How You Can Support Your Loved One in the ICU
January 17, 2022 11 Comments
Every once in a while I deviate from healthy eating into other health subjects. This book, The ICU Guide for Families by Dr. Lara Goitien, caught my eye because I think it is an important subject and I happen to know the author.
More than five million patients are admitted annually to U.S. ICUs (Intensive Care Units) for a number of different reasons (Society of Critical Care Medicine). Obviously, the last two years there have been a wave of patients suffering from COVID-19.
Dr. Lara Goitien and I haven’t spoken since the 9th grade but when I saw that she wrote this informative guide - I knew that it would be outstanding. We met in the seventh grade in a middle school outside of Boston.
She was a tall, beautiful, popular girl and I was having a rough time. I had moved from North Carolina (the new kid) and wasn’t wearing the right clothes, had a funny haircut, and a strange accent. I could not make a friend and sat by myself at lunch. Periodically, I would walk home in the middle of the school day with a stomach ache and no one would notice.
My memory is that Lara sought me out. She invited me to her house, asked me to join her church youth group, and became my one and only friend for a time. We even did our seventh grade science project together where we floated an egg out a three story window packed in balloons.
She was kind to me when I needed it the most and now she has done the same thing for everyone else.
We all need a Dr. Lara Goitein when our loved one is hanging onto life in an ICU. What will she do for you?
Metaphorically, she will hold your hand (if you are in Santa Fe, New Mexico - she might actually hold your hand). She explains all the tubes, wires, and machinery that are attached to your loved one so you can understand what is going on.
Maybe you will have to decide to turn off the machines keeping that person alive. She will lay out your choices and give her advice from years of watching ICU outcomes.
When working with a medical team, she will teach you what questions to ask and how to best interact with them.
In an ideal world, the team of doctors and nurses would have the time to answer all of your questions. Since we all know how stretched our healthcare system is - why not be proactive and read a guide?
This is an easy, helpful read that is both practical and kind. It is an excellent source of information that will give you agency and help you become a capable advocate for your loved one.
Buy it, keep it on your shelf next to your first aid kit, and hand to to a friend when they need it.
The ICU Guide for Families: Understanding Intensive Care and How You Can Support Your Loved One
$34.00 $31.39 Buy on Amazon.com
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Laurie P Burke