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ICUsteps
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New here and worried about my Mom

Hi there my mom has in ICU for 6 days for pneumonia, organ failure and sepsis. She was put in a medically induced coma for the first two days but even though she has been off sedation for 4 days, she still hasn't woken up.

They have done a CT scan and an MRI but nothing has been found wrong neurologically. She has grimaced a couple of times to physical stimulus but that's it..

Her kidneys were not functioning when she arrived so they put her on a dialysis machine, but took it out on the fourth day because they started working on their own again. Her ventilator gets set to supplement her own breathing, but then gets switched back to automatic when they see her breathing becomes too fast and shallow.

We are so worried that she hasn't opened her eyes after 4 days without sedation. She was a very active and healthy person before she got pneumonia.

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This is a helpful link - excuse the consultant highly irritating inflection 😜

intensivecarehotline.com/qu...

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Thank you for this. I couldn't follow the video but thankfully the transcript was below. Lots of good information.

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I’m writing to you because your mother’s situation is so close to mine. I was in a coma last fall for over a week and in the ICU for over two weeks, the hospital a total of three weeks. When I woke up I had no memory of my family or myself. My family was very patient by working with me through talking about things I had done, places I had visited, and then things slowly started coming back to me. I did have dreams during the time(I think) after they had taken me off sedation and it was so real. There were things I thought had happened that I couldn’t express until much later meaning a couple months. I wasn’t talking to people, I was just watching and taking everything in like a kid for the first time because I was learning everything over. There is a thing called Post Intensive Care Unit Syndrome where afterwards people may have some delusions or depression or may even have anxiety about going back to the hospital which does go away over time. It’s really important to get back to the basics of every day normal activities within reason and just do baby steps. A healthy person in the ICU for one week will lose twenty five percent of their muscle mass. When I woke up I literally thought I couldn’t walk and was so glad I was wrong. I couldn’t lift my arms higher than elbow height because I was so weak. I worked with speech, physical, and occupational therapists and had a nurse come into my home three times a week. It was essential to getting better and I wasn’t always the most chipper patient.

I pray for the best outcome for you and your family!

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Thank you so much for replying! Your experience has given me hope. My mom turned her head a bit today. She seems to really dislike the ventilator, and grimaces when they suction her. I hope she doesn't remember any of that. We talk to her about her grandchildren and how she has another one on the way. We pray that she comes out of this soon because she has already been there for 6 days.

Thanks again and I hope you are all better now.

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That sounds just like me when I was in a similar situation. I HATED the ventilator and suctioning! I couldn’t breath and I thought the ventilator was causing it instead of the other way round. The fact that she doesn’t like it means she is a fighter - she will fight to live. You’ve brought back a lot of memories, but please don’t worry. 6 days is not a long time. She will be having a lot of delusions. Even if you think she can’t hear her tell her that the delusions are common and part of the physical illness and normal. I was on a ventilator for about two months. Try not to worry too much - I think she will be okay. If I survived, anyone can! All the best wishes.

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Oh I forgot about the suctionIng. Amazing how certain things fade. I thought about something after writing to you. I did get overwhelmed when people tried to get me to remember so if your mom wakes up with amnesia don’t fret it will come back, just talk to her about her life conversationally in a relaxed manner. One thing I wish had happened, I wish my family had read to me. I love to read and if they had just picked up a book I had already read and reread to me it would have helped greatly even when sleeping because your dreams are all over the map. You can’t tell the difference between altered states and reality. It’s very hard for the person going through the coma but it’s just as hard on the family at times. Be careful about what is on TV because anything morbid or upsetting like the news can rattle her after her coma.

It sounds like you have a large family to provide her and each other support through these tough times which is great.

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Hello I thought I would share with you my mother experience and hopefully give you some optimistic hope!

My mother was admitted to the ICU for bacterial Pneumonia and then also contracted sepsis. She too was put on dialisis and taken off after 4 days.

Within a week they were able to wake my mum up a little and she took a while to come to. The drugs they have to give them in order for them to be sedated are heavy and quite nasty drugs as you'd expect. If your mother has been on dialysis her kidneys may be taking a while to filter out the drugs as they have become lazy from the dialisis machine.

This was the case for us and we noticed that when my mother did finally come to that she was delirious for a lot longer than they would have expected. They put this down to her kidneys still flushing out the drugs.

I know it's scary - and she will be non the wiser what you and your family have been through recently so expect her to be a little delerious and maybe even agitated and aggressive. It's just a side effect of the medicine and wears off after a few days.

I hope you start to get more responses from your mum with every passing day. She will come to - it will take time and soon you'll be talking to her awake and not asleep. Which must seem unreal right now.

My thoughts are with you. It's tough but if your mum was fit and healthy before getting poorly she stands a good chance of a speedy recovery.

People who have been in intensive care seem to take a few weeks before they can be sent home - shes been through so much and there's a lot of healing to do.

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Thank you - I'm so glad I found this site. It has given me a lot of hope and support. I'm so glad to hear so many good ending stories.

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Hi two years ago I was sedated in ICU for 3 weeks. I had Sepsis which progressed to septic shock, multi organ failure, pneumonia and blood clots in both lungs. My family were told numerous times I wouldn’t make it but here I am. I am a different version of me. I had delirium when I came to and thought some of my nightmares had actually happened. Your mum will have been treated with very powerful drugs and it may just take her a wee while to properly come to. Healing thoughts for her recovery.

L-A

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Thank you!

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Hi huny i hope ure mums ok now .

Ile be onist I didn't even realize I was in induced coma

Till I woke up but u do wake they keep u under to keep ure body calm while ure bodies fixing.

It's just very tirering. I do hope ure mum is getting better ..please send her my love and she gets all fixed up very soon xx

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Hi there my mom is awake for short periods of time, but gets very upset with the ventilator and tries to take it out. They have tied her hands so she can't reach it, which makes her even more upset. I feel so helpless that I can't do anything for her. Yesterday she was calm for a short while so I showed her pictures of her grandchildren and talked to her about the get-well wishes she has from everyone.

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My mom is finally off the ventilator! She is still in ICU but thankfully breat on her own now! She can talk but she is still very weak.

Thank you to everyone for your advice and support!

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