Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) - Let's talk

Have you heard of Post-Intensive Care Syndrome? Sometimes it’s called post ICU syndrome or PICS. PICS is defined as new or worse health problems after critical illness. These problems can affect your mind, body, thoughts, and/or feelings.

On Connect we would like to bring together people who have been affected by critical illness, and hopefully lighten the burden you bear. Patients and family members welcome.

Grab a cup of tea, or beverage of your choice, and let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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@rckj Again it has taken a while for me to respond. Sorry. I think that today I have resolved the fact that I was not notified when you posted. It was easy to do, but for some reason I did not previously see the option to be notified. Thank you for describing your medical diagnosis and the experiences you are having you. There are several of your concerns to which I hope I can add helpful thoughts. Forgive me if I am repeating anything I have already said.

Intense fear was a primary response I had awaking from delirium/coma. It continued after I moved to another floor, as well as when I went to a transitional care system… and finally to home. My fear grows from not knowing if the day will be uneventful and from not knowing if my physical/emotional condition will be stable in the future. For you, fear might be repeatedly reactivated by the reality that your condition can quickly become critical and from the number of times you have been in the ICU.

Thus, my thoughts from my situation might not be helpful and excuse me, if this is the case. It has taken me two years to partially work-through fear about my health and future. With this fear, there is anxiety (and depression) for which I am treated with medication and counseling. It wasn't until last night that I heard myself say in a discussion that fear keeps me from serenity. For me, serenity is related to faith in God. Last night I said out-loud that am slowly growing in trust of God that no matter what happens, I can accept it.

Belief in God might not be the case your experience or that of anyone else who will read my post. Instead of God, it could be that you have a core belief about life to which you can appeal when you are 'down and out'. An example of a core belief is: Each day there is the promise of mini-joyful experiences. For you this might be your husband's deep love for you. Anticipating that your core belief will be affirmed during a day might give birth to or increase your sense of joy… or hope.

I know that it is a stretch to imagine joy, even hope! For most of my recovery, I have been regularly afraid that another 'shoe would fall'. This has been compounded by the fact that a second surgery at Mayo unexpectedly resulted in a second experience of septic shock. For the first time, I now reveal this: Just before my husband and I got in the car to travel the 8 hours to Mayo for that second surgery, I said "Let's take a selfie." I suggested this so that he would have a happy photo of us in case the second surgery resulted in septic shock and I died. Since I was so close to death the first time, I feared I could not survive a second time. Fear… always in the shadows… or pronounced in nightmares.

Then, a month ago I was scheduled to have the minor procedure to have the cataracts removed from my eyes. Though I knew there was not solid reason that this would be a risk for septic shock, I was afraid that I would lose my eyesight. Then, last week my husband I went to the North Shore to 'get away' so as to hopefully give me a lift from the deeper part of depression. We planned to snowshoe, but I was afraid that I had not recovered enough physically to do so. When we started down a very modest hill, I stopped and said I could not do it because I was afraid I would not be able to climb this hill on the way back to the car. Fear… Fear… controlling the day.

However, gradually I note that the positive moments which dispel fear are moments that are building. When I go to bed at night, I now look forward to two experiences… falling into God's love, a core belief I hope eventually will help me fall to sleep easily and will wipe away the bad dreams. The second is that in the morning I will wake to enjoy a cup of coffee! While recovering at Mayo, in transitional care, and in the initial weeks at home, all I had were a few sips… but, I kept the coffee-drinking in my daily regimen. Are there small, simple enjoyments that slip away when you are facing treatment, an emergency, or hospitalization? Can a joy be activated with the assistance of the medical community, your husband, a friend, and you?

Burdening my husband and fearing he would lose his health from caring for me, especially when he worked/traveled 10 hours, 5 days each week, was of concern for me. I did not feel guilt about burdening him, because I knew I greatly needed the care that the medical community trusted he would provide. However, I worried about him. Though his deep weariness was obvious to me, he was clear that he wanted to care for me. He said that he celebrated that he could do so, because in the first part of my experience in intensive care, he was so afraid I would die or would end up living in a care center because my heart or brain would not recover well.

