On Friday, September 13, 2013 I was scheduled to undergo a bilateral TMJ arthroplasty with abdominal fat grafting (taking fat from my abdominal area and replace my missing articular discs in my temporomandibular joints). I was to have spent one night in the hospital only. It was to have been a 6-hour procedure. In the pre-op holding area, my father, mother and daughter were present and we were laughing and joking because it took them four tries to get my IV line started. We spoke with the surgeon and three of his associates as well as the anesthesiologist and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. They gave me some IV medication and wheeled me off to the operating room. I could not see anything in the operating room as I normally wear glasses, but did not have them on at the time. Right before I was wheeled into the operating room, I told my daughter to enjoy sightseeing in Baltimore, eat some cheesecake for me and that I would see her in a few hours.I went into the operating room at approximately 11 am on Friday September 13, 2013 and woke up on September 18, 2013 in the intensive care unit. The very next thing I remember is the room being very bright: not like a tunnel of light but just the room, being very bright and I felt immense pressure on the side of my head and neck. I blinked my eyes a few times and I could see myself standing at the bottom of the operating room table. I heard the surgeon distinctly say, 'where is all this damn blood coming from?!' and I could see blood all over the front of the surgeon and it was on the floor.I then remember almost like a breeze blowing across me. The surgeon was running and holding onto my neck, we were moving so fast, and it was very cold. The surgeon said, 'we need to get consent'. The consent was for the emergent angiography I had to have because I was hemorrhaging from a vessel at the base of my brain. They did not know which vessel it was coming from or how to stop the bleeding. Finally, the bleeding was stopped and I was wheeled back into the operating room to complete the left side, only. My procedure should have been done on both sides but due to the issue with bleeding I was only able to have one side done. The surgeon told me I lost 40% of my blood within a few seconds and that I had to have 3 pints of blood transfused. I woke up in the intensive care unit on September 18th and I told my mother I hated the surgeon because 'he messed everything up and he didn't do the surgery the way he was supposed to' and I asked, 'why did I have to have blood?' I had no knowledge, at this point that I had a blood transfusion nor did I know the surgery did not go as planned: no one had told me any of this information. The surgeon, who had been in constant contact with my family during this whole ordeal told them that there was no way he was letting me know any of this information until I was more 'stable' and could cope with the information. Oddly, I already knew everything: before anyone told me. At my follow-up appointment the surgeon and his Associate asked me if I realized how close I came to dying on the 13th and how I scared him to death. He told me that I gave him gray hair, too, because of the stress. They told me they kept me in a medically induced coma so that they could keep my blood pressure very low so that I did not have a stroke. I don't know what kind of experience I had. I look at things differently now. I don't know or understand how I could know all those details if no one told me about them.
Date NDE Occurred: 'September 13, 2013'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. While under general anesthesia. 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I had uncontrollable hemorrhaging.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness and alertness when I was in pre-op holding (right before they started to give me medication) before taking me into the operating room.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My vision is normally pretty good as I wear glasses/contact lens but during the experience I could see colors much clearer and more vividly.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was the same during the experience as it is on a daily basis.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
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
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
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Confusion
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? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately 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? No
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 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 definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately 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? Moderate changes in my life Moderate 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? Yes The entire experience is difficult to explain. It just does not make any sense, at all, to me what happened. I wish someone could explain it to me so it makes sense. If I were really dying, would I not have seen people who have passed before me, like my grandparents? What did I experience?
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? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I awoke 5 days later in the intensive care unit and after I was extubated, I shared the experience with my mother and my daughter. My daughter told me after I got home that the morning of my surgery she had a bad 'feeling' about my surgery but never mentioned it to me because she did not want me to get upset about the surgery, so she said nothing. She kept it to herself.
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
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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