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Apr 1, 2017 · Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) - Let's talk in Intensive Care (ICU)

Wow… a year ago I suddenly developed severe nec pain and lost all feeling in my left arm. Saw an orthoneurosurgeon ad was found that I have a disease that turned my spinal Ligament to bone forcing the discs to crush my spinal cord.

Surgery was scheduled for the following week but I never lasted that long. The pain was so great and the condition so bad that I lost function of my left arm and leg and that was the last thing I remembered for a month. Wife took me to the ER and they did surgery the same night… for six hours.

After surgery, I started to bleed after the removed the breathing to to the point where they couldn’t put the tube back in and they performed an emergency tracheotomy to save my life. During that, they ended up resuscitating me for the first time. Off to the ICU and now am totally paralyzed. Two days later I start bleeding again and theybtrsucitate me for the second time.

I was in the ICU for 3 1/2 weeks. Don’t remember any of it. My issue is I am a clinician who practiced in the ICU so when I came to, it all hit me. I cried for weeks,

I am a year out and still partially paralyzed on my left side. I can’t stop talking about my issues to people. Even perfect strangers. I cry at the drop of a hat. I went back to work full time only to find that I cannot physically do the work due to the pain.

My wife just wants me to stop talking about it but I am consumed with it. I know that I have t fully dealt with it. Now I’m staring down the barrel of having to have another surgery and I am scared to death (pardon the pun). Can’t talk to my wife about it and my family and friends are tired of me talking about it.

I am seeing a counselor (just started). The ring that bothers me the most is this gap in time and memory. And the residual paralysis and pain is t helping. I’m afraid of losing my job and the change all of this means in our lifestyle. Scared only scratches the surface… the nightmares have pretty much subsided and I am filling in the gap in time with fantasy. I just make it up. I don’t know what else to say…