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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?

Article length: 3 minutes (Read now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to read later) It's very common to have very unpleasant or frightening dreams. Others have very pleasant, entertaining dreams, and some people seem to have a mixture of frightening and pleasant dreams. Others still remember very little or even nothing of their time in Intensive Care. The dreams that patients have (no matter how “crazy”) can seem so real, can be...

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...