We’ve all had dreams that seem just a little too real…until we wake up. But what about when there is no rise and shine? These Redditors shared their jaw-dropping stories about what they experienced when they fell into a coma—and what it was like to come back to reality.
1. Degrees of Consciousness
I was in a coma for a few days after falling from a roof when I was 10. I didn’t remember falling or anything—until I woke up with my mom beside me. Evidently, I was awake enough during this time to have answered detailed questions about chess moves. But I can’t remember any of it. I feel fortunate, as I’ve had no long-lasting effects.
However, I did some psychoanalysis a few years ago and, under regression, I relived the fall.
2. Sister’s Keeper
On a weekend in 1994, my sister had double-booked herself. She was supposed to head to a car rally with me and my husband. She came to me and asked me if it was alright if she went to a nearby island with her best friends. I’ve regretted what happened next for decades. If I had been more confrontational, I would have told her to postpone her trip and come with us. But I wasn’t and I’m still not like that. I told her to go have fun with her friends.
That Saturday, we got the call that she had been in a car accident. She was traveling down a rural highway when a lady blew through a stop sign. My sister swerved to the left to avoid her. Her car started to spin. She tried to correct and ended up swerving the car into oncoming traffic. She hit a pickup truck that was driving in the opposite lane and her car just crumbled.
She had her driver’s side window partially down. Her head slammed down on the open window, and she was cut from her ear to her chin. She was thrown against her friend in the passenger seat and broke her clavicle and her pelvis. Her friends had minor injuries. She was wearing her seatbelt, but the twisty nature of the collision swung her from side to side.
They used the jaws of life to extricate her from the vehicle. She was “posturing,” which is what happens when a person has a massive head injury. The emergency crew had a ferry return to the dock so they could load her on. For three days we didn’t know if she was going to survive. They drilled a hole in her head to relieve the pressure that was building due to her brain bleeding.
She was in a coma for over five months, but she survived. Our family has been by her side ever since. Waking up from a coma isn’t like it is in the movies. It doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s gradual. She had to relearn everything, starting with swallowing. She graduated in 1993, but she can’t remember her last year of high school. Nor can she remember many things since her accident. Her short-term memory was damaged. And sadly, her damaged memory makes her very frustrated.
3. I Can Hear You
My uncle and dad were in a terrible wreck when they were both 19. My dad was out about 6-7 hours and remembers nothing. My uncle got it much worse. He was in a coma for six weeks. He said he could hear every conversation, knew when people visited him, but he couldn’t communicate or move a muscle. He can still recall conversations people had while visiting him.
He said his greatest fear was that they would think he was no longer alive and bury him. He was terrified because he couldn’t react or communicate and didn’t know what they would do with him. Then he woke up. He had some lifelong disabilities but went on to become the VP at his company in Texas.
4. Motorcycle Mishap
I was out for 40 days after a motorcycle accident, but I don’t remember much about the accident or for the six weeks that followed it. I was sedated with ketamine and a mix of opiates and started to wean off them while still on a ventilator and ECMO. I was extremely confused and seeing double, so I was terrified. Communicating was very hard because of the confusion, and I couldn’t talk or write.
The thing I remember most vividly is the insane hallucinations I had as a result of the ketamine. I was hallucinating something that was making me freak out and try to rip the tubes out of me, including my ventilator, chest tubes, and arterial line so they had no choice but to tie my limbs down and put boxing gloves on my hands. But that’s not the worst part.
I had no idea I was doing any of that, but I had moments where I was significantly more aware of what was going on, which was so frustrating because I was completely tied down and again, couldn’t communicate. The doctors and nurses kept trying to explain to me what I was doing and that I needed to stop, but I did not understand. I felt like I was being persecuted and I couldn’t understand why.
At the time of my accident, I was in an online relationship that had become very rocky. I had booked a flight to meet the girl and my accident happened the day before my flight. This was only somewhat of a coincidence, as I was riding my motorcycle extremely recklessly due to my emotions and frustration in the relationship, and with my life for other reasons.
