Dreams

My husband is finally on the mend after a long stay in ICU. When he was in his induced coma he had some incredible, sometimes disturbing dreams... Which got me thinking and drawing...

I have decided to put together a collection of coma dreams and illustrate them. My husband found it cathartic to talk about them.

If you wouldn't mind me using your dreams in my collection please email me at missylils@hotmail.co.uk

Thank you

Charlotte Cooper

19 Replies

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  • Hi Charlotte,

    It's not unusual to have nightmares while in an induced coma, I had many reoccurring nightmares while I was in ICU 5 years ago, I have the first 2 months completely missing as I was in and out of an induced coma during that time, critically ill with a slim chance of survival,I was pumped full of drugs that caused the most frightening and bizarre nightmares I've ever had it was like being in a virtual world, which after discharge left both my wife and myself needing psychological counseling for different reasons.

    I have since met several ex-ICU patients through my work with ICUsteps who also suffered deeply disturbing nightmares, and others that had none at all, but all had been left with the trauma of ICU, trying to understand how their lives came so close to an end and the vacuum it leaves.

    I can still remember clearly the nightmares & hallucinations as if it was yesterday and have used my experience of them and my 3 months in ICU to help healthcare professionals and other ex-ICU patients, by speaking at conferences, training days and at a local support group, along with being part of ICUsteps, which for me was my way of coming to terms with my ICU experience.

    Best wishes to your husband on his continued recovery.

    Bill

  • Hi Bill,

    Would you be prepared to share one of your dreams? Or ask if anyone else would?

    My husbands dreams spanned from the disturbing to the ridiculous and remembers loads, the one he's chose for this exercise is one where he had to kill our cat...

    Please email me at missylils@hotmail.co.uk

    If you would like to include one of your dreams in my book.

    Fondest regards

    And thanks

    Charlotte

  • Charlotte,

    I'm sorry for the difficult experience your husband (and you) have had. I also was in ICU in the US 3 1/2 years ago following what was supposed to be a simple mitral valve repair. I had been in good shape,, was healthy and active, and young for this surgery.

    For reasons unknown I developed severe complications resulting in an induced coma, multiple organ shut down, multiple strokes, and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation. I had an experience while in coma of 'travelling' through a spiral whose end would result in my body's complete disintegration and death. This, of course was a hallucination or a vision or a dream...it doesn't matter what it's called...it was my experience while in coma.

    I also had many other hallucinations, and was fortunate that I wrote them down when I returned home after a month. I will say that I have come to believe that these hallucinations were my spirit's or psyche's way of making sense of what was happening to my body when I was not conscious. I have very clear memory of them still, and believe I always will. However, I have found that ptsd-related reactions which bring me back to the hallucinations or to the hospital experience itself have decreased in intensity and frequency, and I can identify pretty quickly what is being triggered.

    I have used art and writing and working with a good therapist to help me through this. I have found all useful. It was validating for me to be able to put the hallucinations I remember in the sequence in which they likely occurred, and I found that they symbolically demonstrated (in the majority of the time) the grave position my body was in through the course of the coma. I also had the benefit of having three positive hallucinations which were about healing and moving on. I know is positive hallucinations are not the norm for lots of people.

    I too have found this site very helpful. There are few people I can discuss my experience with at this point 3 1/2 years later, and this site helps in that regard. The experience was life changing and I am not the same person I was before the surgery. Of course that has resulted in some loss I am working through. But it has become easier for me.

    I have not written on this site for some time. As I am writing this I realize how much easier it is for me to write about what happened, and to me that reflects the healing I have had from one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I want to encourage people that it does get better with time.

  • Thank you Albert,

    If you could share one of your experiences, I would love it! e-mail me at missylils@hotmail.co.uk

    Fondest Regards

    Chatrlotte Cooper

  • Hi,

    I would still love to hear your dreams!

    And if you could provide me with a little bio of yourself?

    I'm thinking of adding this to your dream, so people can get to know the person behind the dream.

