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[–]North-Technician 52.7k points52.7k points 350233561& 172 more (1347 children)

I had no idea where I was. I had no idea what happened. Months later I was still learning about who did (or didn't) visit, pray, call, ask. Finances were a total mess (trust me, companies DO NOT CARE). Massive debt and financial penalties. And took over 18 months to get a job after painful physical rehabilitation and explaining over and over and over that I was in a coma, not just not working. Then COVID.

[–]InterestingThought33 14.9k points14.9k points  (58 children)

Damn man, glad you pulled through.

[–]North-Technician 8873 points8874 points  (54 children)

Thanks. I appreciate your kindness.

[–]Boss_Boggs 3940 points3941 points  (50 children)

Ever think "Shit, I hope this is still the coma?"

[–]adognameddave 1364 points1365 points  (13 children)

I got hit on the freeway snd crashed into the median and knocked unconscious when I woke in the morning after having a weird seizure sleep paralysis it took me 30 min to convince myself I was actually alive

[–]WhyZeeGuy 5493 points5494 points 23 (617 children)

I feel ya. It's been a financial nightmare for me too, I don't think I'll ever recover from this. There is no forgiveness for us. Recently, I totally lost it on a debt collector, I was screaming through the phone at him "Do you fucking think I planned this! What part of zero dollars do you not understand!"

Fortunately I was given Social Security Disability so the working thing has a little relief but it is a penance of what I used to earn. Unfortunately because I got behind on child support (due to coma) the State is taking a major chunk out of my Disability income to make up the arrears, I have to come up with 3K I don't have to go to court and "maybe" get that reduced. Both my boys are Marines now but the State still taking money for child support arrears putting me further in a financial hole.

Some days I think about just robbing banks to get out of this. If I don't get caught great, if I do I can go live with the Feds (prison) Either way it is a win/win situation.

[–]Forward_Material_378 2377 points2378 points  (273 children)

Debt collectors are cunts. When my youngest was a baby and my ex and I were split up I answered a call from them. The baby was SCREAMING and I was trying to console him. As I was trying to explain that I had three kids under three and wasn’t even able buy formula that week the woman literally said “I don’t care, we need to talk about your debt.” I said “you heartless bitch”, hung up and set my phone to send any number that wasn’t in my contacts to go straight to voicemail. The debt wasn’t even my fault as the bank reneged on my insurance when I ended up in a wheelchair for four months. They defaulted me and sold the debt. My credit is shot but I won’t even try to communicate with them anymore after that

[–]moustachexchloe 1068 points1069 points  (54 children)

I had a Best Buy credit card that I used to buy an iPad. Unknowingly I somehow also got some type of service with the iPad, and was paying $5/mo for something I didn’t even know what it was. Finally, after a year of paying it every month, I called to cancel the service and the card so I could better manage my already crippling debt, largely due to student loans. They told me everything was cancelled, I believed them and got rid of the card. Three months later I get an email saying I have a balance of $100+ due to late fees from a $5 subscription fee that didn’t actually get cancelled. Got a call from collections and they didn’t care. Ended up hanging up on them and called Best Buy to deal with it. It took 6 months for them to reverse the $5 charge that turned into $100 and get it off my credit report, that prevented me from consolidating student loans. Luckily it was such a small amount and it finally got resolved, but I was just so beyond pissed that a $5 subscription fee that I was told was cancelled ended up getting my $80k student loan consolidation application denied.

[–]LordGobbletooth 412 points413 points  (21 children)

Always get everything in writing. Never trust people who have an incentive to fuck you over. Sucks people are like this.

[–]mysticalfruit 172 points173 points  (10 children)

First rule of finances. Never sign up for one of those in store cards. They just front that shit out to a third party who gives veryvery few fucks about you.

The only cc I have is through my bank, where I can walk into a branch, find a manager and sort shit out.

[–]LNLV 100 points101 points  (6 children)

This happened to me with a different store credit card. It was a “fraud protection” service that was like $15.99 every quarter, I opted out when I first got the card, they opted me back in like a year later, and since I only used the card at that one store, and only paid it when I used it (this was a few years before being able to check your balances online and see everything immediately) it went into default. They claimed I should have gotten letters, I explained that they’ve never been able to send me letters for that card, it’s always been an issue so I immediately paid it off any time I used it. F’d my credit for almost 10 years bc I didn’t have any other credit or debt to my name.

[–]notparistexas 1077 points1078 points  (146 children)

I'm convinced that debt collection agencies only hire hardened felons, rapists, and people who've escaped the high security wing of mental hospitals.

[–]DahlielahWinter 1623 points1624 points 433 (73 children)

I worked for a debt collection agency for a couple of months.

All of my coworkers there were just like me - desperate 20-somethings. It was a job that didn't require a degree and didn't mind a checkered job history, as long as it didn't include any kind of fraud or legal trouble.The company went *hard* on fostering an us-against-them attitude, on the theory that most debtors are lying when they say they can't pay, that most debtors are lazy and did this to themselves.It also went hard on setting difficult dollar goals for debts collected on (and of course your job depended on consistently meeting them), so that every time you started to have an ethical qualm with what you were doing, you'd be uneasily balancing your ethics against your rent. If the department met its goals for the month, there were bonus checks for everyone on the team - and even at the time that hit me like a sweetener meant to reinforce your ability to dehumanize the people you were calling.At that job we collected on chain-store credit card accounts, and utility bills. Everyone hated having utility bills come up in their queue, because we couldn't (legally) threaten to sue debtors over those balances. I knew a guy who spoke Spanish, who loved getting Latino debtors, because he got a kick out of threatening them with immigration.

I hated it. It was better money than I'd ever made in my life at that point, and I felt like shit about it.The last straw for me was a one-two punch. I called a lady who was dying of COPD to hassle her about a fucking Target account, and she couldn't stay awake on the call. Listening to her rattling breath when she drifted out gave me a major reality check.

My supervisor recognized the look on my face, talked to me for a moment (sympathetic, encouraging), and sent me out for an extra break. When I got back in he put me on a different set of accounts.

My next call was a lady with three kids who had a utility bill in collections. I drove her to tears. And when I heard her crying, for the first time, I had the thought of "Good - this one's gonna pay something."And that was the end of my career as a debt collector, because I decided on the spot that being homeless was better than ever reacting to another human being in crisis like that again.

I walked. They tried really, really hard to convince me to stay.I lasted two months.

That was relatively average. Turnover for debt collectors is insane - it eats away at your soul if you have any empathy at all.

On the bright side, it teaches you exactly what to say to get debt collectors to leave you the fuck alone, because provably violating the FDCPA can get them federal fines.

**EDIT - Well, I never thought my first gold would be for an honest description of the worst job I ever held, but thank you Reddit stranger!

****EDIT 2 - to everyone asking "what do you say", that's listed in several places in this thread by both myself and others. If you don't want to scroll and sift, start here:
https://lemberglaw.com/fdcpa/what-is-the-fdcpa
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/debt-collection-faqs

[–]Humdrumma 251 points252 points  (37 children)

I know I could

  1. Be good at a job like this

  2. Could never handle it, because it goes basically against everything I stand for.

I would like some pro tips on getting debt collectors to leave you alone, though!

