Frequently asked questions

In this section, we have looked back over our interviews with other patients to pick out some of the most common things that they talk and ask about. The most common things seem to be not remembering what happened and having strange dreams, memories or hallucinations.

 

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Article: How can I find out more about what happened to me in Intensive Care?

How can I find out more about what happened in Intensive Care? It depends on the type and level of information you’re looking for. Some people would rather put their illness behind them, others are comfortable with a basic understanding, and some prefer to have a detailed medical explanation. It’s completely up to you. You may find that the type of information you would like changes over time. Here are some things you can do that might help. Ask your family and...

Article: How can I make sense of the strange dreams and nightmares I had?

The dreams that patients have (no matter how “crazy”) can seem so real, can be remembered in such detail or can be recurring, that some patients feel compelled to try to make sense of them. “You’re thinking, there’s no way that I’ve been on a sailing boat, on a whaler or stuck down a drain. So then you start thinking, “Well, okay then. That’s fine!” …but for all that you discount it, you still get it coming back into your...

Article: How long will I have these dreams and nightmares?

From what other people have told us, it seems that these memories, dreams and nightmares either gradually fade with time or that they were more able to ignore them with the passing of time. If they continue to trouble you, however e.g. if you continue to have upsetting flashbacks, anxiety attacks or problems sleeping, you should talk to your GP about the possibility of Post-Traumatic Stress. Your GP may ask you to fill in a questionnaire about how these memories, dreams or nightmares are...

Article: Why can’t I remember what happened to me?

Why can't I remember what happened? There are a number of reasons why this happens; the sedative drugs we use to keep patients sleepy and comfortable whilst on the ventilator or breathing machine (sedation), how very ill you were or the type of illness you had. It can take a while to clear sedative drugs from the system, especially if you needed large amounts or if you received them for more than a few days. Patients who develop kidney problems can sometimes take longer to...

Article: Why did I have strange dreams and nightmares?

It’s very common for patients to have strange memories, dreams or hallucinations which can seem incredibly real and can be remembered in sometimes great detail for some time afterwards. We’re not entirely sure why this happens, but medical reasons include a combination of things like the sedative drugs used to keep you sleepy and comfortable, the severity of illness, any infection you may have had and disturbances in sleep pattern. Patients themselves often have their...