edited for clarity by Judy Shea 5/21/11
I was about 7 years old. I woke up feeling as if lead weights were on my stomach. I told my Dad I felt sick to my stomach. After a few minutes, I sat up and vomited large quantities of blood. My Dad helped me into the bathroom. It had been dark in my room and he hadn't realized I had thrown up blood until I threw up again. At that point in the bathroom I felt myself pass out. I remember I wasn't concerned about falling, I think because my Dad was holding me up, plus I had never fainted before, so I didn't know what fainting was about! I remember a bit about a car ride to the hospital. Then I remember the nurses trying to get me to drink this grape flavored stuff (barium?) so that they could take an X-ray, but I kept gagging. They told me that I was not allowed to throw the stuff up. I tried hard not to, while they kept pouring it down my throat. But I couldn't control the nausea, and again, I threw up a large amount of blood. I guess it was then that they realized my parents had not been exaggerating when they told them about how much blood I had already vomited. They stopped trying to take the X-ray (and forcing me to drink the grape stuff. ) I was aware of them running by my side while they were taking me down the hall on a gurney to another room. I woke up for a bit to see that the doctor had already stretched one arm out on a board of some sort and was inserting a needle into it. I turned a bit to see the same thing in my other arm. I remember the doc telling me something - maybe words of encouragement? The next thing I knew, I was floating above myself. I could see my parents on the other side of the curtain on the bed next to me. My Mom was smoking a cigarette; and my Dad, looking very stressed, had his hands folded on his lap. I could sort of see myself, but mostly I was watching my parents (as a 7 year old would.) I don't remember having a body when I was above myself.
I could see my body, but couldn't see the me who was above the scene, up in the air doing the looking. Then, every time after that, when I tried to open my eyes, it was grainy and noisy, just like when cable goes out on your TV - same sound and visual. My first memory after that is being back in my body, waking up enough to know my Mom was there. She told me if I lay quietly, she would read to me. I remember drifting in and out. I stayed in the hospital for a week.
In my early 20's, when I was having an ulcer problem, I found out more about what had happened, and why. They did an upper GI, which showed that my jugular vein is misshapen - probably due to the fact that I have always liked to sleep with my hand curled up under my chin. The doc said he thought that years of sleeping like that, with the gentle pressure of my finger resting on my throat, had trained my jugular vein to bend into an abnormal position - a bit too close to my esophagus. This resulted in the piece of glass that I had swallowed nicking my jugular vein as it cut the inside of my throat.
Another thing: several years later, I was telling my Mom about my experience. She told me that soon after she lit the cigarette, the doc yelled at her to put it out. But she kept smoking, ignoring the doc, until a nurse said to her, "Put it out NOW - or LEAVE! There are oxygen tanks present, and they could ignite!"
THEN, my Mom put the cigarette out - but she was embarrassed, she said, that she was yelled at by the doctor - and that she had buckled under their pressure to put the cigarette out (she is very strong willed!) She also told me that the point at which she had lit the cigarette was when the doctor had ordered more blood. The nurse had said, "Do you want it "stat?" and his response was "Stat, hell! You run, and you run fast...she is already dead...but we can maybe bring her around if we get more blood into her quick enough!" That's when my Mom lit up her cigarette, she said. I said to my Mom, "That's when I was floating above myself, and I saw everything you just told me, happening just the way you said it." We went on to corroborate other details of what I had seen. She was really scared and unnerved about this, because we shared the same memories of what had happened - and that was the same point that the doctor had just told the nurse I was dead.
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience: Uncertain.
Explanation: I was so young, I am not really sure. The only needles I remember were the ones they used in order to give me more blood. Those were the needles that the doc had into inserted into both my arms.
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes.
What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate? The background scenery - it was like when cable goes out on your TV - all grainy and dark. Back then, we didn't have cable, so at first I didn't think of explaining it that way.
At the time of
the experience, was there an associated life threatening event?
