“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.” – Alan W. Watts
For anyone who has endured being comatose for whatever reason, most of them can provide a variably different explanation about their experience of awakening.
Today I attempt to summarize my own from memory.
The main prominent feelings I remember involved the utter disbelief, uncertainty and fear.
Opening my eyes slowly and hearing the muffled voices of those around me, feeling as though I had woken from a deep sleep. Immediately looking at my surroundings I was scared and startled that I had no idea as to where I was and what had happened to me.
Nothing. No accident, no air lift to the hospital, not even the day of the accident itself.
I awoke as if I had gone to sleep in my own bed...
As my mother looked down at me, I remember her words very clearly.
“Dyl… Dyl, it’s going to be okay hun, you have been in an accident.”
My heart immediately sinking in my chest.
I couldn’t even fathom or believe those words, it wasn’t possible.
There was so many questions in my mind.
How could I have been so severely injured, having no memory at all?
I remember I had so much to say but nothing came out, just a few tears.
An experience that would forever open my eyes to life and the harsh reality that could have been my death.
It was in that exact moment that I truly realized had I not survived from my injuries, my death would have surely been totally unapparent to me, not even having the conscious mind to process the loss of my own life.
I often think about the idea of not being able to comfort those who had lost me
I was consumed by the lack of understanding about what had happened and my initial thirst for knowledge about the accident was ultimately my downfall, as I found myself soon overwhelmed.
My family made the best decision of answering only the questions I had asked and nothing more, giving me enough details to satisfy my curiosity without dampening my spirit.
Since waking I have learnt to re-establish myself in positive thinking.
I do this by focusing on what is within my control rather than what isn’t.
Striving to grow and move forward, but allowing myself a flexible mould with which to re-create my life within attainable goals and work towards being the best I can be rather than “who I was before the accident”.
I know my circumstances are far from ideal and days can be beyond tough, but I realize now that the pain , turmoil and heartache endured is all part and parcel with this beautiful experience called life. An experience I still get to share with my family and loved ones, that I wouldn’t change for anything in the conscious or unconscious world.
I hope you wake up with a mind wiser then your problems and a heart stronger then your struggles.
The strength to carry your burdens and the voice to share your triumphs.
A soul to give you direction and the love that keeps you there.
“Life Less Limits”
Finishing up, I want to explain in simple terms why being in an induced coma is used to help recovery.
After a person suffers a serious head trauma, the brain swells up in response to injury.
This is when a medically induced coma is utilized to limit brain activity, ultimately reducing blood flow to the brain and slowing its metabolic rate to help reduce swelling.
As the swelling occurs, the brain can push against the skull or cut off oxygen to certain areas resulting in brain damage or even death. This is also the case with hematomas (bleeds) in the brain, and this is why the time between your accident and medical assistance is imperative to minimizing long term damage.