On the morning of 10/25/2001 I called in sick to work. It's not that I felt sick, I just didn't feel completely right. So, I stayed home and rested. In the early evening (about 5:00 pm), I went with my husband to an event that we already had tickets for.
After the event, my husband went to the gym and I went home. Around seven that evening I started having increasing pain. I tried to vomit, but that didn't help. I got online and tried to figure out what was wrong with me but I couldn't pinpoint it.
The pain got much worse. I called my husband at the gym and asked him to come home and take me to the emergency room - at this point I couldn't even drive. We got to the emergency room and waited for about an hour (with me groaning the whole time).
After a while they were able to figure out what was wrong with me, I had a very large kidney stone stuck in my urethra. They admitted me and told me I would stay in the hospital at least overnight.
So they put me on a morphine pump. That is the kind where the patients can give themselves a small dose of the morphine every ten minutes or as needed. The next day (10/26/2001) passed uneventfully except that at 8:00 pm the pump malfunctioned and was not sending any medicine to me. I remember very well that the nurse had a heck of a time getting it to work. My husband left a little while later.
I do not remember going to sleep, but apparently, I did. I fell asleep on my right side (which is normal for me). While asleep, I vomited and inhaled the vomit back into my lungs. This caused me to go into respiratory arrest.
What I do remember is this: I was in a very, very black room. Blacker than I have ever seen. I do not think that I was really conscious of anything for a while, kind of like nothing mattered. I remember that it was very quiet and peaceful there. To me it seems as though this were a blank room with nothing in it but me; I did not have a body. For a long while, there was no sound.
After a bit I started feeling uncomfortable (that is the best word I can use). I got it into my head that 'it' was a lie. Whatever 'it' is I do not know. This lie theme became almost a mantra in my head. Then I started hearing occasional bursts of what sounded like TV or radio static. Then I started hearing my name and other words come through the static occasionally.
When I started hearing my name, I began to feel as though this might be something worth listening to. So, I listened. I struggled to listen. Somewhere around here, I became conscious of things. The nurses and doctors were feverishly trying to get me to respond. I could not talk to them, I could only listen.
Finally, I was able to talk to them. I was back in the 'real world'. At some point, I realized that I could not see, though my eyes were wide open. I have a huge fear of blindness because I am a glaucoma suspect. After a while, I started to be able to see shades of lighter grays. Then I could see color, and then I could see shapes. Finally, I could see.
They had me answer a whole bunch of questions. It was very strange to me because I could not understand why there were so many people in my room. I was very disoriented. Then when my eyesight had restored itself, I started describing the individuals closest to me. At the foot of my bed was my nurse. She asked me if I remembered who she was. I did. And that is when I remembered that I was in the hospital and something horrible must have happened for this many people to be with me.
They sent me to the intensive care unit for the weekend. I ended up with inhalation pneumonia in both lungs (more in the right lung). I found out later that they do not know how long I was in my room in respiratory arrest. The nursing assistant had come in to do a vitals check and I did not respond. She turned on the light and found me severely cyanotic (blue) and completely unresponsive. She called for a registered nurse (who actually was my RN). The registered nurse took one look at me and punched the code button on the wall. When the code team arrived, it took fifteen minutes for them to revive me. The defibrillator team was waiting right outside my door. They thought I was a goner.
I can only say that I was completely at peace in that black room. Nothing bothered me there. When it did, I think my mind tried to shut it out and ignore it by calling it a 'lie'. I think it was hard to resuscitate me because I did not want to leave that peaceful place. Hard to explain. I am no longer completely afraid of dying because I now know how peaceful it is.
Date NDE Occurred: 10/27/2001
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Allergic reaction Life threatening event, but not clinical death Respiratory arrest.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 Nothing was important. I just was and also was not. Even when I say that, it is hard to describe. Something along the lines of the way Buddhists practice.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think I was at the highest level of consciousness while everything was quiet in the black room. It was as if my mind/spirit had transcended everything else and nothing else was important.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning In the black room I did not seem to have any sense of time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I can't say for certain except that the 'room' was blacker than any black I have ever experienced before or after.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I did not 'hear' anything that made me uncomfortable, but something did. Then my hearing was sporadic hearing only snatches through what sounded like radio or TV static.
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? I actually saw them
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? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
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? None, unless you would describe at total peace an emotion.
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? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Immediately after I was released from the hospital I started looking into Judaism. I liked the structure. I have since gone back to the way I believed before the event. I believe that there is a higher power. I choose to call this power God for lack of a better term. This higher power (to me) is within us all.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Immediately after I was released from the hospital I started looking into Judaism. I liked the structure. I have since gone back to the way I believed before the event. I believe that there is a higher power. I choose to call this power God for lack of a better term. This higher power (to me) is within us all.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
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 most significant part of the experience is that there is (to me) nothing to fear of death.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my husband as soon as they let him in to see me. He thought it was interesting. I do not believe that he was in any way influenced by my experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Well, I'd heard that people see a white light, go through a tunnel, see deceased relatives, even some see a God or Jesus figure. I do not believe it affected my experience. I do think it left me wondering where I was. Did it mean that I was not going to go to heaven? I do not know the answer to that.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I believe it was definitely real. I describe it today in exactly the same terms as I used when I first told my husband.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I believe it was definitely real. I describe it today in exactly the same terms as I used when I first told my husband.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No