1. Mennies, Janet MEd, MSN, RN

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Reading "Original Research: Exploring the Effects of a Nurse-Initiated Diary Intervention on Post-Critical Care Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" in the May issue, which revealed the benefits of using a diary to process the experience of hospitalization, brought me back to my experiences with my father during his lengthy hospital stays. At age 90, he endured two separate bouts of sepsis caused by a ruptured appendix. He had appendix cancer, and outlived a three-month prognosis by another year.


When Dad was on a ventilator, the ICU nurses would lighten his propofol drip for a few minutes when we visited. He desperately wanted to understand what was going on, so I gave him a legal pad and Sharpie to write us his questions. When he was transferred to a BiPAP, he would use the same pen and pad to communicate with us and the staff. I come from a family of writers (Dad included), so the transition to writing was natural-first to communicate and eventually to work through his feelings about dying.


During the year that followed, my father continued to keep writing. After he passed away, I found a folder of papers from the ICU, his calendar, and a small notepad filled with his thoughts about dying. It still hurts to read them, but I will always treasure them.


Thank you for promoting this important research.


Janet Mennies, MEd, MSN, RN


Phoenixville, PA