I was in the Ophthalmologist office for a test to photograph the blood vessels in my retinas. My eyes were first dilated with drops. A nurse was there to hook me up to an IV that would inject fluorescent dye through my hand and also to administer a Benadryl shot in the event there was an allergic reaction. They told me that some people have a slight reaction but that it goes away quickly. I didn't think much of it, as I have never had allergic reactions before. Immediately after the IV/dye was injected, I felt my hand and arm burning like fire. I felt my head blowing up and lightheaded and said, 'I'm gonna pass out!' What happened next was horrible - my brain felt like it was being choked. My heart was racing. The nurse quickly injected me with the Benadryl and I was reclined. They were hooking me up to a blood pressure machine and the numbers fell very low. All the while, I was freaking out and crying out to Jesus and God to help me. My body was itching, my lips and tongue were swollen - I felt like I was being engulfed and sinking. My doctor appeared in the doorway (it had only been the nurse and photographer before) and told me that I was having an allergic reaction and that the Benadryl shot is counteracting it. My husband then walked into the room (he had dropped me off first and then would return after he dropped off our youngest at school) - I was still crying out to Jesus because I was still slipping. The nurse kept saying, 'Stay with me, Tammy, stay with me'.
All I could think was that they had brain damaged me! Then I watched as each person in the room slowly was fading into black cut out figures! The 'black' inched across their features from the edges toward the center and I kept crying out and saying, 'I can't see you, I can't see you!' Then my thought was, 'THEY are not real.' As if they were not part of the REAL world. My hearing was muffled too and I told them - I felt I was dying or would be brain damaged - I was still very conscious and couldn't understand why I hadn't gone under already but still experiencing this horror. Everything was happening so fast and so slow at the same time. Just after the people in the room, including my husband (who was talking to me) turned into the silhouettes, everything disappeared for a second and the next second I was looking at Space! I saw a black sky with pinpoints of light - like a black velvet curtain with tiny pinpoints of light. I was still conscious and not in a dream state - I was just 'looking' at this before me. Then the next thing I could see everyone starting to come back into view - their black silhouettes were slowly turning back into features again and I was so relieved and said to my husband, 'I can see you again!'
By this time they had gotten a wheelchair, put me in it, and whisked me down to emergency room to be hooked up to fluids and corticosteroids. I was exhausted, but so grateful to feel more normal. Two different male nurses at different times attending me in emergency room asked what happened to me and asked if my throat had closed up. I said, 'No, but my tongue was swollen.' Both of these nurses mentioned death to me! My husband glared at both of them because he knew I'd be freaked by that info.
I just thought to myself I already knew how close I came - I felt I was on the threshold. An ordinary day turned into something else. The one thought that came from the experience was, 'We belong to the Universe.' I don't know when the thought came but it has stayed with me. I really wasn't sure about this experience or if it was part of losing consciousness - the thing is that I was fully conscious the whole time and I am still perplexed about seeing the blackness with pinpoints of light. I actually have very bad vision and these tiny lights were not distorted. I am a believer in God and have had spiritual experience (born again) in the past, but I also have an analyzing mind. After I was wondering if I had come that close why didn't I see Jesus or the angels. I tried to NOT think about this experience for four years, obviously it is because of the horrible anaphylactic shock, but lately I have been thinking about it and how I need and want to change to be a better person.
Date NDE Occurred: 2006
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Severe allergic reaction/anaphylactic shock due to intravenous fluorescent dye during an eye examination.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? No
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness The whole time.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time.
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
Only the sense of how fast and slow everything seemed to be happening at the same time.
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. The people in the exam room becoming black silhouettes and the blackness with pinpoints of light - like Space.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It became muffled.
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
The experience included: 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 The pinpoints of light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Just the blackness and pinpoints of light.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Terrified during the anaphylactic shock part, but a sense of just being an observer when looking at the blackness with pinpoints of light.
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? Moderate
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No You'd think I would turn into a saint after that! But, I have had my struggles - I am trying now though. I've had anger at God for years before this NDE when I was given a Special needs child, but life is all about learning and growing and this must be a part of it. I do have a feeling heart underneath and I try to help where I can.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No You'd think I would turn into a saint after that! But, I have had my struggles - I am trying now though. I've had anger at God for years before this NDE when I was given a Special needs child, but life is all about learning and growing and this must be a part of it. I do have a feeling heart underneath and I try to help where I can.
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? Uncertain Just the thought: 'We belong to the Universe.' I don't remember exactly when that thought came to me, but it was after seeing the blackness and pinpoints of light.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 have told a few people - some think it was a physiological thing. I don't think they realize how close I came since it was such a rare medical reaction. (I have since learned there have been deaths from this fluorescent dye! So anyone going for eye exams with this dye, which can also be in eye drops for dilation better make sure there is Benadryl and an emergency room nearby.) I told my husband what I saw right away and other people over time.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I've read many things on NDEs for years and years, but until I read Bettie Eadie's book, 'Embraced by the Light' several years before my own NDE did a light bulb clicked on. What she said made so much sense - as if I KNEW this before - especially about being taken out of your body before actual 'death'. I even gave this book to family members who lost loved ones because I felt it could give them hope.
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 It definitely happened as I was in the medical building and I was yapping the whole time - the only time I think I stopped talking was when I was looking at the blackness with pinpoint lights - I don't remember saying anything about what I was seeing. I was telling them when I couldn't see them anymore.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Just that it might not be as dramatic as a story but it made me grateful for life - even when things are so bad and hard - it is brief on Earth and we do belong to something greater.