I had awoken from laprascopic surgery and was in recovery. I was told I was stable and when the room was ready that I would be moved. Suddenly, I started to crash. My blood pressure lowered, and I began to feel faint although I was still lying down. My husband came into the recovery room to comfort me. He knew something was wrong, but kept telling me that he loved me and trying to keep me calm. He told me later that he saw my heart rate increase and the doctors were trying to calm me. The doctors huddled around me quickly and tried to figure out what was wrong. They lowered my head even further on the table. My left side felt like it was on fire and my right side was freezing. I was told by the nurse that I would probably be spending the night in the intensive care unit. I was later told I was rapidly bleeding internally into my abdominal cavity. My husband later told me that my lips were clear and my skin was a grayish color, the color of a corpse.
At this point I was getting tunnel vision. The doctors called for the surgeon and hustled me back into the operating room for a second emergency surgery. As I was crossing the threshold into the operating room, I was very faint and everything was very far away. I didn't have my contacts in my eyes my vision was blurry. To the left of my bed, I noticed a figure wearing white who had neck-length hair and a beard. I assumed he was wearing scrubs. I pointed to the person and asked if that was the surgeon. The nurses and doctors in the operating room told me that person was not the surgeon. That is the last thing I remember. My surgery lasted almost 2 hours after that, while doctors tried to stop the rapid bleeding.
During my experience, I felt the sensation of timelessness. I was pain free, which was the entire reason for my surgery in the first place. I felt calm, comforted, and at peace. I was not in pain. I was not alone and was not scared. I knew that I was leaving my husband and my two young children behind, but kept pressing onward. I was surrounded by darkness, but I wasn't afraid. I did not see anyone who had died before me, but I did feel a presence that made me feel that I was not alone. I continued to press forward, but my thoughts kept coming back to my husband and children. I knew I had to fight for them. The next thing I knew, I awoke with a jolt.
I was hooked up to a ventilator in the intensive care unit. I have had five surgeries prior to this one, and never had anything like this under anesthesia. I have always woken up with a realization and knowing about what has happened to me. In this experience, I felt like I was 'jolted' back into my body and awoke having no idea what happened. I was then informed that I had 5 units of blood transfused into my body in the operating room, and continued to receive two addition units after that. I had nearly bled to death. It has taken me almost a year to process what happened to me.
Date NDE Occurred: 4-14-2016
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Life threatening event, but not clinical death
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal. I was at peace. For the first time in a long time, I was not in pain. I knew I was leaving my loved ones behind, and to do that being pain-free seemed contradictory
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The thoughts about leaving my husband and children behind, but being at peace
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning.
I felt timelessness.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. In my experience, I was surrounded by darkness and did not see anything. The only thing I can't explain is the person I saw next to my hospital bed entering the operating room. My vision was fuzzy because I wasn't wearing any corrective lenses. I had severe tunnel vision, but when I saw the person I assumed was a doctor, I saw as clearly as the other doctors and nurses.
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, but had a 'knowing'
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
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: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt calm, happy, peacefulness, joy, and love
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others. An understanding that I was leaving, and who I was leaving behind. I was sad to leave them behind, but I knew that I needed to.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events
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- Protestant United Methodist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant United Methodist
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience. I was raised United Methodist, and there is belief about heaven. I've always pictured heaven as a brightly lit place. We've discussed being healthy and whole again when you pass away, but now I know this is true because it is what I experienced
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes The things that stress you out are not worth it in the long run. It is important to treat others with kindness and compassion
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.)? Uncertain. I'm not sure who I saw next to my bed entering the operating room.
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? Uncertain The person next to my bed.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
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 probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists. Yes. An awareness of where I was going. I would be whole, complete, not in pain, and not alone.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are 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? Yes The 'knowing' about the hardship that my husband and children would endure without me. This wasn't explained to me or said to me in my experience, but I knew and it was always with me during the experience
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I wasn't alone, and I shouldn't be afraid
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
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My husband gets upset when I talk about it, but he is happy that I have made peace with it.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. It took me several months after the experience to process and put into words what had happened.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The man beside the bed and the feeling of being pain-free.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I have watched shows about it and read books about it
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real. At first I thought it was the anesthesia. As I gathered information about just how much blood I lost, I realized it was definitely real. I also realized it was real when I thought about how startled I was when I woke up on the ventilator. I've always woken up from a surgery with awareness that I've had a surgery.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Prior to my experience, I had panic attacks regarding death. I no longer have panic attacks. My husband is greatly traumatized by what happened to me that day, but I view it with calmness mainly due to my experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Hymns that I will hear will send chills down my spine that remind me of the experience. I didn't hear any voices or singing during the experience, so I'm not sure why it would do that.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I am hopeful to share this story in Guideposts as a comfort to others. I also want to raise awareness about donating blood. I'm here today because of someone donating blood.
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