People who fall into comas, fall into a respite while the world continues. The world will always keep spinning. So it can be extremely jarring to wake up to a foreign world. Can you imagine learning that you've aged in years from the last moment you remember closing your eyes? Most of us fall asleep and have only lost an episode of television that was boring. Losing life has to be traumatic.
Redditor u/_bread-boi_ wanted to hear about the miracles of being awake by asking.... People who were in a coma, what change surprised you when you woke up?
Found the Chompers.Giphy
My step dad was in a coma/ICU for about 3 weeks. Woke up and he couldn't find his teeth. We looked for a week, completely forgot where we put them. Then he dropped dead at the bathroom sink in the hospital. Out of nowhere. They revived him. Couldn't figure out why he could barely breath.
Then the hospital sat us down, and showed us the x-rays, with his dentures in his body. They forgot to take them out when they put the tubes in his mouth, blocking his air pipes or whatever.
So yeah, we found them though. auregeici
Medically induced for approximately a week due to sepsis.
When I was in, I thought I was a bird with my wings outstretched that was slowly freezing to the ground.
When I woke up, I thought I was in Taos but it looked like Raton (I was in Albuquerque, in a hospital that I had worked in for years). I thought I was 10 years younger. I thought I had gotten into a wreck and my fiancè at the time was an abusive ex-boyfriend.
I thought my fiancé had found me naked on the side of I-25 and had taken to a veterinary hospital.
It took another month and a half for me to understand what happened. I was in and out of surgery and died a couple times in that time. Once, they were changing out my wound vac and I looked down and saw inside of me, then things started making a little more sense. I still can't eat cheeseburgers. Shelliton
DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) sent me into a coma. I have vague memories of being sick before hand but my overall sense of time was just mush. Even years later I can't establish a correct timeline. I have flashes of memories of different doctors coming in and out of the room. Once I was out of the coma I was still pretty out of it. When you're on an insulin drip, they check your sugar every hour. I could never actually sleep, but I felt asleep the whole time? It's a hard feeling to describe- just mushy, runny time. albdubuc
All right. All right. Good job
I was in a coma for nine days. When I woke up I was still on a ventilator. When they took me off the ventilator, my body didn't remember to breathe on its own. I literally had to relearn how to breathe. Took me a few days. I had no natural sense for how long or deeply to inhale, how long to hold it, how long to exhale. I had to put all my mental focus towards breathing. It was really weird.
Edit: For all the people wondering how I slept, I didn't, for the first couple days. If I dozed off, my blood O2 monitor would start beeping and wake me up, then a nurse would yell at me from across the ICU to remember to breathe. I couldn't talk because I'd had the tubes down my nose and throat but I remember one time I woke up, really exhausted, to that damn beeping. So I started focusing on breathing again, but I was really angry about it.
My nurse came running over yelling at me to breathe. I glared at her, and screamed in my non-existent voice, "I. AM." She must have read my lips and felt the rage because she just put her hands up and said, "All right. All right. Good job," then walked away. Anyway. Shared that because I've never had the opportunity to before. My ability to breathe normally was back within a month or so, and my health is good nowadays so I wouldn't say it had any permanent effects. DROPTHENUKES
Back in the '90s, my great grandfather had a stroke. He was in a coma for 3 weeks, and when he woke up, he could not speak english. All he could speak was the Choctaw language. He had learned it when he was a kid, because his family lived right near a choctaw reserve, and he played with a lot of those kids. He spoke it fluently at that time, but forgot it over his life to where he couldn't remember any of it by this time. This went on for around ten days, and then he woke up from a night's sleep and could suddenly speak only english again, not remembering a word of choctaw. He was also able to repeat verbatim every conversation that had been held in the room that he was in. GoldH2O
I was in a coma for 4 days. When I woke up everyone was talking about the baby boy I had. I had lost my long term memory and didn't even remember being pregnant. My son was at the children's hospital in the nicu. I delivered him via c-section at 29 wks. All this was due to me having Crohn's disease, (i found out after i woke up) my colon had ruptured during my pregnancy. My husband said I was talking like a child when I first woke up.
When I woke i felt super tired, but then the next few days, kinda restless. I remembered one conversation my mom had with a nurse while I was under. After a couple of days I got my long term memory back and remembered everything up until my 2nd surgery then nothing until I woke up. My son was my 3rd surgery. PennyCundiff
Very recently went into a 3-day coma following a suicide attempt, I have very vivid memories of watching "How to train your dragon" during that time, so I can only assume it was playing on the television in my room and my mind filled in the blanks. sawk_away
I was in a coma for almost 2 weeks. The things that surprised me was the personality change. I went from a meek sweetheart (per my husband) to a total raging fool. This lasted a couple of weeks while in the hospital. Like if you ever been in a hospital or nursing home there is ALWAYS one patient screaming at the top of their lungs. Yeah, that was me. I yelled at everyone nearly (my poor nurses).
One nurse actually threatened me because I was just that bad to him. Two I was surprised how quickly you body deteriorates while bed bound. I went from relatively strong. To not being able to sit on the edge of a bed without someone holding me up. I was like a sack of potatoes. Not to mention bed sores, I had no idea they could happen that fast. MaraMarieMadd
I was in a coma after being hit by a car. When I woke up, the man I was seeing decided he would have been way too sad if I had died so he was my boyfriend from then on- and still is!
