COVID-19: What does it mean for people in ICU and for families?

Posted by Rosemary, Volunteer Mentor @rosemarya, Mar 15, 2020

Becoming ill with COVID-19 is a uniquely isolating and scary time for all of us, especially you are in the hospital or ICU. Everywhere people are being asked to practice social distancing, many ICUs and hospitals are restricting or not allowing visitors. Luckily this community is virtually open any time all the time to connect with others. If you or a loved one are in ICU right now because of COVID-19 or for any other reason, our ears and hearts are open to let you know you are not alone.

Are you in the hospital right now and want to chat with others? Is your family member in the hospital and you’re not able to visit?

@ltecato

For what it's worth, a couple days ago my sister got worried because Mom called her and reported having a lot of diarrhea and vomiting. My wife went to the hospital to check but was not allowed to go past the lobby. There was a sign on the door that said, "Stop! No visitors!" My wife was able to speak to a nurse and make sure that a doctor was monitoring the situation. Last we heard, Mom was doing better.

If I may make a very mundane suggestion, it would be that hospitals should try to make sure that patients can charge their cellphones and any devices that can connect with whatever WiFi is available. In my recent experience I have noticed that some hospitals don't seem to care if patients can do this, and it can make a patient feel quite isolated and helpless if they cannot communicate with family or other acquaintances. I know most facilities have landline phones in their rooms, but in this day and age, who has memorized more than one or two important phone numbers?

I was hospitalized last April and not only did my cellphone battery go dead but the battery in my hearing aid died and I did not have a replacement. The hospital had no devices to charge the phone, and it refused to supply me with a new hearing aid battery or allow me to buy a new pack from the pharmacy next door. This put me in a situation where I was not only deaf but I could not communicate with my family to ask one of them to bring me a hearing aid battery and phone charger. Luckily, when I was in the emergency room waiting to be admitted I asked a nurse for a pen and paper so I could write down family phone numbers before my phone battery was exhausted. A nurse called my mother — the same one who is now hospitalized — and got her to bring me a charger and pack of batteries. My mom can barely walk 30 feet on a good day, and the hospital more or less shamed her into getting a Lyft and bringing me these essential items in person.

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@ltecato I like your suggestion of ensuring there are chargers for cellphones etc. that the patients may be using. Many of us are so dependent upon on our phones to keep in contact with those that are closest to us. It may also be something to think about donating to local facilities!

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@mutwo

thank you Becky. last night I decided to stop calling to check on him. I learned about procedures that they are treating him with when I called his nurse yesterday. I felt that the doctors would contact me before making decisions regarding his care but maybe they feel im not well enough to make the best decisions…I don't know. I don't have anyone in that area, but if I did I still couldn't go see him. I just feel bad that they are not allowing him to write anymore. when he hits the bed, that's his signal to let you know that he needs something, or wants to say something. thank you for your words of encouragement and sharing your time with me to listen and counsel me. im grateful that I was able to discover your group and all of you. you have shown me kindness and care. I pray that your families and you are well. I will take your advice and trust that his care team has his healing as a priority. Im just waking up, so I finally had a chance to rest. staying in touch will be nice…thank you again

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How are you doing today @mutwo ? Are you feeling better about your husbands care? I certainly hope someone at the hospital has called you to update you on his condition. I hope that you are well and taking care of yourself. Becky

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still no one has called, I have called and asked for his case manager to call me as well as his physician but no call. the hospital will not even tell me who his case manager is. the nurses just say there is no change whenever I call to check on him. crimes are being committed against my husband and there is no one to help us, I don't understand this world that we live in. people don't value life

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Mutwo, I am so terribly sorry this is happening to you. My prayers that the staff are taking the very best care of your beloved they possibly can.

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@mutwo

still no one has called, I have called and asked for his case manager to call me as well as his physician but no call. the hospital will not even tell me who his case manager is. the nurses just say there is no change whenever I call to check on him. crimes are being committed against my husband and there is no one to help us, I don't understand this world that we live in. people don't value life

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@mutwo I am really sorry that no one has called you. It must be frightening and upsetting. Have you tried calling your husband’s personal doctor? He/she might be able to explain things better. Please be patient and remember that the staff is doing the best they can. Becky

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i left several messages with his nurses to have the physician(s) to call me but it never happened…

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@fiesty76

Mutwo, I am so terribly sorry this is happening to you. My prayers that the staff are taking the very best care of your beloved they possibly can.

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thank you so very much…76 is my year too….I guess I can get a little feisty myself…I pray all is well for you and your family as well as everyone on the planet. I pray that this epidemic is something that will bring people together instead of even more apart…..thank you sincerely again for your prayers for my husband….I felt like our life was over but im going to pull myself together and be strong for the both of us

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Mutwo, please know that you are surrounded with prayers, good wishes and support for you and yours by those in this group. …and FYI, vbg, being a bit fiesty has it merits…smiles…especially during those times when we are being tried beyond natural endurance. Please stay in the loop and keep us informed as you can. Sending you the best.

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Hi @mamacita, we haven't connected for a little while. Is your husband still in ICU? How about your daughter? I'd love to hear from you and know how you are managing.

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@mamacita I was just wondering yesterday how everything is doing

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@mutwo

thank you so very much…76 is my year too….I guess I can get a little feisty myself…I pray all is well for you and your family as well as everyone on the planet. I pray that this epidemic is something that will bring people together instead of even more apart…..thank you sincerely again for your prayers for my husband….I felt like our life was over but im going to pull myself together and be strong for the both of us

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@mutwo Please let me know how you’re doing. I worry about you and your husband.

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@mutwo

still no one has called, I have called and asked for his case manager to call me as well as his physician but no call. the hospital will not even tell me who his case manager is. the nurses just say there is no change whenever I call to check on him. crimes are being committed against my husband and there is no one to help us, I don't understand this world that we live in. people don't value life

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@mutwo I’m just wondering how things are for you and your husband. This is such a difficult time for everyone, even more so when one is in the hospital. If you care to, please tell me what has happened this past month. I’ve been thinking of you and send a cyber hug. Becky

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