You're not alone. 6 million kids and teens are hospitalized in the US every year. Everyone who has been to the PICU has a different story, and also a lot in common.
If you are stressed out about the way you are feeling, talk to an adult you trust. Just because your may feel better in a few weeks doesn't mean you can't talk to someone now.
Being in the hospital can make your life seem very different. You may find that you don’t act quite the same as you did before, and that is OK.
Here are some examples of what could have changed:
• You might want to spend more time with your family
• You might argue with your parents and siblings more
• You might feel distant from your friends
• You might have trouble sleeping
• You might feel frustrated or angry
These are just a few of the ways you might change after being in the hospital. Since everybody is different, each person has a different experience after leaving the hospital. These changes will probably go back to the way they were before once you get back into your normal routine.
After coming home from the hospital, some teens notice that they feel things they didn’t feel before. This is very common, here are some ways that many teens feel after being very sick:
• Easily aggravated
• Unable to sleep
• Mean to or jealous of their brothers and sisters
• Anxious, worried, or stressed out
You may not want to talk about being sick or being in the hospital. Some teens even have nightmares or flashbacks about being in the hospital. If you are stressed about the way you are feeling, talk to someone you trust. This can be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, friend, or whoever you think can help make you feel better. Just because you may feel better in a couple weeks doesn't mean you can't talk to someone now. Talking about your experience might make you feel better and help things seem normal again.
Staying in the hospital for a long time can also have an effect on your body. Some people notice changes in their muscles and nerves.
Your muscles and body might feel:
These changes depend on what type of sickness caused you to go to the hospital and the types of procedures that were done while you were there. For many people who have been very sick and in the hospital, these issues usually go away within a few months.
Your experience is unique, but you're not alone, your feelings are normal and OK.
So what can you do about it?
Get Out, Speak Up, Take Charge.
The information provided on this website is not meant to diagnose or treat any mental or physical health condition. You should always consult your child’s pediatrician to develop the best care plan for your child. If you feel that your child or anyone in your family is having trouble coping after a critical illness contact your doctor right away.