Some people say the closest thing to visiting the “other side” are people who happen to fall into a coma. Coma survivors are a unique group of people that survived against all odds and live to tell about it.
These coma survivors not only survived but remembered what it was like to be in a coma and are sharing there fascinating stories. These are true stories compiled form coma survivors who give you a glimpse into what its like “on the other side”.
1. Not Something You Forget
My husband was in a coma for four weeks, lots of brain damage. He woke up to a full wall documenting our relation: trips, wedding pics of our kids. The two kids scared the heck out of him. But he remembered me.
2. Man’s Best Friend is Always a Step Away
When my husband came out of a long period of unconsciousness in the hospice, he thought that the footstool was a dog and kept patting it…we all played along and called it a good boy for the rest of the time there.
3. Who Am I Anymore?
I was in a coma for three days following a serious cycling accident, medically induced. I woke up with zero recollection of why I was there or what was said while I was out. It is easily the scariest situation I’ve found myself in, but I can’t say I remember it. I woke up to my mom and dad in the hospital with me and my body in traction of some sort and that was way scarier to me.
4. Please to Awake to Your Acquaintance
The person I knew in a coma was in it for about three weeks and had no recollection of being in a coma. The doctor was saying his name real loud, and he finally woke up one day. The doctor asked him if he was (insert real name). The patient said, “Yes and whom do I have the pleasure of speaking to?” back to the doctor.
5. Fade to Black
I had a seizure and was in a medically induced coma for 3 days when I was 17. To be honest, I don’t remember anything. I remember fading in and out of the anesthesia trying to pull my breathing tube out and that my hands were restrained to the bed so I couldn’t. When I woke up and was coherent; I couldn’t recall anything from actually being in the coma.
They had even moved me to a hospital over 100 miles away. It was really just nothing but black. No dreams, no lights, no voices, just nothing.
6. Teenage Years are the Most Awkward (and Sleepy) Time of Your Life
When I was a kid, my best friend got hit by a car at age 12. She was in a coma for I think a little over a year. She said she felt like she was asleep but was most freaked out when she woke up and saw that she had gone through puberty while in the coma.
7. No Rest for the Political Animal
Granted it was not a coma, only a trip to Albania. It is quite similar. I was there for six months in 2013 and when I returned, I was told there had been three (Australian) prime ministers while I was gone.
8. Get Up, Touchdown
I was in a coma for two months the year the Patriots went undefeated but lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl and that blew me away. It also was super emotional because watching football was something I did with my dad and when we watched the game together, he broke down telling me how he thought we were never going to get to see another game together.
9. A Game of Musical Beds
This doesn’t count as a long time, but I was put in a medically induced coma for two days due to an attempted suicide via overdose. The weirdest thing was that when I was waking up, I could have sworn that the foot of the bed was pointing towards the window, but when I came to fully, the window was to my right. My bed was never oriented differently.
Another thing is that I have a memory from the night before I woke up, where I heard a family friend and my dad talking about scuba diving. I also had a couple of auditory hallucinations a couple of days after waking up as well. Lastly, a funny thing: As the nurse was taking out my breathing tube/throat tube (they pumped my stomach), I immediately said “thanks” in a breathy rasp once it was out. The nurse laughed and said that I was the first person to ever thank her for doing that.
10. Enter the Shredder
I was in a coma for three or four days after an intentional overdose on pills mixed with some alcohol. I was more or unless just unconscious, but I remember the first time I woke up, it was EXACTLY like those movies where you’re flashing in and out and there are disembodied voices everywhere and people working on you. It was very weird.
I remember waking up a few times once I was out of critical condition, mainly to throw up from the Narcan. Apparently, I had a seizure, I had cyanosis, blood was coming from my mouth and nose, my blood sugar dropped below survivable and then shot up into diabetic coma zone after a glycerin shot (I was severely underweight and I guess they didn’t take that into account).
I had a breathing tube for most of the time. When I woke up, all I knew was that my throat was very sore, and my entire body felt like actual chewed up garbage. Other than that, I had no clue what happened. I just remember taking everything and falling asleep and that was it.
