The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143863   Message #3329051
Posted By: Bat Goddess
26-Mar-12 - 08:07 AM
Thread Name: BS: Curmudgeon's Latest Adventure
Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon's Latest Adventure
Thanks, Jack. Tom has extra more recent sensory deprivation -- he's been legally blind for about a year. So he couldn't SEE the clocks in his room or a lot of what was going on. I had brought him his talking clock, but that day he kept claiming it was broken, which it wasn't.

I had found our phone conversation of Sunday evening disturbing, but figured I had probably woken him from a dream. When he called me at 4:30 the next morning, it was full-blown paranoia.

Until Monday morning I had no idea "ICU psychosis" even existed. After talking to his nurse, I did some internet research as well and was amazed at how common it is. Tom had only been in the ICU (because of the monitoring they could provide since a bed on the cardiac floor was unavailable) less than 2 days when the symptoms manifested. And I'd been there for varying amounts of time both days, talking and going over again several times the timeline of his fall, breaking the ankle, surgery next day, what had happened that put him in THIS room so they could monitor his heart better, etc.

Since I broke my arm 4 years ago and had come though similar surgery (same surgeon), I remember all too well what I CAN'T remember about the surgery and the days following. I was only in the hospital the day of the surgery and was released the day after -- to go home and be taken care of by Tom. But I know how much the anesthesia and the pain meds, etc. affected me and how, so I knew he would be confused and he didn't have the luxury of being at home. Instead he was in a (more or less) unfamiliar place with constant personnel changes. For all practical purposes, I was his only continuity in those days. It's all understandable to me now -- I just wish I'd known about it beforehand so I could have done more to prevent it.

A lot of the psychosis is caused, I think, by Tom not really having any control over anything. That and the sensory deprivation.

I am so glad it's over!