I imagine that your husband and you have discussed your concern about burdening him. Perhaps he and you can list the reasons he and you are a team sharing the burden of care and that this makes your new life better than other possibilities. Perhaps this would help each of you continue to deal with sudden changes in your well-being and other hospitalizations, if that would occur. Maybe he and you could rely on a core belief that you were 'meant to be' a team in life, no matter what occurs.

I do not want to overload you with my ramblings. I am sorry if I have touched your suffering and sorrow in unhelpful ways. I am disappointed that I could not respond sooner, especially since you mentioned you were sad. One more thought that comes from my experience is that I have found that my sadness is deep grief… the realization that when the first critical event occurred, my life took a major turn away from what I was expecting. Then the second critical incident. As the two years of my new life are unfolding, I find the sadness, grief is lessening. This does not mean that I do not have emotional struggles. When I responded to you at the end of February, I had been diagnosed with Major Depression, and a "mood stabilizer" medication was added to the anti-depressent that I was already taking to the maximum allowable amount. The new life can be very tough, as you know.

In closing, I can say that one joy for today is that I met you within this 'Just Want to Talk' blog. May you be able to name at least one joy for today. M.H.

P.S. I snowshoed down the path I was sure I could not snowshoe up. The upward way was not as bad as I anticipated. I just did not look too far ahead to see what was ahead of me to climb. Maybe I could remember this when I am looking too far ahead while recovering. Instead, focus on the moment that is… one moment at a time.

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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@muriel66. I am @marield65 and had delirium the past 2 operations. Would you like to discuss this as no one else that I know has had this and cannot understand what I went through. It turned out to be a reaction to the opioids, DiLaudid was one, and it took them a few days to figure that out. In the meantime I was in a Delirium state and I remember where I was and what I was doing in the state of mind. I was not in the hospital but remember the things I did in my mind but not one thing that I remember while I was in the hospital. The doctor said that I was deliriously happy. I don’t remember anything about the hospital. I feel I lost a week of my life and the things I did while delirious was unbelievable. I had to either be tied to the bed or had a nurse by my bed 24 hrs because I kept trying to “escape “ from the hospital. Do you remember anything? Now I need more back surgery and am afraid it will happen again. Thank you
@marield65

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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@@marield65 and @muriel66 Today is the 10th day post back surgery. This time I knew more what might happen to me, so I recognized it when I started hallucinating. I could identify what was real and knew the things that appeared real but were not. I also heard and felt things that I know were not real. I was sent home with Hydroco/APAP, which I understand is hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Are you afraid of what you don't remember? I only ask because I am sitting here laughing at every episode I identify. I have some memories from all the way through, but I don't remember everything or expect to remember everything.
As usual I developed secondary issues which sent me on a 6 hour clinic visit today. At least I was not hospitalized. It all refers back to the opioids. They slow down your stools which is a blessing to anyone with chronic diarrhea; but, they can also constipate you very quickly. I was given a stool softener, but the memory lapses caused me to not take it correctly. I also, again, have nausea (get the bag ready type) and as a result am not eating or drinking enough.
When I started having cramps 2 days ago my DR ordered a muscle relaxant. I haven't quite figured what my poor colon must be thinking about everything that has been pushed through it over the last few weeks.
In your case, I would talk to all your physicians about your post surgical reactions and see if there are things to do to ease and/or accommodate your reactions. A few pre surgical sessions with a counselor may help also. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Tonight I feel much better and have confidence that I will be able to walk with very little pain within a month. I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers while I have gone through this surgery. Your care, love and emotional support has really eased my fears, although not my pain. lol

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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Thank you very much for you reply. I should tell you this is Paul, Sharons husband. Sharon found this site and wrote for me as I am the one who is ill and she is the caregiver. I have found some great points in reading your post. This truly a journey that I never expected to experience. thank you once again. I would suggest that forget the fear and do not let it control your life. it is obvious that you are a believer as we are and would say to put it in gods hand and breathe.. When I was at my worst and the doctors wanted to remove lifesupport Sharon told god she needed help and put me in his hands.

