My Life, Perception in a Coma

This is one of the hardest things that I have ever written about. I spent roughly six weeks in a coma, on life support and scaring the crap out of my husband and our families.

After I was admitted to the hospital, I cannot remember anything that the doctors and nurses did but I can remember parts of what was going on inside my head.

When I was in the coma, I suffered from ARDS. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is a lung condition that leads to low oxygen levels in the blood. ARDS can be life threatening. This is because your body’s organs, such as the kidneys and brain, need oxygen-rich blood to work properly. If you want to read more about ARDS, click here

My husband was told that I was without oxygen for a period of time and there was a chance that I would not recover completely mentally if I recovered at all. Even to this day, there are people who believe that I am mentally impaired from the time I was without oxygen.

While I was in the coma, the things that I can remember going on in my room is very little but I remember my dad sitting beside me. I felt him there and Nick tells me he sat beside me and rubbed my hand. I also remember hearing my sister Irene’s voice. Nick tells me she rubbed my feet when she was allowed in my hospital room. I was in the ICU for over six weeks.

I have been told that I tried to remove the ventilator while in the coma and they were forced to tie my hands down. While I was in the coma, they had me on a bed that rocked me back and forth so that I would not get bed sores. The room I had in the ICU was all windows on one side and my brain was trying to make sense of everything that was going on around me. When I tried to take the vent off, it made this very loud sound that even to this day, if I hear something like that sound, it makes me very scared. I just want to run and hide when I hear something similar. It was a very loud bong sound. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry and I am getting sweaty just thinking about it now.

Here it is almost seven years from when I got sick and it still makes me cry to think about it. I can’t imagine what all my dear husband and family went through. I know there are hard feelings all the way around when it comes to the family. A major illness can tear a family apart faster than anything you could ever imagine. The only thing I can recommend is to make sure that you have a living will, so that what you want to happen to you is done. When someone is sick and hospitalized and there is no living will, it comes down to your family to decide what should happen and that is a horrible thing to put your family through. It is very important that you make sure what you want to happen happens so that your spouse and family is not pit against each other trying to figure out what is the best thing to do.

While I was on the bed that rocked me back and forth, my hands were tied down and my mind was trying to help figure out what was going on. Somewhere in my mind, I wanted to be on a boat with my family so that is where my brain told me where I was. I was on a boat with my husband and my sister Irene, her husband Will and their son Charlie. They were sitting at a bar that was on the deck of this big boat and I kept telling them to order me a Corona and I would be there in a minute but every time I tried to get off the lounge chair, I kept getting pulled back onto the chair. I never knew why I couldn’t get off the chair but I kept telling Irene to bring me a beer. (What is funny, I don’t even drink. I do not even what a Corona tastes like :-))

I am going to stop here for today. This is hard for me to write, especially through tears.

I pray that your day is blessed with health, happiness and love.

Peggy Eileen

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