and couldn't tell what was and wasn't real.

    Please know that your Dad is still in there but it will take time for his brain to heal and his personality to return, but it will I promise.

    I really like the hand squeeze idea, takes the pressure off your dad. I couldn't write for weeks, just filling in the food menu was strenuous and my handwriting is still not where it should be. Does he have a little telly you can put on for him, or a radio he can listen to with headphones?

    Make sure you take time to eat and rest, your dad will be trying to entertain all his guests but it's exhausting and I know this sounds harsh, but he will need his alone time as well as his visitors too. Limit visitors to max 1 hour apart from family xx

    Keep in touch,

    Debs xxx

  • Thank you debs , we have a iPad playing music dad not up to watching tv yet , he loves his music it's only family visiting at the moment not even dads friends. Not until his tracki is out. Dad wouldn't want them seeing him the way he is , sounds like all of you have been through the mill yourselves hope you all are taking care , thanks everyone means a lot xx

  • Hi,

    I'm very sorry to hear about your Dad's situation!

    Check out those two articles/ videos here for clarification and help

    1) What is the prognosis after my critically ill loved one’s brain has not had sufficient oxygen supply(hypoxic brain injury)?


    I hope that helps!

    Wishing you and your family all the very best!

  • I will do thanks for your kind words xx

  • Hi so sorry to read about your dad, but true to what everyone above has said recovery takes time and patience. The fact your dad can squeeze your hand is good so do use that for very simple questions and keep a record as to what's happening for him to read at a later date. Look after yourself that's important.your dad will also be very tired most of the time as his body both mentally and physically has taken a real hammering. Be very patient it takes a long time. Keep well yourself take care hugs xx

  • Thank you so much taking time to read and reply to my message .. Means so much to read your comments xxx

  • I sat looking at my tv trying to put my username and password into Facebook for about 3 hours, it was exhausting and frustrating. I'm so glad your dad loves to listen to music, does he like classical? I found audio comedy a great laugh, and if your dad likes a bit of blue, I can recommend mickey flannigan as a piss your pants hilarious comic which was just the release me and my family needed xx

  • Yeah dad does I will look him up on the iPad 😊Xx

  • Hi everyone . Well after nearly 9 wks now they did another scan on dads head and spine because dads arms weren't moving just a tiny little squeeze from one hand it now shows dad as a fractured vertebrae in his neck , so now needs a opp poor dad it's horrible seeing him lay there he still as his tracki in they were in the progress of weaning but it's going to knock dads recovery now . Had snyond had a fracture in there neck ? Xx

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