My family knew about my relationship and was able to tell her, but it wasn’t until about 3 months after the day of the accident that I talked to her for the first time by sending her a video. One of my respiratory therapists put a device on my tracheostomy so I was able to talk. This was an extremely emotional moment, and my mom was the first person to hear my voice.
I later used the device to talk on the phone with the girl, but it was difficult because the ventilator was loud, and the device did not sound like my normal voice. My relationship with her was not the same and not recoverable. In hindsight, this was for the better, but in the moment the feeling of having lost the connection with this girl who was my first love was awful.
By this time, I was becoming completely aware of what I did and what happened, and extremely conscious of what I had put my mom through as she had been by my side every day in the hospital not knowing if I would survive, or if I had sustained significant brain damage. After five months in the hospital, I was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. I thought it was over—I was so, so wrong.
Two weeks later (December 2019), I was discharged home with a wheelchair and walker. I was gaining the ability to walk short distances on my own and even decided to start college again. Then Covid hit, and I also experienced some unfortunate medical complications that kept me in and out of the hospital for most of 2020.
This is all very recent, but every aspect of my life has changed post-accident. My finances are in ruin. My physical health and pain are terrible but given the fact that I have all my limbs and can still walk, I feel like I can’t complain. I value time completely differently because of my continuing medical complications. I don’t think I will live very long.
It’s a lot harder for me to get angry or upset about anything because it all feels insignificant compared to being tied down, unable to communicate, and in pain. I could write a book filled with details of the past and how I’m doing now, so I’ll cut it off here. I get tired of hearing myself talk about this as it’s become my entire identity and I don’t like that feeling. Some day I’ll make a blog detailing some of my unique medical experiences so the next me won’t feel so alone when they Google their issues.
5. Personality 180
The best friend of an old colleague of mine told me that she was in a car accident when she was about 20 and spent a few months in a coma. Upon waking up, apparently, her whole personality changed, especially her goals and stuff. Before the accident, she wanted me to be a teacher and was in university, but after the accident, she couldn’t think of anything worse and wanted to become a hairdresser.
She couldn’t remember a lot of her teenage years and she said some things like her favorite food and TV shows had changed from what people told her she liked beforehand. It also changed her taste in music. I was absolutely flabbergasted by what she was telling me
6. Deal With It
I was in a coma for a few days following a car accident. It was an absolute nightmare. I dreamed of the same car accident over and over. Then, looking at the night sky, everything faded to black. Then repeat. Finally, after days, I woke up in the middle of night confused in the ICU, realized that it wasn’t a dream, and calmed myself down, told myself to go back to sleep, and I’ll figure it out in the morning. Crazy.
7. No One Makes Pizza Like CiCi
I went comatose twice in my life: 7-10 hours the first time, and I’ve no recollection of the second time. Both originating from the same head condition, hydrocephalic pressurization, and I ended up a potato. When waking up from the first coma, I was dazed but functional. I came to and tried to figure out why I was tied down to the hospital bed.
Meanwhile, I finally notice that I’ve got all my family members standing in my room crying, and I’m wondering why. I could talk and think, it was just the haze of coming out of anesthesia that made things difficult that time. I was only in the hospital a week but had to relearn how to walk. The second coma was extremely different.
It’s like my brain intentionally decided to shield me from the event, but from what I’ve gathered, I went from functioning normally up to the day before. I told family that I was going to take a nap and proceeded to sleep for about approx. 18 hours. My mom and brother managed to get me to “wake up” long enough to walk out to their car, while my boyfriend pulled up to check up on me.
Some hours later (after the second surgery), I wake up and I’m talking, conversing to everyone like normal. My partner says it was terrifying to experience, but the absolute worst part was after coming to, I kept saying I wanted food from this terrible chain called CiCi’s Pizza because it just looked so tasty.
