Back in May, I offered to answer any coma questions.
Because I know if I knew someone who had been in a coma and I had never been in a coma myself, I would be very
nosey interested and ask lots of questions.
For your reading pleasure, here are some coma questions I’ve been asked. I remember very little so most of my answers are what PhilBillPaul or my mom has told me…
Could you see, or are your eyes even open, but were not able to respond?
My eyes were closed. PhilBillPaul was very concerned that they had restraints on me to keep me still. He knew that I am claustrophobic and hate to be pinned down.
I might be known to freak out if I get tangled in the sheets at night.
Did you experience pain, or did your body go into shock and make you numb?
At the scene of the accident I had a grand mal seizure and I stopped breathing on the helicopter en route to the hospital. PhilBillPaul says I never appeared to be in pain.
I thought maybe they would have been poking the soles of my feet or my limbs but PhilBillPaul says they didn’t (or he wasn’t paying attention which is more likely).
Or I watch too much TV.
Could you hear people talking to each other and to you?
I do not remember hearing anyone even though someone was always with me, talking to me and/or playing music.
I do know that they made a tape of my friend talking to me and played it in my room. She was the other passenger and she was taken by ambulance to the another hospital. My mom was worried that I might think she died since she wasn’t able to come to the hospital and talk to me because she was being treated for her own injuries.
I still have that tape locked away in a trunk.
Could you smell certain foods, etc.?
I have a nose like a bloodhound and maybe the coma heightened my sense of smell? Oh wait, I’m suppose to be answering questions, not asking them.
I can literally tell you where and what PhilBillPaul had for lunch by the smell of his clothes and skin. Most perfume and floral or musk scents are migraine triggers.
But I don’t remember smelling anything in particular at the hospital.
Were you told to squeeze someone’s hand, and were you able to do it, or did you want to and couldn’t?
I did not respond to anything or anyone while in the coma. I woke up in the night or very early morning and the hospital called PhilBillPaul and told him I was awake and trying to talk.
His biggest fear was that I would not remember him or that we were married because we had only been married for seven months.
Lucky him, I remembered.
Did you have a “near-death experience”?
Did you see anything like what is referred to as an afterlife?
Did you see Christ/God?
All variations of above question are what I refer to as “the white light” question. Again, probably too much TV on my part.
I didn’t see or hear anything. I don’t remember feeling like I was going to die. Nor do I remember fighting to stay alive.
There is just a big blank space in my life in that entire month of June. And a lot of memory loss both before and after the accident that friends and family tirelessly help me remember when I ask a million questions.
Did you feel emotions?
Only after I woke up.
I still remember the utter frustration of not being able to say the word my brain was thinking. Several months of speech therapy helped with this.
I have a notebook I wrote in for months after the crash that is still hard to believe is my handwriting. My mom saved an envelope I insisting on addressing to my dad for Father’s Day.
Those things are also locked away the trunk.
Do you remember the
I’ve always made a conscious effort to call it “the crash” instead of accident. Because accident infers that it was unintentional or caused by chance or luck. The slogan M.A.D.D. used shortly after our crash, “Don’t Call Me Lucky” really stuck with me. It’s not that I’m not thankful that I survived. I am. I promise. I am grateful beyond words. But drinking and driving is intentional and hurts innocent people every single day. Okay, off my soapbox and back to the question.
I barely even remember going to the movie with PhilBillPaul that night. I have very foggy memories of being at a house and playing a computer game at the house we had driven to let two dogs out.
Do you have flashbacks?
When I am on a two-lane road at night, I sometimes have serious anxiety when an oncoming car approaches. I believe this is some sort of residual memory from that moment when those blinding headlights came out of nowhere and I threw my hands up and let out a blood-curdling scream. That is the memory that has been described to me by my friend and PhilBillPaul in the split second before the drunk driver hit us.
I have learned to breathe and focus on the car I’m driving and not fix my eyes on the oncoming headlights.
Alrighty then, how’s that for some fascinating Q & A? If you’ve felt shy up until now and wanted to ask something that I didn’t answer, jump right in and ask. Just use the comment box to leave a question or contact me via email!
Or if you’ve been in a coma and want to share your experience, please do. I’d love to hear because I really am
On Wednesday I will share something really, really good that came from the crash and the coma…