Was anyone else aware of things when in coma?

Just out of interest of anyone who's been in a coma did any of you have any awareness of things happening round you?

I had serious car accident 3 year back, don't remember it but remember being aware of things while in coma. I was aware something had happened and I couldn't do or say anything. That would normally sound like torture but it didn't bother me I just accepted it like I knew it wouldn't last. I heard nurses talking saying she is lucky to be alive meaning me I wasn't sure who they were on about at time. They said I'd been in a car accident. I thought no I haven't or I'd know, then thought back to last time I remembered driving and realised it may be true as I couldn't remember coming off motorway or getting home. I also heard nurses say my car had landed on its roof facing on coming traffic. I saw people visiting me not sure if I had my eyes open or it was like out of body but couldn't see my own body and no fear at all. Even now thinking back to it I can't understand how strange it was yet I didn't feel anything. It didn't bother me I couldn't communicate or anything well I asume I couldn't I didn't try no idea why. You would think being aware of so much you would be desperate to find out what had happened but I just accepted I'd find out when I got better. Anyone else had experience like this?

13 Replies

  • Yes, I remember little snatches, can't put it all into context but it's the hearing thing isn't it. I remember some occasions my children were reading to me and also tiny, tiny bits of conversations. Xx

  • Maybe u are aware or are there differnt levels of coma.

    I was lucky that I was unconcious for only a short time initially and then for a few hours once in a & e and then drifted in and out that evening. I came around later that night and was unaware of visiters yet I have been told I was trying to talk to them.

    One thing I hadnt heard of was before was being in a waking coma. This sounds contradictive but I was told that I was in one for around a week or so.

    The memories I have of immidiatly after my accident up to around six month are " borrowed " memories. That is to say memories of what other people have told me had happened.

    Sorry if this doesnt help much but it is my personal experience.

  • Me too Keeley. Like Janet I find it difficult to describe apart from having what I thought were recurring dreams about being repeatedly asked my name. And I vaguely remember feeling a dreamlike awareness each time I pulled out my tubes causing mayhem with the bleeding, which was apparently a regular occurrence.

    After I became compass mentis I was horrified to hear how difficult I'd been and how tirelessly patient and tolerant the HDU nursing staff had been with me.

    I do recall voices of what seemed like aliens but, on the whole, it was a 3 week period which remains lost to me for ever. xx

  • Dreamlike awareness that's exactly how I'd describe what I felt and would explain why I didn't try to do anything. Think I also remember trying to turn onto my side but being stopped. Another thing I'm not sure if it was real or a dream. I had a feeding tube up my nose (that was real) and I pulled it out and nurses had to put it back up my nose. It really hurt and I had a trach tube in my neck so couldn't talk(that was real) so I tried hitting nurses to stop them putting it back in so they called for help. I don't remember anything else but feeding tube was back up my nose after. Even though I'm not sure if that was real or not it bothered me a lot I was very careful not to knock it or let it come out. I couldn't wait to start eating and drinking again. Wasn't hunry or thirsty just wanted to get back to normal. Once I had started eating and drinking bits the tube fell out so I dreaded it being put back in but by this time I could talk so told nurse I was eating in hope of it not being put back in and she said I didn't need feeding tube as long as I carried on eating. Well for days after I was worried they would decide I needed it back in so I ate anything in front of me weather I liked it or not. I made sure I wasn't put back on feeding tube. While it was in it was fine it was just the being put back in that worried me.

  • I entered a complete world of virtual reality, where I was still cycling to work. It was so real, occasionally it would be punctuated by odd things like I'd be cycling down the cycle path and this strange voice would come from the sky telling me I'd had an accident. When I came around I recognised the voice of one of the nurses as that voice. Other times I could hear my wife talking to me. Bless her.

  • I was in a coma for almost two months. I do recall neighbours who used to care for me whilst Mum was at work visiting me once but nothing else.

    When I had my one visit to the surgeon's clinic [Mr Bhati of Atkinson Morley Hospital] I went to see the bed where I had lay in Brodie Ward. Same bed as Stirling Moss apparently[!] To paraphrase Trigger of 'Only Fools and Horses' One frame, different mattress, many sheets!