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@laci

I’ve been searching for a support group for ICU Psychosis (that’s what my doctors labeled it) and feel relief finding this group. February 4, 2016 I fell very ill. I don’t know to this day if I had flu or just became dehydrated. I had suffered two TBI’s back in 2013/14 so my brain was a mess to begin with. I have also suffered with depression in my life however I was doing well.

I was so sick at 3 a.m. on February 4 and my husband finally said we were going to the ER. Admitted with acute renal failure. I was already hallucinating from severe dehydration and was in acute respiratory and brain failure as well. Sigh. Some days I really wish God had taken me on that day as my life changed abruptly during hospitalization. I was placed in a coma and intubated for 12 hours. I came to on my way to the ICU and I was completely disoriented and though I was being pumped full of medication for electrolyte balance I was not given any pain medication. I was taken off all of my medications which was very difficult. I also smoked at the time so add that to the withdrawal of my regular meds I was now going through nicotine withdraw. I was transferred to general ward after three days. It was there that I became paranoid and started having the most wicked hallucinations to the point where I ripped a line out of my neck and all other lines in my arms. I guess I was violent and screaming but I really don’t remember. I felt badly though because somewhere inside I knew this was not me and I had the sweetest roommate who was moved to another room immediately. The doctors decided to do a series of tests for such medical conditions like menengitis. I was left for two days in a terrible state of hallucinations while I had spinal tap and other tests done to rule out medical conditions. My husband finally said that the doctors had to do something other than keeping me in restraints while I screamed at everything and everyone including him.

Doctor put me back into a coma and intubation for two days. I came too once again back in ICU. I was still hallucinating but not as badly as before. Moved back to a general ward and finally discharged on February 16. By this time I had pneumonia in my right lung. It was a harrowing time. I’ve never been the same. I can’t seem to get over the memory of the hallucinations and sometimes they come flooding back while I’m going about my day. I’ve pretty much become dependent on my husband as I can’t drive well and I don’t want to go out at all. The psychiatrist gives me pills. Nothing works. I did stop smoking and lost 60 pounds so guess that’s the silver lining. I am forcing myself to go out today not because I want to but because I have to make myself work through these terrible emotions. I’m now terrified of dying as I came so close. I never had a fear of death.

I know my circumstances were not as severe medically as some medicatl conditions that I’ve read here and I’m truly sorry to be such a wimp but I feel like I’m losing my mind. I sometimes don’t know if I’m dreaming or if this is real life. I did drink a lot to make the bad go away but it only made things worse so I don’t do that anymore. I have ptsd but I think because I’m 62 that the doctors don’t really care. My husband is this totally normal man who loves me and tells me to just get over it but of course no one understands if they have not gone through this. I know I’ll never be that kind and gentle person I was before. I miss some of the old me. Memory is shot. Can’t form words. Mind always racing.

Thank you for letting me ramble on. I’m going to go out now and try to make it through yet another day.

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Laci….There is one Physician who can help you. I would say you should consider turning to Him for help. His name is Jesus. Pray and tell Him in a personal way how you feel and just what you wrote here. There is no fancy way to pray. I talk to God every night and ask for His protection by His mighty Angels over my night and of course my doggies. Give it a try Laci. God created us and He alone knows just what is wrong in your body. I am praying for you as I type this. God Bless You.

Liked by marystefy

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For anyone who might be local, please consider joining us at our support group tonight from 6-7pm. See the following link for location and directions! Hope to see you there! https://connect.mayoclinic.org/newsfeed-post/support-group-tonight-3-19-from-6-7pm/

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My husband had a quadruple bypass two weeks ago. He sleeps all day up like 10 minutes then falls asleep he does not want to walk outside to cold. He is very independent he does not ask me for anything. I do t know if I should stay home all day with him to try to keep his sprits up. I don’t want to nag him I feel guilty going out

Liked by Annie Johnson

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@ekaminowitz

My husband had a quadruple bypass two weeks ago. He sleeps all day up like 10 minutes then falls asleep he does not want to walk outside to cold. He is very independent he does not ask me for anything. I do t know if I should stay home all day with him to try to keep his sprits up. I don’t want to nag him I feel guilty going out

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Why not ask his Doctors what the best course of action for you is re staying home and ask your husband what he prefers? (Me, I would like to have a loving wife by my side, encouraging me and showing loving acceptance and patience and "you'll be better than ever, Dear".