[–]Torn_Page 201 points202 points  (28 children)

Tell them to cease communication, I've heard that it's more effective in writing. Make sure you get their company name and address. That way you can see if it's the same company calling in which case you can report them for violating the fdcpa.

edit: mailing address. Bigger companies generally have multiple locations.

[–]inspectoroverthemine 57 points58 points  (27 children)

I feel like debt collectors would only be useful against old people. Does anyone actually answer their phone anymore?

[–]Canadian-Clap-Back 76 points77 points  (13 children)

They go after friends, relatives, work, whatever. They find your connections and tell them they're looking for you.

I couldnt afford a phone of any kind when collections got a message to me through another tenant in the house i lived in.

[–]WoodyM654 2842 points2843 points 354& 10 more (165 children)

Can I help? I tried to DM you but I am old and I don’t know how Reddit works. If I could pay for a lunch or something I would like to.

ETA: There’s been a couple replies to my post and I want to clarify: I’m not really THAT old. I’m 31. I called myself “old”, because I am not tech-savvy, and I don’t know how a lot of platforms operate. The OP’s reply hit home and I want to help if I can.

[–]Adventurous_Ad_6546 2633 points2634 points 3 (130 children)

What is wrong with me that I immediately thought you meant help with robbing a bank? And also that I wanted in on that.

[–]WoodyM654 1596 points1597 points 23 (90 children)

Well maybe the three of us could do one last heist.

ETA: Then we can all finally retire in a mansion together, like we’ve talked about ♥️

[–]Sunbro666 850 points851 points  (45 children)

You son of a bitch, I'm in.

[–]OneMoreTime5 286 points287 points  (18 children)

Count me in, I’m there.

Not to participate, I’m just going to watch.

[–]Spencer2091 1094 points1095 points  (25 children)

I was only in a coma for about two days, but I totally relate to the not understanding where you are. I barely remember my suicide attempt, and then suddenly I woke up in a creepy asylum. Apparently that's just what ERs look like at night. I got up to investigate, and suddenly there was this horrible pain on the inside of my left elbow. I had an IV in.

[–]wiztard 703 points704 points  (71 children)

companies DO NOT CARE

You should name some of them so there's at least some off chance that they at least care about their public image.

[–]Kevs442 465 points466 points  (30 children)

Yep, I can attest, not from a coma, but other medical problems, government, courts, lawyers, banks, credit card companies, debt collectors, etc, DO. NOT. GIVE. A. SHIT. You are not a human being, you are a number. You owe and they don't care what your excuse is, they've heard it all and they don't care.

[–]innovationflow 3722 points3723 points 32 (61 children)

My uncle & dad were in a terrible wreck when they were both 19. My dad was out about 6-7 hours, remembers nothing. My uncle was in a coma for 6 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 they would think he was dead 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 life long disabilities but went on to become the VP at his company in Texas.

Edit: wow I had no Idea you awesome people would give my uncle's story so much response! Thanks for the awards!

[–]tiredTenantParis 1080 points1081 points  (35 children)

It sounds like your uncle had locked-in syndrome.

[–]Teddy293 677 points678 points  (15 children)

Thanks for giving me a new fear.

[–]istara 391 points392 points  (4 children)

They have a lot more methods to detect brain activity these days.

[–]Shadow_of_wwar 215 points216 points  (2 children)

But think of how many people throughout history have been locked in and just heard the people around them going "whelp ain't no fixing him, into the hole ya go."

[–]Sawses 42 points43 points  (0 children)

Sure the 21st century America has some problems...but on balance, if I had to roll the dice again there's like a 99% chance I'd be worse off than I am right now lol.

[–]delciotto 145 points146 points  (0 children)

There are also alot of companies working on brain controlled devices. Those might be a good way to check if something fucky like locked-in syndrome is happening.

[–]dal1999 13.8k points13.8k points 2 (113 children)

Does it count if you can’t remember a single thing for 6-8 weeks? 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 2 months after getting hit by a car cycling.

Anyway, I couldn’t walk or use any extremities upon coming to. Extreme muscle atrophy required almost 2 yrs of PT to regain full independence. Not fun at all.

[–]Muffmuncher 745 points746 points  (6 children)

My friend died 2 years ago after a car hit him while he was cycling. From a complete stranger, I'm glad you're still here man, and well enough to share your story on Reddit. He died a month before his wedding, and he was the sole earner in his family. His mom and dad had gone to personally invite relatives to the wedding, and that's when they got the call.

I can confidently say that incident changed my perspective towards a lot of things....

[–]whiskyforatenner 121 points122 points  (1 child)

So sorry to here that man. I was hit by a car from behind at 60mph in April this year. It’s been a rough year but stories like this keep me grateful to be here. So sorry for your loss and his family’s

[–]fernshanks 745 points746 points  (12 children)

My dad also lost several weeks of memories after being run over by a car whilst he was out cycling. Weird how similar your stories are. He spent 2 months in hospital too but couldn't remember anything that had happened for weeks beforehand. The accident happened in January but when he was taken out of his induced coma he still thought it was the year before and couldn't remember Christmas or anything.

[–]ImhereBen 8868 points8869 points 8687& 15 more (58 children)

That's crazy, cars should NOT ride bicycles! Glad you're ok now!!

[–]tetraourogallus 1155 points1156 points  (21 children)

You can't ban all cars from cycling just because of one bad egg

[–]tranquilseafinally 11.5k points11.5k points 22 (128 children)

My sister was in a car accident and sustained a massive head injury. She was in a coma for over 5 months. Waking up from a coma doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s gradual. She had to relearn everything starting with swallowing. She’s missing her last year of high school and she cannot remember many things since since her accident. Her short term memory was damaged. Her damaged memory makes her very frustrated.

Edit to add: Her accident was in 1994. She graduated in 1993. She cannot remember grade 12. Sorry for the confusing statement. This was stunning for the family because she had just graduated. That whole year was GONE.

2nd Edit: The story of what happened:

That weekend 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 Whidbey Is. with her best friends. This has bothered me for decades. If I had been a bitchier sister 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 a stop sign. My sister swerved to the left to avoid her (she's left handed). Her car started to spin she tried to correct and ended up swerving the car into on coming traffic. She hit a pick up truck that was driving in the opposing lane and her car 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 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 survived. Our family has been by her side ever since.

[–]bijecti0n 2405 points2406 points  (43 children)

Will her recovery from the coma take longer than the duration of the coma itself?

[–]tranquilseafinally 2865 points2866 points  (40 children)

She had almost 2 years of intensive therapy. Speech therapy and she had to learn how to walk. Her accident happened in 1994.