    There was a young Auxiliary, a domestic, and I remembered her face and accented voice. She was Portguese and quite beautiful. She was wearing a Crucifix [how times have changed today for that] which she touched as she exclaimed, 'Oh God, it's a miracle.' Perhaps a statement of my expected plight - as my notes recently made available to me state, in part, 'Severe TBI .......' and the Neurologist's comment, " You really have no idea how lucky you are to be alive" suggest.

    The auxiliary actually kissed me on the cheek - one day in September 1967 I have never forgotten.

    [I'm actually crying whilst I write this - heavens knows why - and its not something I easily do, nor own up to].

    Other than those two very different incidents - one where I was familiar with my neighbours coming to see me, they asked, 'Do you know who we are?' and I remember either thinking or saying 'No' when I did and recognising the auxiliary after the event - there was nothing else in almost two months of coma.

    It's a strange world to be in. As Kubrick's character in 'Full Metal Jacket' adequately describes 'A world of sh*t,' only in a coma you don't actually know until after.

    There was a piece on BBC1 recently about the coverage of a rock being scaled as an outside broadcast. The sheer technicalities and the use of radio links would have dictated that it was something I would have looked at. I stated to my wife that I had no memory of this occurring and then they stated the date as somewhere late July 1967. I immediately declared, ' ......and perhaps the poxy Beatles were number one at the time - probably for the best I wasn't around!'

    I've just looked it up and it was indeed those big headed Liverpudlians at the top for three weeks: The Beatles "All You Need Is Love" 19 July 1967

    Arabic for Big Head is 'Ras kabir' in case you have a need to know.

  • I remember nothing. I am told I was played music and my nurse would sit and talk to me and I would apparently laugh. i certainly felt very attached to him after I woke up and I developed a completely new taste in music. Its a weird state to be in, coma, and I think we are probably doped up to the eyeballs.

  • Er, no!

    I remember nothing from 18 months before the accident (including moving house and having a second baby...) until 6 months after (although I have a very vague memory of having a 1st birthday party, in hospital, for that baby. I apparently asked my husband why her mother hadn't come to her birthday party. 'I have already told you this, Pam: she is ours!). That was about 2 and half months after the accident. My memory starts to come back around Christmas, when I first went home overnight. my memory was very patchy for a good year.

    I certainly remember nothing from those coma days.

  • i wasnt in a coma, not sure i should reply. but before hospital at home, i have been told (i dont remember) that i ticked boxes for semi coma, but would that be semi coma or semi conscious.

    to go off on complete complete tangents i dont remember entering hospital , MAU ward doctors assessing on MAU, dont remember the doctor who diagnosed me; a n excellent call, i have never come into contact with him since, dont remember screaming when being head scanned, or being scanned. i remember thinking what are you talking about ? when told that i screamed.

    to look back i dont know if i was awake or asleep/dreamstate at points.

    i was asked to stay alive by a close relative, i thought ? i'm not ill. i wanted to get back to the bright lights. i dont know what seeing bright lights phenomenon is, i tried to google scientific explanations.

    the excellent staff kept stating to me that i was very ill; did they have some idea that i didnt believe them, this was because i had just come from a hospital who more or less kept telling me that i was not ill.

  • Not sure I was aware of anything but do remember being in dream state and while I was in a coma that I was playing cricket with disabled people!

    I never played cricket eye ball co ordination totally out. However decades later was involved and if lack of numbers playing cricket with disabled folk and in a some big league, even travelled up to a London named club to play in an indoor playing pitch. Memory stops me there as to where.

  • Yep I remember things too, they like a dream. When they came to switch my life support off and were saying there goodbyes I hadn't moved a muscle in two months I suddenly stroked my head so they couldn't. I think you do hear after that I think I proved it xx

  • I had a brain haemorrhage when I was 18 and in a coma a week.

    Its just like being half asleep as sometimes you can hear ppl.

    The girlfriend at the time made a compilation tape on a Walkman and if I hear one of the songs I get a shiver.


  • Hi Spidey I find I get very emotional when I hear the music that is on my I player, a compilation made for me by my husband and which was played to me daily when in the coma. I don't choose to play it now.xxx


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