My Coma making sense?

Coma Preface

At some point a nurse or other health worker or assistant asked me “is it true then” “Is what true” I replied” “That you can hear people when you are in a coma” she asked. “No” came my answer. As you will see this was far from correct but at that point I was still half doped/asleep and had not begun to recall anything and did not think I would.

HOW WRONG I WAS!

I am not sure why I am writing this or who I am writing it for. Perhaps it is just that I feel I should put something on paper and hope it will help someone else who is either coping with the same sort of situation, or is related to/looking after someone in a similar situation. (Professionally or not it does not matter)

I will give a description of what happened to me at different times although in the parts where I am describing what happened while I was in the coma or under the influence of drugs (or both) it will inevitably seem to be disjointed. I will later in these scribblings explain what I think/know why I was imagining these events.

That is as it happens one of the things I have often thought about, how to get some sort of order into the coma description, but try as I might everything still seems mixed up.

THE ONSET OF THE ILLNESS

I took bad on a night in September 2011, with what seemed to just be a severe case of sickness and diarrhoea although I did feel more ill than I normally would have expected. After taking to my bed and because I was so ill for two days my wife decided to ring the doctors. I did not actually get a visit from a doctor, but someone spoke to my wife on the phone and after taking down my symptoms decided to prescribe some anti sickness tablets. My wife picked these up for me but I only got a chance to use one. On the night of (I think) the 19th I tried to get out of bed to go to the toilet (again), after a couple of shaky steps my legs started to give way and I shouted to my wife to catch me, This was a bit optimistic as I was at this time 18+ stone and my wife was about 12 stone, she didn’t stand a chance! I lay on the floor not being able to get up and feeling really ill, my wife rang the NHS again just to see if we could get someone to get me back up. When the ambulance arrived I was sweating profusely and we had the front and back doors open to cool me down. After examining me the ambulance crew decided that I probably had Bacterial Gastro Enteritis and should go to hospital to be checked.

At this point there still did not seem to be any great emergency, although this is when I was starting to deteriorate rapidly and I can only remember bits. I remember that in the ambulance I was freezing cold but they would not cover me because my temperature was rising rapidly. When we arrived at the Hospital my blood pressure had dropped to almost nothing. Again what I remember is very patchy except that I remember they still would not

cover me because of my temperature. I thought that they gave me an injection of something and my wife said I asked her to go home as I was feeling tired. I have since then spoken to my wife about this and she said they hadn’t given me anything at that point it was just because I was so ill, although neither of us knew that at the time. For what happened next (in the real world) I have had to get details of from my wife and other family members.

It seems that I went from A. and E. to the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.) and the High Dependency Unit (H.D.U.) and back and forth between the two.

And at some stage I was put into a coma while they tried to save my life (which they obviously did).

They told my wife that I would probably not survive and that she should gather the family to say their goodbye’s which she did. They said that I only had a very slight chance of survival probably about ten percent. (I was at a later time told by the specialist that it was actually about 1 in 100).

As for me I was now in cloud Cuckoo land! These are things I remember although I keep remembering other bits when they are “triggered” by something.

The Coma

I was in the back of a car/van tied up and could hear voices. My (current) wife and my children (from a previous marriage) had been killed! It was bonfire night and I recognised the voices as some people who knew my sons. It seems it was something to do with the type of meat that they ate? and it seems that I was next. The van that I was in was in the back of the premises where they were selling the food and I could hear people ordering. It then seems that the equipment in the van, which I instinctively knew was an oven, was switched on and I could feel myself starting to get hotter. I decided I would not give them the pleasure of hearing me scream or see me panic and I was not bothered about dying because my family were dead anyway.

I heard a policeman talking about how if there were no R.T.A.’s there would be hardly any need for them. (The police). On reflection this may have been ambulance crew. It seems that somehow I had been saved I assume. I heard the noises of a (some) telephone (s) and could hear what I thought was someone dialling. For some reason I thought that someone was trying to do me some harm in some way and that I could control the phone by reciting my mobile phone number, which I kept doing. Each time I did, I would hear a voice saying something along the lines of “hello” and either “police” or “ambulance” I am not sure which. I was convinced in my mind that this was someone trying to stop me getting through and I would start repeating the number again. When this did not work I remembered that I had my best friend’s name (Shaun) and number on the phone and that if I said his name it would activate the dialling procedure. I did this several time with the same results. At some point I must have given up for some reason, I don’t remember.

