From a coma to my blog — Part 1
It’s been 2 months since I went into the hospital with kidney stones and then had my “near death experience” and I finally feel pretty much back to normal — or as close to “normal’ as I’ll ever get! lol I’m told these are some of the first questions I had when I awoke from the coma… “Where am I?” and “What day is it?” and the strangest one of all, “Oh no, did my blog expire?” lol They say everyone laughed and was relieved that I hadn’t lost my memory and that I was pretty much all right in the brain department. They say I also worried about my cat, my bills, my finances, and my house… so basically I woke up worrying! lol
I think everyone has wondered what it feels like to be in a coma and now I know. For me it was confusing. The last day that I was conscious blurred into the day I woke up, but I do know that I was irritated, upset, and felt very helpless. Waking up on a respirator is not fun! I have since learned that they have to take the respirator and breathing tube out of you the moment you wake up… it would be nice for the patient if they could take it out BEFORE you are conscious. That way you could just open your eyes and wake up peacefully… like they do in the movies! But that’s not how it is done. If you were dependent on a respirator to breath while in a coma, they take the breathing tube out the minute you wake up. If they find that you can’t breath on your own, it goes right back in and you get heavily sedated until they decide what to do. Luckily, I could breath on my own and did not become dependent on the respirator/ventilator to breath for me.
So, one minute I was “out of it” and the next thing I knew was that everything got bright and light and there was a room full of strangers, machines beeping, X-rays hanging next to me (with pictures of my kidneys, my brain, and heart, I think), and definitely something down my throat. It was hard to breath and I wanted it out. I tried to move my hands but they were tied down! (A horrible feeling!) Commands were being hollered out by a Hitler-type woman who sat me upright. Everyone started counting… 1-2-3, and what is in my throat and down into my lungs got pulled (did I say “pull”? I meant “ripped”!) out of my body and I could not catch my breath.
Hitler-Woman hollers “Cough, Cough, Cough!” I finally catch my breath and give a weak and painful cough then Hitler-Woman says “Let’s hear it for Ned!” and the room breaks out in applause — for Ned! Who the hell is Ned? Why not “Let’s hear it for JJ!”? (Later I found out Ned is the respiratory tech who yanked the tube out of my lungs. “Yeah Ned!”) lol I asked where my family was and I swear they told me no one could be here with me because they were having a Super Bowl party and one of my sisters was taking a bath! (That’s not quite how it happened, but it is MY reality. It’s what I heard them say to me. lol) You see, the day I went into the coma was Super Bowl Sunday, so that day blurred into the day I woke up but I knew there was a chunk of time missing and something was wrong.
I must have fallen asleep because the next time I woke up I was in a different room with a window, monitors, a few nurses and my family. There was also a stranger who acted like a friend. He said he was the hospital Chaplain and that he just got beeped and told that I was “starting to wake up” so he came as fast as he could. He told me that he’d been praying for me “every day since this happened” then he held my hand and everyone stood around my bed holding hands and he said a prayer for me. It was not normal for my family to be praying like that so I knew something bad had happened. Then I thought maybe something bad was about to happen. I was not sure. It was very confusing, but I did feel lucky to be alive.