Delirium whilst in induced coma for 4 weeks. X

Delirium whilst in induced coma for 4 weeks. X

Hello. I'm Dorothy and I'm 45, I've just come out of hospital after being in an induced coma for 4 weeks. I had influenza and double pneumonia which resulted in sepsis, renal failure, dialysis, tracheotomy, massive haemorrhage of blood vessels in eyes due to being laid prone. I had incredibly realistic delirium which was very very unpleasant, I felt I was frantically looking for my hubby and children, I was gagged and unable to talk etc. I was wonder if anyone else had v scary delirium?? X

15 Replies

  • Hi Dorothy and welcome!! This is 100% normal and you will find many people in this group who had horrific nightmares and hallucinations whilst in the coma. Luckyone talked me through my experience in Feb this year and explained his nightmares. Please look up icu steps website for your nearest support group. I'm going to my first tonight in Northampton.

    In my coma I dreamt I was raped, didn't know who I was, had docs who wanted to kill me, went clubbing, was locked in a lorry, encased in resin and part of the decorations at a serial killer themed bar for 80 years, in a pool with my decomposing dad, unable to move except for my pelvic floor muscles which I used to signal sos to control the lights on the Thames.... You name it, I thought it had happened to me. I spoke with my consultant recently about this and her husband had happened to be in a coma too a few years ago, he thought everyone was a smurf!!

    These hallucinations and nightmares will never leave you, they are always going to be able to be recalled as clearly as I rattled off mine above, however they don't recur when not on the paralysis and sedative drugs and you must never fear them. When you have your follow up at ITU, see if you can go into the ward and see your bed, it may trigger some memories from your dreams.

    We are all here for you

    All the best in your recovery

    Debs xx

  • Thanks so much debs! I will look for a local group. It's comforting to hear that you had similar experiences. I will be going back to the icu soon to hopefully rationalise things. X

  • You'll be amazed how many people have had really bad nightmares on here. When I was transferred to the renal ward (I too had dialysis, apparently the kidneys are extremely lazy!!) I refused to sleep for 90 hours straight, I was so terrified of the nightmares. See if you can get some counselling on the NHS or bupa if you have it xx

  • Ty Hun I've got some counselling lined up. Do you mind me asking how long you were in a coma? X

  • No probs, 2 weeks then 3 weeks on renal ward. Longest 2 weeks of my life, seemed like years!!

  • Yup I can totally relate!! Horrendous experience. Ty for sharing X

  • Hi Dorothy,

    Yes I had terrible dreadful dreams and nightmares in ICU. I was sure the nurses were trying to kill me, I was being tortured to give information I didn't have, and my parts were being transplanted into other people, (though I couldn't work out who would want parts of a cancerous old woman)

    Just the worst thing that's ever happened to me, worse than being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.


  • Oh my! That's awful. Sorry to hear that you had such an awful experience. I dreamt I was unable to speak, tied up, frantically trying to find my children, etc. So very unpleasant. Wishing you a speedy recovery X

  • Hi Dorothy,

    The fact that you are ready to share the terrifying nightmares whilst in an induced coma, something so many of us will never forget is a good sign towards recovery.

    I to had double pneumonia, severe sepsis, multiple organ failure and topped off with ARDS, I spent seven & half weeks in and out of a coma but have no memory of that time, just the terrifying nightmares with the grim reaper walking around the ward then taking people out the door, then saying "I'll be back for you, this was just one of the many that involved a hit man sent to kill me to aliens abducting me while driving a van to Basingstoke (somewhere I've never been).

    Thankfully I can now look back and put them into perspective although after spending 3 months in ICU and a further 2 weeks on a ward I found it very difficult re-adjusting to life after ICU but thankfully with support from my wonderful wife and family and receiving the psychological support I desperately needed I managed re-build my life, becoming involved with ICUsteps giving support to others going through the trauma of making sense of what happen to them in ICU, which for me is my way of giving something back.

    Best wishes in your continued recovery,


  • Crikey!! You certainly went through the mill. I had the alien thing too whereby they were probing in the unmentionables and were using me as a Guinea pig for testing. I had one amusing memory of jumping out of a helicopter, doing a forward roll and then popping a baby out. But most were v unpleasant. I do hope you are continuing to get stronger, Ty for your words of support. It means a lot to know that others experienced similar things X

  • I think most of the people you take to personally or via this website will tell you that it seems to be one of the main features of being in Induced Coma. All your symptoms that you explained are a copy of mine with the exception of the blood vessels in the eyes. I still have them now but am learning how to deal with them. You are not on your own as far as having vivid dreams are concerned and wish you a good recovery.


  • And a speedy recovery to you too Hun. X

  • Hi, I am glad to see you are better. I too understand all too well your need to reach out for answers. I was in an induced coma myself for three wks. Flu, to pneumonia, to sepsis, and then heart failure and ARDS. The entire time I was under I had one traumatic reality after another. "bad dreams" they call it. Clearly the understatement of the century! I will post a story here soon. But to make a long story short. All the dreams were horrid. I was kidnapped, tied up, experiencing my murder....slowly. Having my heels cut to bleed out. Being eaten alive. I could go on. But I am out now and other memories come to me as I go through my day to day. I don't expect they will go away. But I really wish my family would want to talk about it more with me. But it seems they don't want to remember their part in the experience. It was bad all around. I am glad I found others like me. But sad there are others like me. I don't wish this experience on anyone. Thanks for letting me vent a little.

  • Wow! Almost a carbon copy of my experience! It was horrific to be so frightened and it just seemed that it lurched from one nasty dream to another. Feel free to vent Hun if it helps. X

  • YES... i had a very similar experience 5 months ago. I was in a coma for what doctors said was a severe case of pneumonia for 8 days and boy do i never want to go through that again. My story goes a bit like this and before i start i will mention it was so real to me.

    Anyway here goes, i also was being gagged by a nurse with jet black hair and strangley pale skin, almost devilish looking. I was sure she was gagging me so i wouldnt tell everyone her secret, that she had me impregnated so she could sell the baby and i vaguely remember the impregnation procedure happening and it was as if someone was breathing very heavily in my ear the whole time (which was probably the ventilator lol) and i was so absolutely sure i was not at the hospital, i was actually at a small backyard surgury where a group of strange people lived with this nurse and she ran her business from there. I thought i had been kidnapped and taken to this place and i remember thinking 'when is my partner going to come get me' because i knew he would never give up trying to find me. But when he did come along with my family, they kept just telling me to rest and get better but i was trying to explain the reason i was there in the first place and to call the police because these people are running an illegal business. Wow reading that back, i sound crazy lol. Not only that, i was so certain that they had operated and cut 10cm off my legs as they also sold body parts. And then i thought that the whole surgery were against me because they knew i had worked out there dirty little secret and that when i got out i was going to sue the pants off them. Lol. It was soooo incredibly frightening and nobody will never understand, not even a nurse or doctor, unless you have experienced it. I totally understand what you when through and its like something out of this world really. It gets better but you never forget it.

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