It seemed to me now that I was in a room that was depicting scientific achievements and failures. There was a spaceship which had been created like an old fashioned ship but completely sealed. There was a nuclear device that had once meant to bring us limitless energy this was in Space and contained a huge metal pointed “hammer” shaped object then a space to something else where the “power” jumped across (like in a spark plug).

I heard early radio or telephone messages coming back from deep space and occasionally I would hear a voice with a German accent saying something like “Not good news” or “Bad news coming”

I remember at some point looking up and seeing what I perceived to be a huge model of the planned new London Underground. I also remember how someone explained that the development of the rail system had been stopped because of new technology, then more radio/telephone noises and radio announcers? (German accents again “not good news”) I also remember what I thought was perhaps a multi storey bus station; I was outside and could see Just one figure which I think was also on the outside. When I looked a bit more closely I could see that the figure was actually a toy of some sort.

Now I was covered over with something and the room was above whatever was covering me, there was someone with me and it was his family/friends that were in the room above us laughing. I remember eventually we managed to get out and someone saying to the other people “that wasn’t funny”. This happened again later but I was on my own and it was a different “covering” and different people above.

I remember been in an enclosed area and tied down with plastic ties I had one of these tying my head down and it went across my mouth sideways. I was biting at this trying to free myself at one time my wife and at another time someone else (I think my stepdaughter or a nurse) looking through a gap and saying”you know who I am don’t you?”. I thought I replied but when I asked my wife later she said my eyes flickered but I did not speak. She was warned that this did NOT mean I was going to recover necessarily. I was now in what seemed to be a partially constructed “building” and there was a guy with a nail gun putting something up to stop me escaping, My stepdaughter’s and wife’s faces kept appearing from round the sides or top of where I was trapped and they were trying to guide me out. My stepdaughter asked if I could see her foot moving and I had to head for that, unfortunately the nail gun guy saw her and explained that it was no good now he had seen her because he could alter things again.

Every so often I would hear a noise which was similar to the tune from “The Magic Roundabout” and while this was playing there was always either some type of puzzle that had to be solved or a scenario where a story was played out with wooden toys (This seemed to be a threat in some way) The Pigs and Chickens would be eating the rubbish and then they would inadvertently back into the farmer’s wife who would slice them up and feed them to people in what seemed to be a Pub/Restaurant. These people would then go to the toilets and the waste would be fed to the pigs and chickens and it would all start again. It seemed that there was some way I had to break this chain of events (The puzzles also seemed to be repeating and be waiting for me to solve them).

I kept hearing two people from work (female colleagues) one who I knew very well and one I did not know well at all. It now seemed that these were responsible for killing at least one of my sons and I could hear them laughing about it and saying that the young daughter of one of them was so sad because my youngest grandson “did not have a daddy anymore” (because of the death of my middle son). She talked about this with the other girl in one of those baby talk voices saying “well he should have helped mammy now he won’t see his ickle boy again” then they were laughing about it.

At some later point this conversation seemed to me right at the end of an audio tape that a nurse (physio?) was trying to unravel it by getting me to cough repeatedly while she unravelled it .but in

the end she said well if that’s the most you can do we will leave it. I felt devastated for a while as it seemed to mean my family was lost and the perpetrators would not be brought to justice. Later it seemed that the information was still there.

You may be asking yourself why the murderers had changed from my son’s acquaintances to mine and you will see later how my brain even in its befuddled state tried to make sense of this.

There were people going in and out of doors and there did not seem to be a reason

Now I was enjoying a more pleasant part where I was being repeatedly pulled into the air by an aeroplane pulling some sort of glider. I kept swooping down with nets full of Irish whiskey (My favourite) and dipping said nets into beautiful cool lake. Next I was in a boat trying to hide the bottles and sort out a way of finding them again. This was with a reading taken from a point where they were dropped and the devising a code to give a different reading son that if anyone found our map readings they would show the wrong place ( you can tell I am serious about my whiskey even when in this state).

Next I was in Norway or somewhere similar rolling down a slope in some kind of vehicle (like a giant wheel but controlled from inside) I remember my arm was broken and I devised a new method for making the device go (which was easier than the original way). I was trying to pass this information to people going in the opposite direction (uphill). When I arrived at the destination it was like a duty free shop in an airport but it seemed the only thing they sold was (you may have guessed) Whiskey!

