It’s a frustrating situation being at the helm of other people, especially in such a difficult and stressful situation such as having a loved one critically ill in Intensive Care.
It might take you a few days in order to get your head around of what’s being said and what you’ve been told if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care. The things you hear from the people within the Intensive Care team may sometimes be contradictory and you may wonder whom you should believe. The reality is however, that other people are driving the bus and you may have little control, little power and no influence in the decision making process whatsoever as a starting point. That’s how you might feel anyway. The big machinery that is Intensive Care is rolling and it’s usually hard to stop it if you don’t know what to do.
This often stems from you and your family not being ‘insiders’ into the Intensive Care world and it also comes from the “perceive power” that doctors and nurses have within Intensive Care. The “perceived power” of doctors and nurses also comes from many families in Intensive Care ‘handing’ over the power to them and they often feel intimidated and they therefore “suck up” to the health professionals, whilst their loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care. You need to stop that, right here and there. Stop “sucking up” to the doctors and the nurses in Intensive Care. It’s the single biggest mistake people are making and it puts you in a position where you have no or little negotiation power for what you want. It positions you really poorly for the outcomes that you want.
The game plan is usually already laid down for you and for your critically ill loved one, irrespective of the condition your loved one is in. The game plan may or may not be in your critically ill loved one’s best interest, depending on the other wheels that are in motion in the background. Unless you are aware of the turning wheels in the background or unless you are actively asking questions, you and your Family may really be at the mercy of this big machinery! Think about it for a minute. Any Intensive Care Unit has limited resources and those resources need to be managed. Those limited resources in general tend to be beds, staff and equipment. Usually there is a high demand on ICU beds and also for ICU staff, whether it be doctors or nurses. Therefore, the pressure is on.
Other admissions may be awaiting admission to Intensive Care and therefore, the strategy for treatment of your critically ill loved one may be presented to you in a certain way. For example, you may get told that your loved one only has a few days to live. How do you know it is true? Who can verify, discuss or confirm that your loved one is dying? Where do you get help from in such a difficult situation?
The most important part in such a difficult situation is your mental positioning. You need to be well positioned mentally and in order to achieve such a positioning and also in order to become a good negotiator for the outcomes you want, irrespective of what the Intensive Care team is telling you, you need to take the following five steps
- Stop “sucking up” to the doctors and the nurses in Intensive Care and stop being intimidated by their “perceived power”. I see this all the time and it’s the single biggest mistake Families of critically ill Patients make. If you treat the doctors and nurses as equals the power is shifting immediately and you are no longer at the mercy of the health professionals
- Make sure that you question everything- Do not stop asking questions
- You and your Family need to stick together and you need to speak with one voice. Unity can move mountains and if your Family sticks together and speaks with one voice, you are in a much better position to get what you want, irrespective of the situation you and your critically ill loved one are in
- Start asking for more time. Sometimes you might get told that your loved one only has a few days to live. Life support such as ventilation can sometimes extend your loved one’s life and it might ‘buy’ time in order for you to come to terms with the loss of your loved one or it might buy time in order for your loved one to recover. Things do sometimes turn around against the odds
- This is probably the hardest one. Position yourself well mentally and be prepared for whatever the situation throws at you. This is easier said than done. But it’s critical that you brace yourself and find your inner strength to confront the situation. I see all too often that because Families are overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated and vulnerable by their critically ill loved one’s ordeal that they are paralysed and they don’t know what to do and they are therefore at the mercy of the health professionals in Intensive Care. Your inner strength is critical getting what you want and getting you through this difficult situation
If you haven’t subscribed to our FREE membership sign up now at http://intensivecarehotline.com and you’ll get your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” Report where you’ll learn how to take control and charge of your and your critically ill loved one’s situation without being reliant on the doctors and the nurses. You’ll know exactly what questions to ask and you’ll also discover how you need to manage yourself and others so that you can have real power and so that you can influence decision making!
With your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report you’ll also get 4 other FREE reports and the reports you will be receiving are
- The 6 questions you need to ask the most senior doctor in Intensive Care
- 10 things you didn’t know doctors and nurses are talking about while you are not at the bedside with your loved one
- the 7 answers to the 7 most FAQ if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
- 9 myths of being a critically ill Patient in Intensive Care
Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog and I’ll see you again in another update next week! Make sure you also check out our “your questions answered” http://intensivecarehotline.com/category/questions/ section or send me an email to [email protected] or to [email protected]
Sincerely your Friend