The Intensive Care Journey
I wrote this blog a long time ago and at the time choosing not to post it mainly because it was pretty raw and I suppose part of me wanted to protect people from the reality that is Intensive Care! But with the world in the state it is I feel if this stops just one person from breaking the lockdown guidelines and saves a life it’s worth it.
We all know Intensive Care means someone is very sick, but we always assume we will never need to walk through those doors especially for your child, however we found ourselves on the wrong side of those doors.
After Grace went into respiratory arrest on the ward the next few hours were a blur because everything happened so quickly, I swear to god the crash team must have been stood outside her cubicle as if they knew it was going to happen they were there so quickly. These nurses and doctors are incredible they are focused on the job in hand yet at no point was I not kept informed of what was happening or what was about to happen. However once stabilised we needed to remain on the ward while they ensured she was safe and settled. As a parent this defies all your instincts however all of the staff had been so fantastic we had nothing but full trust in them.
When we were escorted to Paediatric Intensive Care to be with Grace we were prepped that it’s very daunting and that the sight of your child with tubes everywhere, constant beeps from machines that you have learnt to be terrified of and the fact that you just don’t know what’s ahead of you. But what they can’t prep you for is that you will never get a response from her again, no smile, no hand squeeze... Nothing... because frankly they also believe that this is just a stop gap to the road to recovery.
Within a matter of hours these people became your family and your best friends we had such amazing nurses and doctors who were so open and so honest. We knew everything about everything being done with Grace, you can ask them questions that they answer with total openness and honesty.
Feeding Tubes, IV drips everywhere, catheters, washing, in our case EEG machines, it all became normal.
What never became normal was sleeping, being encouraged to go to bed and get some sleep which you know is right but your petrified that you won’t be there if something changes, we quickly learnt that when your told by an ICU nurse you will be informed that they mean it, the smallest of changes they phoned. Hearing that phone ring your heart sank but they remained true to their word, this kind of trust is the most valuable part of an intensive care journey.
The hardest part of this journey was walking out of those doors for the last time! Knowing your world had just changed forever and feeling like you will never be able to repay every single person who you had caring for Grace.
We will always be Forever Grateful especially to a very special person who came to visit us in her break time just to hand over a much needed hug (you know who you are)
PLEASE protect our NHS these people are underpaid, overworked yet they are literally our lifeline.