Comments: 272 • Responses: 87 • Date: 2021-02-01 17:37:53 UTCsource
Atlmama127 karma2021-02-01 17:45:34 UTC
Do you recall anything from your time in the coma, as in hearing folks talk to you, any sensations, or anything else?
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TheCaretaker1976215 karma2021-02-01 17:56:01 UTC
Nothing. The month does not exist in my memories.
Though I do know I "dreamt", my father was showing a business card to a doctor. But by the time I woke up my parents had already flown back home (They live outside of the country and could not stay longer due to their visa). The doctors had told them I was going to wake up so they could go home. My wife was there for when I woke up and of course called them as soon as I did.
The weird thing is though my parents were there, my father swears he did not hand a business card to anyone.
Y34rZer0118 karma2021-02-01 18:08:48 UTC
A guy I went to school was in a coma for several months after a car accident, when he woke up he was absolutely convinced he owned a Mazda RX-7 with a Kawasaki green interior (i’ve always remembered that detail).
He was so certain he thought his friend had stolen it from him while he’d been in the coma
TheCaretaker197663 karma2021-02-01 18:27:16 UTC
Yeah.. I'm not sure why but I was convinced the hospital I was in was rotating to make cleaning easier. Your mind does weird things when you're waking up from this. So your friends experience sounds very reasonable.
MagnificentJake18 karma2021-02-01 19:01:48 UTC
The president of the company I work for was on a ventilator for a couple weeks (COVID stuff) and was heavily sedated. After they took him off of it he would call people and ask them about jobs and projects that did not exist or meetings that never happened. It was really trippy, and it had a kind of gaslighting effect, you had to ask yourself "Am I the one misremembering?"
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 21:33:16 UTC
i'm so glad my mind is still intact and I do not have any of these weird side effects.
Atlmama27 karma2021-02-01 17:57:26 UTC
Thank you. Hope you are in robust good health now!
TheCaretaker197624 karma2021-02-01 18:27:38 UTC
I am, thank you.
Analbox26 karma2021-02-01 18:18:52 UTC
It’s sort of reassuring to know you don’t remember it and aren’t emotionally traumatized by it. I’m glad you didn’t have to have a Jonny Get Your Gun Metallica And Justice for All One experience. That’s always been one of my biggest fears; being trapped in a conscious state of suffering and pain but incapable of communicating with your caretakers.
TheCaretaker197627 karma2021-02-01 18:30:10 UTC
I totally get that fear.
When I woke up, because I had been on a ventilator for a while and had lost so much muscle mass I could not lift my hand, communicating was difficult.
I could grunt a bit, that was it. I could not lift my arm to point or something.
I wish I knew morse code and could blink answers.
Analbox8 karma2021-02-01 18:51:57 UTC
Not being able to communicate while also being unable to take care of your own needs sounds like hell to me.
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 20:05:45 UTC
It was funny in some way. I started to think of all kinds of way to communicate, like making a system for letter, or a board to point at etc.. but of course, I could not communicate this..
anotheredditors3 karma2021-02-01 19:15:54 UTC
If you don't mind, could you please tell why did doctors put you in the medically induced coma. Hopefully you won't have to go through the same thing again.
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 20:08:08 UTC
I'm not sure about the exact reason, but there are probably multiple.
I had a heartattack and suffered a lung infection (probably because I had regurgitated some food during the attack which got into my lungs) so I was put on an ECMO machine amongst other things.
grabb3nn2 karma2021-02-02 01:35:28 UTC
Weird. I was in a medically induced coma for about 5 weeks a year ago and I remember having very vivid dreams, some trippy, some not. I also kept "recognizing" people that I knew, when they only vaguely resembled them, lol. Also I have trouble remembering a month or so leading up to the O.D.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-02 01:45:50 UTC
I think everyone's experience is different. It might also be due to the level of sedation. I know they kept me pretty under, because I started to move and was panicking every time I woke up. I wanted to remove all the tubes etc.
-DiggityDan-16 karma2021-02-01 18:19:53 UTC
I was in a medically induced coma for 10 days and I do remember interactions. Some were a hybrid of reality and hallucinations and some felt like dreams be we’re actually happening.
I was also pulled out of the coma from pain and then they accidentally overdosed me in an attempt to put me into a more deep coma.
Which triggered a Near Death Experience.
