Former Coma Patients Describe What It Was Like Being Trapped In Their Own Bodies
It's so hard to imagine what it would be like to be in a coma, if you've never been in one. Is it like sleep? Do you maintain some level of consciousness? What exactly does it mean to be in a coma? What's so scary is scientists have almost no answers for us. It's impossible to replicate the level of consciousness from inside of a coma. Luckily, there are some surviving coma victims who can share with us.
Redditor lauren__95 asked the internet:
Here were some of the harrowing recounts.
My husband was put into a medically induced coma when he was 4 years old for 6 weeks, after a near death experience post-tonsillectomy (that's a whole other story - lead to the discovery of a very rare bleeding disorder.)
During the coma he could hear everything and he could feel. His family would notice tears, he was crying while comatose, and no one could figure it out, not even the doctors. Then one day his grandma got this idea that if he could cry, maybe he could feel, and if he could feel, maybe he's itchy. She scratched his whole body for him. The crying stopped. She did it every day till he woke up. He remembers feeling itchy and not being able to scratch. He also remembers the relief when his grandma started doing it for him.
I went into a coma, after spending 2 & 1/2 months semi-comatose. I may as well have been in a coma the entire time, since I have very little memory of what occurred that entire time, but then again, my memory sucks as a whole, thanks to this entire event. My seizure meds were no longer flushing through my system, and my body just started shutting down, til I ended up fully comatose. Apparently I was having what my sister called a never-ending seizure while in the coma, which led to my being tied to the bed. At one point, I felt my step-mother rubbing on my arm, while her and my sister told me to settle down. Shortly after, the dr told them to go ahead and begin funeral plans, but thankfully, not in my presence. However, the following afternoon, I began the slow process of waking up, pissed off because something was making a god awful noise and I couldn't open my eyes to figure out what it was. Come to find out, it was me, by swallowing against the tube in my throat. Terrifying experience overall, even if most of it has been relayed to me secondhand.
I don't remember anything from those 6 weeks; but I woke up angry with a family member who rarely visited and did/said dumb stuff around my comatose self. Apparently, when the doctors said I could hear, they weren't wrong. Was angry for quite a while.
In my case I was perfectly aware of everything going around me but trapped in a sleeping body. Couldn't move a single part of my body for myself but was able to hear, feel and even focus and see when the dr lift my eyelid. Very frightening. Luckily it only lasted a couple/three hours tops (it was caused by an unknown extreme allergy to opioids).
Short backstory, anesthetics don't work on me. I lose control of my body, but I can hear and feel everything. And I mean everything. My appendix burst a few years ago, I had surgery and I was comatose for 3 days because of the anesthesia. I felt every cut and every stitch, I heard the surgeon talking about his daughter's school play, I felt dad hugging me and crying after the surgery, but I couldn't react. I heard my brother yelling at the doctors why I wasn't awake yet, and my highschool friend talking to me.
This is why I'm scared to get that f-cker of a wisdom tooth removed. What if it happens again?
I was put into an induced coma for about 6 days after being struck by a taxi while crossing a road. I was blackout drunk when it happened so for the most part I don't remember anything from about the time I went out for the night to when I was properly woken up after my first surgery (facial reconstruction for my broken frontal bone). However, I was woken up periodically to check how responsive I was. The memories for this stretch of time were pretty hazy. The first thing I remember was waking up and freaking out about having a breathing tube down my throat. This was around the 5th day. Seriously freaked me the f-ck out tbh, it felt like I was being abducted by aliens.
To The Stars
I was once in a coma for 72 hours.
I remember seeing stars, and a voice telling me to count all the stars if I want to go back, I remember looking 'up' at them and telling the voice it's impossible, there are too many, then I started counting them...
Besides that, I just remember waking up and feeling groggy.
Strange but true.
1st time I've ever told that story.
