ICUsteps
3,024 members876 posts

Fiance 29 year old female on ventilator fighting pneumonia in medically induced coma.

My fiance is battling pneumonia as the title states. Its so terrifying to see her this way. The doctors had inserted a chest tube to drain fluid due to pleurisy caused by pneumonia. She has been on a ventilator for 24 hours that started out on 100% oxygen and has since reduced to 40%. The Drs are trying to get her blood gas back in order and trying to regulate her sedatives to just the perfect amount. Drs also said that her kidneys are not working correctly but may be due to sickness and improper acidity in her blood gas. Pneumonia is still evident in her lungs and some inflammation but most fluid around lungs has been drained but her light lung has yet to inflate to normal. I have read horror stories of ARDS and kidney failure I am so worried about all of the poor outcomes but am doing my best to remain positive. We have a 9 year old daughter that helps me remain strong everyday. I guess I am just looking for some sort of support for the times when I am alone, I have cried myself to sleep every night since her admission to the ICU. There have been improvements but this all just seems almost overwhelming.

26 Replies
oldestnewest

Oh dear driftwood, you’re putting tears in my eyes. My husband was in basically same position as you are now back in 2012. Everything’s gonna be ok, she’s only relying on the breathing machine half as much as yesterday. Youth is on her side. The 9 year old really needs your support, the kid is very confused as children always take everything personal since they do think the world revolves around them an only them LOL . Your wife to be is having weird an I mean bizarre surreal and maybe horrifying dreams while she’s induced. We’ve discussed it here before an everyone agreed they had the terrible dreams while on life support . And she might cry about it later. You’re a good guy or you wouldn’t have actively try to seek internet counsel. When she wakes up she’s going to be overcome with thirst so have her favorite beverage close by. Seriously I don’t even drink soda but that Pepsi on ice my hubby brought me is still my favorite gift in 27years! Don’t feel guilty when you have to leave hospital to go home and shower or go to work. While she’s asleep she doesn’t know when you guys are or aren’t there. But when the doc says it’s time to wake up you really should be there as she maybe a bit confused. You and your family will get through this and come out good try not to worry you are getting a head start on the” in sickness and in health” part of your vows👍 take care of each other and NEVER forget a happy wife makes a happy life😀

1 like
Reply

Thank you for the reply. I have started an ICU Journal today. The Drs are also going to start dialysis today because her kidneys are not working fully, I assume from the pneumonia and all of these crazy meds she is on. Its just so scary to hear all of these words and to think just a week ago she thought she had a bad cold and now we are here and she's getting dialysis.

Reply

Hi Driftwood, don’t worry too much about the dialysis if you can. My dad was in an induced coma for 6 weeks, his organs were failing. They gave him dialysis almost permanently for two weeks and for further time after that. It was horrible for us to see as he had it through his jugular vein. But the great news is his kidneys are now fine, working on their own again and no lasting effects. 😊

1 like
Reply

Hi driftwood so sorry to hear your fiance is unwell. It is harrowing to see someone you love suffering. Look at the positive's she has improved some. The medical staff will give her the best treatment possible. I too have been where you are (crying and very emotional) it's a natural response.It' easy to say it but remain strong as she will need your support while she is recovering. Best wishes

1 like
Reply

Thank you for the words of support.

Reply

Is there an ICUsteps meeting near you? You will gain comfort from speaking to people who have experienced the awful uncertainty of the ICU relative & the waiting room.

icusteps.org

Look under the heading support groups.

Youth is on her side, as others have said. I came through all of what your partner has & more. My family pulled together & pulled me through. I hope she improves soon.

1 like
Reply

Thank you.

Reply

Hi Driftwood,

I'm sorry for what you're going through. Having gone through something similar, I understand. My husband was 59 at the time he took ill. He had triple Strep Pneumonia was in a coma (not medically induced) and on life support. He was given less than a 2% chance of survival when his kidneys failed. Our 3 children went in, unbeknownst to me, and said their goodbyes. I refused to give up. I went to IUC every day, with a smile on my face, kissed him good morning and told how great it was outside. I brought in a CD player and played all our and his favourite songs. I never cried in his room or spoke a negative word. Never not once did I ever think he wouldn't come home. 3 months later he came home, 85 pounds lighter, 60 years old. They said 18 to 24 months recovery before returning to work. 6 weeks and he was back on his construction tools. He's now 63 and going strong.

Driftwood, if you have prayer warriors ask daily for their prayers. I did. I put it on my Facebook. I prayed constantly. I had faith in the doctors and Rex walked out when they said he wouldn't. I will pray for your fiancee and your family.

As for the dreams, some are scary and some are hilarious. We could write a book.

3 likes
Reply

God be with you all, blessings!

Amazing how important it is too be positive!!!!! It makes it, or breaks it!

All the best to continue 🙏😇

3 likes
Reply

Thank you.

Reply

Thank you for your support.