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@ekaminowitz

My husband had a quadruple bypass two weeks ago. He sleeps all day up like 10 minutes then falls asleep he does not want to walk outside to cold. He is very independent he does not ask me for anything. I do t know if I should stay home all day with him to try to keep his sprits up. I don’t want to nag him I feel guilty going out

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@ekaminowitz, I see that this is your first post, and I would like to welcome you to Mayo Connect. We are glad to have you joined us here. I am a volunteer and I have no medical training. And I have no experience with bypass surgery or your current decision dilemma. I think that your confusion and concern of how to decide what is best for you and your husband is one that many of our members have/are experiencing. I would like to refer you to two discussion groups that might provide some helpful information.

In the Caregivers Group, you will meet @IndianaScott, who will have some ideas and will be able to introduce you to some related conversations. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/

In the Heart and Blood Health Group, you can meet others with heart/bypass experiences.

Peace and Strength
Rosemary

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@ekaminowitz

My husband had a quadruple bypass two weeks ago. He sleeps all day up like 10 minutes then falls asleep he does not want to walk outside to cold. He is very independent he does not ask me for anything. I do t know if I should stay home all day with him to try to keep his sprits up. I don’t want to nag him I feel guilty going out

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@stressedmesseddepressed, Thank you for this suggestion. I agree that asking our Doctor is always the best start.
@ekaminowitz, Have you spoken to his doctor? Is his recovery and his current sleepiness routine for being 2 weeks post surgery?
Rosemary

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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@muriel66 I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you but I want you to know how much I appreciate your kind and thoughtful response to me. I have been ill with the adrenal insufficiency but have managed to avoid hospitalization. A great deal of skilled medical intervention and care made that possible and I am grateful. Still working on getting better enough to go back to work part time which I hope will be soon. Also gathering strength to be able to be more present for my husband, family and friends. I too often fight with fear, mostly of a repeat episode but also of not being able to be myself. I also seek more joyful moments and was greatly touched by your happiness at meeting me. I often, quite irrationally, get down on myself for being ill and you reminded me, so gently, that this illness is not my fault. All I can do is to continue to strive for best health for myself and my family’s sake. I have so many hopes for a return to at least part of the life I lived before this illness. I do believe, with the encouragement of Mayo, that this is possible with a great deal of work and help. Talking to my husband, to Mayo, to my local medical team, to family and friends and to you has fueled hope, a precious commodity right now. There are good days and bad days. I struggle to treat this as a journey with peaks and valleys and not succumb to a sense of despair. It’s hard sometimes. I don’t know if I have found serenity yet but there is a great comfort in my husband’s love and care as well as all the others who have rallied around me. There is a team and I am luckier than many in my situation. My husband is such a critical part of this team and I hope I am also there for him. He says I am, which is reassuring. I am sad also, mostly that this is ongoing and requires daily, sometimes hourly, management. My husband and I often reminisce about happy times and travels and hope to travel again. It would require much planning with the nearest hospital to our travels but it is possible when I stabilize more. Dreams and wishes! Not a bad thing, I think. Now, as you said, it really is one moment at a time and finding joy in some of those moments. Little things activate my joy. Visits from family and friends, flowers sent by my husband, people arranging for distractions for me when I come out of the delirium (iPad movies, books, pictures of beloved ones, pictures of our four kitties, etc.). Delirium is a strange state to be in. Mine always involves pain, nausea, a semi-comatose state, confusion and bewilderment, terror. As I become clearer, pain dominates as my blood pressure is often to low to allow pain medication. I always fear dying during, before and after. But I am a fighter and get very skilled ICU care so I think I will make it through. Still afraid, of course. I took a great deal of joy and hope from your thoughts regarding being meant to be, both here in life and as a team with my husband and others. I am afraid I am rambling a bit but hope this all makes sense. I am so grateful for your response to me. It was and is heartwarming. I am so glad to have found this forum and the wonderful people who participate in it. I am grateful to have met you and hope we can continue to correspond. Focusing on that one moment at a time, as you said, is a path back to the joys of life. I’m still working on that one! All my best wishes to you and I hope we can stay in touch. Rhoda.