8. Lovers In A Dangerous Time
My mom was intubated around March 11, 2020, with Covid. When she finally pulled through and woke up, it was already April. The first thing she saw was a woman in a bee-keeping outfit asking her what year it was. She was so confused. When she had arrived at the hospital, there was nobody wearing PPE gear yet, so when she woke up she thought this lady had a bee-keeper’s outfit! That’s not even the weirdest part.
She then decided she wanted to be married to my dad again. They had gotten divorced six years before, after 38 years of marriage. She called him and said, “Fly over here, let’s work it out!” He was like, “You don’t understand, no one can fly. All planes are grounded!” She was like, “What?! That’s ridiculous. There must be a way…”
She had no concept and missed how the world completely shut down in a few short weeks. But my parents were like teenagers again, calling each other on the phone every day for a month or so, reconnecting before they got to see each other again. It was probably the best thing! Back when they broke up, my mom wanted the divorce, but my dad didn’t.
She went out and found some boyfriend named Ron (of course his name was Ron), and my dad just sorta slinked around, living between me and my sister’s houses, not knowing what to do with himself. So, he was delighted with my mom’s change of heart! She dumped Ron. I think she realized that she just wanted someone to get old with and someone she could get along with.
9. Sweet Dreams
It wasn’t long; however, I was unconscious for four days in June. The first “memory” I have waking up is that one of my aunts, and one of my uncles—neither of which were there in the ICU, they are married to other people and wouldn’t have ever been together—were wearing top hats and helping get me changed while trying to cheer me up and feed me.
Then there was one point where I thought I was in hotel themed after one of the Super Mario Worlds. I have very vivid dreams of being there with the people I was with before I ended up unconscious. Only to wake up and realize I was in a hospital and was very, very confused about how I got from the hotel (that didn’t exist) to the hospital.
When I first woke up and regained consciousness, my cousin said that I looked at her, confused, then smiled, while excitedly saying “HANS?!?!?” which I have no recollection of doing. No clue who Hans is. My cousin’s name is Kristin. I’m still adjusting in a lot of ways 12 weeks later. 0/10 do not recommend.
10. Never Fear, Grandma’s Here
I was in a coma for a short amount of time. I think I still had awake/sleep cycles. During what I’d describe as my “awake” cycles I remember my grandmother talking to me. I have no clue what she was saying to this day, but I knew she was there. But “there” wasn’t really “here” in my world. Difficult to explain. Almost like dream-like. Either way, I knew I wasn’t alone.
Eight years later my brother got into a coma and almost didn’t make it. My grandmother’s reaction was heartbreaking. Just as she never left my side, she never left his either. I was there a lot as well. He also describes remembering that she was there, but also unable to remember what she was saying. But we both knew that we weren’t alone. I think it helps that we are both very close to this woman and we both have a very, very strong bond with her.
11. When Legs Don’t Listen
I was in a medically-induced coma when I was seven for major heart surgery. Back in 1997, they basically had to stop my heart to get it fixed. I was only seven years old and chances of me making it were 50-70%. I was fortunate enough to be a “demonstration” subject for an Australian heart surgeon teaching my local doctors, so everything was free.
Only 10 of us were chosen and I remember that some of my ward mates didn’t make it. I remember that one family tried to sue the hospital for malpractice or something but never succeeded. Luckily, I had no way of knowing any of that at the time. When I came to, I was told I had been in a coma and didn’t “wake up” until three weeks later.
It gave my family a lot of heartache—but that wasn’t the most difficult part. I had to relearn walking and it was so bizarre knowing you should know this, but your limbs are not responding to your thoughts. It was frustrating and difficult. Relearning how to hold your utensils and particularly chopsticks. Aiming your spoon into the soup bowl and then missing your mouth when you tried to eat then making a mess.
I was STILL being reprimanded for making a mess (by both the head nurse and my family). You gotta love the tough love South-East Asian mentality. I was also made fun of by my family for walking like a penguin. I love them but in retrospect, it was so cruel of a joke, and no one thought of refraining from such teasing on a young, traumatized kid. My family has done a lot for me, but I still wished they hadn’t made fun of my recovery journey.