11. Rip Van Winkle You Are Not
That it isn’t like you see in movies, nothing happens when you’re in a coma. Your brain just shuts off. You know when you’re little and you stay the night at a friend’s house? When you wake up you can’t remember where you’re at and get nervous for a second until you remember? That’s EXACTLY what it feels like to wake up from a coma but it never finally “clicks.”
I woke up from a two-month coma after a bad wreck where I broke my neck, hip, couldn’t walk, etc. I could tell I was in the hospital but didn’t know why or what happened. For some reason, I thought I was 60 (and I had been comatose for 30 years). In fact, I had been in a coma for two whole months and was in my late 20s.
Doctors are amazed I survived a two-month coma (which is very unlikely) so this may be the longest period of time you’ll get a legit answer. But of course, people always have stories that are like, “My cousin was in a three-year coma and said…” However, it’s insanely rare that people will “wake up” after even months.
12. Catch Some Z’s (and a Vow of Poverty)
My brother-in-law was in a coma for a month after a car accident in which he lost his eye and almost died. He’s said that he had a vision of “God” holding him underwater three times, almost drowning him the third time, then him giving up and finally being let up into his hometown. He’s had one almost fatal accident after that, and while I’m not superstitious, I do believe sometimes reality can echo the future in ways which our minds can perceive sometimes, even if we can’t fully interpret those echoes. Well, I simply believe he’s eventually going to have a third accident. I fear for him.
13. Cut to the Point
I was hit in the neck with a machete about two years ago and fell and hit my head (someone tried to kill me over something stupid). After being life flighted to the nearest hospital, I was put in an induced coma for a week. I did and do not remember a thing.
14. Life Imitates Coma Art
This is really bizarre, but my uncle, a very serious, strict and rather dry man had an accident and went into coma a few years back. He never believed anything he couldn’t touch, no talks about souls or anything similar. He was in a coma for a few weeks until he woke up and had this crazy story. He said he saw himself in a bubble, floating around in a white place and it was peaceful and beautiful.
But then he said about other bubbles he could see around him. All of them had other people in them. He distinctly remembered a black-haired woman singing in the bubble closest to his until one day her bubble burst and she disappeared. When he woke up, he could give a very clear description of her body, her age, and all that.
Now the crazy bit…there was a woman, one floor below him, in a coma that sadly had passed away before he woke up. You guessed it—black hair, age, body all correct. He had never met or seen this woman in his life. His whole idea of life changed after this. It still makes me think sometimes…Where was he? He thinks all the people in bubbles around him were patients in the same hospital. Could it be? We’ll probably never know.
15. I Can Carry You, Mr. Frodo
I was in a coma for five weeks due to meningococcal disease. I had A LOT of “dreams”, most that I can still remember pretty clearly. You can definitely take in what is being said from the people around you. I was 12 at the time (22 now), and my mother was reading Lord of the Rings to me while I was out. I had some pretty vivid LotR 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.
16. Young at Heart
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, second-hand information) and quite brilliant. She was still 25 mentally—as if everything was just on pause. Her body was really well preserved; She’s really fun and cool and sort of the ultimate cougar. Plus, she totally woke up to the internet.
17. Where You Leave, I Will Follow
I spent eight 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 to 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. 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.
18. To Be a Fly on the Wall…
My dad (an emergency room doctor) told me about this woman in a coma he saw during his residency. The experience taught him that you need to treat everyone like they’re a fully aware and conscious person, even people in comas. He and the other residents would all do their rounds; they had regular patients at the hospital, and they would go from room to room checking on them with the attending physician who instructed them.
One woman was in a deep coma for weeks (months? I’m a little hazy on the details, but it was a long time). Every time they’d come in, he’d say “Hi Ms. ____, I’m Dr ____ and I’m just here to check on you!”. He talked to her like she was listening to him, explaining what he was doing to her step-by-step, and a lot of the other doctors thought it was kind of silly.
I mean, she’s in a coma, so she can’t be listening, right? Well, time goes by and the woman wakes up, all of a sudden. They’re doing their rounds, and he walks in the room and says something. She immediately recognizes his voice: she came into the hospital in a coma and never saw the man, and never heard him talk while she was awake before that day.
She immediately recognizes his voice and says “Oh, I remember you! You’re the one that was so nice to me!” That makes comas seem really terrifying to me: the fact that she was conscious enough to recognize not only a voice, but how someone treated her while she was in a coma. Still, shows you that you can’t just assume someone isn’t listening, just because they aren’t talking.