I was in a coma for 11 days from an accident. The Neurologist(s), Internist, Nurses, etc told me I was one of the most 'agitated' Coma patients they had ever seen. They literally had to invent new, almost boxing-type gloves for my hands! But to answer your question, I do remember being in my coma sometimes...its been over a year, and I can still recollect the 'world' that I resided in for those 11 days as clearly now as when I woke up. Contrary to popular culture, one doesn't just "wake up" from a coma and are suddenly themselves. It's very gradual. Takes days. I remember being in a dream-like state, but in that 'dream' I could taste, touch, feel, hear, etc. Its weird. I remember choosing to wake up as well. I was on a cabana on the beach when a guy in his thirties (I can still see his face but he was a complete stranger) approached and spoke with me for a while. As he was talking, suddenly the buildings behind me, pieces of furniture, even people, start to fade away, and disappear altogether. He told me remain calm, and that I had a choice: I could remain where I was, or I could take a left, and walk down the beach to a 'tiki like shack' of sorts, where a Haitian woman would be waiting. I chose to walk. When I arrived at the shack, the woman asked me if I was ready, took me inside, had me lie down on a small, twin bed, and when I replied that I was ready now, I just...started to wake up. Once I 'woke up' from my coma, no matter how many times I floated in and out of consciousness, I could never return to that state again.
I was in a coma in 2007 after suffering Traumatic Brain Injury from crashing my head through a fence as the result of an ATV crash.
I had the craziest dreams, wow. I can still remember a couple of them pretty vividly. I feel like some of the things that were happening in real life were actually contributing to the dreams; for instance one involved the nurses and I got them to take me to a pig blood party in the hospital hallways. There was another wild one involving going through the drive through at mcdonald's in a jeep wrangler with a machine gun strapped to the top.
My coma was roughly a week but I don't remember anything from that week. I recall the ambulance ride (I had busted my head pretty badly) and know that I heard them saying I would be okay. When I woke up I thought it was still the same day. It was kind of like when you lay down to sleep and wake up eight hours later but it feels like you blinked. You know time passed but it feels like an instant. I tried to sit up but the doctor stopped me and talked to me until I was coherent. Apparently I had been in the process of coming around for about an hour by the time I tried to sit up.
My mom claims that I knew songs after my coma that I couldn't have heard before but I listened to so much radio back then I don't really know if that's accurate.
throw away account cause this is really personal.
While unconscious on the ground I lived a different life.
I met a wonderful young lady, she made my heart skip and my face red, I pursued her for months and dispatched a few jerk boyfriends before I finally won her over, after two years we got married and almost immediately she bore me a daughter.
I had a great job and my wife didn't have to work outside of the house, when my daughter was two she [my wife] bore me a son. My son was the joy of my life, I would walk into his room every morning before I left for work and doted on him and my daughter.
One day while sitting on the couch I noticed that the perspective of the lamp was odd, like inverted. It was still in 3D but... just.. wrong. (It was a square lamp base, red with gold trim on 4 legs and a white square shade). I was transfixed, I couldn't look away from it. I stayed up all night staring at it, the next morning I didn't go to work, something was just not right about that lamp.
I stopped eating, I left the couch only to use the bathroom at first, soon I stopped that too as I wasn't eating or drinking. I stared at the lamp for 3 days before my wife got really worried, she had someone come and try to talk to me, by this time my cognizance was breaking up and my wife was freaking out. She took the kids to her mother's house just before I had my epiphany.... the lamp is not real.... the house is not real, my wife, my kids... none of that is real... the last 10 years of my life are not f-cking real!
The lamp started to grow wider and deeper, it was still inverted dimensions, it took up my entire perspective and all I could see was red, I heard voices, screams, all kinds of weird noises and I became aware of pain.... a f-cking sh-t ton of pain... the first words I said were "I'm missing teeth" and opened my eyes. I was laying on my back on the sidewalk surrounded by people that I didn't know, lots were freaking out, I was completely confused.
at some point a cop scooped me up, dragged/walked me across the sidewalk and grass and threw me face down in the back of a cop car, I was still confused.
