Have you ever wondered what it's like to be in a coma? Imagine if your constant state was wondering what was real or imagined. Though some people experience nothing while in a coma, others have dreams so vivid, they wake up convinced they lived 10 years in the span of a few weeks.
Many coma survivors say one of the scariest things was the process of waking up - it's a long, drawn out struggle of waking up in your mind before you really have control of your body. During this state of trying to regain consciousness, most patients report being able to hear what's going on around them to a certain degree. And they have plenty of stories about creepy things overheard. To find out more about what it's like to be in a coma, check out these crazy accounts from Redditors who survived to tell their tales.
From Redditor /u/TheOpus:
I was in a medically induced coma (with induced, full-body paralysis) for six weeks. There were a handful of times that I distinctly remember where I "woke up" in my head. What was the experience like? It sucked.
When I would wake up in my head, I had no idea as to what had happened. So I'm fully conscious, I know that I'm me, but I can't open my eyes, I can't move a muscle and I can't speak. The first time it happened was terrifying. I started to panic and for a minute there, I thought I might be dead. Then I realized that I was thinking, so that didn't seem right. I tried to move and couldn't. I tried to speak and couldn't. I tried to scream and couldn't.
I realized at that point that if I didn't calm myself down that I would go crazy inside my own head and no one would could help me. Though I was on a ventilator, in my head I did deep breathing exercises. (At the time, I think that I thought that I was actually breathing.) I listened to the clicking of machines and tried to focus on those. Then I started counting the sound of something that seemed repetitive. That gave me enough to focus on until I eventually drifted off again.
From Redditor /u/XxBURNBOYxX:
I'm a burn survivor. I was in an explosion in my backyard when I was seven years old. While I was in the hospital, I was in a medically induced coma to make my chances of surviving higher.
I do remember a few things that happened while I was in said coma. I remember my father reading the seventh book of the Magic Tree House to me and I remember hearing the screams of new patients that would come in. But I couldn't move my body at all or give any signs that I could hear my family or medical staff.
From Redditor /u/Tinman556:
I spent 8 days in a coma last year after a particularly traumatic surgery, my waking thoughts were wondering if I had died or made it. I couldn't open my eyes and I was on a medical air mattress so I felt like I was floating. This led me to think that I had died, and I remember thinking it wasn't so bad and wondering if my dad would come find me.
Once I realized that I was still alive, I thought I had been injured fighting in a war and worried that my wife might not know I was still alive. Trying to communicate with the nurses while intubated and drugged was very difficult. What I learned later from my wife is that she was there the whole time and while I was fighting against the doctors and nurses I would immediately calm down and cooperate when she held my hand and sang to me.
It still brings tears to my eyes to think of the love and devotion she has shown to me during this time.
From Redditor /u/nitzlarb:
My dad was in a coma for about two months a couple years ago. Recently, we were talking about the whole thing, and he told me that he had dreamed/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 times during it.
When he woke up/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.