Reply

I'm so sorry to hear your story. I too was in a medically induced coma in October due to fungal pneumonia and sepsis. Luckily, my kidneys were ok. I had gone up urgent care- they told me that I had pneumonia and that if I went to the hospital- I'd pick up more germs/ the had me stay in the office and received 9 "bags of iv's"and sent me home with antibiotics and cough syrup. That night at home I went into respiratory failure. My husband and 2 young daughters were terrified. The ambulance took me to a hospital that wasn't diagnosing exactly what TYPE of pneumonia I had. I knew that I wouldn't get out of there alive as they weren't treating me fast enough. Even in a "crazy state of mind" with sepsis and 105* fever I begged to be sent to another hospital. They refused to release me/ I called my husband and the sheriff's dept. to force them to release me to another hospital. My husband called my primary Doctor and got me to another hospital. By the time I got there I had 3% lung capacity and 106 fever. They intubated me right away. The rest is all a blur for me . They identified the rare fungal pneumonia and told my husband that I probably wouldn't make it. The first hospital was definitely not treating the type of pneumonia I had and I would have never made it out of there. After 11 days in a coma- I was breathing on my own and went home on day 14. Lost all of my muscle mass and was very slow and weak- but I am alive ! Here it is almost 4 months later- I get so scared whenever my chest is tight or feel that anything is wrong.

I don't mean to be selfish by blurting out my story. I hope to shed some light that sometimes certain doctors don't test for very rare types of pneumonia. Mine is also referred to as " valley fever" we live in California- but have never visited the are where it comes from. We will never know how I got it. By the way- be prepared that after 3 months post coma/ crazy meds- a huge hair shedding process happens- nobody warned me about it. I pray for quality health care for you and your family and that she pulls through this. Nobody wants yo leave their family behind/ especially if you're a Mommy. I wish you strength and many prayers to you and your family. Ps- I 100% agree about the hallucinating- vivid crazy dreams and at times I seriously thought that there was a "conspiracy " going on and that everyone was out to get me. I felt so happy to be home- but finding myself being a bit depressed/PTSD from the whole ordeal. It's scary to think back and realize how close I really came to death at 47 years old. Its a strange feeling to be so thankful and grateful for not leaving my daughters, husband - everybody. Also had the hair , skin and nail issues months later- still going on and I was in the coma in October. I am happy that I stumbled upon this forum. It's hard to explain to someone what you go through post trauma state. Stay strong and hug your daughter tight. My girls are still on edge if I just cough. Have a blessed day. Many prayers sent your way.

Reply

Hello, I have a question about the conspiracy feelings you had while in the hospital . My fiance is now awake and off of the ventilator and breathing on her own, she's still very week but is improving her kidneys are not working but she will be doing dialysis and the Drs say that she should be fine and her kidneys should start to work again soon. My concern now is that my fiance seems to think that the nurses want to hurt her and thinks that they are going to take her organs and a lot of other strange thoughts. She even tried to get out of bed so she could leave but she was to week. She refuses to sleep and has been awake for 24 hrs since first being brought out of her induced coma. I can't be with her right now because of work and a massive snow storm in our area, her sister is now but can't be with her all the time. I'm just so worried that she is going to make her self sick again by not resting. How long would you say your delirium lasted if you can recall. I could never live with myself if something else happened to her because she was left alone and delirium and paranoia causes her to do something to harm her recovery.

Reply

Hi- I'm thrilled to hear that your fiancé is awake- I check every day to see how she is. ...so sorry that you're going through all of this- such a surreal nightmare for all. You're doing the right thing by keeping your job- especially if her sister is there.... the medical bills are insane.The delerium is such an odd side effect. I don't know if it's the meds that are given and a combination of the wacky dreams that we have when we are in a coma . I had the craziest thoughts that I was completely believed at the time and couldn't understand why people didn't believe me- I thought that they were crazy for not being on my side. I'm not surprised about the thinking that nurses want to steal her organs. I thought that the nurses stole my children and put the into a computer. I swear it all made sense at the time.and I was afraid to get too emotional about anything and cry - thinking that I'd never get moved out of ICU for being " emotionally unstable " oddly , I resented my husband at times ( during the delerium) for filling me in on how are daughters were doing. Apparently, I thought that my daughters were taken away from me. Hopefully, the doctors can give your sweetie some meds to ease the agitation and get her some rest- especially before she moves out of ICU and has to share a room with people and gets exposed to more germs. I mostly remember the hallucinations more that the real moments. The dreams under sedation are too vivid to forget. I'm here if you have any other questions. I pray for you and your family. You're an awesome partner to your fiancé. Take care of yourself too! Ps my husband said that I was in the true delerium state for about a day and a half. I had to have my hands tied down so I wouldn't take my IVS out.

Reply

I was in the same position as your fiancée except my kidneys were ok and it was my left lung that was worst. I was in my forties with three kids under 10. They were told I would die.

Fast forward seven years I’m still here. I have permanent lung damage and memory loss from hypoxia but I’m still alive.

Her hair will fall out in handfuls, the skin on her hands and feet will probably peel off in sheets and nails will be brittle. Her body is not wasting energy on her hair nails and skin just concentrating on the essentials respiration and circulation.

The hallucinations are as real as any memory, you know the nurses aren’t trying to kill her but she will believe it.

Good luck she’s in the best place to recover.

