The trauma of surviving critical illness is something that you only understand when you experience it first-hand. No one can prepare you for the issues that many ICU patients face through their treatment and recovery journey. Dealing with the physical, psychological and cognitive issues that can result from the severity of illness, the treatments themselves, and the realisation of how close we came to dying.
Although information about intensive care and the recovery journey is a great help, one of the biggest issues we face in our recovery is the sense of isolation from anyone who actually understands what we've been through, and this isolation just makes recovery harder. Being able to talk with other people who've had similar experiences can go a long way to help us come to terms with our own experiences and, in time, even provide support to others and turn our negative healthcare experience into a positive.