TheCaretaker197613 karma2021-02-01 18:32:53 UTC
I don't remember anything specific, though the nurses and my wife say I was interacting, responding to commands ("squeeze my hand!!"). I was kept in a state where I was just awake enough to respond, but not awake enough to form memories. The human body is a weird and wonderful machine.
that sounds way tougher than my experience!
glad it was just a "near death" and not an "actual death" experience.
-DiggityDan-3 karma2021-02-01 19:38:12 UTC
I would respond to questions but I remember the conversations fairly well.
And by conversations I mean they would be asking me or people in the room questions and I would nod or twist my head.
Did they have you intubated the entire time?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:55:21 UTC
Yes, the entire time, so I could not speak. i could point and move somewhat. apparently.
C_Wags98 karma2021-02-01 18:07:25 UTC
Thanks for taking the time to share. I’m a resident physician, have logged a lot of time in the ICU and am going into critical care medicine for my fellowship training.
I see that you don’t have any formed memories while you were intubated and sedated, so two questions:
1) do you have recollection of being extubated or placed on “sedation holidays” basically where we cut your sedation and see where you are at in terms of neurological status?
2) did you end up requiring a tracheotomy since you were intubated for so long?
I hope you’re doing well OP. Post-ICU is a long road to recovery. I’m very happy to see the worst is, at least, behind you.
TheCaretaker197654 karma2021-02-01 18:43:28 UTC
My wife said I tried to pull everything off of me every time they tried to wake me up some (they ended up restraining me to the bed for a while).
I vaguely remember the extubation. I remember being in panic, because I had no idea what was going on (I had barely woken up, I think) and there is that time between having air forced in your lungs vs having to breath for yourself.
I had also been on an ECMO for about 2 weeks I think, so my lungs were very weak (I had very little lung capacity).
I did not have a tracheotomy needed luckily.
Post ICU took a LOT longer than the month I spend in there, that's for sure. Also a lot more frustrating, because you know you can't to things you could do before. It takes time to rebuild muscles and stuff.
CheesyItalian36 karma2021-02-01 18:50:09 UTC
Interesting, my wife was put into a coma a few years back because of post-op seizures due to a medication allergy. They tried that "wake her up and see how she is" a couple times that I was present for. She also freaked out and tried to pull everything off of her. When she finally came out of it she said she was TERRIFIED that we thought she had died and she was just trying to stay awake but they would inject whatever to re-induce the coma and she was gone again. It was the craziest experience of MY life, but this woman has been through some shit, so I'm not sure it's even top 3 for her.
TheCaretaker19764 karma2021-02-01 21:13:33 UTC
I'm so glad I don't remember any of it. but based on what I do remember from waking up, it seems like a very reasonable reaction.
Sunburn7957 karma2021-02-01 17:40:09 UTC
You look relatively young in your photos. Can you share your age, the cause of the heart attack, and the reason that you had to be in a coma?
TheCaretaker1976103 karma2021-02-01 17:46:15 UTC
41 at the time, the cause was high cholesterol. One of my arteries was completely blocked, three others 80/90%. Combined with the cold weather (it was about 0F, or -17 C) my heart just gave up.
My high cholesterol was not caused by a poor diet or anything like that. I suffer from a decease called " familial hypercholesterolemia " which results in weird off the scale cholesterol levels.
I was kept in a coma because they had no idea what to do with my blocked arteries and a few other medical complications (lung failure due to an infection, ventilator amongst others)
Sunburn7926 karma2021-02-01 17:48:53 UTC
Oh wow. That is very scary and it begs the question, "how are ya now?".
TheCaretaker197643 karma2021-02-01 18:15:56 UTC
Very healthy, under careful watch of multiple doctors. I lost 30 lb (or about 15 kilos) and most of it stayed off, so also a lot fitter).
I ended up getting stends in my arteries to open them up, I have a ICD implant in case something like this happens again and I am on heavy cholesterol medication.
yerfdog656 karma2021-02-01 18:40:05 UTC
Glad you're doing better. Were you on cholesterol meds prior?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:55:48 UTC
I was not. I should have been, but I was not :(
thegypsyqueen2 karma2021-02-01 19:10:57 UTC
What country do you live in?
Why stents and not coronary bypass?
