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Intensive Care: A Guide for You and Your Family

How you may feel

After being very ill, it may take up to 18 months for you to fully recover. Being weak and having to put a lot of effort into doing simple things, such as getting dressed and moving about, can make you feel low for a while. You may also feel like yo​u’ve lost your ability to take care of yourself (independence) if you need a lot of help from other people at this early stage.

When to call the doctor

Call or talk to your family doctor if you:

  • need more support
  • have symptoms that you’re worried about
  • have questions about anything to do with your health

Your mood may change often and you may feel:

  • upset and tearful​​
  • tired, not being able to sleep properly
  • like you don’t care what you look like
  • quick-tempered and snappy

You may also feel:

  • guilty for causing so much trouble and worry
  • like you don’t understand what has happened to you and how ill you’ve been
  • scared that you almost died
  • worried about getting ill again
  • worried about how long it’s taking to recover

As you get better and start doing more, you’ll face new challenges. They can make you feel scared – try to keep calm and take slow, deep breaths. You may find that feelings or reactions may be triggered by a sound, smell, or something you see. These reactions usually disappear over time.

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