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Sunday, 25 September 2011

three months in ICU!

when I first went into intensive care I was put in a medically induced coma for two weeks. This was because I had a breathing tube in my mouth and the doctors said that it would be too stressful to me to wake me up. However I was woken up when my parents visited me everyday, though I do not remember this. After two weeks the doctors decided to perform a tracheostomy on me. A tracheostomy involves having a hole cut in the throat. I am not quite sure of the positioning of it. I believe that it is just below the vocal cords. This means that you cannot make sounds with your vocal chords when you have a tracheostomy.

When I first woke up I remember my parents being there. I tried to speak to them but I could not make a sound. I was very confused because I didn't know where I was and I didn't understand where my voice had gone.they told me that I was in intensive care following the operation and that I was on a life-support machine, because I couldn't breathe on my own and that is what the tube was in my neck. I tried to ask them where my voice had gone but they didn't understand me.

I was not allowed to eat or drink because I couldn't swallow and if I did it would have ended up in my lungs. I was fed and given water through an NG tube.which is a tube that it passed through the nose into the stomach. It is uncomfortable. Even though I was getting all I needed through the NG tube I still felt really thirsty but I was not allowed to drink. I had water put into my mouth and then suctioned out. I tried to hide some water in my mouth but the nurses were well aware and used to that trick and it did not work.

Because I had no strength I could not cough. Because of this I had a build up of mucus (gross I know) in my lungs. I had to get this suctioned out a few times every hour. However I still developed double pneumonia.and both of my lungs collapsed. I was treated well for this. The medication that I was on was really strong. The morphine gave me crazy hallucinations. Apparently the strength of morphine I was on a similar to heroin. I have no idea why somebody would want to give themselves hallucinations willingly! The hallucinations that I had were very scary and confusing at the time but now seen silly. I dreamt that there were pink tigers and children with pink guitars dancing around my bed to music like on any merry-go-round. I have no idea how long I had these hallucinations for but they eventually stopped.

I was the only person in the intensive care unit who was awake. Everybody else was in a coma. Because I was awake the nurses found me a television to watch to help with my boredom. The boredom is probably one of the worst things about being in hospital. It was great having a television or being unable to speak I couldn't tell people what channel I wanted on. My mum told the nurses that I liked animals, especially horses. The nurses then thought it would be a good idea to put the racing on for me. Which I did not appreciate! I also remember waiting for casualty to start on BBC1. Just as I was about start watching it one of the nurses switched it over and said that they could not watch it because it was unrealistic and that they were sure that I had had enough of hospitals without watching it on TV. I did get to watch Britain's got talent though. And that was okay.

Another memory that is not nice that I have of ICU is when a man in the next bed to me died. I remember or the nurses and some doctors rushing over to him and treating him. They closed the curtains around him to give them privacy. I could hear his wife screaming and crying and that was quite traumatic.

I did appreciate the visits I had on my friends and family. My aunties came up from down south to see me and I was really made up. Certain ones of my friends came in everyday. They know that they are and I love them very much and really appreciate them. It was visits from my friends and family that made my time in ICU bearable. The nurses were also lovely. They helped me deal with my boredom and anxiety. They helped me feel less frightened. It is amazing the small things that made life easier. It was great when I was finally allowed to have ice pops and ice cubes. And also when they changed my NG tube to a peg Tube which is a true that goes directly in to the stomach through a hole in the abdomen.

I was starting to be able to communicate with people. Quite a lot of people have learned how to read my lips. And also the nurses had an alphabet Chart that I could spell out what I wanted by nodding my head. It was very frustrating and long winded but also such a relief that I was able to communicate. As I was getting stronger with my chest, I got shown a valve that would enable me to use my voice. It worked. I was made up. But it did take a lot of effort. When speaking I sounded like Stevie off Malcolm in the Middle. I was only allowed to use the valve for 10 minutes at a time. As it took a lot of effort.

I was now moved to the high dependency unit as I was getting better. The pressure was gradually reduced my ventilator and I was breathing on my own. Unfortunately I then developed an illness called C diff. I am not quite sure what it is. But it is caused by being on a lot of antibiotics. It is highly contagious so I had to be isolated. And when peoples came to see me and they still had to wear aprons like they did when I was in intensive care and if they touched me had to wear gloves. Eventually I recovered from the illness and I no longer required a ventilator. I was moved up to the normal wards. And that is the story of my time in intensive care. It was a horrible way to spend three months. Luckily I can't remember much of it because of all the medication I was on. I do remember my friends and family visiting and all the amazing care that I got off the nursing staff and doctors. I really appreciate all them people and I love them all loads and I have not named anybody because I am scared that I will miss somebody out. But them people who took the time to come and visit me know who they are and should know that I really appreciated it. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Sorry for the terrible grammar. I shall blame my dyslexia and the fact that I had an operation on my head.lolx

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