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This blog serves as a point of synthesis of art practice and medical science.  The goals are to share perspectives between art and science and other disciplines that  might lead to new diagnostic techniques, advancement in clinician, patient and public education on illness and health, and new topics for medical research that broaden our understanding of what it means to be human.

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  1. As someone who shares your experience with ICU Delirium, I thank you with all of my heart for your blog. I was on life support after contracting H1N1 Swine Flu. The “nightmares” were and remain real in my mind to this day, even though I can clearly understand that they were not. I thought that I had lost my mind. And in many ways, I have. My cognitive skills have greatly diminished. However, as with many of us, only those close to us can witness and recognize the differences. Sadly, my children were 6 and 10 and the time of my event, and I’m a single mother. They have grown up with “the new me”. My oldest remains frustrated, even now at 15, because he remembers the woman who I used to be. I first read about ICU Delirium in a NY Times article and was put in touch with Vanderbilt University, as they were in the midst of doing a study. Until that moment I felt alone and adrift. As I read the article, I suddenly couldn’t breathe….my chest tightened… images… those images… the ones that I try so hard to push away… flew back into the forefront of my thoughts. It’s the SAME! OH MY GOD!! WE ALL WENT THROUGH THE SAME THING!! I was in shock, tears streaming down my face, and experienced a flood of emotions ranging from fear, to relief, and excitement.

    If there is one thing that I could hope for, it would be that somehow “we” collectively could form support groups… be they local, regional and/or national. From my own experiences and those that I have read, I believe that those of us living with the results of ICU Delirium would greatly benefit from physically taking part in group therapy sessions and having the opportunity to share our stories. If anyone knows of such groups or is interested in working with me to form them please feel free to contact me in reply to this posting.

    I welcome any feedback or simply the opportunity to connect with others who are living with the results of this condition.

    • Dear Kirsten,
      There is comfort in knowing that we are not alone, and telling our stories is a way to heal. And yet, most people who are effected by Post-ICU syndrome and PTSD don’t want to talk about it. After all, avoidance is one of the common strategies to deal with trauma. I totally think support groups are a great idea. Let me know if I can help. All the best to you on your path to peace and recovery.

      Best Regards,
      Nancy

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