Now I was back in what I later assumed was somewhere in the hospital but in what seemed to be a “living museum section” a coloured nurse would come into the far end of the room and put on some sort of cleaning apron or something similar (I assumed). I remember thinking that it was not right to use a nurse in this role but then assumed it was done on a voluntary or rota basis.

This museum part of the hospital still had the strange spaceship and nuclear device in the background on the ground at the far side of the room were early civilisation objects and I distinctly remember that whatever they were burning for heat and light etc. was in some way unhealthy for them and so they did not live long. A little nearer to me was a scene where they were using coal there was a great benefit for industry and cooking etc. but it was also unhealthy because as the industry grew children were being forced to work and also people suffered because although light could be created from this source, the smoke ultimately made it dark and unhealthy.

I remember that not far from me was a shovel some coal or coke and what I assumed was the opening to a furnace and I remember that when people were viewing this scene a fake rat would appear on the fuel for a couple of seconds and some visitors would gasp with shock. I also remember that in the dark a young boy was breaking into some sort of building.

This whole history of how gains were made in technology both helped and hindered people until something new came along progressed as it got closer to me.

I was in India or somewhere similar where the Locals were digging up pieces or at least tusks of Elephants, they seemed to despise these particular ones because they had helped the Nazi war effort, when they had uncovered them they had a special sword and specially trained swordsmen to split the tusks down the centre. This amazingly released rows of solid silver sixpences. Also while

here I visited some premises where I was told a particular item I had was very valuable and they would help transport me with this. I don’t remember what the item was except that it was silver.

Now back in England I was in London being honoured along with others and the sixpences were on display with documents proving that they belonged to my family.

I remember going outside with someone and that it was raining but hot and that everyone was waiting for and getting into horse drawn coaches. We decided for some reason to use a different entrance that was not at the front of the building to avoid being seen by someone (I don’t know how or why)

Later it seemed that these sixpences were part of the family inheritance that had been taken from my family upon their deaths.

I now seemed to be extremely hot and thirsty and after what seemed like countless requests a student nurse brought me some ice cream. This was the best thing I had had for some time it seemed and I kept both thanking her and asking why someone else hadn’t thought of this (remember I do not know for sure which bits actually happened but I am pretty sure about the ice cream)

Now I was in a large sprawling room that seemed to be part of a ranch or at least it was that style, I was still laid down as if immobile and I remember singing. I then remember been outside the hospital on the way back in but don’t remember how I got there.

Interspaced amongst all of these other “events” there would be episodes where the magic roundabout type music would start and I would be transported back to the puzzles or wooden farm scenario.

At some point I remember being on a beach in what seemed to be Spain or Italy. (I don’t know why I would know this as I have never been abroad). People were playing in the sea and making a big fuss about this and also about getting showered. This seemed to be a continuation of the history type theme and the reasons for the playing in the water etc. was because they found it got rid of pests that they could not rid themselves of at home because of the lack of showers and ability to use the sea so much also here they were using less clothes and getting the benefits of sunshine. It seems that in my personal history lesson this was why package tours started! Oh! I have just recalled it was something to do with tomato picking as well?

Meanwhile “back at the ranch” or not in this case I must have been semi conscious because I remember insisting to someone that I had been home” last night” (the ranch type place) and someone was asking me how this was possible as I could not move! This did not deter me I KNEW where I had been.

It seems that now I was being gradually taken off the medication by reducing it for so long each day and checking my reactions so some of what happened next is while I was semi conscious, but as you will see, that does not mean I was compos mentis.

A nurse or whoever was doing something, checking something or generally looking after me and I must have been semi awake (I think) because I think I remember her asking me about a photograph and for some reason I then went on another flight of fantasy where I was in Liverpool and with some of my brother in law’s friends watching the Beatles touring in a big open top bus (I did think later perhaps it was the Magical Mystery tour) everyone all around was singing some song which seemed to be more like “ Our House“ By Madness . During this grand tour we seemed to manage to be on the bus somehow. Anyway after this brief excursion I think I spoke to the nurse and for some reason she said “have you met the Beatles” whereby I replied I had only met Paul. I also seem to remember her saying how wonderful it must be to have met even one of them and that she wished she could meet one of her hero’s. At this point I seem to have gone back to visit the fairies again.