Orphemus2 karma2021-02-01 19:22:45 UTC
From my understanding stents are far less invasive, would love for someone to correct me tho
thegypsyqueen3 karma2021-02-01 19:58:06 UTC
They are but there is high quality literature that if you have multiple coronary vessels that are highly diseased that bypass has better outcomes and lends to a longer life than stenting them. That was why I was asking. Bypass is indicated in left main (the biggest vessel) and multi-vessel disease. Wondering if the told OP why they went with stenting.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:10:17 UTC
Main reason was, the doctors did not know what to do. I was on heavy bloodthinner and an ECMO machine and had a bloodcloth on the tube going into my heart, so they could not turn down the bloodthinners.
In the end one of the surgeons said he would be willing to do the stents. And that's what they went with.
TheCaretaker19761 karma2021-02-01 19:56:24 UTC
I live in the US.
Stents because they were less evasive and because no doctor dared to do the bypass.
Robert_A_Bouie7 karma2021-02-01 17:53:37 UTC
I presume you got angioplasty and a few stents, no? Been there, done that. Not fun but better than being dead.
TheCaretaker19766 karma2021-02-01 18:18:29 UTC
Exactly... but because my lung had failed I was on a blood oxidation machine, so they could not operate.
They were debating scaping the cholesterol plaque buildup or stents. In the end one of the doctors put in stents (it was not an easy decision apparently).
My_G_Alt6 karma2021-02-01 18:38:11 UTC
Yikes! Do you know how high your cholesterol was?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:57:30 UTC
380+. with a ratio of about 1:12.
Ozzy_Kiss55 karma2021-02-01 17:43:16 UTC
Did you feel rested?
TheCaretaker1976104 karma2021-02-01 17:52:38 UTC
Not really. My body just went through a massive trauma, so it was working really hard (together with the wonoderful medical staff) to keep me alive. So my body was busy.
Mentally I was just confused, so I have no idea if I was rested. It did feel a bit like being woken up all of a sudden, if that makes sense.
Slooooooooooooooooth10 karma2021-02-01 18:32:01 UTC
Were you any noticeably weaker after? I’m thinking about
How astronauts have to work out in space or else they’ll come back to earth and collapse from gravity. Obviously not that intense, but did you deal with anything similar?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:00:17 UTC
One of the residents there was doing research on sedated/coma patients and exercise. So they did do things like lift my legs and have me push back against their hands etc., but I do not remember anything about it.
Slooooooooooooooooth2 karma2021-02-01 20:36:25 UTC
Wow, i’m glad they took such good care of you, from what I’m reading.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 21:18:10 UTC
As am I.
A university hospital has its perks and downsides.
They take REALLY good care of their patients because they're teaching students.
On the other side.. part of the team taking care of you are students. Doctors and nurses, true.. but still in the start of their careers.
One of the residents had decided to lower my blood thinners.. resulting in me getting a stroke.
Yusuf830442 karma2021-02-01 17:45:49 UTC
Did it feel like you were in a coma for a month? Or did time feel quicker?
TheCaretaker197673 karma2021-02-01 17:50:24 UTC
I don't have any memory of the whole ordeal. For me time stopped December 30th (your body stops forming of long term memory when something this traumatic happens), and it started again on Feb. 1st.
I have a few vague memories of Dec. 31st and Jan 1st.
DocPsychosis15 karma2021-02-01 18:16:38 UTC
your body stops forming of long term memory when something this traumatic happens
your body stops forming of long term memory when something this traumatic happens
I think the amnesia is mostly related to being on powerful sedatives which block the formation of new memories along with other elements of consciousness.
TheCaretaker197614 karma2021-02-01 18:35:56 UTC
That could be it too. I'm not sure. All I know is, I'm missing 3 days where I was fully conscious, (I celebrated new years, flew across the country). That is probably the weirdest bit of the whole experience. I mean, I KNOW I'm not going to remember the month in the coma, but I still hope somehow I get those three days back.
I flew back to Minnesota about a year or so after it happened to see if it triggered any memories, and I do have some back, but just a few an very vague, like I'm not sure if I convinced myself whatever I'm thinking is actually a memory..
davasaur25 karma2021-02-01 18:17:26 UTC
Hi, my question is: were you hungry when you awoke?
TheCaretaker197614 karma2021-02-01 18:54:03 UTC
No. I still had a feeding tube down my throat (in through my nose) so I was being steadily fed. When they took the thing out though I got hungry quite quickly, but had trouble eating, since swallowing still hurt and I could not chew. So lots of soups and jello.
They check if you can swallow and get enough calories in you before they remove the tube, though I was never in any danger of getting malnutrition, but still it was not easy.