[–]marauding-bagel 2486 points2487 points  (34 children)

Her accident happened in 1994.

on a second read I get that "she's missing her last year of high school" means she can't remember, but the phrasing makes it sound like 2021-22 should be her last year of high school so I think that's the source of confusion

[–]tranquilseafinally 1021 points1022 points  (29 children)

She had graduated in 1993 from high school. She doesn't remember grade 12 but she does remember grade 11.

[–]redbo 1057 points1058 points  (17 children)

I don’t think I remember grades 11 and 12 and I was never even in a coma.

[–]galal552002 64 points65 points  (6 children)

I hardly remember anything from all my school years and I was never even in a coma.

[–]Vefantur 133 points134 points  (1 child)

Huh interesting, does that include information that she would have learned in her classes or just memory of the specific days/people and such?

[–]lucky_719 597 points598 points  (39 children)

As someone with a damaged memory, I can relate. The feeling of knowing something is supposed to be in there but it's not is really hard to describe and so incredibly frustrating. The closest thing I can think of to describe it is a word or name being on the tip of your tongue but you can't quite recall it, only instead of words or names or titles, it's with memories. Some are worse, like having absolutely no clue what someone is talking about when they are reminiscing about something. Others are better, remembering small snippets of something happening but not the whole thing. Some are just straight up disconcerting, having no idea what happened during months of time of your life. Still yet some can be down right baffling. Most recently I was in a craft store and had some super strong emotional reaction over drawing pencils but have no clue why or what's important to me about them.

It can be pretty exciting and overwhelming when something finally clicks and a whole flood of memory comes rushing in at all once though. I bought the pencils hoping one day it will trigger.

[–]phageblood 10.5k points10.5k points  (141 children)

I was out for just over a month, it was surreal, like a dream I couldn't quite wake up from. When I woke up, my arms and legs didn't work and my vision and thoughts were really fuzzy. I thought I was out for a few days and was unpleasantly surprised to know it has been over a month.

[–]MHoolt 2996 points2997 points  (126 children)

What were the dreams like?

[–]phageblood 9256 points9257 points 45 (125 children)

Oddly enough, walking around the streets of my home town. There was music that seemed to come from the sky and someone was talking to me, but they sounded really far away. Turns out my best friend had sat next toy hospital bed, talking toe and playing alot of our favorite music!

[–]Dirschel 1407 points1408 points  (0 children)

That is indeed your BEST friend! It’s amazing to have someone in your life that cares about you that much :)

[–]pullthru 3659 points3660 points  (87 children)

😭😭😭

A real one

[–]phageblood 2557 points2558 points  (84 children)

He was an amazing dude. I was out due to a cracked skull when I was 15 (abusive, now unalived ex cracked my head open) We were just kids back then and we were alot like siblings.

[–]emmastoneftw 886 points887 points  (13 children)

I like that, “unalived “.

[–]Ocean_Beast 448 points449 points  (4 children)

My favourite threat now. "I will unalive the fuck outta you!!"

[–]adamtuliper 75 points76 points  (3 children)

Had you ever been aware you were dreaming during that time?

[–]phageblood 212 points213 points  (2 children)

Parts of me knew it was a dream, like the weather never changed and it was perpetually day time.

[–]MHoolt 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Wow thats incredible!

[–]alexrt87 25.7k points25.7k points 2 (872 children)

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.

[–]moonbunnychan 2348 points2349 points  (124 children)

Ya, it's not just waking up from an extended nap. The majority of comas are caused by traumatic brain injury, and a LOT of people even if they wake up are never the same again and are often permanently mentally and physically disabled.

[–]Realistic_Fail_2384 1524 points1525 points 2 (110 children)

Agreed. My brother was in a coma for 7 months. He is a different person now. Makes me sad

[–]NoKindheartedness27 2021 points2022 points  (69 children)

Same. Mine even goes by a different nickname now. Celebrates his accident day as his rebirth day. Some people think I’m crazy when I say my brother died in his accident and a new person was born in his body.

We’ve had to grieve his loss.. even though he’s still alive. Ambiguous grief.

[–]don660m 563 points564 points  (10 children)

Truth! my dad had a car accident and a brain injury. probably was comatose for a few weeks and lived at a rehab for months. he didn’t remember that my sister had died a few months before his accident it was awful I had to retell him again and again. and again. nightmare. totally different person too! I felt the same way in losing two people that year. it’s been over 20 years now and he’s still a different person. I’ve obviously gotten used to him but he’s a shell of what he used to be. Sucks.

[–]Mamakatkasey 603 points604 points  (33 children)

Same. My eldest sister had a sub arachnoid haemorrhage and did exactly the same thing. I’m happy for her and her ‘new’ life, but she sure as shit isn’t the same person as before… 😓 I’ve had to remove myself completely due to extreme episodes..

[–]ShirleyEugest 287 points288 points  (27 children)

What are the episodes like?

My brother has a TBI and was in a coma for a few months and now 7 years later he is increasingly angry,paranoid,and delusional. It's scary and sometimes I've left the house in just my pyjamas for hours.

[–]Mamakatkasey 385 points386 points  (25 children)

Unpredictable. Basically high functioning, driving, travelling, running a normal life then disappears for 3 months, to return like nothing happened. Easily angered, suddenly throwing large items, chairs, vases, paranoia- calling police on people. Broke into her exes house after killing her horse, collected the blood in a portable cooler and threw it around the house and having a really damaging psychotic break. Thinks everyone are actors or imposters. She admitted she’s better with people who don’t know her, she can pretend to be normal, it’s less of a trigger. I’ve been accused of some pretty serious stuff by her, she’s been slanderous which has been detrimental and toxic so I’ve had to cut ties.

[–]calm_chowder 211 points212 points  (6 children)

Broke into her exes house after killing her horse, collected the blood in a portable cooler and threw it around the house

WHAT THE FUCK

[–]bassicallyfunky 248 points249 points  (6 children)

Ambiguous grief is a great description. I experienced this when it was discovered my dad had an aggressive brain tumor. Surgery was I want to say 2-3 days after we found out... so we were still in shock. But I was not braced for the different personality that came post surgery. Then it continued to shift and shimmy the entire time until he died. I mourned him twice - the person I knew before surgery and then the actual physical dad present in my life 8 months later when he died.

I was too young to have proper emotional capacity/maturity for it. It fucked me up a long time - lost most of my 20s to sorting that all out.

[–]vaei- 115 points116 points  (2 children)

5 day coma after severe TBI. I can tell part of me is missing and I have no attachment to even my family. They were suffocating me because I couldn't care about them so I moved to the other end of the country to get away.

Right side of my body was paralyzed from nerve damage and bad tail bone and back injury so needed lots of help yet chose to go camping on a sport bike for 34 days in a row before ending up in another city forcing myself to be self sufficient.

Mostly recovered physically but that's all. I can't go back to who I was. And I'm extremely aware of it.

[–]CDM2017 11.1k points11.1k points  (194 children)

Yeah, my friend was in a coma for a couple of weeks and it took days for her to wake up. Then she had to relearn movement, speech, walking, everything. Crazy.