12. And The Seasons They Go Round And Round
I was only out for about three months. When I went “out”, it was winter. The trees were bare and the early daffodils were just beginning to grow. When I woke up, it was approaching summer. The trees and lawns were full and green. I had the worst disconnect to the weather and seasons. I can’t really explain it. The sensation screwed with me until I was able to fully experience the proper change of seasons the following winter into spring.
Every spring when the daffodils bloom and I watch the environment “green-up,” I get emotional about what an amazing thing I survived. God bless all the neurosurgeons, neuro-ICU nurses, physical therapists (especially the big, burly ones who were ready to catch me if I fell), hospital “housekeeping” staff, and even the kind cafeteria people who so carefully attended to every little need!
13. Hello From The Other Side
Though I wasn’t aware of anything going on around me during my coma, I did have a conversation with my son who had passed on the previous August when he was 20. He asked me to come with him, I told him I can’t as I still need to raise your brother and sister. He understood and said I love you. It was the most amazing feeling.
14. Suggestive Imagery
Three days and some change in a medically induced coma when I was 16, though I don’t remember most of it. But when they were taking me off the meds so that I would wake up, I thought my nurse was trying to kill me and blow up the hospital. Later, I realized the hilarious reason why. Well, as it turned out, somebody left the TV on in my room, and The Dark Knight came on at like 3 AM.
Also, I apparently kicked my nurse and cussed her out once they took the tube out of my trachea. I later took her cookies to make up for that one. I feel bad about it.
15. Are You Seeing What I’m Seeing?
It was only a few days and I reckon it took a month to recover. I don’t remember any dreams, but I do recall seeing a mess of static and hearing noise, as if a group of people was playing whatever instrument they have, all at the same time and wildly different melodies. I remember thinking at the time, that’s kinda weird.
My vision was also wonky, like if I looked at people, it seemed like their eye closest to me was on their face normally—but the other one was floating just next to it. The numbers on the clock seemed to move too. It was bizarre.
16. 13 Going On 30
A friend of ours fell into a coma at age 25 (~1992) and woke up at age 36 (~2002). She was a Rhodes scholar nominee, I think, and quite brilliant. She was still 25 mentally—as if everything was just on pause. Her body was really well preserved; She’s fun and cool and sort of the ultimate cougar. Plus, she totally woke up to the internet.
17. Doc, I Think I’m Seeing Things
I’m not sure if technically you could call it a coma. But I was unconscious and sedated for a few days following very bad C-section complications. I woke up in the ICU and was intubated with my hands tied down to the bed rails so I wouldn’t rip my tube out. I couldn’t communicate because of the tube so was trying to write sentences to my husband with my tied-down hand but kept trailing off because of the medication.
Every time that I tried to sit up, my vision turned red, which, what?! Also, I felt like I was spinning. After they removed the tube, I couldn’t adjust myself in bed by myself for a week. I also hallucinated about who was in my room. The first time I tried to put my feet on the floor (also after about a week) they felt super heavy, and the contact felt strange.
I had zero strength to stand. It felt like I was balancing on legs that were stuck and I couldn’t walk. I remember milestones were being able to adjust myself in bed and turn over by myself and when I could finally walk with a walker to the end of the hall and back.
18. It’s Always Australia
When I tell most people what happened to me, they’re absolutely astounded. I survived where most don’t. I got bit by a deadly funnel-web spider in Sydney, Australia at nine years old. I remember getting bit and being carried across the street as someone tied a tourniquet around my arm. I woke up three days later after being in a coma and I don’t remember a thing about what happened in between.
I was lucky I was across the road from my aunty. Twenty minutes and you’re done from that bite.