One of the weird things though was, I wanted to watch all the travel cooking shows.
pohpia23 karma2021-02-01 17:50:30 UTC
What was the first thing that came to mind when you woke up?
TheCaretaker1976146 karma2021-02-01 18:06:07 UTC
Apart from the obvious "where am I?" and "why are they all yelling at me?" (medical staff yell to keep your attention on them when you are waking up), the first clear memory I formed myself was "Why is there an English Guard (one with the red uniform and the tall black fur hat) in my room?".
It turned out I wasn't wearing my glasses and a towel dispenses looks like one of those hats to me.
TFDUDE1321 karma2021-02-01 18:08:19 UTC
What was the craziest thing you found out happened during the month you were out?
TheCaretaker197628 karma2021-02-01 18:50:13 UTC
I still had my job :D
I had started my new job the day before the heartattack (I had flown out to our HQ to meet new colleagues etc). Luckily I work at a company which cares for its workers and they did not decide to let me go.
I would have understood if they had. A month in a coma (and a stroke at the end) makes for a very uncertain worker.
As for real world events: It was 2018. Trump was president. Everything was crazy.
After waking up I was much more focused on getting out of the hospital and my persona recovery to care about what was going on in the rest of the world, tbh. By the time that passed, a lot of other cray stuff happened and it all blurred into "2018".
So sorry.. I can't answer that.
TFDUDE135 karma2021-02-01 18:54:13 UTC
Yeah, 2018 was pretty nuts.
I'm amazed you kept your job, especially one where you just started. I can't imagine any places near me that'd hold an employee after a month-long absence like that.
TheCaretaker19765 karma2021-02-01 19:58:53 UTC
I had transfered from our European branch to the American one, so it was not a totally new job.
Still, they could have let me go not knowing what my mental state would be.
abstlouis9619 karma2021-02-01 17:51:49 UTC
When you woke up did you feel your mental health had changed?
TheCaretaker197650 karma2021-02-01 18:08:05 UTC
I don't think so (I still feel the same mentally) but my wife says I'm more careful and also quicker to say "no" to something I don't want to do.
JustAteAnOreo33 karma2021-02-01 18:32:24 UTC
quicker to say "no" to something I don't want to do.
quicker to say "no" to something I don't want to do.
Looks like I need to try me one of these comas.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:01:08 UTC
It's a bit of a harsh therapy.
I always joke "It's a great way to lose some weight, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone".
imacatpersonbro15 karma2021-02-01 17:40:00 UTC
Did you dream while in the coma?
TheCaretaker197632 karma2021-02-01 17:41:59 UTC
Not as far as I can remember, but the doctors say I showed signs of REM sleep, which probably means I was dreaming.
imacatpersonbro9 karma2021-02-01 18:24:17 UTC
Are you dreams different now after? Glad you recovered
TheCaretaker19764 karma2021-02-01 20:01:31 UTC
Not that I noticed.
It took me a while to start remembering my dreams though.
tree_canyon12 karma2021-02-01 17:52:25 UTC
What is it like waking up and being told that you’ve been in a coma for a month?
TheCaretaker197636 karma2021-02-01 18:12:23 UTC
Weird most of all... In my case there were two stages:
the first one was "Yeah, that makes sense, I'm in a hospital, surrounded by a few dozen beeping machines and my wife is here, who I know is not in this part of the country (I live in Cali, but was in Minnesota when this all happened)". So very rational.
The second stage is more investigatory. "What happened during this month? What happened to ME during this month? Should I keep growing this beard which is now a month old?" and trying to reconstruct the things you do know, like the last memory you have from before it happened.
cptn_geech9 karma2021-02-01 18:30:23 UTC
I see from your verification that you opted not to keep growing the beard. Was it jarring to suddenly wake up and see yourself with a beard?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:19:40 UTC
It took me a while to see it, since I was not given a mirror. But yes, one I finally saw it it was weird.
It did not at all look like I thought it would. A lot less full for one :D
Chtorrr12 karma2021-02-01 18:17:45 UTC
What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?
TheCaretaker197611 karma2021-02-01 18:55:37 UTC
that's your job to find out :D
Not a lot of people are interested in what all the machines do/did.Also
I find most people want to know about what impact it had on me, but never on my wife/family (though they might ask them of course).
(edit) also not a lot of people are interested in the recovery road.
periodicsheep5 karma2021-02-01 19:10:27 UTC
i would like to know about your wife. i live in fear of getting a call about my husband or even just.l something like this happening to him. i can’t imagine how frightening an experience this was for her. can you tell me from her POV a bit?