[–]whompmywillow 5335 points5336 points  (61 children)

Just before my grandpa died, he stopped eating and drinking and kind of went in and out of comatose states for a few days , and the doctor was explaining to us that doctors don't really like the terms "coma" and "wake up" because it implies a binary of coma and consciousness, when in reality it's a spectrum with lots of shades of grey.

[–]manofredgables 1680 points1681 points  (39 children)

My dad was in a coma for 3 months due to complications after surgery for pancreatic cancer. It was just like that. Sometimes he was completely out, sometimes he'd look at me but it wasn't clear if he actually "saw" me. At one point he gave thumbs up and smiled when my 2 year old daughter visited him and said hello, and seemed to hear what we were saying to him. Clearly he was in varying degrees of consciousness. He doesn't remember much of that period though.

[–]robbie-3x 438 points439 points  (22 children)

I was in a coma for a few days after falling from a roof when I was 10. I dont remember falling or anything until I woke up with my mom beside me.

Evidently, I was awake during this time to have answered detailed questions about chess moves. But I can't remember any of it.

Reading all these stories, I feel fortunate as I've had no long lasting effects. However, I dod some psychoanalysis a few years ago and under regression I relived the fall. I had never really thought much about it but I mentioned it happening to the shrink.

[–]Perfect_Suggestion_2 95 points96 points  (16 children)

The body remembers. There is a great book about trauma and how even if we don't consciously recall what happened to us, the memory is "stored" in our bodies as pain, tension, spasms. I've had EMDR therapy and it has an aspect that is like regression where you re experience the trauma and consciously move through the thoughts and feelings.

EDIT You aren't consciously remembering what happened to you *after trauma* because, quite often, our brains protect us from memories about life-threatening and near-death experiences. The memory is buried in a part of the brain your consciousness bypasses, so to speak. EMDR and some other therapies help you safely recall the trauma so that you can move through and remember and process it.
Glad you are OK.

[–]thenorthwoodsboy 380 points381 points  (31 children)

Meanwhile hollywood acts like you wake up get out of bed fall get back up learn to walk for a few minutes then run out of the hospital, and thats the more "realistic" way. Other times they show you waking up pulling all the medical devices off and running away. But i believe this because our bodies have an extreme asshole use it or lose it policy.

[–]olbaidiablo 153 points154 points  (4 children)

Don't you wish you could just montage your way out of stuff like that?

[–]Realistic_Fail_2384 1813 points1814 points  (50 children)

I always wonder how my brother felt. He spent around 7 months in a coma after a brain aneurism. He lost speech and Co ordination. Alot of his short term memory was effected. He had brain surgery also

[–]LeTygolio 319 points320 points  (15 children)

I spent 6 days in a coma and couldn't feed myself, move myself in the bed, and it took me 3 weeks to be able to walk somewhat properly, with crutches. It doesn't help that i'm not exactly healthy overall, but it was shockingly long.

[–]djghffgjhhfgk 272 points273 points  (12 children)

I'm fairly fit and don't really have any problems except with my lungs. I was in medically induced coma for 5 days, just 5 days and I couldn't sit upright after waking up. Took 2 days until I could sit longer than some minutes, after that it took another day until I could stand without someone keeping me up, (still had to hold on to something) and another 2 for me to be able to walk. I lost weight from 65kg to 53kg in that 5 day period, took me month to get it back. It doesn't make sense in my head, 5 days isn't that long time, but it was weird as FUCK.

[–]dbwoi 749 points750 points  (18 children)

a friend of mine was in coma for the better part of a year. he isn't even remotely the same person anymore. he has some similar interests that he used to have but now operates mentally at the level of a 12 year old (he's in his mid 20s). he also has severely limited motor skills. shit is so sad :(

[–]Beths_Titties 90 points91 points  (0 children)

My wife has a cousin who has been in a coma for 7 weeks now and is just starting to come out of it. Family is pretty concerned about how she will be. Of course they are ecstatic she came out of it.

[–]Zodiackillerstadia 563 points564 points  (67 children)

I can confirm this. I was in a coma for 6 weeks. It took me about 3 days to come around and about 3 months to regain strength and walk properly etc.

[–]Tkieron 121 points122 points  (4 children)

Do you remember those 3 days? What was it like?

[–]GeneralBlumpkin 299 points300 points  (49 children)

My wife was in a coma for a few days and heard every conversation while she was out

[–]WeAreAllMadHere218 895 points896 points  (43 children)

In nursing school my instructors always told us, multiple times actually, whenever you’re taking care of a patient who is in a comatose/sedated/intubated type state talk to the patient like they’re aware, tell them ur turning, cleaning, moving them, etc and don’t hold conversations in their room that you wouldn’t if they were awake and alert. Hearing is the last thing to go.

[–]Subject-Lime4520 199 points200 points  (8 children)

Random fact: people who survived a failed parachute report hearing their bodies impacting the ground, but not feeling it.

[–]Blendinnotblandin 76 points77 points  (1 child)

Oh gawd. I’m going to be thinking about this for the rest of the day, thanks.

[–]xLadySayax 167 points168 points  (3 children)

When my uncle died he was in a medicated coma. After we all said our goodbyes to him, we put his headset on him from his iPod before we pulled the plug. So he died listening to his music.

Under the bridge by red hot chili peppers was the last song playing right after we were told he's gone.

[–]spandexrecks 225 points226 points  (17 children)

Interesting point as it was probably very beneficial for the survival of our species (and many others) for our sense of hearing to be active while we sleep as a means to avoid predators or danger

[–]1-800-HENTAI-PORN 137 points138 points  (12 children)

Up until recently I dated someone who had the complete and utter lack of this ability. Waking this person up via noise alone was an absolute impossibility in every single sense of the phrase. There were a few times where I actually had to check to see if they were still alive.

[–]EmmyNoetherRing 54 points55 points  (0 children)

My husband is like Siri, when he’s deep asleep he won’t respond to any sound except his name. He wakes up immediately to that.

[–]SneakyBadAss 45 points46 points  (0 children)

I have the same issue. You can drill right above my bedroom and I wouldn't move an inch. What helps is just a sprinkle of water. Human body really doesn't like that.

[–]bake_gatari 538 points539 points  (24 children)

There's a Harrison Ford movie that makes the rehabilitation it's main plot point. His daughter shows him how to tie his laces, the way he taught her. I was surprised by many things in that movie. Can't remember the name, don't know if it was accurate.

[–]ValKilmersLooks 1034 points1035 points  (215 children)

They get a lot wrong in general but head injuries seem to really baffle the whole lot of them. I’m not surprised that the same group who gives us people getting knocked out for hours and being fine when they wake up can’t figure out comas.

[–]Fotofae6 582 points583 points  (50 children)

The amount of times someone gets knocked out and it’s assumed that they are fine. If your out for more than a couple minutes, that’s brain damage. Let alone getting knocked out multiple times in one day.

[–]BenjRSmith 781 points782 points  (39 children)

It was best explained to me in school.

Your body is an immensely complex machine. Now, take a relatively simple machine.... like a television. Turn it on, ok, now fucking punch it so hard it turns off. That's what we're dealing with.

