When a patient is in ICU for any length of time, the doctors warn the family that they may experience what they refer to as ICU psychosis. Basically, the patient may hallucinate or remember things that did not happen. In short, they may act batshit crazy and that is considered normal.
What they do not tell you about is a condition referred to as ICU brain. This afflicts the family of the patient. Where there was once rather normal brain function (shutup!), there is now barely the capacity to know your own name. On a really good day, you may know the names of your immediate family members. Beyond that the only bit of information you can retain is your path to the bathroom and the hours of the cafeteria. So you would think the doctors would take this into consideration when speaking to you. But nooooo, they rarely do. A typical conversation goes about like this:
“Hello there. My name is Dr. Rhonsteimenflecter. I am her Actophlembotologist.”
“I am here to see how her feaganrastaligostoly is doing today.”
“I’m checking her kidney function.”
Ahhhh! *click* So, you proceed to get up and move out his way so that he can do what he needs to do. But not too far away. You usually need to be sure to hover to make sure that he is doing exactly what he said he would do and that he does it correctly. Not that you know what the hell that is or how to do it. When he is finished he nods (looking at you with with a bit of pity for your poorly functioning brain) and leaves the room.
At this point, you must immediately take your seat again. Find the same spot on the monitors that you have been staring at for days. And you zone out. The constant *whoosh whoosh whoosh* of the ventilator gently lulls you back into a state of a conscious mental coma.
Then the next doctor comes in.
“Good afternoon. Beautiful day isn’t it? (Like we would know after being in the room all day!) I am Dr. Foreinsticonstilamatria. I am her Hemorectifidiasticologist.”
“I am here to listen to her check the levels of her hemostactostiflectoric system.”
shaking his head at these simple minded family members “I am see if she still has an infection in her blood.”
Ahhhhhhh! Again, you move so he can do his job. And you can watch. And make sure he is doing it correctly.
In light of how little we can actually comprehend after sitting in that room day after day after day, I am considering posting a sign on the door:
“Warning! Visitors in the room are not as intelligent as they may appear. Please speak slowly in laymans terms. And use small words. Your consideration in this matter is greatly appreciated! ~The Family”