New Stories

People Share What it Was Like to Be Stuck in a Coma

Completely Deaf “I was in a coma for four days from bacterial meningitis. When I woke up, I was completely deaf! I had to communicate with… Alexander Gabriel - July 30, 2023
Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

Completely Deaf

“I was in a coma for four days from bacterial meningitis. When I woke up, I was completely deaf! I had to communicate with my parents and doctors with a notepad and pen. Some hearing gradually returned in my left ear, but my right ear is still 100% deaf to this day.” Deafness is not a particularly common symptom of comas. However, during a coma, the brain is in a state of altered consciousness and may not process sensory information in the same way it does when a person is awake. In some cases, this can result in sensory deficits, including hearing loss.

Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center

Dreams and Nightmares

“I was kept in a medically induced coma for 9 days and I have vivid memories of my time in the coma. I would describe it as very intense semi lucid dreaming where I had a measure of control however not complete control. Stimuli from the outside world definitely appeared and worked its way into the dreams which truly distorted my reality. Some of the dreaming was pleasurable and some was nightmarish. The real terrifying part was after I regained consciousness however.”

The Lancet

Finding a New Sense of Religion Afterward

“My mother had a miscarriage, and as a result went into a coma for two weeks. She described a huge lush forest, with beautiful white light penetrating through the canopy. She says she heard beautiful music, and that God spoke to her, saying it wasn’t her time and then she came back. After that she’s become incredibly religious.” Other users in the thread asked the poster, r/AlphaWolfParticle, if their mother had been religious previous to her coma experience. r/AlphaWolfParticle responded, “Yeah she was, but no where near as much as she was afterwards.”

Mind Food

Brand New Personality

“I was in a coma for 11 days, severe brain injury. I don’t remember being in a coma or waking up from a coma. I lost several years of memories prior to the coma, and my brain didn’t really start to ‘retain’ information again until ~6 weeks after I came out of the coma. I’m told that my personality changed afterwards. I had to rebuild most areas of my life. It sucked, but it was probably a good thing. Although I’d be lying if I said I never wondered what my life would be like if I’d never had the coma.”

Department of Defense

Waking Up Was the Worst Part

“Waking up was sudden. So, so sudden. I was in blackness. Had a moment of awareness, like ‘my neck hurts’ and then the pain was magnitudes higher. No longer a distant perception but something that I was actively conscious of. Waking up was the most painful moment of my life and I just started crying and then couldn’t even cry it hurt so bad. I think that had more to do with injuries sustained to my neck and head than the coma, but that is what it was like. After an hour my body was used to the pain and I was totally normal, albeit very weak, hungry, and thirsty.


This Person Was Very Upset Over Oprah Ending

“Two weeks induced because of Swine Flu. During this time Oprah announced she was ending the Oprah Winfrey Show. I was very upset to learn this after the fact. Mostly because the tv running in my room plus the drugs they gave me to keep me under gave the most cinematic dreams I’ve ever experienced – somehow the news of Oprah retiring filtered into my brain as dreaming about saving the whales with her in a submerged Chicago. We had champagne brunch. It was excellent. I was also a superhero who could fly and fought my enemies on the rims of volcanoes.”

Revitalizing Infusion Therapies

Traumatic Flashbacks

“I was in a coma for almost a month (29 days). The ‘dreams’ were terrible, and I had a problem where if I smelled something that I could relate to pure oxygen, or the room I was staying in, it would trigger a flashback. I would literally be reliving it all over again. Bleach was almost guaranteed to trigger it. These were not dreams. They were flashbacks that occurred when I was wide awake. By flashback, I mean you go right back to it. You are reliving it all over again.”

News at the U, University of Miami

The Length of a Film

“For me? it felt short, but not instant. It wasn’t like as if one minute I was in my mums car and the next I was in a hospital bed. The actual coma felt as if it was the same time length as any film you go and see, it was calming I guess. It didn’t feel like an eternity nor did it feel like a sudden shock of impact to hospital bed, if you get what I’m saying. I distinctly remember hearing voices as if I was underwater, and colours, fading colours. If I recall I didn’t experience any dreams nor nightmares, it was relaxing which is weird to say. I woke up and realised I had been in a coma for three months.”

WPLG Local 10

Time Distortions

“When my grandfather was 12 (early 1940s), he contracted Polio and slipped into a coma for two weeks. He actually ended up missing his bar mitzvah. When I asked him about it, he said that his concept of time had been completely thrown off. When he woke up, he thought he was just waking up the next day. He said he had to force himself to realize that it was two weeks later because his internal clock had just picked up where it left off.”


Vacations That Never Happened

“My wife was in a coma for almost a month… While they were there we (kids and me) talked about or favorite vacations together… they both picked ‘Griswold style’ family trips to Arizona and New Mexico… long drives and lots of beautiful scenery… picked them over the Disney and other theme park trips we’ve had. Flash forward a couple of weeks… and she woke up with vivid memories of our latest family vacation. Seems the last half of the coma was basically one long trip to New Mexico and Arizona for her… Grand Canyon, Mountains, Desert… etc. It’s been over a year now and she still remembers many things that never happened…. as if they were completely real.”


Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:,cannot%20wake%20up%20to%20it.,their%20strength%20as%20they%20age.,who%20get%20the%20disease%20die.’s%20disease%20is%20a%20chronic,beginning%20of%20your%20large%20intestine.,mouth%20such%20as%20the%20tongue.,and%2Ddown%20(vertical).,may%20be%20temporary%20or%20permanent.,on%20by%20a%20brain%20injury.,infect%20pigs%2C%20birds%20and%20humans.,move%20parts%20of%20the%20body).