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Thread: ICU Psychosis??????

  1. #21
    Senior Member justadildo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    rocky mountain high
    bad bad drugs for 5 weeks = bad bad dreams for 5 weeks.......bad dreams, everything was a dream

  2. #22
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    SW Missouri
    I just got out of the hospital Friday afternoon, after 9 days. I apparently did indeed have an infection all along, for various reasons not able to get hold of the urologist. Irony of ironies, I got my group insurance card ONE DAY before I was admitted.

    Anyways, that infection got septic and caused acute renal failure. I had been running a fever for some days already, thought I had a really horrible sinus infection (which I did first). Then I got weaker and weaker until I couldn't stand at all - stuck right there in the chair. (Note: I'm AB, not SCI). Tried for 2 hours to get out, no go. Finally called the ambulance and they (sorta) carried my heavy butt out of that trailer (what a scene).

    I spent Wed nite (the 9th) thru Saturday the 12th in CCU/ICU. Didn't have any blood pressure, had to be propped up with dopamine. Apparently Thursday was the worst day - I don't remember a great deal except constant agitation (I wasn't on any pain meds, IIRC) but extremely stressed out due to all the crap I was tied to. I'd look at the monitor and it would show my respiratory rate as high as 40 per minute, though I couldn't tell. They'd offer me Xanax to calm down - it would make me sleep for about an hour or so, then I'd go right back to hyperventilating and moving around. Don't recall any wierd dreams in detail but I'm sure I had some. For me being awake was always the worst, and I was awake a LOT. Fortunately I think I survived OK, having a few complications (got a blood clot in my right arm when they put a PICC in, had to have it pulled and another one put in my left arm. Constant blood draws the last week of being in due to being on blood thinners. My arms look horrible!) though, hopefully my kidneys will stay good.

    Hope to God this never happens again......but I fear it might.


  3. #23
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL
    Hallucinations from long term usage of opiates kind of are unique to the individual, so I am not too sure of how surroundings would help with those effects. I know that during my 4 week bender (at least the stuff I remembered) werent all that frightening if at all, just more of a weird trippy type of thing to me. Ok, now that think some more about it, maybe a big sign on the wall that says 'this is not the stairwell from the parking garage, it is really a hospital room' might help.

  4. #24
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    I understand that the massive dose of methylprednisolone alone can cause psychosis in some. Me? LOL I was in a German ICU and remember a lot of dreams involving hiding form WW1 types and then a Hogan's Heros type barracks. I'm previous US Army and that may have influenced some of the dreams what with everyone around me speaking German except when I was awake. I was mainly sedated to keep the intubation tube in since I had a spinal infarct and couldn't move anything then below my neck so I just kept trying to bite the damn thing when awake.

    I do remember the first few days or whatever (time problem, duh) I was in a real nice place I didn't want to leave.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  5. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    In nursing homes they have signs:

    Today is (day of the week), date.

    That, maybe a reminder of where they are precisely and their nurse's name on every shift, plus a clock with am/pm. They'd need to be large...we don't have our contacts in in ICU.

    It needs to be updated RELIGIOUSLY, but would be tremendously soothing in my opinion.

    What a wonderful thing if this would be done.

    I wrote the highlights of my ICU psychosis. It was blessedly short. Feel free to use it or to contact me through Carecure.
    Once I got into rehab they did have one of these boards. It was a great help keeping track of days, and who my nurse was, and what her name was, etc. I think they had it on the surgical floor as well, but didn';t in ICU.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  6. #26
    I had similar experiences. I know I was on pretty heavy pain meds. I kept on seeing faces in the ceiling tile. I also had a mylar balloon and I'd catch the sight of it in the corner of my eye and think it was a person...just a little paranoid maybe. It did go away though as I went off the pain meds.


  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    Morphine caused my to be paranoid. I accused my mother of being on Cocaine. I chased a fire sprinkler all around the room. I also asked a fourth year resident if he would marry me and we could move to hawaii.......LOL I also really enjoyed the train ride.......that I took with my boyfriend (who had also been doing crack...I was just a wee bit paranoid) and never left the ICU!!!! I was mortified when I came to my senses and my mom told me......
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  8. #28
    I became pychotic following a heart by-pass operation. They gave me a self-controlled morphine drip from which I could get more morphine by pressing a button. Waking up in ICU not knowing anyone, in the middle of the night and hallucinating terrifying thoughts - hearing conversations which were not real, seeing things that were not real, and thinking they were going to kill me left me in such a frightened state. I have researched this phenomenon and created my own website at . The common thread seems to be morphine and hallucinations. The hospital staff seem to know about it, but won't admit it exists, and they don't seem to want to control it either (they let me continue on morphine long after I became psychotic, and didn't give me any anti-psychotic drugs). I hadn't had any previous history of problems with morphine, but the length of time they kept me on it was ridiculous. Morphine lets you have conversations with people without your brain recording the fact. So you go in and out remembering some things but have many "blanks" which your brain hasn't recorded. They also know about this but don't advise you that it happens. Apparently I was having lucid conversations with the nurses in ICU, but I only remember about 15 seconds of it!

  9. #29
    We know it exists and it is no big secret. Sometimes you can change the Morphine but alot has to do with the ICU and sleep deprivation, too.


  10. #30
    Member brokeneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    north carolina


    I remember weird dreams, I thought I was in London England and evryone around me was crazy and trying to kill me.All that ended when they removed my halo and I began to realise the extent of my injuries. I had been in a coma for about six months.Rehab had the day,date,you are here thing going on and slowly reality took over. I was in the hospital two years! Rehab is a way of life. I came home in a wheelchair and have slowly worked my way to a walker. My dream now is to drive again.

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