[–]im_on_the_case 452 points453 points  (31 children)

I grew up with big bulky CRT TV's. Sometimes you would have to punch them really fucking hard just to turn them on.

[–]nonono_notagain 156 points157 points  (8 children)

So I should punch my brother really hard to wake him up?

[–]TheDisapprovingBrit 319 points320 points  (3 children)

No, you punch him really hard to turn him on

[–]CroutonOfDEATH 123 points124 points  (0 children)

"What are you doing, step-br-" THWACK

[–]likeasturgeonbass 420 points421 points  (51 children)

Head injuries still baffle neurosurgeons and researchers. Not making excuses for Hollywood, but the brain is weird, we'll probably never figure it out completely.

[–]sylva748 737 points738 points  (29 children)

The brain is so weird that when you think about it, the brain named itself and still doesn't know how it itself functions.

[–]HabitatGreen 149 points150 points  (15 children)

Ya man, even super light head injuries caused by sickness or something can really mess you up, since that happened to me. Like, I basically slept for five years (not a coma though, first half year I slept like 18+ hours a day). You don't really have a life when you sleep so much, and your brain doesn't function on a lack of sleep either.

It's really the tiny things that you used to be good at that are so noticeable. I used to be quite precise and check and recheck stuff. I still do that, however, I just make mistakes anyway. Like, ordering the wrong size colour phone despite triple checking I selected the blue one or ordering the wrong size of something.

It's frustrating, but luckily it is all very mild and it does seem to improve with time.

[–]Fumquat 67 points68 points  (4 children)

I hear you. Similar issues here.

It’s so hard explaining to people that while I can, in fleeting moments, demonstrate mastery of complex topics, I am in no way qualified anymore to make career progress in my own field.

I have the executive function of a 6 year old. Precise paperwork is impossible. I feel drunk more than half the time and I speak confident nonsense in professional settings.

Luckily I’ve found some people who can work with my limitations.

Even so, I cry at work on the regular. It’s nothing more than a reflex caused by confusion and fatigue, I’m usually not all that upset, but I literally cannot control it.

I’m pretty sure most people see the problem as a lack of emotional intelligence, when the truth is I’m up and moving when my body thinks it hasn’t slept in years. There will be accidents. There will be tears. I’m done with giving up. It’s time to live.

[–]dal1999 620 points621 points  (53 children)

I was in an icu for 8 mos. TV was on, I could care less what was playing. One of the 1st movies I recall was Steven Segal’s Hard to Kill. A week after awakening from a multi year coma, he was already kicking ass and taking names. MF’er, it took 3 mos of hard ass rehab to walk unassisted.

[–]Tkieron 409 points410 points  (21 children)

Same with Kill Bill. She was able to wake up, be strong enough to take down a full grown man about 60 pounds heavier than her and kill him with a door, then drag herself through a hospital and climb into a wheelchair with no one noticing.

I won't even get into the buried alive thing

[–]alexmikli 323 points324 points  (2 children)

In fairness, Kill Bill was on another level of gonzo and only took itself seriously as a joke.

[–]defensive_username 50 points51 points  (2 children)

Wait, didn't she slice the back of the dudes heels with a scapel, which caused him to collapse onto the floor where she then beat his head open with the door ?

Or am I thinking of another scene...

[–]Twl1 265 points266 points  (5 children)

"Wiggle your big toe."

Lady...I hope you find some snacks in that Pussy Wagon because you're gonna be sitting there trying to wiggle for a looooong ti-

Oh, you got it. Nevermind.

[–]office365makesmekms 7569 points7570 points 21041712& 35 more (115 children)

I was out for 40 days after a motorcycle accident, but I don't remember much for about 6 weeks after that as well. I was sedated with ketamine and a mix of opiates and started to wean off of 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 that 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. 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 were 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 tortured 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 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 despite all the terrible things I was experiencing, 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 5 months in the hospital I was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, and two weeks later (December 2019), 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 is 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.

Edit: Should clarify that I can speak perfectly fine now with my original voice. My tracheostomy hole closed well. While it was closing, I could force air out of the tiny hole and it sounded like a kazoo.

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. Thanks everyone for the kind words.

[–]Mamakatkasey 687 points688 points  (0 children)

I hope you get on top of your medical issues… sounds like a pretty terrifying experience. My best mate was in hospital for nearly 9 months after being run over by a 4wd. He doesn’t talk about it much, but I know he’s in chronic pain and has no immune system due to losing his spleen. He’s been in isolation whole covid too.. some people get dealt some really difficult cards. I hope you find acceptance and peace with your circumstances… there’s still plenty of life left to live ♥️

[–]ProstHund 5124 points5125 points  (193 children)

I feel like the state should automatically give you disability or at LEAST assign you a case worker to suspend your bills and store your stuff while you’re in a coma. Like, there should be a system where the hospital logs you as a coma patient and then social services step in. Wtf.

[–]BriNicB4 1164 points1165 points  (10 children)

I agree. Like after a certain amount of days somebody steps in to help bc you obviously didn’t ask to be in a coma and there’s literally nothing you can do about anything

[–]ocyries 5277 points5278 points  (344 children)

I was in a coma for 3 weeks. Not that long but my dreams made me feel like I was out for decades. I was really confused and didn't understand where I was or why

[–]DreamerMMA 2215 points2216 points  (87 children)

What did you dream about?

I remember a story from a redditor some years ago that described his coma dreams. He was badly burned and put into a medical coma. In his dreams, he was trapped in a large building that was on fire and searing him and he kept searching for an exit but could never find a way out. He literally thought he'd died and gone to hell.

[–]innovationflow 638 points639 points  (0 children)

O how terrible

[–]AMRNS 1018 points1019 points  (55 children)

U heard the story about the person who went into a coma, lived his entire life from teen to old in a dream and then woke up to realise that the family he loved wasnt even there cause it was all a dream.

[–]DontRememberOldPass 1110 points1111 points 2 (11 children)

I can’t believe he went back to work at the carpet store after beating cancer.

[–]AstonVanilla 47 points48 points  (1 child)

I remember that, and it was seeing a lamp in his dream that didn't make any geometrical sense that started him waking up, right?

If I recall he said he realised this object wasn't possible and that his realities were changing from that point on.

[–]rythmicjea 2651 points2652 points  (207 children)

Sounds like the guy who made a post about how he lived an entire lifetime, married, kids, everything, only to wake up from the coma and realize it was all fake.

[–]JimmyTheChimp 479 points480 points  (42 children)

That happened to me once in a regular dream took quite a few hours to readjust back to my real life.

[–]ssjx7squall 266 points267 points  (28 children)

I frequently spend time with dead relatives in dreams. Man do those mornings suck

[–]foofighters69 115 points116 points  (8 children)

I woke up a couple hours ago from a dream where I hugged my dead father. His hugs were the best, I’ve never had a hug that strong and warm since. Well anyway, time to go about my day.