19. Don’t Do It
Not me, but my friend fell into a coma in February after taking something called Iboga. Pro tip: don’t ever touch the stuff. He had cardiac arrest which led to severe brain damage, and now he is in a wheelchair and can’t do much of anything. I went to visit him recently and was under the impression that he would be in a bed with his eyes closed—but there he was, in a wheelchair looking around with his eyes open. But he can’t speak…
What’s interesting is that if you bring up something close to his heart, he will begin to grunt/move around. I started to ask his mom about his “bowel program” and he started grunting/shaking, so we stopped talking about it. It has been a very strange experience, watching him recover. Comas are not what I expected. Going to visit him and seeing his current state made me realize that comas are far more complex than the Hollywood depiction.
20. I Went Skydiving
I met a skydiver who was in a coma for six weeks after the jump plane crashed out of nowhere, taking out 16 of the other jumpers on board, including several of his close friends and teammates. He said it was especially hard to process the loss because everyone else had had weeks to grieve but the news was fresh to him.
My friend overdosed and slumped over on his leg and developed compartment syndrome, so he was placed in a MI Coma. It severely changed him. It probably took him about a year to really seek out any of his old friends. I was not using with him; I was actually his real friend. He told me that coming out of the coma was terrifying.
He thought he was being attacked by aliens and that he was very clearly asking questions, but no one could understand him and he thought it would be like that forever. His family reported incoherent babble so his mouth wasn’t doing what his brain thought it was doing.
22. What Year Is It?
My dad was in ICU for 72 days and was “awake” but doesn’t remember it. We had conversations with him, and he knew who we were. Even when he was on a vent and couldn’t verbalize, he would talk with his hands and shake his head yes and no. I knew he had delirium from the meds and stuff, but he genuinely had no idea any of it happened. It took him three days to believe us when we told him how long it had been.
23. Any Excuse To Celebrate
I have a friend who was dead for 11 minutes. He got hit by a boat but doesn’t remember anything. He celebrates both a birthday and a death-day each year.
24. Not Recommended
I was technically “out,” but my wife says she had a conversation with me every day. I don’t remember anything but was medically sedated for almost two months after getting hit by a car while cycling. Anyway, I couldn’t walk or use any extremities upon coming to. Extreme muscle atrophy required almost two years of PT to regain full independence. Not fun at all.
25. Hollywood Has It Wrong
Hollywood’s depiction of waking from a coma is shockingly wrong. I was really stunned when my friend was in one for about a month and had to relearn virtually every basic function.
26. (Too) Speedy Recovery
While recovering from a coma, as soon as I started speaking again, I was discharged from the hospital. It was way too son. I had no idea what was going on. I thought it was the 90s still and then, I thought I was in limbo land and needed to be reborn. They just rushed me out the door even though I couldn’t understand what pancakes were and why they wanted me to eat them.
It took me weeks to figure out how to properly use my cellphone again. It terrifies me to think that this happens to other people that don’t have anyone to take care of them.
27. And I Will Always Love You
My grandfather was in a coma before he passed on. If the room got too noisy, his heart rate would increase until people calmed down or left. When each of us said goodbye to him and told him we loved him he would cry. We all did so at different times over the course of a week and he cried every single time. I really believe that people can hear and know what is happening even though they don’t appear to be able to.
28. Adventures To Middle Earth
I was in a coma for five weeks due to meningococcal fever. I had a LOT of “dreams,” most that I can still remember clearly. I could definitely take in what is being said from the people around you. I was 12 at the time (and I’m 22 now), and my mother was reading Lord of the Rings to me while I was out. I had some vivid Lord of the Rings-related dreams.
Like, eating some ice cubes under a bridge with Bilbo Baggins. When I woke up, it felt like I’d been gone a long time, but without knowing how long.
29. When Time Flies
I can tell you what a friend of mine told me: He went into the hospital for surgery right before Thanksgiving, and it didn’t go well. He slowly came to in the hospital and he noticed his wife beside him. He croaked something out because his voice was terrible, and his wife burst into tears. When he was able to get to the point where he could ask why, her answer stunned him.
