First of all congratulation for the blog, I'm from Spain (sorry for my poor English) and my mother has spent 5 weeks in the ICU (from 4th of February to 9th of March) here in my country, she went through the second surgeon (the second within 3 months!) of replacement of her heart mitral valve and things went very difficult for her this second time. I looked for information about patients in the ICU in my country but I've realized that there is very few information for patients and relatives regarding critical patients in the ICU.
I could checked in this blog that many of the issues that happened during those weeks were "normal ", we were of course very worried about her health , she was totally supported by machines the first week, then she recovered a little her vital constants (kidneys and heart started to work) but lungs were so bad and she needed the respiratory machine all the time. She underwent a tracheotomy at the end of the second week, and then sedation was removed, at least enough to keep her conscious in order to support doctors in her recovery, you know. These days were the worst for us, as relatives, even when doctors explained all the matters (I would like to highlight here the professionalism and human side of the ICU team ) the hardest thing was to see how much she was suffering, she asked us to help her to scape from there, she told us nurses hit her, she cried, she was really like a mad, and she was suffering so much, and we could just see her twice a day (half an hour at 13:00 and one hour at 19) . Then I found this blog, and you can't figure out how it relieved our pain, we could read that all she was going through was more or less normal. I started to write a diary for her because read it's desirable for most of patients.
One day last week she started to breathe alone (on Wednesday last week) and on Saturday she was in the ward, doctors say that it's like a miracle, she is very good, she is not swollen any more which is a very good signal for her condition, and heart and lungs are very good, she is very happy indeed.
The first days she still was very confused and couldn't distinguish between reality and nightmares, she has told us all the dreams and nightmares she had, some of them are really scary, but on the other hand she dreamt about beloved relatives ...Now she is ok and is again my mother.
The best thing is that she doesn't remember anything about suffering, and I can say she was suffering so much,thank all of you who share your experiences here , because you have been my handkerchief of tears during the last 3 weeks, and of course a great support!
thank you very much to ICUsteps and all the bloggers!!!