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Intensive Care: A Guide for You and Your Family

Making sense of your stay in the ICU

After leaving the hospital you may have questions about your stay in the ICU. You are welcome to come back to the ICU you were in to:

  • look around
  • see some of the staff who looked after you
  • find out more about what happe​ned to you

This type of visit can be scary and it may be some time until you feel ready to do it. It may also be helpful and fill in some of the gaps in your memory.

It’s normal for you not to remember everything that happened to you in the ICU. Write down what you do remember. You can try to remember something about each day you were in hospital to help make sense of the time you lost.

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

It may help to ask your family and friends what they remember about it too. Your family or friends may have kept a diary while you were in the ICU. Reading them can also help you understand what happened. It may take a while before you feel ready to read these as it can be a very emotional experience. Many people who read their family’s diary find it helps them.

Some people want to know more about the medical reason they got ill. If it helps, take the time to learn more about your condition and what happened to you. You can talk to your family doctor about it or any of your healthcare team that you may have follow-up apartments with.

If you want to contribute your time to the ICU and the care of ICU patients and their families, ask your ICU how you can become involved.

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