TheCaretaker197610 karma2021-02-01 20:18:48 UTC
Obviously it affected my wife at least as much as me. I do not have any memories of the whole ordeal, but my wife has very vivid memories of me lying in that hospital bed being kept alive by dozen of machines and 2 nurses at my side 24/7.
Along with this the midnight phonecalls from the hospital to ask permission for a specific procedure.
She doesn't like to talk about it too much.
She got a phonecall the day after it happened. They had trouble tracking her down. I was in a new city (I live in Cali, but was in Minnesota for a new job) so I knew no one. Luckily I had the business card of my boss in my wallet os they called him. He contacted HR and they found my wife through facebook. She flew out the next day, along with my parents (from another country).
My company was very helpful. Paid hotel bills, rental car etc.
My wife however is a very practical woman and loaned a bike from one of the nurses so she could ride her bike (in Minnesota winter weather!!) to and from the hospital. She rented an AirBnB. She basically went into full "taking care of very detail" mode, to distract her of the possibility of me dying.
I have no idea how I would have reacted. I think she's WAY stronger than me.
comfort_fiend2 karma2021-02-01 23:50:43 UTC
This is my favorite of your recollections/thoughts about this 💗 your wife sounds amazing.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-02 01:43:08 UTC
My wife went aaawww when I showed her this comment. Thank you for that.
She IS pretty awesome.
Tex-Rob9 karma2021-02-01 18:00:52 UTC
The thing I most want to ask you is, Won't you please wake up? you're still sleeping!
TheCaretaker197629 karma2021-02-01 18:12:42 UTC
I'm not falling for that one again. I like it here, it's nice in here.
thatgoldthing6 karma2021-02-01 18:04:04 UTC
Was your body literally sore from being bedridden for so long? Lol just curious
whizz_palace4 karma2021-02-01 18:16:41 UTC
I want to know this, too. Like, was it painful or difficult to move?
kimwim438 karma2021-02-01 18:33:28 UTC
I wasn't in a coma, but I was on complete bedrest from a complicated pregnancy at one time. I lost the baby, and came home. The bed rest lasted three weeks. I lost all muscle tone, and had a really hard time walking, there was no way I could run. It took me over a week to be able to walk almost normally again. It took a month to be able to run. He was in a coma for a month. My guess is, he had a long route to normalcy.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-02 02:34:34 UTC
I'm sorry for your loss u/kimwim43.
Three weeks of full bedrest takes its toll on your physique. I remember not being able to sit upright without someone holding on to me for that first day. And the standing up for a second with assistance.. next with a walking and so on.. very slow progress.. and then there were stairs...
TheCaretaker19764 karma2021-02-01 19:03:26 UTC
I could not move when I woke up. I could barely lift a finger.
From waking up to walking unassisted for a few steps took a few weeks.
I remember walking out of my room (maybe 10 steps) to suprise the nurse on staff who was sitting just outside. That was it for that day.
TheCaretaker19764 karma2021-02-01 19:01:39 UTC
Yes. Everything hurt. Because i had lost so much muscle and fat, every bone was poking into everything.
WhiteTshirtDad6 karma2021-02-01 17:49:20 UTC
I'm glad you're doing well! Do you feel healthier than before your heart attack? Now that you've been treated is your heart stronger than before?
TheCaretaker197612 karma2021-02-01 18:22:41 UTC
I feel healthier. I'm keeping to my strict diet a lot better and easier (don't want to go through this whole thing again) and I weigh about 15 kilos less than I did before the heartattack. So physically I am in much better shape. The low fat diet makes me tired a bit quicker than before and I lost some muscle mass.
My heart itself was never the problem
During my first echogram after getting my ICD implanted, the nurse told me what a healthy looking heart I had :D
One of the doctors in the hospital also described my condition as "the heart of a 20 year old, but the arteries of am 80 year old".
stickeymantle6 karma2021-02-01 18:50:31 UTC
Obligatory call back to The Red Lamp.
Still one of the most haunting comments I've ever read on this site
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 21:25:26 UTC
Damn.. that... is WAY more than I can handle right now.
marpley4 karma2021-02-01 18:12:18 UTC
Did they wake you up or did you naturally come out of the coma?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 18:50:25 UTC
I was woken up.
JamesWjRose3 karma2021-02-01 18:07:24 UTC
Do you wish you were in a coma last year?