19. Not a Good Place to Flirt
I was in a coma for three days after a car accident where I hit my head. Pretty much I was driving, then the color purple, then waking up three days later. There really was nothing. It’s not even like sleeping because when you wake up from sleeping you know you were asleep. It is like blinking: one second you are doing something, then the next something totally different.
I do have a vague memory of being on a table with a cute guy wiping my nose, and it hurt really bad. I remember saying “you are super cute” but that’s all. I believe that was before I went into the coma after the accident. I had a brain bruise or something like that and it caused speech problems for about six months after.
20. It’s Not All My Head Is Cracked Up to Be
Just a very short time span (less than a week). But it felt like nothing. You just wake up and realize stuff happened, you get told you’ve been injured, what caused it, what I broke, etc. And somewhere along the lines, they also tell you “you’ve been kept in a coma.” I didn’t bother asking the first time around, but I also remember pretty much nothing around that period in time anyway; they may have told me, I just forgot.
What I distinctly remember is the time of waking up. It just felt like a dream, until your brain actually decides to take notice of what’s happening around you. During the coma, I can’t say I’ve experienced anything at all. Not even vivid dreams, but then again: how often do you remember vivid dreams? Mine usually disappear in under 5 seconds after waking up.
Time did fly by, in a sense that time flies by as you sleep. You’re aware that time passed, but that’s it. Plenty of other priorities. Such as: what’s this stick inside my penis (to not wet the bed)? Why is part of my beard gone (accident scar on my chin, kickass)? Why do I feel drunk (painkillers and concussion from hell)? That’s about all I remember from that time.
21. In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream
I’m a burn survivor. I was in an explosion in my back yard 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 nor give any signs that I could hear my family or medical staff.
22. Not Ready to Check Out Just Yet
When I was considered medically “dead,” I couldn’t hear anyone. 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.
23. Paint it Black
I was in a coma for about two weeks following a cardiac arrest as a teen. I was technically dead for over an hour, in fact. People often ask me if I could hear my family talking to me or if I was dreaming. The answer is “No.” There is a huge hole in my memory beginning about two weeks before the coma through a week after “waking up.”
And waking up is in quotes because I would wake up, ask a bunch of semi-incoherent questions, fall back under, then wake up again and ask the exact same questions, in the exact same order. Repeat six or seven times. The coma was not even blackness. It just does not exist. I remember having the hardest time believing it was actually mid-October when the last day I remembered was late-September.
24. Say it Ain’t “O”!
I was in a coma for two weeks because of swine flu. During this time, Oprah announced she was ending The Oprah Winfrey Show. I was very upset to learn this after the fact. Mostly because the TV running in my room plus the drugs they gave me to keep me under gave the most cinematic dreams I’ve ever experienced—somehow the news of Oprah retiring filtered into my brain as dreaming about saving the whales with her in a submerged Chicago.
We had champagne brunch. It was excellent. I was also a superhero who could fly and fought my enemies on the rims of volcanoes. And then I woke up and not only could I not fly, but my buddy Oprah had betrayed me into retirement. I was crushed.
25. Time Flies When You’re Having No Fun
I don’t know if this counts, because it was only three weeks, but I was so shaken when someone put on the TV and it was a newsreel about a festival in a town over. I wasn’t even going to go…I just felt so weird because this was still like three weeks away you know? This can’t be on TV?! Did I just miss three whole weeks?!! Ow, what the heck happened??
I was in a coma? oh, oh yeah something bad happened to me, what happened? EXPLOSION???!! I’m not going into the details of the accident, but it was an explosion on the work floor that threw a piece of metal straight towards me… tried to catch it my arms and then my face. Didn’t catch it; the wall did though, and it had a huge hole in it.
I still don’t get how I didn’t’ die that day. I destroyed my upper and lower jaw, my arm, pinky and burned most of my lips. Mostly second degree, so that wasn’t really the problem. The problem was the jaws and the arm. My jaws were completely shattered into more than a hundred pieces. The doctor told me he had to put pieces of bone in random places because he couldn’t find the right spot they came from.