1 like
Reply

Dear lynn, i was just flicking through here, just reading what you have put has made me realise i am not mad would someone tell my family that, i also had hallucinations and the main one was i thought the drs were trying to kill me and all sorts of horror, i was in an induced coma for 59 days, i felt different after the recovery i was having night mares and still do, i was told by my GP that i had PTSD But i have lost many what I THOUGHT WAS FRIENDS. Because i must have sounded like a nut trying to explain.

Thank you

Reply

I only just saw your reply to me. If your family really thinks you’re mad it might be worth getting them to read some of the stories on here. So many of us experienced similar things we can’t all be mad. I think unless you’ve actually experienced it you cannot comprehend how real the hallucinations are.

Feel free to message me if you need too.

Lynn x

Reply

Hello my friend. I was in your exact shoes 1 year ago as my wife had micro plasma bylateral pneumonia. Leave a message if you need to talk at anytime, as I also felt so alone. I would strike a conversation with my wife because we talked all the time. Broke my heart when she couldn’t respond. You not alone my friend, I really appreciate this site for that reason. I didn’t ever want to leave the room just Incase something happened I wanted to be there. Later I found how much better I felt when my family came and made me leave for a while. I found out that it was good therapy for my to take a break now and then, so when things did get worse I would be more prepared to handle it. You have to do for yourself to be able to do your best for your wife. Need to talk my friend just plz let me know. My prayers go out rot you and your family.

1 like
Reply

I feel the same way, I am afraid to leave her side just in case something happens when I do leave because I need to be with our daughter I can not stop worrying. I try and stay strong when I am with my daughter as to not worry her. My mother does a lot to help with watching her. I eventually need to go back to work and I am absolutely terrified something may go wrong when I am not there. She is in a good hospital now and is showing small signs of improvement. I don't know what to expect when I go to see her, I guess to see more. I don't know. Her kidneys have improved in the last 24 hrs and she may have to have surgery on Monday to remove the puss that has settled around her lung and to "peel" the rind that has developed because of her lung not being inflated properly. That's only if shes stable enough. The doctor said that after this, given things go well she should starting improving a bit more steadily. I do my best to stay positive but its such a challenge to see the person you love in such a bad way.

Reply

Yes it was very hard to see my wife that way as well.. you are showing incredible strength trying to stay strong. Everything you can do you have already done, and it is very comforting knowing that the one you love is in such good and trusting hands. I can tell you love your family as much as God loves his church. Even tho it has been a year Since I was where you are now my wife is still recovering as her voice box on the left side was permanently paralyzed from the intobation.. I will be praying for strength over you and your hole family, and will also pray a legend on angels around your wife and the medical staff that is taking care of her.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you so much, the support I have had on this forum has helped me so much in such a short time. I will continue to update my finances status when I can. May your wife continue to improve more and more everyday. Thanks again this mean so much to me. Take care.

Reply

Anytime man that’s why I love this site. Its great therapy to talk with people that knows your pain and knows where your at. Take care and god bless

1 like
Reply

I am not familiar with the kidney treatments, however the reduction of oxygen from 100 to 40 is very good and much faster than I saw with my loved one who had (and made full recovery from) ArDs. Stay strong I know it is very lonely but it will pass in time. The hospital is a sterile place. Make sure to spend a little time with loved ones outside and do some self care so you can stay strong and present. I’m not a religious person but prayers and group texts helped me fell connected when I wasn’t able to leave and breathe fresh air.

1 like
Reply

Thank you for the support. As of right now my fiance is recovering slowly but surely. She is still intubated but had a successful surgery Sunday night to remove infection from around her lung and to peel her lung. They are now working on weening her from the ventilator, she has been "awake" and alert and also responsive. She actually tried talking to me today. She is still on dialysis and Drs say it could be weeks until her kidneys are working again. We are just taking it one step at a time nd looking for any improvement no matter how small. Again thank you for your response.

Reply

I was heartbroken to read your story and I will pray for her recovery. The ICU staff are very experienced and deal with this problem often. I also was aware also as a nurse of the research, but he has recovered. Presently he is on a Rehab floor and are planning to move him to a surgical floor next week. He will then have the Whipple procedure to remove the tumor.

2 likes
Reply

hi i have just read your post and hope your girlfriend is recovering,

In 2014 i developed what the doctors thought at the time was double pneumonia, I was really struggling, i myself do not remember a great deal about this, i started to deteriorate and my immune system was shutting down ie kidneys lung all vital organs so i was put in an induced coma. \i had a tracheostomy and tubes in places i never knew was possible i was in the coma for 59 days which was not a good sign in the beginning, I spent about six months in hospital as my muscles had not been used for so long i had to learn to walk again. So please don't give up hope you have probably got amazing doctors working on her, i was in the icu for nearly three months, put your faith in them remain confident, have faith in your wife if she is as strong as i believe, she will fight this, i had so much to live for my sons say i fought a good fight and i am here. The main ingredient is remain strong for her and your daughter.Have faith in her medical team mine were amazing i don't know how to say thank you as it is only a simple word compared to them fighting with me.

Good luck

Reply

You may also like...