After 88 days in ICU I was tranferred to a ward, something I found very daunting, suddenly in a place knowone seemed to know where I had come from or what I had been through, after only two days on the ward, my wife noticed something was wrong, as I was saying things that didn't make sense so when she left she told the nurse, that evening I had a spike in my temperature and another infection that was quickly treated.
Two days later my wife came in very upset her father had died suddenly, I felt totally useless not being there for her.
My time on the ward was at best unpleasant, with the only break from it, being psychotherapy to help me rebuild my mushles that had wasted away, I had also lost lost 4 stone and looked about 20 years older than my 52 years.
I was told I would be finally going home on 30th March 2011 after 103 days, a day I think knowone thought would come.
I was glad to be home at last, but not prepared of how difficult it was to adjust, unable to do normal everyday things because I was still very weak. We had to attend my father-in-laws funeral a week after I left hospital, again I felt a burden on my family, we had to borrow a wheelchair as I was unable to walk very far, I think this was the start of my mild depression that lasted several month, I'm ashamed to say I was a very difficult person to live with during this time pushing away the people that had been there for me throughout my time in ICU, never giving up hope I would survive.
It was not until I saw my consultant at my ICU followup clinic, that I admitted that I was finding thihgs hard to deal with, he referred me to a psychologist who help both my wife and myself come to terms with what had happened and how to deal with the change in our lives, the psychologist referred me to one of her colleagues as I was having problems with my memory, after a series of tests, it showed I have a slowed down rate of thought process taking me longer to think things through, which was due to my illness.
I have done a lot of research into my illness and the condition polmonary fibrosis (lung scarring) that I'm left with, I found out by exerciseing my lung by just walking will help them from getting worse, this I do everyday by walking my very energetic German Shorthaired Pointer in the nature reserve that adjoins my garden.
I'm now involved with a local ICU support group that I helped set up with some of the nurses, now helping other people understand the trauma of being an ICU patient can get better with time and with the support of others that have suffered the same experience and understand what they are going through.
By working together we can make things better.