Thursday, April 15, 2010

You're Special: ICU

This is the third part in a series. You can read the first part here, and the second here.

They wheeled me right to the ICU from the recovery room after our baby was born.

My experience in ICU is actually the beginning of a very traumatic time. I’ll get to that soon, but first I want to write about seeing a specialist while you’re in a hospital bed.

When you’re conscious and alert, it’s reasonable to shoot for goals like reading cues and writing lists. When you’re wheeled into a room on a stretcher, it’s not.

There isn’t much you can do to control the situation when you don’t know where you are. My situation, being in the ICU, was extreme. Sometimes people don’t ‘know where they are’ even when they literally know where they are.

If you’re so tired/confused/fucked up that you can’t contribute in any meaningful way to your exchanges with your specialists, I have one piece of advice:

Trust them.

For the most part, doctors are competent, caring people. They know the ramifications of their mistakes. They stuck it out in torturous med school because they want help people. They would rather shove their egos into a donkey’s ass, strap that donkey on a rocket and launch it into space on a crash course with the sun, than kill you.

They work long hours trying to figure out what is wrong. They give up time with their families to keep us alive.

Most people are good people; this includes specialists. Unless something in your gut says NO!, trust is a good thing. And good or bad, trust may be your only play when you aren’t conscious.

Just because I had a really bad experience with one of the seven specialists I saw doesn’t mean it’s something everyone should be on the lookout for. It won’t necessarily happen to you.

I learned a lot about the relationship between relaxation and getting healthy in the ICU. Trust starts with letting go, relaxing your fears and erasing those negative mind-tapes. Sometimes it’s easier when you don’t have any other choice.

Of course, I always had an advocate by my side. I was the luckiest girl in the world.


  1. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, whichever way it's telling you. Still doesn't make it easy to figure out which way is best though.

    Straight From Hel

  2. My gut is telling me you're right ;)

  3. It's good to know I have lovable guts ;)