Welcome to ‘From Delirium to Reality’
Today is the 21st November 2019. 12 months ago my life changed and as dramatic as that sounds, it’s true!
I won’t bore you with the details just yet, but the short version of my story is that what should’ve been a routine surgical procedure……went wrong! What should have been 3 nights in hospital turned into 78 days. 12 of those days were spent in Neuro Intensive Care, in a medically induced coma and the remaining days spent on a ward. During my time in a coma, I experienced what I now know to be ‘Deliriums’. The dictionary definition of a delirium is as follows: ‘an acutely disturbed state of mind characterised by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence, occurring in intoxication, fever, and other disorders’ (Collins).
Now I suppose I would have to agree with this to a certain extent. ICU deliriums are a recognised ‘thing’ and it’s thanks to the medication (in my case we suspect it was Ketamine) that sent me into deliriums and ultimately into some bloody awful places. Over time, I will attempt to explain and describe each scenario although it may make little sense to the reader and may even cause the odd chuckle!
So let me explain: my deliriums were specific and separate events. In reality, what could have been minutes or hours, to me felt like days. Each scenario I experienced seemed to last forever. Let’s not forget that what i’ve ‘experienced’ is very real to me. As whacky as it may sound, it was my reality at the time and actually happened. Yet in reality we know it didn’t. We know that my Intensive Care Unit didn’t suddenly transform into an underwater car showroom with olympic swimming pool and training facility! We know that the entire ICU staff team didn’t ‘up sticks’ for the weekend to put on a play and use me as one of the characters! But just for the record, I think the ‘Pencarrow Players’ could be a real hit! We also know that one of the nurses didn’t carve a picture of Jesus into my arm and try to convert me to a religious sect…………!!
This blog is to help me lay down thoughts but not in a chronological order. I also hope it will help others. I am not an expert, nor will I ever claim to be. There will be grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and sentences that probably won’t make sense, but it will be a true and personal account of my experience. I hope that others will begin to read and share my blog – Delirium superheroes will see that they are not alone and clinicians may gain another point of view in the many that already speak about their ICU journeys.
I hope that my blog will evolve. In the short term it may be more of a diary as I revisit the ‘this time last year’ events. But going forward I hope it can become a place to share information, discuss others experiences and bring comfort to those who might be experiencing the weird and not necessarily wonderful world of Deliriums.