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Waking up from Induced come (with a trach) - seeking for advise and hopefully some encouragement....

Following my previous post (https://healthunlocked.com/icusteps/posts/138808902/in-need-of-some-encouragement-and-insight.-waking-up-from-coma-dealing-with-the-trach-etc...)

I have a few more questions.

A few days after being taken off sedation, Is it normal to have leaps in the consciousness level? (A brief summary: My mom, 68 years old, has been in an induced coma for 9 days (following an in-hospital cardiac arrest, and lung issues. at some point her kidneys stopped working and she got a dialysis but they are working again now - though with a urinating medicine. she then had a tracheotomy, and was taken off sedation)

While in the first few days we were pleasantly surprised to see that she already started responding (nodding for 'yes', shaking her head for 'no', grabbed our hands and kissed them, even smiled in places in which it made sense....) she keeps on trying to pull the tubes out whenever she can. I know this is natural, but still scary.

while yesterday, when I showed her my son's picture (he's a 9 months old baby) she smiled and kissed the phone's screen, today (looking tired and in general "out of it" if she knows who Adam is, she shook her head for 'no'. same goes with my husband. she did not remember him when I asked her about it.

I guess my question is: From your experience, Is it normal for this stage (it's now been a week since she got the trach and off sedation) to have such leaps? for some days to be that much worse? We do not know whether she's had any brain damage, though the doctors said she showd some good signs that her brain might be okay (she is able to move her entire body by what we can tell, and as I wrote, did seem to respond in context in the previous days)

I'm so scared... The past month and a half have been so so hard.... I just want my mom back and wonder if that can ever happen (and at the same time - we're also so scared that she'd be left in this state for years.... she wouldn't want that)

Whatever you can share/ contribute from your own experience (either as patients or if you had loved ones in this situation) would be greatly appreciated.


13 Replies

I just want to reassure you when my brother was in this situation earlier in the year it took over a month for him to wake up properly. Some days he would be responsive other days were difficult like you are experiencing now. Please don’t worry it will take time. The drugs and medication take a long time to work out of the system especially when the body is recovering. It is traumatic. This link may be useful.

Thinking of you and your family.


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Thank you!

I truly hope so... It's so hard, realizing she does not know who we are.....


hi i was in induced coma for 2 weeks when i woke i was same as your mum i had good days and bad days dont worry this is normal is just the amount of drugs used to put you into coma and keep you there

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Thanks! And were you also not (always) able to recognize your family/ friends?


yes thought i was in america at my aunts didnt recognise people some days the drugs they use cause this


I was out of sorts for ages after coming out of the coma. Even when I was moved to the respiratory ward, I still wasn’t myself. I believed I was a fire breathing dragon and I believed it so much. I was very distressed that nobody else could see my fire breath.

Take care of yourself and hang in there.


Thank you! And were you also not (always) able to recognize your family/ friends?


Hi Crashdoll - I was out on manoeuvres with the army in my mind and could not understand why my family did not believe me, very distressing at the time but I can laugh about it now. Still having trouble walking though even after six months.


Just to back up what others are saying, there's good days and bad, sometimes a bit of regression. Even now, over three years down the line, I can recall having strange, upsetting and mistaken thoughts weeks after coming out of coma. So don't worry.

Best wishes.

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Thank you so much.


I was ventilated in a coma for over 3 weeks then had a trach. They’re not fun to have. No eating or drinking and you can only speak if they put a valve in. Communication is difficult and it’s hard to write things down as you’re weak. Things should settle down when it’s time to be transferred to HDU and the nasogastric tube and the trach will be removed and closed. I feel for you and your family but be optimistic, takes patience and time. All the best,

Edward. X


I've been there after three surgeries. 3 weeks and induced coma trach Etc. Hands and feet tied to the bed, no way to communicate. I couldn't even watch TV when they offered it because I couldn't see it never realizing I needed my glasses. Horrible hallucinations and breaks with reality. Every time I've had anesthesia I've had memory loss. Mostly I can't remember how to use the remote control or the phone, or do simple things. I've always recognize people but couldn't always grasp the name. It takes about 6 months for those functions to return for me, just about the time my hair starts falling out from the trauma of surgery. Night terrors remain and I don't think I'll ever forget the nightmares in the Dreadful loss of time space recognition. But mostly things get better and I'm still around and grateful. Just keep up a lot of love and Hope.

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Hi shilla my god that first part of ure story was uncanny identical to mine.i nearly welled up.

By the sounds of ure mum is just reckallecting things that she no s and that must be a good sign .

I'd had 2 outer body experiences .the first while I was in hospital the second when I was at home as a flash back .

At first I was very upset and scared but I am on a spiritual path and my sponcer had stated as scared as I was to embraced what as happened.

The reason I'm saying this is for u to try embracing what us happening. I think Ile be a bit more at ease with what's going on.ure mum sounds a very strong mind and a fighter.

I hope everything turns out well for u.


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