Now Just for Clarity I have never met any of the Beatles nor have I seen them Live nor have I watched them on an open top bus. I did at this particular time though think that what I was saying was real. I really felt the excitement when in the crowd and I really felt the excitement of meeting Paul. I did not in any way think I was lying or being deceitful it was at a much later date that I remembered this and also remembered it had not happened.

There were at least two separate events where funerals were conducted, one of these was Muslim and one was Buddhist. And the ceremonies were performed with great dignity and ritual....except that I don’t think it ever really happened. There were also at least two parties with people dressed in their finery , these also did not happen nor later could I find any sign of the trouser press looking device that was in fact the first fax machine (in my brain). There is an almost endless list of things that I thought happened and I remember new things all the time when it is “triggered” by something. I could not possibly mention them all here and there are some that I would be too embarrassed to mention at all. There was the Giant Frozen prawn/lobster on the freezer door, a trek into the woods trying to find the “dangerous Wood Moth” and other animal trails, the people I met from the past with injuries that I did not know about, the fire service testing their staff and equipment on our (Non-existent) Kitchen, which I was convinced was burning down. And of course there was the time when I thought I would give everyone a rendering of Bob Dylan hits only to be told later that I had Sang “Old MacDonald” ALL night along with impressions of almost any animal you could name

I must for clarity though mention these last bits even though they do cause me some embarrassment

I was now I think going in and out of consciousness a lot more often. A new slightly (in the context of everything so far) Bizarre scenario was emerging. I can remember more about what my thoughts were here simply because I was coming out of my coma (gradually) and the drugs were being reduced. However this did not mean that my brain or subconscious or whatever had to comply with what we would regard as normal.

THE FINAL LAP

I remember being asked if I could move my arms and I either attempted to move one or simply said yes. It was important because we were now in the act of getting revenge on the perpetrators of the

murders of my family and with bringing the culprits to some sort of justice. I knew if I said no then I could not take part.

At some point someone was asking questions from a form I don’t know for sure if they were asking me, but being me I answered anyway. The questions were what is heaviest a pound or a stone. Again being stubborn and belligerent (as anyone who knows me will testify) I replied” is it a pound coin and a stone you would throw or is it a pound in weight and a stone in weight or is it a mixture of the two?”.... Long pause....He’s right you know, these don’t make sense, and an analysis of all the questions seemed to begin .......Sleepy time again

There were some discussions about how much I could move and it was discovered I actually could not move my arms as I had said I could..... More sleep

I woke again with someone taking my blood. This was from what I perceived to be a glass chamber on my arm and was used to check the “DNA” with the company I was going to be a “living toy” for yes this was all part of the plan, a gentleman in a white coat walked past” ah! There’s Paul, our super star” he exclaimed and gave me the thumbs up.

Yes the plan was falling into place. I was to be ...... no kidding ........ a “living” toy rabbit yes that’s correct a rabbit. I had something covering my mouth and nose which I assumed was part of the rabbit “face” and big white furry feet. Somebody was explaining to someone else how I got energy in the form of some type of substance that I could “eat” (this seemed to be a solid block about a foot square and about four inches thick that was at the side of me) and how the waste was taken away.

I seemed to be in some sort of parcel ready for collection and there was a whole episode of everyone getting ready for Christmas. At the same time people were talking about changes to their contracts and how they would not be back after Christmas.

I remember being asked if I knew the date and replying that I thought it was bonfire night. I also remember a nurse telling me “it’s almost like being born again and feeling water or some other liquid pouring over me.

I was asked again if I knew the date and was told that it was actually October the 2nd and that it was my Birthday.

I assumed that they were telling me that this would be my birthday from now on. I can’t remember how many times I slept and woke and a lot of things happened which I must have dreamt been while I was asleep (or under the influence of drugs).

After one of these periods and as I was slowly regaining my senses one of the nurses made a remark that he/she would be surprised and another nurse said not as much as she will. I took that to mean that either the child or father would be surprised but not as much as the mother would be when she realised that it was me. I was still in bed and propped up into a sitting position, as I looked around to my right hand side I saw too figures approaching me- I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was my sister in law and my wife!

I noticed my wife looking and for a brief moment I think I saw a flicker of something that meant “Oh no he’s gone” but almost immediately replaced with a look of wonderful bewilderment as she

realised I was alive. It seems that she was that used to me being laid down and in a coma that she had not realised at first that it was me.