[–]DSJ0ne0f0ne 121 points122 points  (5 children)

That dude said it took him years… and honestly given what he described, it doesn’t sound like something you’ll ever truly forget.

[–]Mkitty760 1108 points1109 points  (39 children)

That one left me feeling bereft. Like when you're really into a great book, then it ends. Only worse. Way worse. Dude was fully grieving a life he thought he had.

Edit: a couple of people have posted the link, thank you kind redditors! Tip: sort by "Best Comments", and the story I'm referring to will be the first comment, posted by u/temptotosssoon, which I think was a throwaway account for him.

Just read it again. Wow, feels like old wounds scraped open.

[–]MHoolt 68 points69 points  (36 children)

What dreams did you have?

[–]ocyries 414 points415 points  (35 children)

A lot of weird shit. The tldr is I dreamt I met a man who showed me how to ascend to the lowest of the higher planes of existence. My soul was to weak to continue to ascend even higher, so I had to travel through different realities and strength the souls those versions of me till I was powerful enough to further my ascension. Some went smooth some didn't. Some were fun others were terrifying. Caught the attention of the the wrong being and got chased.

[–]forworse2020 107 points108 points  (6 children)

Do you feel like these dreams have affected your perception of reality? Like those who take mushrooms and come back from the trip “understanding” the universe?

[–]ocyries 143 points144 points  (3 children)

It definitely changed my perception of a lot of things.

[–]forworse2020 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Feel free to share, if you’re comfortable/ are in the mood to. I’m quite interested in your story.

[–]DiamondPup 132 points133 points  (0 children)

This...needs to be a lot longer than this summary.

[–]johnotopia 1945 points1946 points  (69 children)

Best friend of an old colleague of mine who I met a few times at drinks etc...

She was in a car accident when she was about 20, 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 a teacher and was in uni, 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 favourite food and TV shows had changed (from what people told her she liked before hand) and taste in music.

I was absolutely flabbergasted by what she was telling me

[–]Upinmybuttt 723 points724 points  (22 children)

Roseanne Barr said a similar thing. apparently she was in a car accident at 16 I think. before that she had to watch and care for her siblings, was a square, never cursed etc.. after the accident (I dont think she was in a coma) her first words were 'I need a cigarette'. she left her family without notice, moved away, had sex, got pregnant, put the baby for adoption, had more children, wasn't afraid to speak her mind. I found it really interesting.

[–]-FangMcFrost- 303 points304 points  (17 children)

I'm reminded of a story I read a few years ago about a rugby player who went into a coma after he broke his neck or had a stroke (it was one of them) when he was training.

When he woke up, he was a totally different person as before the stroke, he was a straight man with a fiancée and he worked at a bank but after he woke up, he was now a gay man who then left his fiancée for a man and he also left his job at the bank and became a hairdresser.

[–]send-me-pickles 276 points277 points  (9 children)

Had a friend who was in a coma for 8 months, after he woke up he had to relearn everything. Family and school pressured him and he ended up hanging himself in his room 2 months later

[–]Yunafires 149 points150 points  (6 children)

Holy fuck. Why would they put pressure on him? Wtf was the rush to learn everything all at once? I've... so many questions.

[–]send-me-pickles 103 points104 points  (5 children)

He was only 15 aswell, ask away and I'll answer as much as I can

[–]Yunafires 63 points64 points  (2 children)

Mainly just those two questions for starters. Just... why would the family be so terrible to him? What drove him to that terrible decision?

[–]send-me-pickles 116 points117 points  (1 child)

He had an abusive dad and no mom. A lot of times he would stay over at mine for dinner and stuff, I guess after the coma he didn't really remember any of us very well so he didn't ask for help. imagine a drunk abusive father that had to teach his son things that for most of us comes naturally. I'm not sure that worked out so well so he just got beat instead

Then there were also the school bullies and a few rude teachers. He didn't get any special treatment and was expected to remember everything

[–]notworththespace 62 points63 points  (0 children)

Wow that’s so heartbreaking. I hope your friend is finally at peace.

[–]Financial_Studio2785 1189 points1190 points  (37 children)

My mom was intubated on, like March 11th, 2020 with covid. When she pulled through and woke up (thank god), it was April 1st. 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 went into the hospital, there was no PPE gear, so when she woke up she thought this lady had a bee keepers outfit! She then decided she wanted to be married to my dad again (they got divorced 6 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.

[–]forty_hands 385 points386 points  (28 children)

That fucking nuts did they get back together?

[–]Financial_Studio2785 816 points817 points  (23 children)

Yep. They did. Still together now. They were like teenagers, 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, 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 moms change of heart! She dumped Ron. I think she realised she really just wanted someone to get old with and someone she could get along with.

[–]forty_hands 173 points174 points  (8 children)

Wow that’s so wild! Hope you all have many happy years together ahead

[–]Financial_Studio2785 206 points207 points  (7 children)

Thanks! They’re on their way to visit me now actually! Haven’t seen them in a year!

[–]yba0409 1191 points1192 points  (16 children)

Not me but my grandfather woke up from a coma a few months ago, he was in a come for 13 months. He had a brain tumor and he had to do a surgery to remove it. The surgery was a success, but apparently one of the surgeons damaged his brain accidentally and because of that he was in a coma for 13 months. When he woke up he could barely speak and he had to make a recovery at the hospital, after 2 or 3 months of recovery he looked a lot better, but unfortunately for our family he was a completely different person when he started to speak more clearly which was very sad, but when his memories came back he was acting like before the coma, which made everyone in our family very happy again. I asked him a few weeks how was the experience, he said it was confusing and strange but at the end it wad all good because everything is back to normal

[–]ZohMyGods 149 points150 points  (3 children)

Sounds surreal. I don't know the first thing about brain injuries or memory loss but his (Edit: almost) full recovery sounds very rare, and very very lucky.

[–]yba0409 83 points84 points  (2 children)

He still didn't make a 100% recovery, he still has a few things to relearn but besides these thing, yeah he got lucky to make such a recovery

[–]Viviaana 450 points451 points  (8 children)

Not me but my uncle (so I don’t know that much) but he just couldnt fathom the idea that he wasn’t a teen anymore, he couldn’t remember anything from years but could vividly remember shit that had happened like 40 years prior, he just kept asking where his mum and dad were and my dad got tired of seeing him get upset every time he found out they were dead

[–]bropx024 149 points150 points  (0 children)

Oh dude, that's so tragic

[–]Flight_Proper 147 points148 points  (3 children)

My dad got a rare form of meningitis and cannot understand I'm not a teenager. I'm in my mid 30's married with kids. It's sad and exhausting. Edit- its sad/exhausting for me. He doesn't care and isn't affected by it at this point.

[–]AllyJo 675 points676 points  (13 children)

My friend is a nurse and when my mom was sick and we were talking about end-of-life plans, she told me that being in a coma is very traumatizing. The "dreamlike" state that you are constantly in can cause "ICU - induced PTSD" because the patients are living on high-dose sedatives.