I was taken to the hospital by the cop (seems he didn't want to wait for the ambulance to arrive) and give CT scans.
I went through about 3 years of horrid depression, I was grieving the loss of my wife and children and dealing with the knowledge that they never existed, I was scared that I was going insane as I would cry myself to sleep hoping I would see her in my dreams. I never have, but sometimes I see my son, usually just a glimpse out of my peripheral vision, he is perpetually 5 years old and I can never hear what he says.
I was in a medical induced coma for a month when I was 8 years old. I could hear the people around me, I wanted to move but I could not I could not open my eyes.
When I did dream it was extremely vivid and mostly nightmares due to the medications I was on. I don't remember them now but my parents say that my heart rate would go up and I looked scared.
I never want to be in a coma again. I still get anxiety thinking about it, even though all I remember is being paralyzed. Not being able to open my eyes, but hearing my parents discussion was terrifying. I wanted to join in I wanted to move, but I couldn't even with my brushes with death this is the one experience I experience the most anxiety/fear from.
I can't speak to her experience as she didn't make it through, but my aunt was in a coma and responded to things we said. Around christmas, my mom said "if Sandy doesn't get up or isn't able, one of us will have to make the deviled eggs this year" and my Aunt's blood pressure spiked. My mom freaked out and said "sorry, we won't take your job from you Sandy" and it went back down as soon as it came.
Band Of Brothers
Personally I was never in a coma but my uncle worked on an oil rig that burnt down. In a small Canadian town named Flin Flon. He was on the top floor of a 15 story tower as it was on fire. The event is known as one of the more tragic events in the town and everyone who lives there knows about it and someone who was affected by it. All my uncles friends ended up dying except for my uncle. 80% of his body is burns and was in a coma for 2.5 months I think and says the entire time he was dreaming that he was a solider at war and his co-workers were his army pals and he watched them all die in the field and he said he thought it was all real.
Wall Of Clowns
Was in an induced coma for a week when I was 6.
I dreamt really weird sh-t. I dreamt of this red wall with red objects, slowly passing by in front of my eyes. I also dreamt of a few situations with people I knew (not even friends) where the room was really weirdly lit and it seemed like people were laughing at me. It was kind of scary, cause it I somehow felt something was wrong but there wasn't anything I could do to change it. Lastly, I dreamt of clowns that were laughing at me, but I think that was just me being high on morphine, cause I later heard that I was swearing like hell at the clowns who were supposed to cheer me up.
I've been in a coma - don't remember a thing. It was basically just like a normal night of sleep, except a bit longer. I usually don't dream (or remember doing so), and nothing was really different about it.
I've also had sleep paralysis, and that's a completely different deal. After a long, sleepless night, I was waiting outside a classroom on campus, and sat down in a chair. The moment I leaned my head backward, everything blacked out. I was still completely conscious, but couldn't see anything, couldn't hear anything, and couldn't move a muscle. Right as I internally started panicking, I heard myself start snoring - like incredibly loud, almost cartoonish-level snoring. I desperately tried moving anything I could, mostly out of sheer embarrassment because it still sounded like I was snoring. What felt like minutes later, I finally managed to move an elbow slightly closer inward off of the armrest of my chair, which jolted me sideways a bit, waking me up. Vision and sound started flooding back in, and I immediately noticed that no one around seemed to notice or care that I was basically trapped inside myself for a few minutes. I never did find out if I was actually making any sounds or weird movements, but it was definitely an experience that I don't want to repeat.
I'd pick a coma over sleep paralysis any day.
Not me, but my mom. She had a minor procedure last year which went sideways (she developed acute pancreatitis and she went into shock); she slipped into a coma for two months.
She said that she could hear us from time to time, but it was all like a dream. For instance, my sis learned that she was pregnant on the same day my mom slipped into the coma and she told her about it while she was asleep - she woke up and remembered it.