From here on the long road to recovery started and is still ongoing nearly a year later. I was in hospital for three months in all and had to learn to do everything again (except talking!)

I intend to write about this separately as this document is supposed to be more about the coma.

I will now try and explain the parts of the coma that I can although there are lots of bits that do not seem to have rhyme or reason. I would also like to say that not everything has been included in this document as I am still getting flashbacks of things I had forgotten even now. Also if you think about it you can have a lot of thoughts in eleven days.

ANALYSIS (Where possible)

I have no idea why at different times I thought that the colleagues of my sons or myself would want to kill us but I realise that my brain sorted out the discrepancy of the both being involved by making one of my ex colleagues be married to the son of one of my sons colleagues this also meant that by getting access to their life (as an electronic “Real Toy”) I could get revenge on both families at once.

The reason I felt that I was tied up is seemingly quite common in cases where people are in intensive care because of the restrictions caused by the tubes and monitors etc. attached to them. I think in my case it was also because I had lost the ability to move most of my limbs. For the sake of completion I had tubes to feed me and remove waste I was on dialysis and a respirator and had attachments delivering a range of drugs through canulars. As well as being attached to devices to monitor me.

The noises that sounded a bit like the Magic Roundabout tune were in fact the noises of one of the afore mentioned monitors. The Germanic sounding voice I believe was the German Doctor who saved my life and I think that it was him telling somebody that “news not good” that I thought to be a radio message.

While I was in Intensive care it was a late spell of summer and was very hot also I was hot anyway and this mixed with glimpses of machines I must have seen is why I thought I was going to be cooked.

I collect coins and have a large collection of sixpences as well as some other silver coins but I don’t know why there was an association between this and elephants and Nazi’s or India.

My Sister in Law is a Buddhist and I believe I may have picked up some bits of conversation from her that made me imagine the Buddhist funeral. And I believe that there may well have been some deaths while I was semi conscious.

I think the objects I imagined may have been objects that I had half seen and my brain made its own interpretation of what they were and I think some of the points where I thought I was travelling may well have been the occasions when I was moved to the HDU and back again.

The only other thing that I can add at this point is that it WAS my birthday and therefore it was like being reborn again because I have a second shot at life that I shouldn’t have had by all accounts.

It is of course with great thanks to the medical staff and to my friends and family that I have recovered so well so far.

I hope this has been of some interest.

5 Replies

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  • Hi Paul, I can certainly relate to your dreams/nightmares, although if you read my blog (Mike-N) you will see our dreams were not the same they were never the less just as strange and weird as yours.

    It's only been 8 months since my stay in ICU and for a while I could only remember some of the dreams, but lately the floodgates have opened and I could fill the website with the things I remember. Like you I know you can hear when you are in a coma because my wife has confirmed things that were said, which if I did not hear them, I would never have known about. I am also convinced that my mind used some of what was heard to make up bits of what I dreamt about.

    Take care and thank you for sharing your extremely terrifying illness and dreams with us.

    Mike

  • Hi Mike and thanks for reading my blog. I have read yours and although there are lots of differences, just as in "normal" life. There are also similarities. I also feel like I was moved from ICU/HDU too soon and unfortunately was on a ward where they did not understand my needs. I will be writing about the hospital experience overall soon and how one of the wards was like hell while the others were brilliant.

    I have been out of the coma for about 16/17 months now and still remembering things.I still get depressed etc. but it does slowly get better.I wish you and all other patients who have suffered similar events best wishes and a speedy (although it will probably be slow) recovery.

    Paul

  • Hello Paul

    I hope you have had a good week.

    I applied for a job last Thursday, got an interview on the Friday and offered the job on Monday.

    I start next Tuesday.

    So i will be very tired!

    Anyway, i though i must get my Blog on the ICU website, which i have now done.

    I promise i was not out to out do you on the size!!

    It may take some time to read.

    All the best

    Richard.

  • Thanks Paul

    tying patients down is standard procedure if you try to extubate youself (remove the breathing tube) They did it to me a number of times. I still have not forgiven them.

    Regards Garry

  • Hi Gary,

    Yes that would explain it. I think this must have happend to me at some point while I was comatose but it has never been mentioned and it was not done when any visitors were there

    Regards

    Paul

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