The majority of people will never experience what it's like to be in a coma. It's a unique and mysterious thing for anyone who has never gone through it. And while there are plenty of representations of the condition in movies and TV, those depictions usually aren't very accurate.
Someone asked Redditors who've actually been in a coma to share what it actually felt like. Memories and feelings about people's comas vary, but they all share a sort of strange feeling of being in a "different realm."
RagnarLothbrook was in an accident when they were in fifth grade and was unconscious for about three days. They write that they don't remember the accident itself. They fell out of a tree, and their memory fades before they hit the ground.
While they were comatose, they could hear their Dad reading or their Mom talking to them, and they have a vague memory of a tube in their nose, but these moments were always "super fuzzy" and their awareness of these moments would fade in and out.
Then, they write, "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."
For zxminne, who had meningitis when they were 12 years old, the experience was a little different. They remember falling asleep and having a "fever dream," which was actually real, of their parents driving them to the ER. They couldn't move or talk but were sort of aware of what was happening around them. Then, nothing. They woke up what they thought was a moment later, but it had been six days.
ThisBlowsHard11 compares the feeling of waking up from a coma to the feeling you get when you wake up at a friend's house and forget where you are for a moment. When they woke up after two months in a coma, they strangely thought that they were 60 years old, even though they were really in their 20s.
Several people described having vivid dreams or nightmares while they were in a coma. DrDontKnowAnything wrote that they didn't remember anything while comatose, but after the fact, they had extremely vivid out-of-body dreams in which they were in a coma, and they still have them to this day.
In a somewhat similar story, Coogcheese explains that his wife was in a coma for about a month. When he brought their kids to see her, he emphasized sounding as happy and cheerful as they could for their mom, in case she could hear them.
They got on the subject of their favorite family vacation, and the kids spent a lot of time recalling a road trip they took from Vegas to Arizona. He writes, "We talked about rides and amusements in Vegas, then the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, cave dwellings, petrified forest, silly road stops, a cheap motel we stayed in... It was as nice as it could be."
Turns out, his wife heard the whole thing, but "in a hallucinatory way." He writes, "She now has, to this day (near 10 years later), a vivid memory of a second Arizona vacation she went on with us.
She even asked me early on after she woke up if we had gone on a vacation recently. Her mind went through every detail we talked about and even added on to it as if it all actually happened and the memories of it are as real as any." Crazy!
Prince-William15 was in a coma for three days during his cancer treatment. His identical twin brother had died about a year before, also from cancer, and the entire time he was out, his brother was with him. "We were in a large green field with lots of sun and my conversations with him felt real," he writes.
He didn't hear anything his family said to him while he was unconscious. Other than a very vivid extended visit with his brother, it was just like sleeping. He still has no idea whether what he experienced was real or if it was caused by the medications he was on at the time. Either way, that has to be a powerful, life-changing experience.