Note- we had talked about making it official before hand but decided that because his status in the country was uncertain we'd leave it open and see how it went. katt12543
Little late to the party but after a suicide attempt which let to an overdose I spent about 2 days In a coma and almost died. While obviously nothing changed in 2 days society wise, my personality changed heavily and I don't consider myself the same person as before the coma. I feel like that side of me died and different parts of my brain took over, creating a new personality in control. PM-ME-Ricers
6 Weeks Later.....Giphy
I was in a coma for close to six weeks. When I woke I had to learn everything again. I had most of my speech abilities, but my motor control was horrid. I had to figure out how to wipe myself as well as walk up and down stairs again. That took about three weeks.
I had lost a ton of weight too. I was 6'3" and weighed about 145. Ralph-Hinkley
"did you forget to feed me?"
My nephew (14) was in a medically induced coma for over three months. During that time, he had lost about 30% of his body weight as his muscles atrophied. His first remark upon seeing himself for the first time was "did you forget to feed me?" Which was incredibly hard to hear since his family had sat crying at his bedside every moment he was unconscious. meccadeadly
"Hey, where are you going?"
Friend of mine during childhood was in a coma for three months. The doctors were not optimistic and he flatlined several times. His family had a rotation where someone was always with him night and day. One day they're getting up to go to dinner and halfway out the door he says "Hey, where are you going?" and the entire room freezes. His entire family burst into tears, the nurses come in, they burst into tears, a doctor comes, he bursts into tears... everyone is crying. Full recovery, doing great to this day. warren2650
Can't Hear You!
I was in a coma for four days from bacterial meningitis. When I woke up I was completely deaf! I had to communicate with my parents and doctors with a notepad and pen. Some hearing gradually returned in my left ear, but the right ear is still 100% deaf to this day. austin_cody
About 20 years ago, my cousin had a severe head injury from a fall. He was about 20 at the time. A was in a coma for almost four weeks. When he woke up, he fairly quickly discovered that his memory was eidetic. He could repeat entire conversations back word for word, and even tell you the date and time you said something. Also, he could memorize images with just a few seconds glance. His memory is still eidetic today. It's annoying as hell. Whenever he reminds me of something I said in the past, usually something I can't even remember, I suggest that we hit him in the head again. cheezemeister_x
A good friend of our family went into a coma for half a year.
Finally when he woke up, he was stunned why his wife looked so old.
He actually lost the last 15 years of his memory (he knew he had 2 children but they were babies and he didn't even know about his 3rd child). And the memory never came back.
He skipped from no mobile phones to smart phones, to laptops. Everything was new to him. Being stuck in early 90s but actually being in the 2000s,there was a lot of change to handle.
But learning you missed all your children growing up, was the hardest for him. BsNLucky
My wife was in a medically-induced coma for four days. She had a reaction to contrast dye and her heart stopped for 20 minutes. For nearly three months, she was confabulating about her long-dead parents. She would speak about them like they were in the next room. Or she would say her daughter or brother called... but they hadn't. Over and over she thought her mom was alive, then her dad. Drove me crazy having to (gently) correct her many times per day.
She would come up with amazing tales about what people (relatives, friends, neighbors) were doing, what they said, truly creative fiction. Three months later, she began to come back. The confabulations stopped. Now things are reversed. She can remember recent events but her long-term memories are gone. I don't know what that's like but it must be awful. She cries sometimes for her lost memories but overall she is doing very well. urgent45
It's All Wrong.
My wife was in a coma. 2 weeks medically induced. When she woke she she had very wrong memories. They were all based on conversations people had while in the room with her. For example she thought they flew her to Washington DC for treatment. While she was in a coma, my father in law mentioned how he just flew back into town from DC on a work trip.
Somehow, she overheard this while out and her brain interpreted it to mean SHE flew to DC. Even after we explained to her the reality of where she was, it took DAYS for her to come to terms with reality.
Edit: she WAS in a coma about 10 years ago. She is not currently in a coma. kp1877
Oh the Scots....
A guy I dated for a few weeks in high school was standing at a bus stop when I was driving back to my old home town to visit my parents. I waved at him and he just looked bewildered. So, I messaged him on Facebook just to be nice. It turns out that he had no idea who I was cause he'd been in an accident and a nearly half year coma. He somehow woke up with a Scottish accent and had to relearn to walk.
His family finally figured out that the Scottish accent was because his ultra Scottish grandma was with him a lot as a baby and I guess that's what his brain latched onto. He's now a happy ren-fair performer who used to be a very troubled guy headed for military service. I guess he's happier, but it really makes you wonder who he would have become. He also kept asking me if I knew why he wore this specific ring. Unfortunately I didn't. ihrie82
why are my calves sore?Giphy
I went into surgery to get my appendix out. Note I was on an aircraft carrier in the Persian gulf in 2004. I didn't know it at the time but I have malignant hyperthermia, which pretty much means I die if I get anesthesia. Long story short, I woke up 4 days later and I thought, why are my calves sore? trust5419
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/