Lost most of my teeth, about 3/4 of them. My lower lip was ripped off and was just hanging by one blood vessel and a few nerves. After ten years, I still don’t have all feeling back but that’s the new normal, so I don’t really notice anymore. And the arm was broken on the lower half, both bones snapped like little trees and one of the bones sticking out of a gaping wound. Fun times.
26. All the Colors of the Pain-bow
When I was a kid, I was messing around in our house that was under construction. I fell through the open floor to the floor below. My brother saw me land on my head and called 9-1-1. I “woke up” the next day watching TV and eating Teddy Grahams in the hospital. Then I don’t remember anything until a few days later when I was at home.
My parents said I was never unconscious because I was complaining the entire time, and I was able to eat and use the restroom on my own, but I don’t remember a thing. I’m colorblind where I have a hard time seeing green; it comes across as blue, grey, or brown most of the time. Yellow and purple are also hard for me. I didn’t actually realize I was colorblind for a few years. I found out that the type I have can be caused by a head injury.
27. Inception is Less Sexy IRL
My wife was in a “medically induced coma,” which is really just heavy sedatives and paralytics for 13 days. She had complications from a bilateral lung transplant. The hardest part for her was she had very realistic dreams during where she went home and came back to the hospital. So the first few times they woke her up (reducing the medications to check for neurological function), she was fairly panicked.
So, I got in the habit of telling her the daytime and location each time they woke her. Letting her know she was safe. It was extra hard on her as she was on a ventilator and restrained so she couldn’t communicate what she wanted to know. Interestingly, we were able to often tell what part of the “dream” responded to different events of her stay in the ICU.
That was in February. She still sometimes has to ask if things she remembers really happened or if they were part of the dreams. Good news she’s home now, nearly fully recovered with just some mild kidney problems that are getting better and some neuropathy in her left leg. She’s able to walk with a walker and do a lot of things on her own again.
28. Making Up for Lost Time
My girlfriend of six years was in a severe car crash when she was 16. Both of her best friends died instantly. She was the only survivor, but they didn’t think she would make it. She was in a coma for nine months. She was in what is called a waking coma. She retained normal periods of sleep and open-eyed wakefulness, but no higher brain functions.
Here are some things about her experience. She doesn’t have any memories of the year prior or the year-and-a-halfish after her coma and obviously no memories of the car crash. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and when she first got out of the coma, she would get naked and sexual with people and anger very easily. These are common problems of people who suffer a TBI.
She went back to school after the coma, but her brain was still healing a lot. She was held back another year because her brain was still not retaining anything. Today she is a wonderful, bright 30-year-old with a college degree. She has a slight speech impediment, gets frustrated easier than most, and it took her a while to get driving down. Honestly, she still scares the hell out of me when she drives, but there are worse drivers out there.
29. Who Needs Memory When You Have Friends?
After being in a really bad accident that left one of my good friends (the driver) brain dead, they put me into a chemically induced coma for under a week to prevent brain damage due to swelling. When I first woke up, my memory was much better than it was as it gradually faded in the days to come. I have a journal my mother recorded things in, and I recalled many things I shouldn’t have been able to immediately after waking up.
Today, I have very little memory of it all, but I can definitely say that having positive people around you definitely helps when you’re in a situation like that. If you have a friend in this situation, don’t disregard them. Even though your life has moved on, they may wake up one day, and in their mind, not a day has passed since the last conversation they had with you.
30. Do it For Him
About three years ago, I overdosed on sleeping pills and it caused me to go into a coma. I remember a lot of what my family said but one thing stood out: my dad’s voice. I remember him saying “I love you and I know you miss your mom and brother, but I still need you.” I was in that damn coma for a month and I woke up five minutes after he said that.
I couldn’t speak because I had tubes down my throat and I was nonverbal for a while after because the pills messed up my brain, I don’t know how I remembered, but I remembered the slang sign for I love you. I still struggle with suicide but any time I think about it I remember what my dad said, and I try to do the opposite of what I was going to do.
31. You’ll Know Death When You See Him
I was in an induced coma for five days after heart surgery due to a reaction to anesthesia. Don’t remember anything from the time I left my room for surgery till after waking up. When finally awake still had a breathing tube in my throat so I could not talk. With all the pain meds I really couldn’t feel anything. I wasn’t sure if I still had my heart or if I was on a machine.
