Sam Kirton, a patient diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), shares his experience with hallucinations following a bilateral lung transplant. Kirton was diagnosed with IPF seven years ago and given a life expectancy of two to five years. However, four years later, his condition worsened, and he underwent a lung transplant. Kirton’s care team had warned him about the likelihood of hallucinations after the surgery due to pain medication.
After waking up from the transplant surgery, Kirton experienced hallucinations that were unlike anything he had ever experienced before. He heard conversations that weren’t happening and saw bugs crawling on the walls. The most complex hallucination involved a Jeep Wrangler parked outside his hospital room, despite his room being on an upper floor. Kirton was able to cope with these hallucinations by seeking reassurance from his care team and gradually weaning off the pain medications. As the dosage decreased, the hallucinations began to make sense, revealing that they were illusions caused by his eyes’ inability to focus.
Kirton hopes that sharing his experience will help prepare others for the potential effects of pain medications during recovery. He emphasizes the importance of watching out for each other on the journey of healing from conditions like IPF. It is crucial to note that the article is a personal account and not medical advice.