[–]thejenglebook 264 points265 points  (1 child)

Yeah this is a big thing. I was in the ICU for ~45 days but I was so sedated I don't remember most of it. The dreams I did have and the stuff I remember now mostly revolved around being trapped, unable to move, being stuck, etc. I also had a very hard time when I was first waking up of just realizing where I was, what happened and why I was there. Scary stuff but it saved my life.

[–]poteitopotahto 104 points105 points  (8 children)

True. Also delirium is one of the most frequent side effects of the ICU, even if you’re not in a coma.

[–]foxtrousers 1492 points1493 points  (40 children)

I went comatose twice in my life, 7-10 hours the time and I've no recollection of the second time. Both originating from the same head condition, hydrocephallic pressurization and I ended up a potato. The waking up from the first coma, I was dazed but functional. Came to and tried to figure out why I was tied down to the hospital bed while I've got all my family members standing in my room crying. 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, I have no recollection of. It's like my brain intentionally decided to shield me from the event, but from what I've gathered, I went from functioning normal up to the day before, told family 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 Cici's Pizza cause it just looked so tasty.

[–]ApplesBananasRhinoc 612 points613 points  (13 children)

You know it’s bad when you’re wanting Cici’s pizza!!

[–]jates513 297 points298 points  (0 children)

Glad you recovered from wanting Cici's, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy

[–]WhiteSquarez 60 points61 points  (4 children)

In basic training, I caught meningitis and was in and out of a coma for about a week. I remember my military leadership visiting me, calling my wife to tell her, and being ambulanced 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 because they didn't give me a catheter nor did anyone help me to the bathroom. So, I just laid in bed and pissed 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 about why no one helped me and 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 down 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.

[–]Waste_Business5180 1213 points1214 points  (61 children)

Doesn’t work like Steven Seagal in hard to kill. Dude wakes up fighting people.

[–]chcampb 739 points740 points  (38 children)

Kill Bill was slightly more accurate, she is pretty fucked up for the entire first scene she wakes, then a time jump happens.

[–]alexrt87 53 points54 points  (13 children)

Hard to Kill might be the living embodiment of “so bad it’s good”

[–]likeasturgeonbass 82 points83 points  (5 children)

"Hard to Kill" sounds like a Chinese bootleg version of Die Hard

[–]hungryandneedtopee 690 points691 points  (22 children)

It wasn’t long, however, I was unconscious for 4 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’s 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 how I got from the hotel (that didn’t exist) to the hospital.

When I first woke up and regained consciousness, which I have no recollection, my cousin said that I looked at her, confused then smiled, while excitedly saying “HANS?!?!?” 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.

Edit: Added details

[–]neuroticpickle 364 points365 points  (3 children)

"HANS?!?!?"

a single tear drops

"Ze flammenwerfer"

[–]Beastabuelos 74 points75 points  (1 child)

Real life with no flammenwerfer, or coma with flammenwerfer. These are the real choices

[–]Tsorovar 48 points49 points  (1 child)

Hans Kristen Andersen, obviously

[–]Cal2391 382 points383 points 2 (14 children)

I was only in a coma for seven days due to Covid kicking my ass. On day six, I was fighting the sedatives and pulled, I think my feeding tube out. So they tried to bring me out of the coma then. My oxygen was too low so they stuck me back under and successfully brought me out of the coma on day 7.

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.

  • the nurses were trying to kill me

  • I had killed someone outside a nightclub which is why the nurses and doctors were happy to kill me

  • the whiteboard on the wall was a computer (it wasn't) and the doctor spent his day writing messages on it to taunt me with

  • I had HIV

  • the ran out of blood for my transfusions (delirious Cal is dumb, like the IV bag was clear, it was probably paracetamol or antibiotics

  • a bunch of my friends walked past my room to test if I could recognise them

  • I tried to escape on day two, 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 me and her got on really well!

On the second day awake my mum and twin were allowed visit me as they figured it would help me mentally. I just thought they were there to say goodbye. I kept talking my brother through 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 visit me as they had recovered from Covid. I'm not sure if they realised it yet but this was the beginning of an episode of acute pancreatitis so i was throwing up any food they tried to give me and asked my mum to try feeding me. She was so proud that I was eating the jelly and ice cream from her! Then I vomited it all over myself and her 😂

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 it was Covid but I thought I had been rude to them and racially abused 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 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 a fucking torture. 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 wasn't able to keep tablets down and my veins were dogshit and kept not working for the cannula. So my team got Radiology to use their imaging equipment to place a large semi-permanent cannula into my brachial artery (right on your bicep) and threaded that to just outside one of the chambers of my heart. It's called a PICC line. I mention it because one of the ICU nurses came with me for this. I was piss-terrified. Its a very simple procedure but everything was scary at that point for me. She held my hand during the procedure and was an incredible support. For anyone curious, at this point I now had one cannula in my left hand, one in my right, a PICC on my right arm, and my mainline in my groin.

I then got discharged down to the regular ward that evening.

On the ward I was so much more aware of what wasn't working. I had a catheter in dealing with the pee but pooping was a challenge, I had to use a bed pan the first few days. I was so happy when I was strong enough to walk the 2 meters to the bathroom and poop myself. I had to carry the catheter bag on the Zimmer frame and try not to jiggle it - which was rather painful...

A day later the catheter came out (which wasn't terrible) and I could pee on my own but I had very little sensation so I had a pee bottle by the bed. I'd get like 20 seconds warning from my body. I had much more warning for poops but I was still vomiting and not eating enough to make a poop.

It was around this time that the emotions started coming back. Either I was just too sick for them in ICU or it was a way of dealing with how scary ICU is, but I was very passive the days I was awake there. Like "oh they're trying to kill me, well ok then, isn't that a shame." So now I remember crying a bit and then recall laughing for the first time since waking up.

I was another three weeks building my strength up and getting over the pancreatitis before I was discharged home.

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 frame 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.

[–]LadyELectaDubz 39 points40 points  (0 children)

Interesting read, glad youre doing ok now

[–]Arilysal 432 points433 points  (13 children)

Not as long but I was in a medically induced coma when I was 7 for a major heart surgery. Back 1997 and they basically had to stop my heart to get it fixed. I was only 7yo and chances of me making it was 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 some of my ward mates didn't make it. I remember one family tried to sue the hospital for malpractice or something but never succeeded.

Anyway I was told I was in a coma and didn't "wake up" until 3 weeks later. Gave my family a lot of heart ache. I had to relearn walking and it was so bizarre knowing you should know this but your limps 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 the head nurse and my family) Gotta love the tough love SEA mentality. I was also made fun by my family for walking like a penguin. 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 have done a lot for me but I still wished they hadn't made fun of my recovery journey.

[–]ohdearitsrichardiii 1733 points1734 points  (13 children)

Most people who are in a coma that long will have mush for brains. It's also extremely rare to regain any degree of consciousness after a whole year. If they do, they will not prioritise catching up on world events and tv-shows, they will be learning to speak, eat, move, recognise friends and family, the names items around them, etc.