She also had some really weird and vivid dreams. For instance, she was convinced (even after she woke up!) that I was replaced by an impostor. She also woke up angry at my dad about something that happened in a dream. My sister was the only one who she wasn't angry with. At least I know which of her children she loves more is.
I had a short-term (1 night) medically induced coma after reacting violently to an anti-nausea medicine and then given an overdose (mistakenly) of antihistamine to stop the reaction.
I had crazy, vivid nightmares for 8 hours (probably induced by the overdose of antihistamine my body was trying to get rid of). I was never so happy to wake up in my life. I only have nightmares in normal life (never good dreams), so maybe someone else would've been just dreaming.
I was in a coma for 3 Days. It was as if I fell asleep waiting for a nurse and then instantly woke up in a hospital bed. Time travel is never a good thing. My blood sugar was at around 800. This is when I found out that I had childhood onset diabetes at the age of 22. I had lost 40 lbs in 3 months. Went from 6'2 185-145. Within a few days of waking up they had rehydrated my body and I gained most of my weight back. Pretty scary sh-t.
All I Ever Wanted
My wife was in a coma for several weeks. She was touch and go at first, thought we might lose her, so I didn't bring the kids up. About the 2nd week, after she has stabilized but still in a coma I finally brought the kids up.
While they were their I got them talking about past vacations. Asked them which was their favorite and we talked for a long while about road trip vacations we had taken...one to Nevada & Arizona and one to New Mexico. Then we talked about our what our next vacation should be and they were all into seeing more pueblos, mountains, deserts, caves, dormant volcanoes, canyons etc..kids were laughing and it was quite therapeutic overall.
Flash forward to about a month and a half later when my wife is out of the coma and she has completely real memories of a new vacation. In her mind she has a week long road trip from Texas to New Mexico, then Arizona and back...that never happened. Crazy.
Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.
Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.
No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.
We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.
Redditor Toothpiicxxk asked:
"What's the worst reason you woke up?"
These truly are the worst.
We love our pets, but sometimes not so much.
"My cat was throwing up right next to me."
"She brought you breakfast how cute."
"I was just about to answer that my cat threw up right on me, specifically my hair, which I had just washed..."
Some horrible news hits you.
"Being woken up to be told someone you know died certainly qualifies."
"Or when you already know, but you wake up in that ignorant bliss that lasts for about a second and then it hits you. And this goes on for a long time."
"It's been about 15 years and I still will wake up on occasion thinking I have to tell my older brother something cool that I know he'd love to hear about. Or have a vivid a** dream about how it was all an mistake and he's still here. Happens less often then it used to but oof does it ever still hurt."
"Woke up at about 3am to a cop repeatedly ringing my bell. my mom had accidentally drowned in the tub. she was really weak from chemo."
"Woke up to a phone call telling me my incredible brother-in-law had been hit and killed by a drunk & high driver, his wife was also expected to pass as her neck had been broken, and their kids were both in surgery. My husband and I were in the will to get the kids, so we needed to fly to Chicago right away. As I sat there in shock, I hung up the phone, turned to see my sleeping husband snoring away, and knowing I would now have to wake him up to tell him the worst news he would ever hear."
2018 false missile alert.
"I live in Hawaii, that time we got the missile scare."
"Oof at least it wasn't real but I would have definitely panicked if that was me."
"Damn, I slept straight through it. My mom literally woke me up, told me; and I still went back to sleep."
"What were you supposed to do? Go outside and witness your annihilation?"
"I think it's the right thing to do to inform people even if there isn't necessarily anything that can be done about it."
"Some people would appreciate being able to conduct prayers, get one last hug with their loved ones, etc."
"Cockroach walking on my lips with no shame. I brutally murdered it as soon as I yeeted it halfway across the room."
