JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!

Rip Van Winkle must have had quite a trip when he came out of his prolonged slumber and awakened 20-years-later to a completely different world.


Similar to the fictional literary character, one could imagine how jarring it must be for patients coming out of a coma.

Wondering what it must feel like to witness the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel only to be pulled back into consciousness, Redditor RealLifeTaco asked:

"Redditors who have been in coma and came back, what is the experience like?"

The responses ranged from those who woke up with amnesia to those who lost certain abilities like reading.

Many of the comments focused on people having wild hallucinations and being unable to distinguish between what is real or imagined.

There was one commonality on which everyone could agree on: that they wished never to experience being in a coma ever again.

That and the fact that ice chips are awesome.

No Recollection

"I was in a coma for 2 days. I remember nothing. It took about two weeks for me to recognize my surroundings and start talking again, months and months for my memory and communication to come back to a level inferior to before. I lost huge amounts of memory from the years before the coma. The older my memories the less affected they were. My memory is still kinda shot 5 years later."

"Really sh**ty experience especially for my family."

Rodneybasher

Turning To Audiobooks

"I was in a coma for 4 days and then a medically induced coma for 10 or 11 days afterwords. Semi truck accident."

"I was a book reader before my coma. Afterwords, reading was a chore because I could no longer focus on words and comprehend the story. I'm ok in small bursts. I can do a chapter or two. But I still prefer audiobooks now over actual books."

"It has significantly improved my memory. Likewise, listening to books I know that I've read before but don't recall would usually bring back a flood of memories that the coma locked away somewhere. Half of the books I've listened to have been like opening a safe full of memories. Some good, some not, and not all real."

dudemo

Three Comas In One Lifetime

"I was in a coma three times over a period of five months: for about three weeks the first time, a week the second and five days the third time, all due to hepatic encephalitis (brain swelling caused by liver failure). When I was actually out cold (most of the time), I remember nothing."

"I had horrific hallucinations - probably during brief periods when the doctors dialled back my sedation to see how I was doing or as I was emerging from unconsciousness as I improved."

"I was in hospitals in New England every time. But the first time, I believed I was being kept alive in a nursing home in Korea while my organs were being harvested. Apparently, I removed the breathing tube in my first attempt to flee. The next time I remember anything, I had on mittens that were like white oven mitts that I couldn't get off. I somehow managed to throw myself over the bed's guardrails. When I landed on the floor I realized that I there were catheters all over the place that made getting away hard. Also, people came running."

"The second time, I believed that I was stuck in a kind of purgatory where a bunch of people would come to my bed, torture me, laugh and leave. The weirdest part was, it was like watching a movie. Sometimes it played really slowly and sometimes really fast. But it was always exactly the same. It always started with a beeping sound that I came to dread. (In the cold light of day, a shrink came up with the idea that my mind formed a memory of a single instance of nurses repositioning me in the bed and suctioning my breathing tube, which made me gag. The beep was probably a blood pressure cuff. I believe that is correct.)"

"The third time, I believed that a semi-pro hockey team was trying to find me and kill me because I knew that my great-grandmother and the great-grandmother of the team's captain had been lesbian lovers and the team wanted to avoid scandal. I absolutely thought that I was being moved around the hospital and hidden. (The only time I left the ICU was for a CAT scan.) I have no reason to believe that my great grandmother was a lesbian."

"I also believed that I had decided to buy all of the nurses blueberry milkshakes, but that one nurse had stolen the money I gave her to pay for them. Apparently, after I was awake, I ranted about that for days!"

gnusmas5441

Between What Is Imagined Or Real

"Kinda weird. My coma was a few days but I woke up with memories of the past week really jumbled and to this day I cant tell what was real and what I imagined from people telling me."

"Plus I woke up on a breathing tube and that was the day I learnt what it felt like to deep throat someone."

"edit: I woke up from the coma but was still on anesthesia for a while so the moment I woke up I saw my entire family around me in tears and me being unaware I was in a hospital assumed I was still watching TV with my mom and, trying to be funny, my first words to her were 'Who died?'"

zodwa_wa_bantu

Memory Loss

"It was weird I guess is the best way to describe it, I woke up with retrograde amnesia so I didn't remember anything from before. I remember waking up quite clearly though, especially when my family came in to see me. They all rushed in, tears streaming down their faces, hugging me. All I could think was 'Who the f'k are these people.' I had a massive panic moment when I realized I didn't know who I was. 0/10 would not do again."

Tkj_Alita

Crazy Dreams

"I was in a coma about 8 yrs ago it lasted 5 weeks. All I remember was having really crazy but very real dreams. One I remember was having a bees nest in my chest and doctors trying to coax them out with honey. As I said it was crazy but It was so real. Also I had dreams that mixed with things what were going on in real life. For example my dad would come in everyday and read his newspaper to me. I must have been taking it in as I would dream about some of the events as I was there."

ThePudPudReturns

Coping With Pain And Loss

"Was in a coma for a little over a day. Don't remember 10 days in all. It was like a blink, 30 seconds before the wreck then this guy was in a wheel chair talking to me about something. The only things I knew for sure was that I was married, I was in the Air Force, and I hurt all over."

"I guess I looked confused because the guy stopped and changed his tone. He suddenly sounded like he was bored answering questions he had already been over a dozen times. Then news was bad."

"'You're in Elmendorf AFB hospital, your wife is downstairs. You were in a wreck and your daughter was killed.'"

"I don't speak much of our daughter. It hurts too much, It is a wound I cannot seem to heal."

"My recovery has taken years. I lost a portion of my left frontal and temporal lobes. I had mood control and anger issues. I also have a speech problem remembering nouns. I switch names of things being discussed without realizing it, or I forget the name of somebody something entirely."

"I don't introduce my wife to people because it is very embarrassing to forget the name of the woman you love, heart and soul."

"I have a form of epilepsy that manifest as pain. Along with some very strange sensations."

"But I have a loving wife, have raised two children, and had a satisfying career. But I still deal with the disability everyday."

FirstVice

Ice Chips Are The Best

"This is my experience with being in a coma, that being I was in a medically induced coma. Not sure if they are different or not. I had a very bad car accident & almost didn't make it, I remember the same thing ambulance ride got to the surgery table/room bright lights people talking and moving extremely fast almost panicked type movements from everyone."

"Then I'm in icu, now I wasn't always awake but I remember things when I was in the coma which to me freaks me out. I remember my mother talking to me I remember my family visiting me while I was still in the coma, where they were standing helI I even remember the ones that cried their eyes out. It's weird because as you described I couldn't move or tell them I was ok, it was frustrating to say the least. I was restrained as well because I tried pulling out my ventilator tube which I do remember also. And F'KING YES I was parched. The ice does wonders I had the worst case of cotton mouth when I woke up."

jm787305

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


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/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

Keep reading... Show less