I went for an emergency heart catheterization after having had some mild chest discomfort and doing poorly on a stress test at the doctor's. Although it was considered an emergency case at the hospital, I was told it was routine and not to worry. My family doctor and I are friends, so she came over to the hospital to check up on how my procedure went. She was actually standing next to me when I woke up; she told me that my heart looked good and I would be in recovery for a few hours and then I could go home. She told me she would go tell my husband, who was in the waiting room. She left the room and the heart staff nurses pulled out the needle that was in my groin. I felt like I had been stabbed and I started screaming, thrashing around, and grabbing at my groin. The nurses restrained me. My husband ran into the room and asked what was going on; the cardiologist started yelling at him that we had never told him I was on blood thinners, which I was not. He informed my husband that I was bleeding internally. The nursing staff picked me up from the bed, sheet and all, and literally ran down to the CAT scan machine. The pain was incredible. They laid me on the board that goes into the CAT scan machine. I heard a nurse starting to bark orders at my husband to tell her what my religion was. That was the last conscious thought that I had.I remember that all of a sudden I felt very cold. I seemed to be headed up an incredibly long flight of steps, similar to those you climb to get to your seat inside a football stadium. The steps were very narrow and dark, but I could see at the top that it was very bright. It was as if some kind of light source was there. I also sensed that someone was up there but I never actually saw anyone. I remember getting closer and closer to the light, as if I were being swept along up to it. I remember feeling very calm but puzzled about what was going on. I don't know how long the experience lasted, but if I had to guess, maybe fifteen seconds. I never made it all the way up to the light. I woke up in intensive care with a giant clamp attached to my leg. I was told that I had been headed to the operating room for surgery to repair the damage but that it had been discovered that my own body had sealed the tear. Therefore, they had decided against the surgery. I have never forgotten this experience and I think about it every day.
Date NDE Occurred: 12/22/2005
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes 'Mild chest pains, bad EKG and stress test' An artery had been severed during heart catheterization surgery because the doctor had made the incision in the wrong place. I was bleeding internally.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Less consciousness and alertness than normal I was keenly aware that something was wrong and I couldn't explain to myself why I was on those dark stairs.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I'm not sure how to answer. I don't think I was conscious, but I was very alert.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The same. It was dark around me except for the bright light I saw.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I didn't hear anything. Quiet.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes The tunnel, for me, was like dark stairs.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Incredibly bright, yet I felt chilled.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place It reminded me of a stairway in a sports arena because I kept climbing and climbing. But it was very narrow.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt safe and I wasn't afraid.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I didn't take anything for granted anymore
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably existsÂ
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably existsÂ No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I have a greater appreciation for life. My take on this experience was that God pushed me back from heaven because I still had two kids to finish raising. Large changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I believe now that a spirit watches over me and guides me.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The fact that I didn't make it to the top step.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes As soon as I woke up, I told my husband about it. He informed me it was because the drugs they gave me caused me to have a vivid imagination.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It never leaves me and is always there. My question is always why did I not reach the top step and what is my purpose now.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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