Describe: I had nicked my jugular vein by swallowing a piece of glass - maybe from a chipped drinking glass? The blood flowed down into my stomach. When I started to throw up, it made it worse, and I was rushed to hospital. Fortunately, one thing the doctor knew was that if blood comes out, you have to put more in! Later, after I had bled out, an upper GI series showed the nick, and that it had clotted over.
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? When I was aware of seeing the entire room and both beds with a curtain in between.
Was the experience dream like in any way? No.
Not at all like a dream - I was curious, wondering, as a child would, how I was seeing all this, how could I be tall enough to see over the curtains? Then I figured out that it was my body that was still lying down, whereas I was not. My mind was much more curious and alert than in dreams.
Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body? Yes.
Describe your appearance or form apart from your body: I did not seem to have a body as I floated above - no arms, legs etc. - just awareness that I was able to see above the curtain. I was just pure consciousness. At one point, before I had risen higher up, I found myself looking at myself face to face. Then I changed positions enough to be looking down at my self. If I had had feet, they would have been standing next to my own head as my body lay on the bed. That's the direction I was then facing - perpendicular to my body on the bed. I could see my body, but I had no awareness of having a body as I was experiencing myself during my OBE.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Curious, and sorta wondering what was next. Not much emotion.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? Just the sound of when cable goes out - that loud sound it makes when the TV is on, but you aren't on any channel.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes.
Describe: My Mom smoking, and the doc yelling at her to put it out. Also, the position of my parents as they were sitting on the bed - my Mom was closest to the door, and my Dad, to the wall.
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Yes.
Describe: As an adult, I have. Some might call it "mother's instinct," but I always know when something life-altering is going to happen. For example, when friend was killed in a car accident, I heard the announcement of the wreck on the news, and I KNEW it was one of my friends before they said who it was. And when I have strong feelings of danger, or uneasiness, it is always turns out to be about something real. Sometimes I dream about an event before it happens.
Has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices etc.? Career choices? Every little uncomfortable thought get, I worry, now, that it is going to come true. But there are other times when I get the feeling something is DEFINITELY going to happen for SURE. When I get premonitions that I am SURE of, it is always when I am in "relaxed mode," and I'm just sort of thinking about nothing.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes.
Describe: I have a really close friend - we have always been closer than sisters. Her daughter was expecting a baby and she was wondering when the baby would be born. We had just been talking about a few things, in general, including that. After we hung up, I just KNEW the baby would be 2 weeks late and would arrive on my birthday. I called her and told her. And he did! Then, one month later, her daughter Hannah had a brain tumor on her brain stem. After surgery, she was comatose for four months. Then she bled out, needing thirty-two units of blood. (All the steroids she had been given while she was in the coma had created bleeding ulcers in her stomach.) The docs felt it might be time to let her go, as she was still in surgery, bleeding uncontrollably. My friend remembered how I had been right about the date of the baby's birth, and how I was so sure - I had told her over and over. So, she asked me about Hannah - would she be ok, or should they let her go? It came to me strongly that Hannah would be well. I KNEW she would be well and that she would not die at this time. I let my friend know this, and she told the doctors not to stop life support. After about two hours, they began being able to control the bleeding. When the anesthesia from surgery wore off, she stunned everyone by coming out of her coma! She is alive and well today, and has no deficits - all because my friend believed me, and trusted my vision!
What emotions did you experience following your experience? Relief!! I had been thinking, "Oh, my gosh, if she dies, I will feel terrible, having given her and her family false hope."
What was the best and worst part of your experience? The best part is knowing that when we die, we do have a soul that goes on. I can believe in Christ, but I won't know for sure until I meet him. But I know I have a soul, because my soul, up above my body, clearly saw my own body and my Mom and Dad with me, in another part of the room, over the curtain.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? No. I just wonder why everyone else sees lights and tunnels, and what I get seems like that grainy view and scratchy noise that's on the TV when it's turned on but it's not tuned to cable.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? No.
Describe: No, because I was so young, I just thought everyone had experiences like that.