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hboxxx32 karma

I've been on one and remember as I was barely coming to as they were about to take me off. It's awful. You start trying to breathe on your own and start fighting the machine. The machine starts beeping like crazy when you do this. You have to consciously force yourself NOT to breathe. This requires constant concentration and it never feels right. The machine is expanding your lungs for you. God forbid you have to cough. The best way I can describe it is feeling a vacuum sucking air directly out of you lungs. Your mouth is drier than you can imagine. Even if there wasn't physiological reasons they need to sedate you the psychological reasons would be enough. Unfortunately they can't just take out the vent and then wake you up. You need to be conscious beforehand. I have what I would describe as light PTSD from it. I don't freak out but what I remember is so vivid it makes me uncomfortable.

After it's out, and the actual removal of the tube going down your throat is actually the only part of this that is less bad than you would imagine, you are helped by a sense of relief. But in my case, and I imagine this is pretty common, the drugs they use to sedate you stay with you for a while. I was floaty for days. For some reason I couldn't sleep for over a week. They gave me paralyzing drugs while on the ventilator and they literally take weeks before being completely gone from your system. I was able to stand up and walk in a few days but you will feel week for a long time. When I first got off the ventilator I didn't have the strength to push the buttons on the TV remote. It took weeks before I could open a bottle of water with my left hand (I'm a righty).

This all happened this past November. I suffered from ARDS from pnuemonia which is what is killing many people with COVID-19. I survived. But my breathing isn't back to where it was before I got sick even now. I'm still improving but the improvement is slowing. I may never be able to work again.

If you read this please stay home. You don't want to go through this, and you don't want to be responsible for someone else going through this.