Why make a logbook?

For the patient

A patient hospitalized in the intensive care unit often goes through a period of coma, either in connection with the need to sedate (put to sleep) in order to be able to treat the illness, or because of a neurological event (illness, trauma). This period of coma, although unavoidable in many situations, means that the patient will have little or no recollection of what he or she has been through when he or she wakes up.

To this may be added one or more periods of confusion around the time of awakening, when the patient may be delirious and have hallucinations. This is related to multiple causes such as a serious infection, certain medications, lack of deep sleep, disruption of the nycthemeral rhythm (day/night rhythm), etc.

This amnesia, which is called the “hole-rea”, can cover a large part of the hospitalization in intensive care, and will be extremely disturbing for the patient: when he wakes up, he will experience the consequences of a hospitalization that he will not rememberI have been able to learn about them in bits and pieces, or through memories of dreams, nightmares or hallucinations. A good way to help the patient regain his or her footing and reclaim his or her history is to write a journal.

The logbook will allow him to:

  • Filling the so-called “retirement hole
  • Put strange and delusional memories into context (delusions caused by certain medications, sepsis, fluid disturbances, etc.)
  • Understand why, when he wakes up, his body seems so weak, so fragile, so painful sometimes, and understand the time needed for recovery
  • To disentangle the real from the unreal among his strange memories
  • Reconstructing your history
  • Promote psychological remission, limit guilt, anxiety, depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • To better understand the experience of his relatives during his hospitalization, their sometimes overprotective attitude and thus limit the tensions that could appear

For relatives

Being the loved one of a person hospitalized in intensive care is a cause of stress, anxiety and sometimes depression. Writing a logbook can help to verbalize one’s feelings and unload stress, but also, if the logbook is shared with the care team, to read and reread the messages written by the team and thus to develop a sense of belonging.improve his understanding of the situation by assimilating information at his own pace.

The relatives of patients hospitalized in intensive care often find themselves at a loss to help their loved one. The logbook is a proven tool and can be a simple and extremely useful assignment for your loved one. It also allows to leave something near the patient, a paper presence, to keep him company in the absence of his relatives.

It's not the same feeling when I leave her... if she wakes up, she'll still have the newspaper and our words right next to her, all the time.
Husband of a patient

For caregivers

Writing a journal for your loved one can also help caregivers understand you better if you leave some of the messages accessible to everyone. This can help them to better understand and respond to the anxieties of loved ones. It can also help them detect some misunderstandings and adjust their messages. The logbook is also a good way for caregivers to personalize their care, it is often a very satisfying care!