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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Hi Rhoda @rckj
I was going through messages and re-reading yours, I thought I would check in to see how you are doing. Today @windwalker wrote a post in another discussion that I thought you may appreciate reading https://connect.mayoclinic.org/newsfeed-post/sharing-the-burden-of-pain-meet-sandytoes14/?pg=1#comment-105045

I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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@colleenyoung Colleen, I am so very grateful that you wrote and did appreciate reading @windwalker's post. I've had a rough time of it over the last two months. Two hospitalizations both including ICU stays and a lengthy time inpatient. I was just discharged from the last a week ago and have nursing and physical therapy home care. I'm tired. I am still fighting, always will, but this ongoing chronic/acute illness is wearing me down. Hospitalized for sepsis and adrenal shock. The adrenal insufficiency is getting harder to manage despite the excellent guidance from the Mayo Clinic. There is now a question of an autoimmune deficiency that may be stirring things up, so more evaluation and treatment are needed. I wonder if it's time to return to Mayo for re-evaluation. I miss my old life, I miss my work (clinical psychologist), I miss an easier life with more fun times. My husband is enormously supportive and just a great person but I worry about the impact on him. He's been told so many times that it is "touch and go" when I'm admitted to the ICU that I know he is worried and protective of me. I think I am also sad. I had a close call with the adrenal insufficiency just yesterday but was able to recover with increased medication. Still ill but not as bad as yesterday. Sick of being sick and worrying about the quality of my life. It takes so long to recover from each episode. I guess the short story is that I am very grateful you posted. It could not have come at a more needed and appropriate time. It raised my spirits and helped me to post back as I'm always worrying that my posts are so much about being ill and in the ICU all the time that they are depressing to others. Anyway, thank you. I hope that we can and others on this site can continue to correspond. I also hope I can be of help to others despite my ongoing problems. Best wishes to you and to all on this site. Rhoda

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@muriel66

It has been ten days since my last statement about the way I am. I become more and more in touch with the ways I experience PICS after severe septic shock (2016) and septic shock (2017). I hope I am not repeating myself when I say that frankly I am cognitively and emotionally worse than I was before I experienced the second incident of septic shock. My concentration certainly is worse, as is my depression. Of course, depression can diminish concentration and diminished concentration can exacerbate depression.

It is positive that I finally accept that my depression is substantial and thus, I am more patient with myself and less judgmental of my cognitive disfunction. (Pat me on the back, please.) The uneasiness that I have is not knowing if in the future, I will return at least to the level of cognitive/emotional healing that I experienced before the second experience of septic shock. In other words, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to function in a more ‘normal’ fashion. (Please pray for me.)

Tonight my brain is weary. I need to rest… and that is a subject about which I later will comment. My dreams seem long and complicated. I wish they were simple ones. Anyway, I continue to be thankful to be alive and as very-well as I am! My dear husband and I laugh about some of the silliness in my changes and our adjustments. Thanks for listening! M.H.

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@rckj Good morning Rhoda. I just read your response to Colleen. I don't know much about adrenal issues. I think the adrenals are what gives you energy. I do know that not having the energy to live the life you want; stinks! I mentor another group on here (mac and bronchiectasis); lack of energy is one of biggest gripes. The fatigue that comes with our disease is daunting. I am curious about your condition. How do they treat adrenal problems? You mentioned that it might be time to visit the Mayo again. If you think it, then it is probably time to pay them a visit. One thing about Mayo is, they are always advancing. It might be good to check in and see if they have anything new going on. Your husband sounds like a real gem. I hope that your today is brighter. Hugs -Terri

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