The only thing I could think to write on the note pad was “Am I dying?” The doctor’s response was “Do you feel like you’re dying?” I wrote, “I don’t know.” She said, “Then you’re not dying.”
32. Not a Friend to All Animals
My friend was in a medically induced coma for 40 days. She doesn’t remember anything except when they were taking her out of the coma, and she was still heavily drugged. They had a tube in her throat, so she couldn’t really speak, but had a notepad. One of the first things she said was “F— sharks”. She’s never seen a shark outside the aquarium, but she thought one of the beeping machines was a video game that had something to do with sharks, and it pissed her off quite thoroughly.
33. Shop ‘Til You Drop
Three-week coma after routine surgery. I was going to be discharged the next day, but it the fan. I did not know that I was in a coma until I woke up, have no clue what happened before but while I was “dreaming.” I was leaving the hospital every night going shopping, partying, getting into fights. It never occurred to me it was strange that I was doing this in a hospital gown.
When I came to, I was so confused that I had to stay longer in the hospital because of it. It messed me up emotionally and mentally because I was in a state of “Is what I’m seeing real?” Wouldn’t wish that on my worse enemy. Even now, I have moments of not thinking I’m awake, but it only lasts a few seconds.
34. Change the Channel, Honey
I was in a nine-day coma earlier this summer. I had some crazy hallucinations/dreams that still bother me a bit. The first one I can remember wasn’t so bad, I had to design the new stadium for the upcoming Super Bowl, and then went on to win said Super Bowl. Another was being in some kind of tattoo parlor but instead of getting some ink done, the doctor/artist gave me a swirly vagina-like shape on the side of my scrotum.
The last one I remember was shooting my mother’s father (whom I’ve never met it my real life). Upon waking up it took me a while to realize that none of it actually happened.
35. No Use Wasting Vacation Days
I was in an alcoholic coma. When I woke up, I asked for a pen and paper and said I had to go to work.
36. One Wedding and an Almost-Funeral
I was actually in a coma very recently; from June 17 to 28 last year. I passed out from heat stroke at the wheel and crashed my car at full speed into a tree. the airbags didn’t deploy, and I broke my clavicle and fractured my skull. I had no idea what had happened until I woke up one day and someone told me. I dreamed that I was at my best friend’s wedding and that a bunch of my friends from work were there.
In the dream, they kept giving me drinks, but I wanted to go home so my friend called an ambulance to take me home. I gave them my address and told them to just take me home, but they didn’t. that last part may have been memories from when I lost consciousness and was in an actual ambulance.
37. Back to the Old Grind
I was in a coma for two weeks and during that time I dreamed of my normal everyday life, going to work, hanging out with my significant other and such. When I woke up, I had a hard time understanding that what I dreamed was only a dream and that I hadn’t actually been awake and doing my normal routine. It really messed with me, and I had a sort of existential crisis. I couldn’t distinguish whether or not real life was real or not for a while and it scared the mess out of me.
38. Have You Tried Rebooting Yourself?
Does three weeks count as a long time? I was in a motorcycle accident and was out for three weeks, woke up as the person I am today, not really as the person before (although I have a few of his memories). Found out that my hippocampus was damaged, so that accounted for the memory loss. I woke up remembering a lot of school stuff and things I read before but had a very hard time remembering/knowing people.
Didn’t totally recognize my dad, had no idea who my mom was. I was apparently dating a really pretty girl, but I have no idea who she was, no memory of her. We tried to make it work, but it was too weird; the old me was too different from the new me, and I felt no connection to her. I did become really good at philosophy and logic after I woke up, ended up going to college to study it, got a year left before I can lecture in it as well, so I guess that’s a plus.
It’s still weird sometimes people will approach me and greet me. They know so much about “me,” but I have no idea who they are. I usually have to explain to them what happened, and things get a little weird sometimes, but usually, end up making/remaking a friend.
39. A Coma Doesn’t Get You a Free Flight, Gramps
My grandpa’s biggest shock waking from a coma was the news he wasn’t in Spain. He was hit by a car near his house in England and a lot of the nurses in intensive trauma unit were Spanish. He caught their accent and thinks they sometimes spoke to each other in Spanish (they aren’t meant to, but we don’t care, as he had excellent care).
