Hallucinations post ICU discharge : I recently had... - ICUsteps


5,920 members1,988 posts

Hallucinations post ICU discharge

I recently had an ICU admission and was wondering, how long do the drugs stay in your system and can this affect your mental state? I was ventilated for a while and when I woke up, I was convinced that I was a dragon. I mean, not in terms of actually being a dragon but that I could see my breath coming out like fire. I was fixated on this for about 10 days, even post ICU discharge. I was otherwise totally lucid, on the respiratory ward, showering myself and generally acting completely normal except for being absolutely convinced I could "see" my breath. Fortunately, this has stopped completely but looking back, I'm wondering if this is a common occurrence.

9 Replies

When I woke after a two month coma, I was not sure at first if I was human 😳😳🤣🤣

in reply to Sepsur

I certainly didn't look human. 😳

Sepsur profile image
Sepsur in reply to

I didn't see myself for a month - I had lost 30kg - nearly all muscle tone & a great deal of my hair -

in reply to Sepsur

Gosh, that must have been really hard. My legs are all skinny from muscle loss, it's very odd.

Sepsur profile image
Sepsur in reply to

Yeh when your body is no longer yours

Breathing fire is a new one on me. All hallucinatory effects and after effects would seem to be drug induced and do fade over time after the medication ceases but are never completely forgotten. Like all of our life experiences fragments are retained in memory.

Where some of the things we experience while in a deep coma can be tracked back to actual 'real life' events, emotions, relationships, etc., that the brain assembles into a clumsy, badly fitting jigsaw picture other images and impressions are inexplicable.

Your mentioning dragons was what caught my eye. It's anecdotal and likely of no value to you but one of the 'dreams' I experienced while in induced coma a year ago was that I was in a medieval town/city built of huge stone blocks by a river. I was in a room, high up and looking down at the street below that ran beside the river. I was unable to move, as in all the dreams, but I could see quite clearly, more than clearly, in technicolor and 3D, a parade of sorts coming down the street, the people were all dressed in what I imagine to have been medieval clothing. Up the river, some distance away, a wooden bridge was on fire and some people were trying to extinguish the flames. Beneath my window the parade was leading or pulling a captive dragon tied in ropes and chains, it was huge, the size of four or five elephants, dark brown, like a big lizard with wings folded, tied down, along it's back. It seemed impossible these few humans could hold it captive but they dragged it down the street and out of my line of sight... and then the dream shifted, as they do, and I was somewhere else. It's been over a year since then but I can still remember it in detail.

If you're still able to breath fire I have a pot belly stove I can't get to stay alight, maybe you could swing by and help me get it going? ;-)

BTW, It's a common experience under the influence of LSD to be able to see down to the molecular level, see that nothing is really solid but actually all spinning atoms holding things together. Being able to see your breath as fire might be an associated illusion created by the various sedatives used to induce coma.

Best Wishes,


in reply to comadreams

Thank you for replying and thank you for sharing. I've heard it's fairly normal to hallucinate when you wake up. It was just this persistent belief of mine that I could see my firey breath when I was otherwise mostly lucid and recovering quite well.

Unfortunately, I can no longer breathe fire. I have no magic powers left, just the memory of being convinced I did. I'm a very rational person in general, so this was really rather out of character for me.

comadreams profile image
comadreams in reply to

Shame, a fire breathing super power could be handy from time to time. ;)

Sepsur profile image
Sepsur in reply to comadreams

I was a Japanese super hero for a time - without any weapons - I kept shooting my bolt early (Christ, Freud would have a field day) - leaving me being chased around the planet by other mad Japanese super heros - kind of light relief from the more sinister dreams.

You may also like...