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ICUsteps
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My dad is coming out of hospital

Hi, I posted on here a number of weeks ago. He dad had septic shock, his organs were failing and he was in an induced coma for nearly 6 weeks. He had kidney dialysis is his jugular vein and some of the meds causes seizures. He lost a lot of muscle and he is on preventative epilepsy tablets but we are not sure how long for. He is now up and about walking , talking, doing exercises and putting on weight. He had all the usual delirium at the start and thought the Doctors had kidnapped him and were trying to kill him. It looks like they will let him home for Christmas. The only effects I can see so far is some short term memory loss and the muscle wastage. Has anyone experienced what it is like for the person once they come home? My dad is not prone to anything like depression but I wondered if it often sets in because the goal to get out of hospital has been met and now it’s just a long road to recovery ? Thank you.

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My experience was very similar to your father + a few other complications. I was desperate to come home after a 4 month stay. I felt a burden on my wife, who was looking after her ailing parents on a daily basis & had been doing so for some years. A few weeks before my illness, we had decided that we could not continue to look after my in-laws in the way we had - the toll on our health & wellbeing was starting to impact. My illness had meant that other family members had had to take up the slack. It was not in my wife’s nature to step away, so I was determined to get back to normal ASAP.

Leaving hospital, I could walk maybe 20m aided, I had walked up 12 steps in hospital - home had 21! Getting dressed was an ordeal and exhausting. It seems unbelievable now how exhausting everything was. My circulation was so screwed that I kept passing out & fitting. I would stop breathing, my wife believed the first time that she had got me home only to die on the bathroom floor. These episodes had occurred in hospital, I was unaware and no one had warned my wife. Get a triage number and call if you have any concerns. I had serious limited mobility - sometimes in wheel chair etc. 3 months on I tried work.. too early.

It takes between 10-14 days to recover from everyday you are in ICU ( depending on your age & fitness). Easy does it but do it seems to be the slogan of the day. Do the necessary physiotherapy.

I hope your father’s transition is smooth.

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Thank you for replying. It is so useful to hear stories like yours. My dad does get exhausted doing the exercises. They are making him climb stairs with 1kg weights on his legs now. He is very determined. He fell a lot the first week he was out of bed but now seems a lot more steady. They have told us to drive straight to hospital if we have any concerns when he comes home. Not to wait for an ambulance just get him there. He is mentally very strong but I worry that progress won’t be as quick as he would like. Thank you I’ll check with the Doctors before he comes home.

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I had Sepsis, pneumonia, MRSA and 2 grade 3 Comas. I also had to have dialysis, and was given a 1-2% survival rate. It’s now 4 months since I came home, and I’m still recovering, it’s a slow process and I have to be patient. I’m so glad your Dad is doing so well xox

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Thank you! And best of luck with your recovery.

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I think it's probably true to say that most people who've had an extended period in intensive care suffer from PTSD to some extent. I thought I was okay in myself, but looking at it retrospectively I don't think I was; it's only now, over two years since ICU, that I feel I have recovered in my mind, although I have short-term memory problems. Physically, I still have problems with balance, although my strength has fully returned. I hope all goes well for your dad.

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