First time experience of Loved one in ICU - ICUsteps


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First time experience of Loved one in ICU

Rach2312 profile image

My dad had a fall during the night a week ago, must of been lay on his back for a very long time before I found him on the floor. He was in a pickle couldn’t move and complaining of bad pain in his neck and weezing on his chest, his speech wasn’t right but he was still very alert. He was ambulanced into hospital and was put on a ward. He developed a chest infection and he also had urine infection they were concerned about his kidneys. His started to struggle with his breathing and went downhill very quickly so they moved him to critical care last Tuesday night. He was put on ventilator, kidney dialysis and heavily sedated him. He’s been making small steps he’s off the dialysis, off sedation and off the ventilator (now has tubes up his nose for oxygen) and infections have gone down 50 %. However he’s struggling with his breathing, my brother took a phone all from the nurse yesterday to go and see dad as his oxygen dropped and thought they were losing dad. They managed to get him back they thought the ventilator would be too much so have put a mask (my brother says like a spaceman helmet). Dad is still with us this morning and I’m hoping and praying. Before the fall my dad was in great health and active he lives on his own and very independent. He’s 75 years old and I live just up the road from him. I managed to see dad Saturday for an hour in icu, I didn’t no what to expect but I wanted to see if I could help dad by being there and him hearing my voice. I found it extremely hard but he was opening his eyes when I spoke but couldn’t keep them open he was in and out of sleep he was extremely confused. His legs, feet and arm was fidgeting in his sleep. My brother is going to see dad again today I’m trying to find my strength to go back as I found it incredibly hard seeing dad so poorly. Any advice on how to cope would be much appreciated.

11 Replies

Hi @Rach2312

All of the things that you have described sound as if he is moving in the right direction. Your voice will be very reassuring for him & it will help to orientate him after sedation. It takes different people differing amounts of time to come to fully after sedation.

It is important to look after yourself too, remember your father is getting the best possible care at present. Try and eat properly, sleep & exercise lightly - because your father will need all your energy & support in the months ahead.

We hold a ‘friends & relatives’ drop-in meeting over Zoom Tuesday at 6.50pm BST - if you would like to join, please email

and we will forward secure link.

Hi Rachel,

I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been experiencing.

From my own experiences, all I can advise is to do your level best to stay positive. Your Dad is fighting hard and has a wonderful team looking after him.

You should take heart that you’ve been allowed to visit.

I would regularly drive to the car park of my Dad’s hospital, gaze up to the floor his ICU was on and just cry as we weren’t even allowed a visit then.

I hope and pray you get some positive news soon. Wishing you and your loved one the very best! X💜

Rach2312 profile image
Rach2312 in reply to DrARDS

Dad was doing well today but I’ve just taken a message from my brother we’ve been called to hospital as dad has had a turn. My brother is on his way I’m at home with my children hoping and praying 🙏🏼. I’ve gone numb xx

Rach2312 my thoughts are with you. When I was in hospital Nov - March my family had the call because I was getting worse and then I would improve. I have 4 daughters and a son and it was him that had the most trouble coping with what I looked like. Being on ventilation does all sorts of strange things to you and it takes some time to come round properly and recover.

As Sepsur says ICUstepschester gives much support via zoom. You don’t have to live in their area to benefit

varmenta83 profile image
varmenta83 in reply to DrARDS

I have done that a few times and I feel better being there but also terrible not being able to go up and see him

Really hope your dad pulls through ,please understand your dad will be confused with it all ,I have just gone through similar and I tried so hard to stop her tugging at equipment ,removing oxygen lines ,pulling at her bags which had been fitted after her operation , I and family became convinced that she had had enough of it all and was trying to end it all ,I tried so hard to stop her harming herself as I so wanted her to live , I may have been selfish as I so wanted her back ,just be caring to his needs ,understand that he is not of right mind whilst with infection,most important is knowing that hearing is always there tell him how much you love him ,how much you have loved what you have done in the past and what could be done on the future ,my wife while delirious talked more about what we would do in retirement than we had discussed when she was well ,finally I thought she was brave and told her so on many occasions

I really wish you all the best with your dad ,I do miss my dad so much and now my wife has gone

Steve xx

varmenta83 profile image
varmenta83 in reply to Stephent2


I am sorry to read about your wife and father when did they pass?How are you send hugs 🤗


Stephent2 profile image
Stephent2 in reply to varmenta83

Hi Vanessa

My wife passed away July 4th 2020 ,my dad passed away July 15th 2017 ,thanks for the kind words

Thank you so much for your replies. They managed to stabilise dad he had another setback struggling with his breathing during the night and prepared myself and brother for the worse. I rang hospital this morning and dad is settled and breathing ok he’s sedated abit and fast asleep. My brother said they have put mittens on dad to try stop him pulling things out, dad managed lifted his arm showing my brother his mitten when he got there and my brother asked the nurse to take it off that calmed dad and he went back to sleep. The dr has told us they are concerned with how many more setbacks dad can take. Because of his age, narrowing of the valve in his heart and pacemaker and his body’s strength to keep going. Dad has got through 2 of these breathing setbacks now praying and hoping for my dad 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Sending lots of love to you all and your families. Xxx

varmenta83 profile image
varmenta83 in reply to Rach2312

I read your post and I’m sorry to hear about what you are going through I am sure that you are feeling like this is all a roller coaster of emotions, as I am going through the same thing with my father he too has been having setbacks. What I can do say is prayer and meditation has helped me a lot with anxiety and depression and feeling defeated from not being able to do anything. I pray that your father gets better and heals and I send you a big hug and encouragement. Try and stay positive even though there’s moments of despair let those feelings come and go and focus on your dad and send him a lot of love ❤️ I am a firm believer that they do feel our love even though we are far apart.

Kind regards please keep us updated on your father and take care

Rach2312 profile image
Rach2312 in reply to varmenta83

I am so sorry to hear about your father and thank you so much for your kindness and advice. That’s exactly it a roller coaster of emotions, things change so quickly. Today I went into a cake shop and I just couldn’t cope and walked out. I talk to dad most of the time in my head and hoping he can sense and feel it ❤️❤️.

Sending you lots of hugs and praying for your father. Lots of love and thank you xx

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