Are you glad you got to miss chunks of the Trump administration?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:48:30 UTC
No.. i would not want to have missed the last year (my son was born in January 2020).
And yes. every bit I missed is perfect.
citznfish3 karma2021-02-01 18:08:10 UTC
After being in a coma for a month what was the biggest WTF event that you remember after waking up?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:07:40 UTC
For me personally, it was that I knew my parents had been there (they flew in a few days after the heartattack, and left a few days before I woke up) but I don't remember them being there. If that makes sense.
As for "world events": It was 2018. Trump was president. Everything was crazy.After waking up I was much more focused on getting out of the hospital and my persona recovery to care about what was going on in the rest of the world, tbh. By the time that passed, a lot of other cray stuff happened and it all blurred into "2018".So sorry.. I can't answer that.
I looked over a list of things that happened and it was probably Dolores O'Riordan (lead singer of The Cranberries) dying. Silly but that's it.
Marcer_3 karma2021-02-01 18:03:35 UTC
What were the circumstances that led to you being under for so long? Can you elaborate at all on what you mean by "coma"? I only ask because in medicine being put into a "coma" is generally a specific state that is used under very specific circumstances, whereas what most people would think of as a medical coma (i.e.; being sedated and kept asleep) is not a coma at all.
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:01:05 UTC
Good point. I used "medical coma" because that is what most people are familiar with.
I was kept in a state where I could still respond somewhat to commands, but not form any memories or struggle too much.
I have pictures of my drooping in a hospital chair for instance. They lifted me in there to make it easier to clean bedding and to change positions. I was in a university hospital and they did some exercise treatment on me to try to limit the loss of muscle mass, I don't know how responsive I had to be for that.
ChinaShopBully2 karma2021-02-01 18:52:54 UTC
Were you amazed at how far technology had advanced while you were out?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:39:00 UTC
A month is too little time for that...
plato9612 karma2021-02-01 18:50:55 UTC
Wet dream? I mean 30 days is 30 days...
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:38:21 UTC
goyotes782 karma2021-02-01 18:57:25 UTC
Did you lose a bunch of weight during your time under?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:40:31 UTC
Yes. about 30 lbs (or 15 kilos)
RobieWan2 karma2021-02-01 20:23:46 UTC
Why did you remove the post?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 21:27:48 UTC
I did not.. mods removed it due to too little proof. i'm talking to them now.
Jayk05232 karma2021-02-01 18:11:30 UTC
Did you feel any guilt for your situation that was obviously out of your control?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:21:25 UTC
Oh, that's a good question.
When I woke up, I definitely felt sorry for what I had put my wife and parents (and to a lesser extend friends) through.
My wife got phonecalls at 2AM from the hospital saying "we need your consent to do this procedure now or he'll die" a few times. Which must have been terrifying. Both the phone ringing (did he die?) and the question itself.
shitposts_over_90002 karma2021-02-01 18:37:11 UTC
was there anything you had to relearn/reorient on afterwards and if so how long did that take before you were proficient again?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:36:45 UTC
I'm slightly deaf in my right ear ever since (I suffered a stroke when they turned down my blood thinners), but I also have that ringing in my ears musicians have.. so it's very loud in that ear and I have trouble falling asleep because of it.
I had to relearn to walk, write eat etc. not because i had forgotten, but because I had lost so much muscle they were not able to hold me up, lift a spoon or form words.
deywaddles2 karma2021-02-01 18:43:19 UTC
Did that one song that you had stuck in your head before the coma come back?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 21:22:49 UTC
It's been replaced multiple times by now..
Rosinante842 karma2021-02-01 19:17:19 UTC
Did you wake up with any dilusion?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:43:50 UTC
i was sure I had already lived the day I woke up. There were things happening where I knew what I was going to say and what was going to happen next. Unfortunately I could not speak, so I could not let anyone know.
Later the doctors informed me that was probably due to the heavy painkillers I was under.
omgitscynthia2 karma2021-02-01 19:19:03 UTC
Were you aware of your condition (familial hypercholesterolemia) before all this happened or is this how it was discovered? My husband also has this condition, and many members of his family so he knew to get checked out early and it is well managed with medication and a decent diet... I worry sometimes that it could get worse without us knowing since it's a pretty silent issue.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:46:42 UTC
I kinda knew. My family always "had high cholesterol" and my mother died from a heartattack when she was very young.
Luckily, since it's genetic, once they know one family member has it, the rest of the family gets checked. It's literally a DNA thing, so they can test you for it.