[–]NotTheGreenestThumb 565 points566 points  (6 children)

This. I was in a drug induced coma for between 2 and 3 weeks. Don't ask me how long, I can't tell you. That was years ago and I still can't make a timeline for it work. I was "awake" for a day or two and realized my vision was really fuzzy. I finally remembered that I wore glasses. I wasn't able to put them on myself or take them off. Putting my hands to my face was completely exhausting. Rehab was horrible, but it worked well, 2 months to the day I'd gone in, I went home, using a walker and reliant on nearly every one else for every thing else. I could manage getting 8 feet to the toilet and that was about it. Rehab lasted about a year. It sucked!

I have such admiration for people who have worse struggles than mine. The amount of pure grit it takes when your "only" problem is muscle atrophy is miniscule when compared to folks with broken bones or missing muscle pieces. I figure they much have real gravel, not just grit!

[–]rollokolaa 74 points75 points  (1 child)

Hey man I'm glad you've recovered well and I hope you're not downplaying your own struggle too much here. What you went through is something no one would wish on anybody, and a year of rehab is tough as shit. You're a real fighter for going through it. You've got real gravel for sure.

[–]FutureMDdropout 540 points541 points  (14 children)

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. 8 years later my brother got into a coma and almost died. 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 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.

[–]Redeyedkiwi 232 points233 points  (5 children)

The kind voices calling my name and telling me to open my eyes. Soft sweet voices.

Them telling me to cough as they pulled out my intubation tube.

The confusion as to where and who I am.

The feeling of a tube coming out of my penis.

The dire need to shit.

The hairy face.

Seeing my then partner, and the emotions accompanied by that.

And most importantly...... the gratitude of being alive.

It was nothing but darkness and nothing.

*Edited to fix grammatical errors

[–]Xanziz92 38 points39 points  (0 children)

I was in a coma for 3 days after a cardiac arrest (yes not the premise i know) and waking up is alot different than people expect. It took 3-4 days before i started making memories again and the rehabilitation is a bitch. It wasnt as bad for me as some people on here but still. Basic tasks took everything out of me for months, constant headaches, 0 stamina. After months i went to do groceries for the first time and after 10 seconds just walked out of the supermarket after insane sensory overload. Its been 3 years now and i feel like im still getting better every month, i can do everything again but still have to think about when and where i spend my energy or suffer from headaches again.

[–]trashdinosaurs 33 points34 points  (1 child)

Not a coma, so I feel awkward commenting. But I got such a bad knock out and concussion that my memory basically reset by a few years. At the time I was working as a research scientist but when I came to I thought I was still working as a semi-professional musician. My memory came back pretty quickly but not all of it and not all at once.

When I came to I also thought I was still with an ex boyfriend. I remembered him but thought we were still together and because what happened to me I was not in my home state and was in his state, I reached out to him. Despite a rough breakup years earlier he was incredibly kind and patient and understanding.

Over the next few weeks I had friends calling me who heard what happened. It was very weird. Some I didn't remember. Others it felt like I knew them but I had no real idea or context as to her they were.

My memory came back a lot over a few months. I ended up attending a conference months and months later - basically during the first few weeks a good friend said on the phone "so you were supposed to go to Canada for a conference in a few months time..." I decided to still go, and that friend and others were there with me. I spent a lot of the conference with my friend/colleague telling me who I apparently knew and how. It was extremely weird. I was also registered to give two presentations on my research. I pulled out of one but managed to muddle through the other after lots of revision and some help preparing.

Mostly everything is back. But occassionally things still come up that I just don't recall at all or I need a lot of clues and context for the memories to come back, this includes events, people, and just day to day things. I still sometimes get a weird disconnect between what I woke up thinking my life/what year it was. Including, consistently forgetting my real age but a few years, and occasionally having a weird disconnect between what I think I should be doing with work and other things. Thankfully things are pretty normal now aside from very occassionally just not remembering random things or people - a bit more than just the normal human brain mishap but not enough for it to be an issue 99% of the time.

Edit: some of the toughest things to deal was with going through what felt like fresh grief over a breakup, the death of close friends and even a pet, despite the fact I'd technically already lived through those events.

[–]alexroux 102 points103 points  (8 children)

Covid-19 hit my father hard in April. He spent two months in a medically induced coma and he lost a lot of weight and muscle mass during this time. The first three weeks or so he was extremely confused, believed he was in a dream a lot and he did not understand what had happened to him. When I was allowed to visit him he kept on saying "Come on, alexroux, let's go home. Let's leave!" and it broke my heart, because his arms and legs lost function. I tried explaining to him that it wasn't possible yet and he cursed at me like he never had before for every hour he had to remain there. It was tough. He's been transferred to a rehabilitation clinic by now and he's been there for a month. His hands are slowly getting better, his legs haven't regained any function yet, though. There's a long road ahead for him, since his lungs are severly damaged. Speaking is hard enough by itself, PT is at this moment in time barely possible.

[–]TieSpeciale 433 points434 points  (14 children)

I wanted to comment

"Imagine if you just skipped whole covid thing, that'd be so dope"

Then I read through some of the comments and saw that waking up from coma is actually way more fucked up than I thought it would be. My dumbass thought that you wake up and be fuzzy for a week or so, after that you're back to usual stuff. It didn't even cross my mind that relearnig basic functions was a thing...

All you people in the comments, I'm sorry that you had to go through all the pain and I wish you all the best in the future!

[–]groenteman 160 points161 points  (5 children)

I red a out a teen in England who was in a coma from (if I remember correctly) Jan 2020 until November 2020 after a car crash, and woke up but could not hug his mom everyone had face masks and kept their distance (while in coma he had covid 2 times)

That is extra weird waking up

[–]TieSpeciale 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Bruh that's some crazy stuff.

I'm scared to even imagine how they felt when they woke up. Scary af...

[–]JadedBrit 29 points30 points  (7 children)

I was in an induced coma for a month, when I woke I had a trachaeotomy in my throat so couldn't speak. I was heavily sedated with a large open wound in my stomach for the next four months and had so much muscle wastage I couldn't even turn over in bed, I had to be rolled over and propped every 3 hours by staff to stop pressure sores. Don't even ask about the morphine hallucinations.

[–]Wendy28J 271 points272 points  (4 children)

I was only out for about 3 months. When I went "out", it was winter. The trees were bare and the early daffodils we're 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 f'd 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, burley 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! I LOVE You Folks!

[–]capitalismisokiguess 310 points311 points  (8 children)

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.

[–]Anonymous2401 140 points141 points  (2 children)

That must be a fun one to explain to people.

"Oh, you're celebrating. What's the occssion?"

"It's my anniversary"

"Anniversary of your wedding?"

"No, of my death"

[–]Toyake 1157 points1158 points  (89 children)

[–]ThisCouldBeJoe 345 points346 points  (11 children)

I have a worry in the back of my mind that I will some day notice my lamp just doesn't look right.

[–]HeyyLoww 218 points219 points  (25 children)

That story still gives me the chills