She told him: “You’ve been in a coma for over 10 weeks; it’s February.” He thought he was in the recovery room after surgery.
30. Life Moves On
I had no idea where I was. I had no idea what had happened. Months later, I was still learning about who did (or didn’t) visit me, or pray for me, or call, or ask. My finances were a total mess—trust me, companies DO NOT CARE. I had massive debt and financial penalties. And it took over 18 months to get a job after the painful physical rehabilitation and explaining over and over and over that I was in a coma, not just “not working.”
Then, it was 2020 and the world shut down. Ugh.
31. And The Lord Spoke
My mother had a miscarriage, and as a result, went into a coma for two weeks. She described a huge, lush forest, with beautiful white light penetrating through the canopy. She says she heard beautiful music, and that God spoke to her, saying it wasn’t her time, and then she came back. After that, she became incredibly religious.
32. When I Wasn’t Alive
When I was considered medically “dead,” I couldn’t hear anyone. In my head, I was in a huge white room with no walls, just a floor. The floor would occasionally sparkle far off. I could not move, I could just look around, it was completely empty. I could still feel emotions, I had a heavy feeling of being nervous/worried.
It felt like I was sneaking into a place where I did not belong, like a part of the house that was off-limits to me as a kid. Time went by so slowly; I felt every second of it. It was only for four-ish minutes, but it definitely felt that long. I could not think, I just felt. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. I felt helpless, everything was out of my control, I felt trapped.
I don’t remember but when I was revived, I screamed for minutes, I just screamed and cried.
My mom went to the ER with a perforated ulcer which resulted in surgery and eventually sedated coma. She was so thin and a smoker, so her heart was too weak and, well, she didn’t make it. I can’t stop wondering if she knew I was there while she was still alive in the coma. I could see her make faces like she was in pain at times. Like, you know how someone moves their eyebrows.
I hope she was just dreaming. I don’t want to think she was in pain.
34. Say That To My Face
My diabetic mom was in the hospital for nausea/vomiting and one of the nurses gave her too much insulin, causing her blood sugar to drop to 32. She went into a diabetic coma, and there were six nurses and one doctor in the room trying to save her. That’s not the most terrifying part. Although she couldn’t respond, she could hear everything going on around her.
That included the jerk physician saying, “She’s already dead and not even worth my time. Call me when there’s a real emergency.” She said it was terrifying not being able to respond.
35. I Spy With My Inner Eye
My grandma was in a coma for two or three months after a car accident when my mom was really little. She tells me this story all the time. The members of her church would come to the hospital and pray for her, and she says that she remembers hearing them pray, for exactly how long, and could see angels taking the prayers to heaven.
36. Head’s Up!
I was pitching in practice and my company commander, the former center for West Point back in the late 70s, hit one of my fastballs. He said I never came out of my follow up and the ball hit me in the forehead. I woke up, remembering nothing of the intervening seven days, with a bit of a headache and the impression of the baseball threads on my forehead. The neurosurgeon said my brain was jogged, but only slightly bruised and there have been no long-term effects.
This was 30 years ago.
37. What Is Awake?
My brother-in-law was in a coma for six months after a bad car accident. It was unlike the comas you see on TV—it was way creepier. His eyes were open, and he could look at you and move his feet and hands and arms a little bit, but although it seemed like he was awake, he wasn’t there. He showed no sign of himself. It was quite strange.
He hasn’t fully recovered from his accident. He still can’t fully communicate, and he had some major brain damage from it, but he is himself again
38. Wear Your Seatbelt
In 2009, I was in a bad car wreck. Like, really bad. I lost control of my car and made a direct collision with a cement light pole. I wasn’t even wearing a seat belt. I was announced dead on the scene but miraculously I started breathing and I was rushed to the hospital. I was in a coma for almost two weeks. It’s weird, because all the dreams I had were all car-related.
