I spent a horrible two weeks in an almost sedated like state when I had pneumonia. I felt like I was trapped in this half waking, half dream like state that was both nightmarish. I thought that it was a side effect of the illness.
Years later I was fortunate enough to hear a talk from a doctor, who I respect. She told about how she spent four weeks on a ventilator after an injury. Much of the time she was on the ventilator she was sedated and throughout the ordeal she was paralyzed. Like with my experience she could intermittently hear things, sounds that were familiar, fragments of conversations, but in this same dream or nightmare like state.
Fortunately for me I had a less nightmarish version of the same experience. Due to the nature of the injuries the nurses and doctors would often need to do painful things to her. THis included changing bandages and various surgery. Over the course of the time these people’s voices started to become part of the nightmare. These were colleges that she had known for a long time, some for as long as twenty years. Since she was aware the were also able to hear what their state was like. They would constantly hear the diagnosis and prognosis about themselves – things that would haunt them when the voices were gone. Kidney failure, organ failure, and that they had died for a moment.
While the voices were present, not all of them were bad. She remembers warm hands on her, reassuring and loving voices from family and friends. Voices that were almost angelic and encouraged them to come back. Her brother even confessed a wrong that he had done to her while they were growing up and because of that they were able to restart their relationship that had broken off years before the accident.
While you may be asking yourself why I am telling you this, I wanted to share two experiences that show you that while they may be unconscious they can still perceive your words. NO matter how scary you think that it is – please talk to your loved one as if they can hear you! Otherwise they may be more alone.