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.

How You Can Support Your Loved One in the ICU

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.

Get Free Email Updates! Yes please!



great story - wonderful needed info!


Thank you for sharing this and your own story. Many people will benefit from your post

Thank you, and for telling us who Lara is, and her kindness.

Thank you so much! This is definitely a topic no one likes to think about, but when you are in a situation, you really appreciate. Everyone should have a copy. Especially since it is an easy read and provides you with help navigating a confusing situation. I plan on getting a copy. And, she sounds like a wonderful person who would think of what someone may be going through at a time when a loved one is in ICU. Much appreciated.

Amazing! Thank you for sharing your story and Laura. This is especially needed during these challenging times.

Excellent resource!
Thank you!
Blessings to the Dr. Laras in our world💜

Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa. I'm sorry you had a rough time being the new kid. :-( So wonderful Lara pursued a friendship with you. Look how many treasured friends you have now, including Dr. Lara!

Thank you for sharing this. I recently retired from my work as a hospital social worker, and wish I knew of the book then. I just shared this information with a friend who is a hospital chaplain, and plan to read it myself.

Thank you so much for delving into such a never thought about topic!

Your personal touch made it comforting. Your story made me think of a condition you never really think about, until it happens! Thank you so much!

Add a comment:


(required, never published)

© 2024