Things intensified when I woke up. I continued to have those same dreams but only they got worse and developed into bad nightmares with me waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat. Even now when I get behind a wheel, I have flashbacks and real bad anxiety attacks
39. But My Crops!
My uncle got hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. This was during the height of Farmville, and he had built up a HUGE farm there. He forgot like a year of his life but kept asking about his Farmville farm. They even put up a board to count how many times he asked the same questions.
40. The Cake Is A Lie
I remember absolutely nothing from the real world while I was in a coma. I was in a motorcycle accident, and they put me in a medically induced coma for about a week to heal me up. During this period, I was living my regular life except, there was this portal that would follow me around. One minute I would be driving my truck to work…
…Then, all of a sudden, I’d be zapped to somewhere in Montana (or whichever state it would bring me to). As if this was my real life, I would walk around to different gas stations looking for a phone to call my wife to pick me up. Every day that I was “living” in this portal-world, I would be “zapped” to different states about five times a day.
When I woke up from the coma, I couldn’t remember ever being in the hospital. I thought that I had been living normal life the whole time. I guess my coma experience is very different compared to everyone else’s.
A friend of mine was in a coma for six months. He said he was in a constant dream of being stuck in a wall and couldn’t move. And he was thirsty. When he woke, all he wanted was water. He told his family if it happened again to pull the plug.
42. I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant
When I woke up, I did not remember being pregnant. My husband told me that we now had a baby girl, and I was puzzled how. I had a stroke when I was nine months pregnant and started seizing. I was rushed to the hospital and had a C-section. My daughter was over a week old before I met her. My husband took care of us both and saved our lives.
She is now a nursing student at UCF.
43. Nightmare Fuel
My mother was in an induced coma for several months. While she was under, they amputated both of her legs due to sepsis. When she woke up, we asked what she could recall from the coma state—she replied that she hadn’t been aware of us, but that she had had some horrific nightmares about having her legs chewed off by demons and vampires.
44. Spectrum Of Consciousness
There are varying degrees of consciousness included in the blanket term “coma,” so there is not a single unified experience. I was unconscious for 11 days once. I remember my last moments of consciousness, I remember a moment when a nurse was giving me an ice bath and talking to me, and I remember a moment with my mother standing over me weeping. Otherwise, there was nothing.
45. Sister, Sister
I was put into a medically induced coma for a week back in June of ’16 after a bad wreck. I remember waking up that morning and then getting into the car. Then nothing. Not a thing for over 9 days. The first thing I can remember now is getting angry at my sister for not giving me water, even though the doctors told her not to.
46. Who Am I?
I was in a chemically-induced coma for a week, and I had very vivid hallucinations that I still remember to this day. I did not recognize my consciousness throughout it though, as far as I can tell. My brother was there when I woke up and I literally asked him who I was and what I was doing there. Really, really trippy experience.
My dad was in a coma for about two months a couple of years ago. Recently we were talking about the whole thing, and he told me that he had “dreamed” and “hallucinated” that he lived for 10 years and did all sorts of things during that time. He said it was very vivid, and he walked across the country a couple of times during it.
When he woke up and got home, he said it would throw him off when he would run into people he hadn’t seen since before the coma, because at first, he always expected them to have aged by 10 years.
48. I Will Survive
In basic training, I caught meningitis and was in and out of a coma for about a week. I remember my leadership visiting me, calling my wife to tell her, and being taken by ambulance to another hospital. But that’s it. When I was awake, I was fully paralyzed from the neck down. My wife came to visit me, and she told me I smelled like urine.
They didn’t give me a catheter, nor did anyone help me to the bathroom. So basically, I just laid in bed and urinated myself over and over. I remember being so, so thirsty. When I fully woke up a few days later, I had very little feeling in my legs and was very wobbly when I walked. I couldn’t fully outstretch my arms without severe pain in my hands.
When I was released, I asked why no one helped me, their answer was infuriating. They told me they don’t help any patients because they have too many people faking symptoms to get out of training. They sent me back to basic training where I slept for three days straight, only being woken to eat. When I woke up, after those three days, they gave me all my gear and sent me on a four-mile forced march, during which I tripped 74 times (I counted and still remember) and fell six times.
