Shortly after my blog was launched in late 2019, I was approached by a BBC Journalist keen to learn more about my story. At first I was suspicious - I didn't want my story sensationalised or for the tear in my Oesophagus to be dramatised as a medical failure! Thankfully the Journalist was super lovely,... Continue Reading →
The ICU Psychologist and Me
The weeks following discharge from hospital were a rollercoaster ride of emotions. When I left hospital, I didn’t expect to feel the way I did. Nobody had prepared me for what I might feel or how I might react to being at home after being away for so long. I guess it’s assumed that you’re... Continue Reading →
Who Am I?
“Whoever you are, what have you done with me”? This was something I found me asking myself every day. Although I was settling in at home, it still didn’t feel right. I found myself looking at the time, thinking back to the ward and what happened at set times. In the evenings, at 8pm I would... Continue Reading →
Home Didn’t Feel Like Home
Home didn’t feel like home. I felt like I’d walked into someone elses life. Everything looked different. Things were now done differently; new things had appeared. The furniture felt too soft, my dinner was too late (compared to hospital timings!) and far too big a portion. Where was I and more importantly where had Louise... Continue Reading →
The Morning After the Night Before
After a horrible first night on Crownhill ward, I woke up and it was dark. I hadn't slept well and I was so disorientated. My obs were taken every 2/3hrs and I felt scared. Banging and beeping noises were coming from a building site outside and I was confused. I didn’t know where I was... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 11 – The End….Or Is It!
We’ve reached the end of my Delirium Diaries but there are a few loose ends! My deliriums fall into 2 categories: ‘I remember exactly’ and ‘odd bits’! I have 10 vivid deliriums that absolutely, categorically happened. Now we know that they didn’t and that in reality it was my mind playing tricks because of infection, medication,... Continue Reading →
My encounter with an Occupational Therapist….
Towards the end of my stay on ICU, I was visited by an Occupational Therapist. My memories of ICU are quite vague but I specifically remember the green trousers! She explained that when I moved to the ward, a therapist would speak to me to assess what help I needed. She went onto explain that... Continue Reading →
My Florence Nightingale
A few nights into my stay in ICU, I remember an enormous feeling of agitation. It was dark - I was alone. The man in the bed next to me was snoring and I remember thinking ‘why can’t I sleep like him’! My head was spinning, with so many deliriums going from one to another.... Continue Reading →
Was I really that ill?
I am extremely lucky that University Hospitals Plymouth have an excellent Intensive Care rehabilitation team. Patients are supported throughout their time in hospital and once discharged, continue to receive support in their recovery through follow up communications and multi-disciplinary team appointments. Patients also have access to psychological support through only one of a few psychologists... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 8 – Can anyone else see the LifeBoat?
I was now in a very bright, well light room.....in a car showroom! It seemed the ICU was full and this was on overspill ward - I could see the hospital across the car park!! My bed was tucked out of the way, next to a reception desk. The office staff came in and were... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 7 – Pencarrow Players
We carry on from my previous post ('Lie on the couch please'). We're still in the large agricultural shed/hall, still being restrained and unable to leave. I was now on a proper hospital bed. It had been pushed against a wall, along with lots of other empty beds. The hall was dark, infact quite victorian... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 6 – Lie on the couch please…..
Suddenly, I was on a railway platform. It was a disused station, with some railway sidings and old carriages. I found myself getting out of my car. I was in a wooded area, some sort of redundant railway line and an old wooden shed ahead of me. It was very quiet. I walked into the... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 5 – In a virtual world
It's important to remember that to me - my deliriums happened in quick succession, one after another, almost like a story playing out. Deliriums can sometimes be related to surroundings at that time? For example, later I'll tell you about being held hostage in a religious nursing home in Northern Ireland where a nun would... Continue Reading →
You’ll be home for Christmas…..We hope!
Christmas last year for me was weird. Every day when my consultant visited me or when I’d had a scan, I waited for the words ‘you’ll be home for Christmas’. Believe me, the team wanted me to be home but alas it wasn’t to be. It was a difficult time for me. My mental health began... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 4 – The Riots
I was now in an old fashioned dormitory. There must have been 20 beds, all with wardrobes. There were nurses walking around, a garden area outside with a bar and a coffee shop inside where patients and relatives could go. I distinctly remember telling my parents that when I was up and about, we would... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 2 – Party Time!!
It took 3 attempts to wake me from my coma. Apparently on the 3rd attempt, it was now or never.......... In my 'world', I was at a party. I could see brightly coloured balloons, people dancing - but it was silent. I was aware of people standing over me and I remember my husband shouting... Continue Reading →
Delirium Diary 1 – I missed my wedding anniversary!
This time last year (I had to say it!) was my 2nd wedding anniversary........ I was also fast asleep in a medically induced coma, or heavily sedated if you want the pink and fluffy version! So, what put me there? Early in 2016, I had progressively worsening problems with swallowing solids and liquids. After many... Continue Reading →
Lets do this!
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... Continue Reading →