    Could it include:

    Your name

    Age when it happened

    Reason for the coma

    Town/City/Country

    Job

    Marital status

    Hobbies

    Life after the coma

    Anything else you would like to add.

    Either list these answers, or include them in the bio. Only add what you want to.

    Thank you, It's looking really fabulous, a fascinting collection!

    Charlotte

    miisylils@hotmail.co.uk

  • Dear albert1, I can so relate to your experiences and interpretation of your dreams. I've also written mine, in story form, as a means of catharsis. Like you, I also, on a number of occasions, had a dream of a spiralling abyss of colours opening up beneath me, pouring downward and pulling me in, winding up and tightening, choking. For me too, it was a life changing experience, medically and emotionally, but I feel well on the road to recovery now. Hope all is going well for you.

    Steve

  • Thank you.

    My husband went in with Pancreatitis, which became acute and he too starting experiencing organ failure, this is why he was put to sleep.

    He was in the coma for 2 weeks, 1 1/2 weeks longer that we expected. He then stayed in for another month and a half... Longest 2 months of my life.

    Luckily Rod hasn't exeprienced any PNSD as expected and he's come out of this horrible experience unscathed, even though recovery is painfully slow.

    Did you want to share a dream?

    Regards

    And thanks

    Charlotte

  • thats ok, what do you want me to do?

  • Can you email me with your dream? missylils@hotmail.co.uk

    Your dream sounded amazing!

    Can you add, where you like and why you were put under.

    Thank you

    Charlotte

  • I had to go into icu due to an epileptic fit i had at home, when i was on the ward i dont know what drugs i was on apart from my own medication but i had terrible sort of nightmares, i saw people their that were not their at all, my mum was their, a few friends were their but in reality they were not their at all. Another part of this nightmare was i had to walk down a spiral staircase and at the bottom the Kray twins were their and alot of violence was going on the only thing that stopped all of this nonsence was they were looking for money for this "trip" to carry on, i thought it was hospital in house entertainment something like sky etc, also on the ward i was "wound up" by a couple of ordellyes, i hope i spelt that right, lol, anyway the bed i was lying in went vertical and i was on the edge of a glass platform and it was horrible in the end i worked out how to get out of this situation i was in by counting back, like on a clock, go back to where i started sort of thing, i tell you this story is not a load of bull rock, this is what happenned to me anyway, other people have had different experiences, i wish i knew the answer lol, if you know, let me know lol, i hope your husband is better now and on the mend, happy new year and many of them, chat later, god bless Walterxxxxxx

  • Brilliant!! Had the same kinda experience! I was watching animal documentaries on the 'big tv' they gave me!!!... (It was the window next to my bed!!!) once I'd mostly came round and still having the hallucinations it terrified me, didn't know what was real and what wasn't!!! One nurse I confided in gave me a idea similar to your clock theory!!... There was a packet of jelly babies next to my bed and she told me if your ever not sure if it's real or not, pick up something like this and try and read the ingredients.... You can't read real instructions if ur hallucinating or dreaming!!! That was a comfort to me, felt like I had more control over it!!!

    Hope your feeling well!!! XXXX

  • Hi,

    Could provide me with a little bio of yourself? 

    I'm thinking of adding this to your dream, so people can get to know the person behind the dream.

    Could it include:

    Your name

    Age when it happened

    Reason for the coma

    Town/City/Country

    Job

    Marital status

    Hobbies

    Life after the coma

    Anything else you would like to add.

    Either list these answers, or include them in the bio. Only add what you want to.

    Thank you, It's looking really fabulous, a fascinting collection!

    Charlotte

    miisylils@hotmail.co.

  • Thank you! Can I ask where you are from?

  • hello, ime from Ealing West London

  • I've emailed you!!! x

    If you need more of my dreams good/bad feel free to ask!!! Xx

    LJ x

  • Lisa Jane

    Hi, could you e-mail me again? I haven't recieved it... Weird! missylils@hotmail.co.uk

    Thank you

    Charlotte

  • send them to me, i am interested, thanks

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