Maybe when he started opening his eyes briefly, he saw their skin tone. He couldn’t understand how he had got to Spain. When he was coming around, he was getting distressed, we kept telling him he was ok, he was in the hospital and the tube was helping him breathe. We forgot to share the news YOU HAVE NOT LEFT THE COUNTRY.
He was also shocked to find his feet hadn’t been amputated, his feet and ankles weren’t injured (about the only bit of him which wasn’t) but somehow in the coma he thought they were. When fully conscious he was shocked at the football results!
40. What Did I Miss?
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. She answered, “You’ve been in a coma for over 10 weeks; it’s February.” He thought he was in the recovery room after surgery.
41. You’re Never Alone as Long as You Have Yourself
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 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.
The next time it happened was when my best friend came to see me. Again, I can’t move, I can’t see, and I can’t talk. But when I “woke up” in my head, I could feel her holding my hand and asking me to squeeze if I could hear her talking. I tried as hard as I could to squeeze my hand and I could feel it doing absolutely nothing. When she let go to walk away, I was completely devastated.
I tried to scream for her to stay, but obviously, nothing happened. However, I was so glad that the people I knew were there wherever I was and that I was getting help, even though I felt completely helpless. That kind of helped. Then I had to calm myself down again so that I could drift off again. Whenever I would “wake up” in my head, it was always the same.
I was confused at first, but then remembered that this is how I was. I had no idea what had happened and really didn’t think about it too much. I have no idea how long I was “conscious” for when it happened, but I don’t think that it was for very long. The condition that I was in required as little external stimulus as possible, so most talking was forbidden unless it was absolutely necessary.
Thank goodness for my friends who believed that I might be able to hear them and talked to me anyway. There were a few times when I would have these incredibly vivid dreams. To this day, those dreams are like actual memories to me. If I think about them, I have to remind myself that they didn’t happen. When I was finally brought out of the coma, my parents were there and that didn’t make any sense because my parents lived two states away at the time.
I eventually learned that they had been there the entire time. They dropped everything in their lives and came to be with me and stayed there throughout the entire ordeal. After a couple of days (I think), some doctors came in and asked me a bunch of questions. The first question was what year it was. That I knew because I remembered getting sick on New Year’s Eve, so I knew it was 2000.
Next was who the President was. I answered Clinton, so I got that right. Then they asked if I knew where I was. I assuredly said, “Honolulu” because, in my dreams, I had been in Honolulu. When all of their faces had that confused Scooby-Doo look is when I realized that wasn’t quite right, so I figured that I must have been back in Salt Lake City (somehow). They appeared quite relieved when I came up with that.
42. No Privacy When Your Memory is an Open Door
I was in a coma for two and a half months in 2015 when I was 27, following a serious car accident. When I woke up, I still had a tracheotomy and couldn’t speak. I don’t remember a damn thing from the time I was in a coma, but what blew my mind is when I woke up, my new boyfriend at the time was standing there with my parents.
They were chatting to each other like they knew each other. I am a super private and had made every effort for them to not even know of him, so I found this disturbing. I also had no recollection of the accident for months and for a week or two after waking up I had to be retold where I was and what had happened every time I dozed off and woke up.
I had no idea where I was and I thought I was 23, not 27, over a period of months. I also had a really hard time recognizing faces. Like I would see people I knew that I knew but I couldn’t remember why or their names or anything, they would just look familiar. One time, about a month after I had woken up, my parents took me in my hospital bed for a walk in the courtyard of the hospital.
We passed a large mirror in the lobby and I freaked out. I saw my reflection and I knew it was me because I recognized my parents pushing the bed, but I didn’t recognize my own face. There were no injuries to my face or anything, I just didn’t recognize myself. It also blew my mind that I had gone into the coma in late winter, and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground.
When I woke up it was spring, and there was no snow (I had a large window in my hospital room). The news that shocked me the most was the fact that my parents had gone in and packed up my entire apartment. Like I mentioned, I was super private and the idea that they went in there and boxed up all my stuff and gave up my lease was hard to grasp. Obviously, it made sense, but I was troubled by it all.