How to write in an ICU diary?

Speak directly to the patient, and tell them whatever you think is relevant to tell them. Don’t hesitate to tell him all the positive events of the hospitalization but also the difficult events and your feelings.

It could be these events that will interest the patient when he/she returns to a state of normal consciousness in order to take the full measure of what he/she has been through.

Don't censor yourself, everything is good to take, because in fact... we have nothing!
A Former patient

Telling him about his possible delusions, hallucinations or even the harmless events that occurred during his hospitalization will allow him/her to better understand the aberrant memories that he may have.

For example: Telling him that he is strangely staring at a stain on the ceiling or telling him that he has been subjected to a lot of noise all day due to construction work may help him better understand the strange memory he has of seeing an animal in his room or of feeling like he is in the hold of a ship!

Feel free to put all the events that happen to the patient into a larger context The patient can tell his or her story: tell what is happening at home (children’s progress at school, passage of the seasons, a family member’s trip, etc.); tell events in the outside world (results of sports events related to the patient’s interests, major news events that the patient will not experience live, political events, etc.): Putting his or her story in context will help him or her to rebuild.

It is important:

  • To write in chronological order of the sequence of events
  • That each entry is dated and signed
  • That a short note per day is better than a long summary of the pastweek, because it allows for more precision in the daily details that will be valuable to the patient
  • Continue to write even after the patient has woken up, and at least until the patient is discharged from the ward, or even until the cognitive problems, which may persist in a discreet manner, have completely disappeared. It is frequent that patients who are awake for several days before being discharged from the ward have no memory of it.

You can:

  • Paste messages or mail from people who can’t visit your loved one.
  • Glue sealed envelopes to keep certain messages for your loved one only. LifeMapp Diary allows you to write private messages to which only the patient will have access.
  • Paste pictures of daily life in which he does not participate,
  • Glue/paste of children’s drawings.
  • It may be interesting for your loved one to have access to photos of him or her during the hospitalization, to better realize the states he or she went through. However, we recommend keeping these photos in sealed envelopes with a warning message: seeing yourself in this state can be as beneficial and therapeutic as it is traumatic. LifeMapp Diary allows you to insert photos under a “sensitive content” filter to protect the patient and any sensitive readers.
  • Tell what is going on at home (children’s progress at school, a family member’s trip…)
  • Report on events in the outside world (results of sports or political events etc.)