My Time in Intensive Care

This is the ninth part in sharing my persnal experience of battling ill health.

*Trigger Warning: May be distressing to some readers*

Continuing on from Nobody Will Know I’m Here.

All of what is said in this post, I can’t remember what order it happened in. Apologies as it’s taken me a while to remember.

I don’t know where I was when I woke up, but it seemed like somebody had put a filter over my vision (what’s left of it) and everything was grey. I remember seeing a bunch of people, I assumed they were nurses, standing around a bed. It’s bizarre to explain, I remember what I was thinking, and it felt real but it didn’t at the same time. Its clear now, I was very heavily sedated. Bear in mind, I had the breathing tube, IV’s, wires, tubes, machines, NG tube, etc. and I thought to myself, “Do you know what? I feel bloody fantastic!”

Clearly not, Ami!

As soon as I had said it, I was asleep again.

There was a water fountain, next to the double doors, just in front of my bay and all I wished for was to have a drink. At the time, I was jealous and hated watching people get a drink from there. I was in a bay which was alongside a wall, I was allowed to have photos put on it. Photos of my Guinea pigs, my dogs, nieces and nephews, I could never look at them without crying because I didn’t know if I would ever see them again.

I remember being more unsettled at night, I think the loneliness hit me hard. I got so frustrated one night, that I was violently shaking the bed guard. I wanted to go home, I still didn’t understand clearly all that happened. Why did I have no energy? Why couldn’t I sit up by myself?

Loneliness, and being in a unfamiliar place, with nobody I knew, was fucking horrible.

I was surprised when my best friend, India, came to see me. I had no idea that she knew I was in hospital. She gave me a really big cuddle and all I could do was put my head against her, I didn’t have the strength to lift up my arm and hug her.

India wrote funny things on my whiteboard which made me smile. It was the same day I met my Speech and Language Therapist, Nicki, she was very bubbly. She showed me how to communicate via a tablet, I had to point to words and pictures to practice communicating with. My brain understood what to do, but my body didn’t, if that makes sense?

Nicki left after she knew I got the gist of how to use the tablet. Mum arrived shortly after. All of a sudden, I wanted to go to the sea life centre, fuck knows where that came from! Trying to demonstrate by acting like a fish was interesting. I tried saying ‘Sea’ but neither Mum or India could understand me. Until later on, it clicked and they figured out what I was saying.

Still need to go to a Sea Life centre with India…

During the time I was heavily sedated, I had a tendency to wave to anyone and everyone. Along with shouting (well, trying), “NOOT NOOT”. Just imagine a royal Pingu…I’m never going to live that down.

Early one morning, I woke up and realised nurses were cleaning and changing me, and I became really confused as I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to the toilet. Before I started to wonder if I was no longer able to tell when I “went”, excruciating pain took over my entire body.

My pain threshold, at the time, was extremely sensitive and anything that touched me, I would end up screaming and crying. Not going to lie, I lost all my dignity when nurses had to clean me but I knew I couldn’t help it. I did have a catheter in, which still made me feel like I had wet myself most of the time. But poo-ing myself, that took a long time to get used to. Especially when people came to see me, it was embarrassing.

But like I said, I couldn’t help it.

I can’t remember who arranged it but it was arranged that a dog would visit me, I don’t know the correct name for them but they come in to try and cheer up patients. Anyway, I wasn’t expecting the dog to be HUGE! He was incredibly soft and gentle, and seeing him did cheer me up.

Ami is in a hospital bed, critically ill. Ewan is standing by her side as a big support dog has come to see Ami. Various tubes and machines fill the background

I remember this photo being taken, although I couldn’t see myself clearly when they originally showed me. Seeing it now, it still leaves me speechless as to how far I’ve come.

It was frightening to wake up at one point and see a lot of people crowd around my bed, they were wearing green scrubs and had surgical hats on. I didn’t know I was going to have an operation; a young nurse held my hand because she could see I was scared and confused. She explained that I would be very sleepy while they performed a biopsy on my thigh. I didn’t know her name but I asked her if she would still be there when I woke up. She said she would be.

But she wasn’t, none of them were. Rude!

When Ewan came to visit me one time, the nurses adjusted my bed so I was able to sit up, I cried because I could see the floor. It’s the little things in life.

Another dog came to visit me, I can’t remember if the dog was a girl or boy. It wasn’t as big as the first one because I remember it lying next to me on my bed.

I kept wondering how the nurses were administrating all of my medication, I know they kept standing alongside where my head was, I thought they just put it via my IV. At one point, my neck was quite itchy, but because of my poor coordination, I didn’t know where my hand was so I couldn’t itch it. It was making me very agitated and I tried to demonstrate scratching and pointing to my neck. Thankfully they understood what I meant.

That’s when I found out I had a cannula in my neck…still makes me shudder. My eyes had never gone wider in horror and surprise!

I shouldn’t have said (well, demonstrated) that my neck was itchy because they then decided to take the cannula out and put an A-line in my left arm instead! I don’t mind needles as long as the procedure is quick, but when it takes a while…yeah, no thanks!

I was really hopeful one night, as the nurses were going to try and remove the breathing tube. Yay! They had to check my throat first to see if there was any swelling or irritation, if there was then they wouldn’t take it out.

My throat showed slight inflammation. I was gutted, I really thought it was a huge step forward.

I had my first physio session with a lovely lady, I can’t remember her name, she helped me to do some very small, but effective now I look back at it, bed exercises. I think it was in the next session, a few days later, she got me into a chair (with assistance). It was like watching Transformers, well a slower version, but they took this recliner apart so they could transfer me via a transfer board. I was laying down at all times until I was safely in the recliner and they put it all back together, then they tilted the back rest at an angle I felt comfortable with.

I was impressed! Mind you, it doesn’t take a lot to impress me!

Progress was slow but I was showing signs of improvement! Plus, I was no longer heavily sedated. No more crazy antics! For now anyway.

Day by day, everyone was becoming more hopeful, I was still scared, especially with knowing how close to dying I was.

A tracheostomy was mentioned quite a lot at this point, and when it was explained to me, I was against it. I was petrified of having a hole in my throat!

If you would like to continue reading my story, then please head over toMy Time in Intensive Care: Part 2.

0 thoughts on “My Time in Intensive Care

  1. This sounds like it must have been so horrible for you – the catheter in the neck especially sounds awful! I’m so glad to hear the visit from the therapy dog cheered you up and that this was the start of things beginning to improve for you though! xx

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