ICUsteps
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How do you all cope?

My husband is critically ill and I don't know how to cope. He was taken to hospital and had surgery for appendicitis. His appendix had burst and he had a major infection. During his recovery in hospital he suffered a severe stroke. Ten days later he collapsed in hospital with another major infection and was rushed to ICU. I was called to the bedside early on Sunday morning. After several hours of fighting for his life Bernie was finally stabilised but still critical. Later he had a stomach bleed and had to have five units of blood. On Monday the doctor told me to prepare for the worst but said they wouldn't be giving him maximum support if there was no hope. Tuesday he seemed a little better but today, Wednesday, I've rung the hospital and they said he had another bleed in the night and has taken a step back. I've been told to ring back after the consultant has seen him later on this morning. My family have all emigrated to Australia so I have no family here to support me, however, I have a fantastic network of friends who are all helping. I feel as if I've been thrown into a completely alien world and I have no idea how to cope with this mentally and physically. I'm exhausted but can't sleep. I don't want to take sleeping tablets as I don't do very well on medication and it often makes me feel ill.

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Hi Jillity,

That is quite an ordeal you are going through, I hope Bernie turns a corner soon. I can only imagine the awful emotional rollercoaster you are on.

My family, whilst waiting at my bedside, found use & comfort from this article

m.huffpost.com/us/entry/271...

Whilst they didn’t necessarily do all that is suggested, with the gift of hindsight, they saw the merit in a lot of it. Making sure YOU slept & eat well etc etc. The patient is in the best possible place to get help - he will need your strength & support later as Bernie rehabilitates. Conserve your energy - I know it is easier said than done. Best wishes for the future.

icusteps.org

Do a great deal of useful literature for relatives too - have a look at their critical care guide

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Thank you for the links.

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Stay strong, never give up hope and keep your faith. Cry when you need to!!! I’m in this now to it’s the hardest fight of my life. I’m a faithful women so my belief in God & Jesus helps me greatly.

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Hi . i totally can relate. Read my husbands story. I have gotten through 3 1/2 months honestly by talking on this site, researching, praying, crying. I didnt sleep for many weeks, woke up hours before i needed to just panicking. I did seek dr help for anxiety and panick attacks at one point. It is the hardest thing ever. Know you are not alone. Kindness of strangers can be amazing in these times. Tell his story. I have been amazed at where telling my husbands story led me to another who had been in one of our shoes. Research his conditions/meds etc. The drs are human , they arent God and they tend to give the grimmest prognosis. Love your husband. Lots of talk/touch/encouragement.

❤🙏

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Is he responsive? Also it took me a long time (and i still struggle) but remember there will be days that are not so great but there can be an amazing one around the corner.

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Jillity stay strong and positive... think about your health and have some rest. I know what you feel... my dad was terminally ill earlier this year and that was the worst time I have had in my life. I'm pretty sure your husband is worrying about you and you need to take care about yourself.

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I found support through reading stories of people’s experiences in this site when my younger brother was critically ill. He has two young children. It is the most traumatic experience to see the person you love dearly suffering. It is so hard to be in this situation like being in a nightmare that is real. Please remain hopeful. The human body and spirit is incredible and strong and people can be amazing. The kindness of one person can make all the difference when you are struggling. I hope your husband starts to improve. Try to keep a short note each day and when you look back over the weeks you can start to see small improvements that can build. Tomorrow may just be a better day. People do care even though we are strangers we have common experiences and I hope these words make a difference to reassure you. Best wishes.

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