"I had a weird dream about a cockroach somehow paralyzing a friend then walking towards me in that same room. Then I awoke to find this a**hole cockroach slowly creeping on my lips."
"When I threw it away, what startled me was it did not panic AT ALL. It even slowly headed towards me!"
"I also mouth washed and brushed my teeth and even disinfected my lips with alcohol. It was a surreal experience."
"I seriously loathe roaches and there's no other way to ensure its death than a brutal one."
Screams in the night.
"One time I got woken up by a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. I live alone and it also woke up my dog who was freaked out the rest of the night. Searched everywhere including outside and didn't find anything."
"Well that was lucky. Imagine what would have happened if you had found it..."
"Hopefully a fox, coyote, cat, or cougar."
"Being clearly asleep, and then someone wakes you to ask, 'Are you asleep?'"
"Bruh my mom be like [this]."
"The only correct answer to this question is 'yes.'"
"I woke up to my mom calling me sobbing because she thought I had died, I was 10 hours away and my blood sugar was severely low and wasn't answering any calls, that was horrifying."
"We've learned what does and doesn't work for waking me up in a medical emergency."
"Blood sugar can be a b*tch, found my mum having a really bad hypo while sleeping when I was a toddler and for years and years after would wake her up to check she was okay without realizing I was doing it for that reason. Glad you're okay!"
Something so relatable.
"My alarm rung. It's a daily struggle."
We've all been there.
If you're not a morning person, waking up in the morning can already be a challenge, but no one wants to get woken up to horrible news or an emergency.
In fact, we should be waking up naturally with our own personal sleeping patterns.
We all know that's easier said than done.
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People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.
The excuses people use to dismiss behavior range from mundane and meaningless to the sort of leaps normally reserved for kangaroos and Olympians. It's sometimes amazing that these excuses work - but they do.
Some of them work so well that they're just sort of "accepted." That, obviously, kind of sucks and is something we should avoid - so let's talk about 'em.
Can't swerve around what you don't see, ya know?
Reddit user TMTtasmachine asked:
... and away we go.
" 'That's just how they are.' "
"One of the biggest enablers for tantrum throwing, bullying, etc. is that they get treated with kid gloves to avoid dealing with them." - alexrt87
"Oh my God you hit the nail on the head. Whenever someone says 'that's just the way they are' I say:"
" 'Yes, that's the point! Glad you noticed too! Now is it okey-doke for them to be jerks they have special jerk privileges? Or maybe they are just people and should treat everyone else as such?' " - notatrumpchump
"It depends on how it's said."
"People are the way that they are, and you shouldn't be surprised when they continue to be that way."
"This, obviously, doesn't excuse it - but people also shouldn't be surprised when a bad person continues to make bad decisions. Neither should we waste space in our minds being bothered by it." - unlawfulfoxy
Harassment Isn't Humorseason 2 lol GIF by ShamelessGiphy
" 'It's just a joke, bro.' Harassing people isn't humor." - loading__99
"A guy who says/does offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him." - Eatsleeptren
"Dude, legit had someone come up to me and start shouting in my face, calling me Madison, pretending I was cheating on him. Literally the most crowded location outside a theater, everyone staring at us, looking at me like I was some horrible cheater while I was out with my then fiancé."
"I started hyperventilating, my fiancé nearly decked the dude, and then someone shouts 'CUT' like this is some big 'YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA' moment and everything's supposed to be okay."
"I burst into tears."
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life, and thank god my then fiancé, now husband is not the type to overreact or jump to conclusions, or be abusive. Imagine how bad that could have been for someone with an angry or abusive partner."
"Prank videos are a plague on the internet and there is a REASON so many of them are fake, or involve actors." - Darkovika
Stay Sober, Then!Drunk Drinking Beer GIFGiphy
" 'I was drunk / high / etc.' "
"Then don't drink?! Stay sober if you can't NOT be an a**hole!" - BasedBenjamin
"Alternately, I hear a lot of 'I'm a happy drunk!' "
"Yeah, according to your drunk a$s. That doesn't mean you're not an ahole. Not remembering is not an excuse either." - PepeBabinski
"I was also loud, obnoxious, and I wouldn't remember sh*t the next day."