Though of course the cholesterol levels themselves need to be monitored (I get cheched a few times per year) and medication is usually required, not just to lower the overall count, but also t restore the balance between the "good and bad" cholesterol.
Izayugh2 karma2021-02-01 18:06:46 UTC
Since 3 years ago have you changed anything in your life whether drastically or simple?
TheCaretaker19764 karma2021-02-01 19:05:50 UTC
I became a father.. But I'm not sure that's the answer you're looking for.
I definitely take better care of myself now. I walk more, ride my exercise bike. A lot more puzzles (sudoku keeps the mind sharp). Eat a lot healthier.
dotjenn2 karma2021-02-01 18:11:51 UTC
After going through this kind of ordeal, how do you feel about hospitals now? I'm an ICU nurse and, unfortunately, we see this a lot. There's been a lot of studies how being in an ICU for an extended time, especially after major trauma, really leads to PTSD/PTSD-like symptoms even with being heavily sedated.
Also, do you remember ever waking up temporarily? Like did someone yell at you to squeeze their fingers? Wiggle your toes?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:26:59 UTC
i'm SO glad people like you take on this difficult task. I could NOT do it. So thank you.
One of the last things i did before I was being transferred to another hospital to recover was do an "unaided victory lap" across the ICU, hugging and highfiving all the doctors. That was met with great cheers, since most patients are wheeled out of the ICU and are never seen again,
I actually went back to the hospital and went to the ICU. I spoke to a few of the staff members and they were so happy to see me, since normally they never see their patients again after they leave the hospital. I still have regular doctors visits, so no room for PTSD.
One of the first things I remember from waking up was a nurse yelling "SQUEEZE MY HAND, DAN"I don't remember any of the first wake ups (they woke me up before, turned down a bloodthinner which resulted in me I having a stroke)
whirlpearl2 karma2021-02-01 18:08:50 UTC
A family friend just spent about 5-6 weeks in a coma and is being sent to rehab due to pneumonia and covid.
Does being in a coma have a lasting effect on your mental health, and what are some ways to help?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:13:16 UTC
I'm not sure. I think it will differ from person to person.
I don't think I changed any mentally, but my wife insists I'm more careful and say "no" to things I don't want to do quicker.
I think for me personally, the most difficult thing is not having any memories for a month (and a few days leading up to that). Not remembering the coma makes sense, that's what they have the medication for) but those few days before which I KNOW I should remember, since I was mentally there... that's weird.
I would ask your friend what they need and try to provide that as best as you can. If it is someone to crack jokes with, talk to, or just watch TV with. Be there.
As for a professional opinion, you are better of asking a professional, since I think it's way too easy to give the wrong advise in these cases.
SebastianZQ32 karma2021-02-01 18:09:37 UTC
How annoying was light for u when u woke up? We’re u “unused” to talk? Like moving your tongue and stuff like that
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:16:46 UTC
The light was kept low (I think they usually do that inn ICU's?), and I was not wearing my glasses. So it was all a bit blurry. The noise (all the deeps and alarms) were much more annoying.
I could not talk, Because if the intubation, my vocalcords took some time to "heal" (They were not damaged as far as I know, just irritated).
My tongue definitely felt weird, but not in a "it doesn't belong there" way. more in a "I feel all these new things with this mouth muscle way, if that makes sense.
CypripediumCalceolus2 karma2021-02-01 18:09:39 UTC
Did you learn anything from the astronauts returning to earth? You both had a strange out-of-this world experience.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:18:07 UTC
No astronauts came to visit me. So I would not know. :D
The one thing I did learn from this whole ordeal though is that medical staff are miracle workers, even if they occasionally are just guessing. :D
TDTallman992 karma2021-02-01 18:40:28 UTC
What was your family’s reaction when you awoke/first time they saw you after the coma?
Thank you for sharing your story and I hope your recovery has been swift and meaningful!
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:37:56 UTC
My wife obviously was very happy. She was the only person present. My parents had flown back home a few days before because their visa ran out.
I remember telling her to leave me alone though. She smelled weird. I'm still very sorry for that.
rsfrech32 karma2021-02-01 18:13:06 UTC
Do you have retrograde amnesia?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:27:57 UTC
Yes. The heartattack happens on Jan, 2nd (after my first day at work). My last clear memory is of December 30th.
Brian_E19712 karma2021-02-01 18:18:18 UTC
How atrophied were your muscles upon waking up? How long before you could get up, walk around, use the bathroom, etc?
