Category Archives: Health

Coma dreams and delusions

I have just read on the BBC website an account of an unfortunate journalist who has had and still has long Covid. It is a dreadful illness at its worst, and I feel for him. One thing which caught my attention is what he describes as having “coma nightmares” when in an induced coma.

Although I am aware of dreaming most nights, I rarely remember much detail the following morning. However, when I was in hospital, though not with Covid, but in an induced coma, I had vivid dreams which I was convinced were real life.

I had a lot going on. I was involved in brokering and delivering fish quotas to the EU, and this involved several journeys to France and Belgium. We stayed in an apartment also, though I seem to remember that was in the Netherlands. Of course, I know very little about the fishing industry, but I was convinced I did.

Also, I was involved with two farms, one in Scotland and another in Northern Ireland. I had responsibility for making sure the cattle were well fed in Scotland and for mixing feed that they had when not out to pasture. At the farm we had a dog and some puppies, Border Collies I think, and one of our family took a puppy to the Northern Ireland farm.

As part of this story, we seemed to have a house in North Kent and another in Devon, and the Devon property was especially nice.

Separately I thought we had sold our house in Hockley, and had another locally, but we had also built a bakery in Rayleigh. Maybe that was where the new house was too.

There were visits to my paternal grandparents’ house in Billericay. My grandma was there, but not grandad, who passed on in 1964. I also saw a lot of my lovely Auntie, my Mum’s sister, and her husband and the rabbits that Auntie bred.

I did a lot of driving and had to go (I think) to Northampton several times. On one occasion I was pulled over by the police for speeding (this has never happened to me). I also visited some North London opticians several times to have new contact lenses (that at least was based on experience), but for some reason had to take a dog to the local vets there rather than nearer home.

Several times I was in hospital, not the real one, and was thirsty but could not reach the drinking bottle. I had some awareness of lying on my front, which was probably true as I was proned to help my breathing while I was on the ventilator.

These dreams or delusions, one might say, kept recurring and all seemed real. When I was finally conscious in hospital it took me a week or so to work out what was real and what was part of my unconscious imagination.

Bill Wilson’s Covid story.

My hospital experience

Riverside shelduck which I hope to see soon again

On 6th November 2020 I woke up feeling generally very unwell and with a protruding lump in my abdomen. I telephoned my GP surgery and subsequently spoke to a doctor. She arranged for me to attend Southend Hospital that afternoon.

I duly went to the hospital. The consultant there said they would have to operate on what was a strangulated hernia that night. I telephoned Gloria, my wife to tell her as due to Covid she had not been able to come into the hospital.

I remember nothing after that, not even being prepared for surgery. The operation itself was apparently a success as Gloria was informed at 5 o’clock the following morning, but subsequently I had a brain bleed, was in ICU for five days and was in an induced coma for a while. I remember nothing at all of November or of the first couple of weeks of December, and most of the rest of December is pretty hazy. I do remember having roast turkey in hospital on Christmas Day.

I think I was in Southend Hospital for about four weeks before being transferred to Broomfield Chelmsford.

Having been “critical” to start with, I was probably fortunate to survive, and it must have been dreadfully worrying for Gloria when I was so ill.

I was moved from Broomfield to Braintree Community Hospital on 27th December, and discharged from there on 15th January. I have been sent to a care home.

In Broomfield and Braintree I saw physiotherapists as having been laid up for so long I was virtually paralysed as my muscles had forgotten how to work. I can still barely stand and cannot walk, but I have been discharged by the hospital to a facility which has no physio support. After getting me over the main illness the NHS has left me high and dry.

I am trying to either get moved from what is an excellent care home to a more suitable facility, or to arrange for a physiotherapist to come in to visit and supply equipment. The care home is fine for the very elderly residents, but I was told by the physios in the hospital that I have every chance of getting back to normal, the state of health I had before November. Of course those physios assumed I would get ongoing therapy, which the hospitals have neglected to arrange now I am out.

I have only seen Gloria in the flesh once since I as taken ill, and that was presumably on compassionate grounds when my situation was still serious. I do not really remember much about her visit. It has been all very difficult for Gloria. She has been brilliant at supporting me and running the household, to which I so wish to return when I have some mobility. Fortunately we can have video chats several times a day so thank goodness for technology.

PS: I have arranged private physiotherapy to start on Monday 1st February, and also hope to hear from the community NHS physiotherapists. I should not have had to do this all myself, but at least I should make some progress.

Gloria came to see me yesterday and we conversed not at all privately through a perspex screen. Online video gives a better level of communication but it was great to see Gloria even if the meeting was unsatisfactory.