"Quitting drinking has been one of my best choices of my life." - TTungsteNN
"Help"new girl coach GIFGiphy
" 'I'm just trying to help you' " - Miserable-Air1234
"Every time I've heard this, they're manipulating me while helping only themselves." - mykittenfarts
"My Mom to a T. Everything she does is better than anyone else's and she always gets pissed that people don't praise her for 'helping.' "
"She's now a certified (by herself) psychic and I have come to the conclusion that she's not a covert narcissist but an obvious one. I really wish I was joking." - Silent_Discussion657
Parenting ProblemsLeave Me Alone Run GIF by TLC EuropeGiphy
"Any variation of 'I'm a Mother/parent.' "
"Had some lady cut me in line at a coffee shop and she hit me with 'I'm a single Mom of 3!' as her excuse."
"Ok? And? I was still here first." - maid-for-hire
"I'm a single mom and I f*cking haaaate when other single moms/parents pull that sh*t to get special treatment."
"Last week, I was having a rough morning, my kid was being difficult, and I was running late. I was rude to a cashier over a minor inconvenience."
"Not only did I apologize for my shitty behavior, I wrote corporate to let them know how professional and patient she was while I acted like a f*cking toddler."
"Was being a parent part of the reason I was frustrated? Absolutely. Was it an excuse for that behavior? HELL no."
"I acted like a b*tch, and I called myself out, and I apologized. I still feel bad about that - I rarely let things get to me to the point I snap at others." - ClusterfckyShtshow
"Wow. I'm a Mom as well and tired but it doesn't give anyone a right to use it as some sort of ploy to get away with stuff."
"Like, mice become Moms about 12 times a year. You're not special 🤣" - SpoonLoops
Believing Your BossThe Office Monday GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I had a boss say some really racist sh*t around me one day and the next day, out of nowhere, he says:"
" 'Don't believe half the things that come out of my mouth!' "
"It was not really an excuse, more like trying to cover for himself after the fact, but still stuck with me." - sirlongbottom441
"Report them to HR. Seriously." - kokichi--ouma
"Looking past the racist stuff for a bit, that's not a very encouraging thing to hear from a boss…" - WonderfulBlackberry9
Bad Day AgainBad Day Reaction GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
" 'I'm having a bad day/week' "
"Okay, so you decide everybody that you interact with deserves the same fate? Get out of here, dude." - myordinaryexistence
"We all got stress, don't take it out on me. I get some people have stress bad enough for it to be passable every once and a while (family member passing, etc) but general, stress should not lead to you being a jerk to me." - willsimpforfree
"Damn, I'm definitely guilty of this. Usually I remember to apologize after but at this point I've learned to just avoid the situation in the first place by minimizing my interaction with people if I'm in a shitty mood." - nozzzrul
"Reminds me of when that White boy went on a murder rampage and killed a bunch of Asian women & that a-hole sheriff gave a press conference telling the media that the 'poor boy had a bad day.' "
"My idea of a bad day involves going home after a rough day at work and just staying in the house."
"Apparently, I should change my ethnicity from Asian to White and go on a murder rampage, see if my @ss gets a sympathetic sheriff to say on my behalf that I had 'a bad day.' " - kingkazul400
It's Not An ExcuseSeason 2 Reaction GIF by FriendsGiphy
"This won't go down well, but using depression as an excuse. As someone who suffers from it, it's still not ok to treat others like sh*t" - Rainbowwallstickers
"Could not agree enough. My partner has a 'friend' who treats everyone like sh*t all the time, has no consideration for others and openly mocks people in public."
