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Author Topic: Waking Up From Drug Induced Coma
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posted March 11, 2006 10:16 AM     Profile for Chatty   Author's Homepage   Email Chatty     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi everyone,

This is the first post that I have made on this site and I just want to start off by saying that I am so grateful that this site is here because it has really helped me learn about this illness.

In November one of my closest friends was brought into the hospital with a severe concussion and while she was there healing from that she caught pnemonia and it then turned into ARDS. Since then she was on a ventilator and in an induced coma.

Now finally they have begun to wake her from the induced coma, she has already been removed from the ventilator and placed on Oxygen.

My question is what were other people experiences the first few days and weeks of someone being woken from the induced coma and the beginning of recovery. What kind of things should we expect?


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posted March 11, 2006 10:53 AM     Profile for Eileen   Author's Homepage   Email Eileen     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I am so sorry to hear about your friend but thankful that she is improving.

Every ARDS patient, while extremely similar, has differences and this also extends to how they may behave when awaking from the coma.

Many patients take a while for all of the medications to get out of the systems, while others do so quickly.

I was one of those who was taken out of the coma and then pretty quickly, could respond to questions. But then, only a couple of days later, I had an ICU psychosis which is similar to delirium. It was shocking for family and friends, even physicians to see since I seemed so well right after getting out of the coma.

But once they determined what it was, and I was given the appropriate meds, I started to improve.

That being said, I, and many other patients just emerging out of the coma is quite irritated. They can be easily annoyed. They are often confused about why they are there, what is going on, and why they can't leave.

It is always best to give the patient some information, but not so much so as to frighten them and overwhelm them about what they have been through It is a thing that you have to see how much info the person wants and needs at that given time. Maybe tomorrow they will want more.

And it is always good to let them know that many, many people have survived this and that they can too. If you want any specific info, we will do our best to find it for you.

And we will keep your friend in our thoughts and prayers. Eileen

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Rhonda Hager
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posted March 11, 2006 11:25 AM     Profile for Rhonda Hager   Author's Homepage   Email Rhonda Hager     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I after being weaned off the vent , had a very bad experience, however I have Multiple Scerosis. I had ICU Psychosis for many months, even after I got home. I was very confused, did not remember things in my own house was very sad for me as I had no idea why I was acting like this but KNEW somthing was wrong with me and kept telling my husband to "help me". He felt helpless as he couldn't help me. They put me on a very small dose of Ativan which did make me calmer and after about 2 months at home, I started to get better but was still confused. I seriously doubt if your friend is like I was, not too many people are. Most people are a little confused at first, they have taken many high dose drugs while comatose. Talk to her, tell her what happened, if she is confused, try not to be upset, it will get better, BUT tell her the truth about what happened to her. Tell HER it will get better. I wish you PEACE , serenity and many blessings. Thank goodness she is on the road to recovery....Rhonda Hager
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posted March 12, 2006 07:52 AM     Profile for Miriam   Author's Homepage   Email Miriam     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi Chatty,
My Dad, Henk slowly woke up over a few days, and although he had a trach tube in and couldn't speak, it seemed like he could understand us and he would nod appropriately when we asked him things. However we realized later on that he did not remember those first few days "awake". He also had the ICU psychosis/delirium and seemed confused.

It was said already, but the most important thing for us was being patient and NOT giving Dad too much information.When he started talking nonsense we just agreed with him. Often times when people are placed in an induced coma they have very real dreams and they truly believe them.

My Dad's dream was that he was kidnapped onto a fishing boat and made to lie with the other fish in ice.He truly believed that that is where he was all that time.
We laugh about it now, but at the time we just reassured him that he was fine now and warm. Over time we explained to him what had really occurred.

Having family and friends around is soooo important when a loved one starts to wake up.
Just your presence is enough to reassure them that they are alright.

All the best of wishes to your friend as she recovers.


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posted March 12, 2006 10:01 AM     Profile for Chatty   Author's Homepage   Email Chatty     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Thank you so much everyone for your replies, they have been very helpful and appreciated. The doctors and nurses have all been very kind in trying to prepare us for the next little while but to hear it from a survivor or a family member of a survivor is great.

Brooke has been having a few episodes of ICU psychosis but it seems to only be bad if she wakes up in the middle of the night. She cries and pulls at the machines that she attached to. When she wakes up during the day she is still frightened but is at the same time much calmer.

She stayed awake yesterday for a little over 10 minutes, she didn't say anything just stared at her fiancee and her best friend that were in the room, like she wasn't really sure who they were and where she was but after reading your posts, it sounds like that is quite common.

She did follow one simple instruction placed to her by the doctor and then went back to sleep and has been sleeping ever since. So we are just waiting again to see what happens next.

Thank you everyone!

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posted March 13, 2006 07:58 AM     Profile for Louise   Email Louise     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

When I was being awakened from the induced coma, I remember the fear that I had of almost everything. Since I had never seen any of the doctors or nurses who cared for me and then to see all the machines, etc. that I was hooked up to, plus the nightmares that I had during the coma being so real to me, even if I could have talked I wouldn't have. My family said that as I was being awakened I would open my eyes and stare at them but I have no memory of doing that.

I think that being patient with your close friend and giving her just a little information at a time about how ill she was is best. Too much information at this point in her recovery may be overwhelming to her as I know it would have been for me. Just let her know that you're there for her. Please let her know that my thoughts and prayers are with her. Sounds like she's got a great friend in you Chatty!!!


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Steve McCluskey
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posted March 15, 2006 06:59 AM     Profile for Steve McCluskey   Author's Homepage   Email Steve McCluskey     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi Chatty!
Been there and done that! I was in an induced coma for 32 days and the dreams I had were so incredibly vivid that they could all have won Academy awards for special effects. In fact for several weeks after waking I often had to ask my wife if a certain thing happened or did i dream that? Usually is was a dream. I was also awake for 2 weeks before I remember anything. My sister came from another province to visit me. We had a great visit, according to wife telling me about it, because I do not remember a thing. It almost seems funny at times, but not so at the time. I pray that your dear friend recovers well! God Bless!
Steve McCluskey

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