Because I didn’t quit on that march, they kept me in training and I graduated with the same class I started, which is unheard of and completely insane. I couldn’t even finish the final fitness test, so they just pencil-whipped the record, all because I didn’t quit. It took me months to regain full feeling in my extremities.
Back in the 90s, my great-grandfather had a stroke. He was in a coma for three weeks, and when he woke up, he was in for a chilling surprise. He could not speak English. All he could speak was the Choctaw language. He had learned it when he was a kid, because his family lived right near a Choctaw reserve, and he played with a lot of those kids. He spoke it fluently at that time but forgot it over his life to where he couldn’t remember any of it by this time.
This went on for a few weeks, and then he woke up from a night’s sleep and could suddenly speak only English again, not remembering a word of Choctaw. He was also able to repeat almost every conversation that had been held in the room that he was in during his coma.
50. Covid Survival 101
I was only in a coma for seven days due to Covid kicking my butt. On day six, I was fighting the sedatives and pulled my feeding tube out, I believe. That’s when they tried to bring me out of the coma. My oxygen ended up being too low, so they stuck me back under and successfully brought me out of the coma on day seven.
Two-thirds of patients—like me—on a ventilator experience what’s called ICU delirium. I was tripping balls for three days after waking up. I thought that the nurses were trying to do away with me—and the reason why was chilling. I was convinced that I had killed someone outside a nightclub, which is why the nurses and doctors were happy to kill me.
I thought the whiteboard on the wall was a computer (it wasn’t). I believed that the doctor spent his days writing messages on it specifically to taunt me. I was convinced that I had HIV and that the hospital had run out of blood for my transfusions. A bunch of my friends even walked past my room to test if I could recognize them.
On day two, I tried to escape. This shows how weak I was—it took me like 10 minutes to swing one leg over the railing of the bed. A nurse called Rachel saw and stopped me, although I think I would have passed out before getting the rest of my body over it. I felt pretty guilty about this the next day when I broke out of the delirium as she and I got on really well!
On the second day awake, my mum and twin were allowed to visit me as they figured it would help me mentally. I just thought they were there to say goodbye. I kept telling my brother where to find my will. I also told him that the nurses were trying to kill me and asked him for our secret word. Which I got wrong! So, I figured he was in on it or just didn’t care.
They were allowed to visit me as they had recovered from Covid. I’m not sure if they realized it yet but this was the beginning of an episode of acute pancreatitis. Which meant that I was throwing up any food they tried to give me. Nurses asked my mum to try feeding me. She was so proud that she got me eating the jelly and ice cream! But then, I vomited it all over myself and her…oops!
By day three, I was aware that they weren’t trying to kill me and had, in fact, saved my life. I think I knew that it was Covid, but I thought I had been rude to them and had insulted a ton of nurses which apparently didn’t happen. The physios came that day and helped me sit up and put my feet on the ground. I thought, “Screw this, I can walk!” and then fell onto the physio.
She caught me and the other physio had to run over and get me into bed again. The physios helped me sit up in a chair beside the bed and asked me to remain sitting up for 45 minutes. I remember this being absolutely awful. I called and chatted to my parents for 15 minutes after which I couldn’t hold my arm up anymore. I was so proud to have lasted the full 45.
I then got discharged down to the regular ward that evening. The rate of recovery was unreal, nearly every day I had some small improvement like oh, today I walked all the way to the bathroom without the walked or today I put on my slippers so mentally I was doing really well. This all happened in January this year and I’ve pretty much made a full recovery now.
I’m back at my old physical fitness, no breathing issues or any lung damage. I have three clots and am on blood thinners but they’re not affecting me. And my heart rate is normal again. Resting at 60 right now. At my worst lying in bed one evening in the hospital it was 153! The staff in the hospital were incredible, I’m so fortunate to have survived this.