Having a relative or close friend on ECMO is a traumatic and stressful experience. We hope that knowing that you are not alone and also what has helped others, will make this time a little easier.
Looking after yourself is critical. Only by doing this, will you be able to have the strength to keep caring for others.
Try to eat regularly and enough – high calorie meal replacement drinks (which can be prescribed by your GP) are useful if you can’t face food.
Taking a break from being at the hospital to get some fresh air, spend time with your children or even something “normal” like going shopping may help to give you a rest from the intensity of CTCCU.
Many relatives keep a diary of the time in intensive care. This is something you can do to support your loved one and also a space for you to write down your own feelings and emotions.
Do recognise that you are going through a traumatic experience. Later on in your journey you may find that counselling helps you to come to terms with what has happened. Your GP can also help you with this.
Take strength from the good days and remember them on the bad days and ask yourself, “Can I manage today?” or even “Can I manage one more hour?” rather then looking into the future. You are not the first person to go through this experience and you won’t be the last.
You are not alone.