"She gets so much grace from those around her under the guise of her 'mental health.' It's so infuriating watching an adult woman never have to take responsibility for her actions." - 34boor
"I get there are some things you can't control, but you are still responsible for keeping that sh*t in check and if you're aware of your mental illness, you should be aware of how you approach people and situations."
"I'll admit I used to be guilty of using my mental illness to be an @ss, but now I'm trying to better myself" - VeeSquibbles
Florida Gonna FloridaLooney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"People are letting Florida off the hook way too damn much. And I live in Florida."
"Just because it's hilarious doesn't mean it isn't still completely f*cked up." - AlphaWhiskeyOscar
"The phrase 'Florida Man' is almost always followed some heinous way a Floridian is being an a$$hole." - PepeBabinski
"I'm also originally from Florida, and that state has serious problems. We need to pay attention to it." - [Reddit]
Moment of honesty ... as a Floridian ... yeaaaah, I'm gonna have to agree with that last one.
We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.
For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.
So how do we fix this problem? By naming it, of course.
Redditor u/NightReader5 asked:
"What professions are severely underpaid?"
Here were some of those answers.
Our Elderly Deserve Better
"I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and I loved it. It's such hard work for such little pay and that's why I had to leave."
"Not only that but I was a rare person in that I LOVED caring for the residents. Nothing was beneath me such as changing a dirty diaper or spoon feeding."
"Everything helped their quality of life. Sucks they can't keep people that genuinely enjoy it cause I couldn't make over $10 an hour."-Dancer9d9
"Came here to say this: Emergency Medical Technicians. I will never not be just a bit salty about this."
"My husband is one of those people who does this job because it's his passion and he loves helping people."
"It would be nice if he earned more than the kid who just got hired at McDonald's this morning."-ThePotterheadHobbit
High School Bathrooms....
"The janitors at my high school. I walked in the men's bathroom there once and there was a mega-giant steaming pile of crap and diarrhea right in the middle of the floor."-satanic-sex-god
"Anyhow. Are you sure that was a high school? We're talking grades 9-12 here, right?"-VoicedVelarNasal
"Unfortunately yes. Other highlights of my oh so great high school men's bathroom that contains teenagers from 14 to as old as 20 are:"
"A dude bringing a sledgehammer to school and smashing a sink, the toilets being blown up, the toilets being frequently clogged with trash..."
"Smashed beer bottle glass covering the floor, and a centimeter of pee flooding the bathroom whenever you walk in. I hate it here."-satanic-sex-god
You know immediately YOU might not want to do this job--so why is someone else getting paid next to nothing to do it?
The More You Help Others The Less You Get Paid
"Statistically speaking, any job that provides significant social benefit to others, the less you will get paid, something that David Graeber discusses in essays and his work, Bullsh*t Jobs."
"This is so sad. I'm currently in a job that pays very well, I just dont find any meaning or fulfillment with it. I want so badly to do something where I'd be helping others- something with purpose- but I honestly dont think I can afford it."-mko0njo9
"Social workers. Dealing with negligent, abusive parents while trying to help the children while in an underfunded, low-paid system is a travesty."-ZRX1200R
"Can also confirm. I like working with my family's but I don't get paid enough to deal with their crap or most of the bureaucracy."-Altowhovian93
Minimum Wage To Go Against FIRE
"Entry level wildland firefighters. They start them at $15 an hour."-NuclearEyedSquirrel
"I live in a small town in Ohio and I think the lowest starting wage I've seen was 11."
"That's the low side and those places are having trouble hiring because there's so many places paying higher. McDonald's here starts at 13 or 14 an hour."-rjoh4459
One Kid, One Para
"Paraprofessionals. Yea, my town increased the pay rate for paraprofessionals to get more people to apply since they have a shortage but the pay increase was not that good IMO."
"For that job, I think you need to be compensated for the physical and mental demands of the job."
"It's a hard job and they should be paid for the work, the pay rate in my community for the job with 60 credits is $14.50 but I think it should be more than that."-YourQueen2Bee
The question then becomes, why won't the people who HAVE money do something to help the quality of these jobs, and make sure that these people get paid?