TheCaretaker19763 karma2021-02-01 19:30:41 UTC
It took me a few days (maybe 2?) to be able to hold a pen, spoon etc.
Standing on my own for more than a second took about a week. After that it went fast. I could walk short distances after 10 or so days. (like 10 steps).
One of the last things i did before I was being transferred to another hospital to recover was do an "unaided victory lap" across the ICU, hugging and highfiving all the doctors.
Goatzinger2 karma2021-02-01 18:21:55 UTC
Do you consider a hot dog a sandwich?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:39:13 UTC
The hotdogbun is a single bread mass. For it to be a sandwich there has to be two slices of bread.
Goatzinger2 karma2021-02-01 19:53:20 UTC
A Philly cheesesteak sandwich doesn’t have two defined pieces of bread.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:21:32 UTC
Hence a cheesesteak is not a sandwich.
AlkalineSolo852 karma2021-02-01 18:21:25 UTC
Were you aware that you were going to be put in a coma before it happened, or were you in a completely unconscious state before the induction?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:36:43 UTC
I was completely unconscious.
mydeardroogs2 karma2021-02-01 18:21:29 UTC
(Looks side to side) So like... How was the first nut?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:38:15 UTC
scary.. I was wearing a defibrillator vest which would give me a jolt if my heartrate went up too high... I was a bit scared of what would happen if I got too excited. :D.
In hindsight I should have just taken the vest off of course.
krabbypatty642 karma2021-02-01 18:23:47 UTC
How did your wife react when you woke up? Was she aware you were about to wake up or was it a total shock to her and the doctors?
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 19:42:39 UTC
The waking up takes time, it's not like "opening your eyes and you're there" (at least it was not in my case). It was more like that state ust before you wake up sleeping , where your body doesn't realize yet it has woken up and your mind is kinda "ok, that's cool, we'll sleeps some more" and you drift in and out of consciousness for a bit. but then over a longer period of time. And with yelling in your ears to squeeze the nurses hand/
I was being woken up by turning down the medication, so my wife and the staff knew it was going to happen.
Viyadin2 karma2021-02-01 18:28:11 UTC
Whats the procedure when someone wakes up from a coma, first things people say, how many people are in the room, what are the steps in order that doctors take immediately after someone wakes, what stuff do they check and with what kind of tools, how long do you stay in the hospital after? Trying to do some basic research for a story but I'm having surprising trouble finding what I'm looking for
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:28:49 UTC
I think it will differ from patient to patient and case to case, hence there not being much info available.
In my case:
Lots of shouting to get and keep my attention ("SQUEEZE MY HAND" "CAN YOU WIGGLE YOUR TOES") Next thing was removing the intubation.
I do not know how many people were present, it's all a bit of a haze, but i do know at least 3 people and my wife.
They woke me up by slowly turning down the sedation medication I was on, so it went gradually.
Because I could not speak, I could not answer any questions, butt afterwards any time a nurse came into my room I was asked a row of question ("what day is it, who is the president" etc. Hospital series are realistic like that).
srichard222 karma2021-02-01 18:27:17 UTC
When you wake up from normal sleep, do you sometimes get anxiety? like waking up wondering if you were sleeping for a month.
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:24:28 UTC
No, never. honestly, when I wake up, it's not on my mind. Onve my day starts, it creeps back into my mind (meds, scars, visible implant etc.)
Kierenmet2 karma2021-02-01 18:27:09 UTC
Have you noticed any “side affects” from being in a coma for so long?
Glad you’re on the mend ☺️
Also massive thanks for doing this. I find the whole thing super fascinating!!
TheCaretaker19762 karma2021-02-01 20:23:35 UTC
Other than my missing month not really. I get the feeling I'm searching for words more often, but that might also be because I'm living in a different country, so speak two languages all the time and mess them up and just getting older.
The health issues are not related to the hospital stay itself, but to the cholesterol (other than the implants).
Swim_Swimmerson210 karma2021-02-01 18:21:23 UTC
I Know This Is Really Insensitive, But Since Your Were In A Coma For So Long, And I Wanna Know The Truth, Is The Inception Movie Any Realistic?
Was The Month You Spent In Coma Like A Week In Dream?
TheCaretaker19761 karma2021-02-01 19:35:58 UTC
I don't remember dreaming at all... there is literally just a full month missing. a gap. Like today is today, but your last memory is from a month ago.
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