Five years ago, Claire Wineland was put in a medically induced coma for two weeks. Today, she's taking to the Internet to explain what being unconscious is really like.
The teen lives with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes life-threatening lung and digestive problems. Wineland vlogs about her experience on her YouTube channel, The Clairity Project, where she speaks frankly about her everyday life in an effort to reduce stigma surrounding chronic illness.
In her latest video, Wineland describes all the thoughts that ran through her head after her doctors put her in a coma to help her heal from a particularly nasty infection following surgery. She could still hear and understand everything going on around her, she said, but the medications warped the stimuli so that she perceived them differently.
"While I was asleep, I kept going to Alaska in my head and it was so beautiful ... I remember just sitting there and just staring at the most beautiful scenery ever for hours and hours ... and it would be freezing cold, but I didn't care," Wineland said.
During this time in real life, nurses were covering her body with ice packs in order to reduce her fever. Wineland's mind associated this increased cold sensation with Alaska even though she had never traveled to the state before in her life.
"Being in a coma is just like a very magnified and enhanced version of our own dreams," Wineland said.
See more of Wineland's videos -- including reviews of "Red Band Society," a TV show about teens who live in a hospital -- at The Clairity Project.