"Everything in veterinary medicine. Kennel technicians, Veterinary assistants, Veterinary technicians, Veterinary receptionists, and Veterinarians."-aIsiduous
"Veterinary interns/residents, too. I work 70-120hrs+ per week, am on call about half the days per month, have to pay for my own board exams and accreditation fees out of pocket, and all for ~$33,000 per year."-WyrdHarper
"It's bullsh*t. There's nothing on this planet I want to do more than be a veterinarian, but I simply cannot afford the debt. Hopefully one day we'll get the recognition deserved. Stick in there, I know you got this!"--aIsiduous
In The Classroom
"I work in a special school, I love it but I really don't think we get paid enough for all the times we get yelled at, punched, kicked, bit, spat on, cursed at, have our classrooms trashed, have things thrown at us..."
"And then we also have parents making demands and admin telling us their 'simple' solutions to all of it that we have to carry out while they have zero clue on what it's actually like to spend a day in the classroom."-Sajiri
A Morbid State Of Affairs
"Funeral directors/embalmers/funeral professionals. We didn't get days or holidays off to begin with. Now the pandemic has stretched us to working double overtime, which we are exempt from getting paid for under Florida statutes."
"And forget hazard pay for being exposed to COVID multiple times a day every day via the deceased, the deceased's family members, the general public attending funerals, and the hospital/nursing facilities we remove decedents from."-Lesscute
So why are we holding off on giving these people a raise? Their jobs involve dangerous, mentally and emotionally taxing situations, and yet, we treat them as if society could function without them. The truth is it couldn't.
And society had best learn that as soon as possible.
What causes a small town to die?
Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.
As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.
People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,
"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
"Daytona Beach, FL. Imagine a bunch of alcoholic high school kids who came for spring break in 1984, and never left, and never grew up."
Oh, I don't have to imagine it.
I've seen it!
I lived in a neighboring town for a while and bodies would always turn up in farmer's fields that the cartel in Yakima had dropped off there."
Sounds like Netflix needs to get its hands on Yakima, a new show to go against Ozark.
"I remember a story..."
"Guntersville, Alabama. If I were to ballpark it, over 80% of the population are meth addicts and traffickers.
I remember a story where a man walked into the Walmart, took all the supplies and equipment required to cook, and proceeded to cook meth in the bathroom."
"A run-down town..."
"Reading, PA. A run-down town that is mostly used as a central point to run drugs between New York and Philly."
I am writing this from right nearby actually, and I can smell it from here.
"Small town almost entirely..."
"Butte, Montana. Small town almost entirely comprised of violent meth heads."
"More of a town than a city..."
More of a town than a city, but it's such a weird place, bordering on Twilight Zone. You'll see a meth house right next to a youth theatre."
According to a friend I have who spent a lot of time in Arizona, this sounds about right.
"Used to have..."
"Gary, Indiana. Used to have a prosperous steel economy, but now it's just home to abandoned buildings, failing infrastructure, and lots and lots of crime. Just look up pictures."
"I always said..."
"Amityville. Yes, that Amityville.
I always said the "Amityville Horror" house is for amateurs. You want something scary, put on a nice watch or a gold chain and wander around downtown Amityville after dark."
I went there once.
I have not been back.
"It looks harmless..."
"Harrisburg PA. It looks harmless and maybe a little boring but holy hell that place is a giant puddle of corruption just waiting for someone to step in it. Not just state government, there's a bunch of layers you can use to crawl up the corruption ladder."
"Used to be..."
"Natchez, Mississippi. Use to be the headquarters for the KKK. Not much there besides crackheads, plantation homes, and European tourists. Don't own a nice place if you're black, you'll be stopped by the police and questioned."
It doesn't look any of these are changing anytime soon, and that's sad.
Have some small towns to tell us about? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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