At one point during the crisis I 'saw' images or pictures of my mom and her sister, my aunt. My mom's image was to the far left and my aunt's was right next to her. They were dressed up in dressy clothes and were younger than when they died in 2010. The images were of the head and shoulders. I also saw an image of my sister, who is alive on the West Coast, at the far right of my vision. I found out later she was praying continually for me when she heard how ill I had become. During this I thought, 'I should tell Mom what's happening' then in an instant I realized she already knew what was happening and I didn't need to tell her. The images seemed to 'flash' as I came into normal consciousness.
Date NDE Occurred: '~ July 1, 2012'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was gasping for breath and had an abnormal heart rhythm; atrial flutter. Pus had formed in my abdomen impairing breathing. I have restrictive lung function from scoliosis. I was rushed to the ICU. I told the doctors I was 'having trouble staying alive.' They gave me Lasix (diuretic) because I had severe edema. I was sent, later, to drain the 500 cc puss from my abdomen. That got me out of the crisis. The experience was a brief unconsciousness. I actually had a hard time remembering events surrounding the event. I was not sedated or anesthetized at the time.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? It's hard to tell. It seemed normal at the time. I was not sedated and was receiving pain medicine which didn't cause me to hallucinate or dream at any other time.
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? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Colors were more vivid and I still seem to see colors more vividly now, 3 months after the event.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear anything at all. There was total silence.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I 'saw' an image of my mom who died at age 93 but she didn't look that old in the 'picture'. I was very close to my mom but I was not close to her sister who died a few months later. I did tell her of mom's passing and tried to visit her in the nursing home. She was suffering from dementia and died at 91. My sister and I are close.
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? I was calm and unafraid. I guess my breathing didn't bother me during the experience.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
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? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic Practicing Catholic/spirituality focus as I am in a 12 step program for 25 years.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I think religions 'see through a glass dimly.' I also wonder if Catholic saints' revelations were NDEs. I pray more seeking God's will for me daily.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly 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 I believe that there is another dimension of existence I cannot understand but this experience seems to confirm that.
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? I sensed their presence
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? Yes I felt my deceased mom was still connected to me. Don't understand why I "saw" my aunt. "Seeing" my sister's image made "sense' to me later in that she was praying constantly for me.
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 Yes My mom and aunt were "alive" in the pictures and mom "knew" about how sick I was.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly 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 I appreciate my life and loved ones more. I enjoy colors and nature more. I feel gratitude for recovering because the recovery was very long, two and 1/2 weeks in hospital (2 days in ICU) and 5 weeks in sub-acute rehab. I do not like the idea of suffering before death.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I value relationships more.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain I told anyone who would listen. I explained it as I just wrote it.
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 I cannot remember any clinical details of what was happening at the time of the experience other than gasping for breath, saying i was having trouble staying alive and the intensivists were caring for me--but not the sequence of events.I remember my husband crying in my ear "don't give up.".
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? Especially meaningful or significant to me was realizing my deceased mom knew what was happening to me during my crisis.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I talked about it to anyone who would listen. Some said it was an NDE, another person said 'hallucination' or drugs but I wasn't on any sedatives.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I have had my patients describe their NDEs and have read earlier books, such as Moody and Ring. I also began to read this site after my father died.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The experience was real but I could not really remember in detail what my mom and her sister had on other than the colors were bright and they were in dressy outfits. My sister had 'neutral' colors on but I do not remember details. They all seemed younger.
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
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It has changed me in subtle ways which are hard to describe. I am less hassled by annoyance, I value directness and honesty more but I am less of a perfectionist. I am more understanding of others' foibles and less judgmental. I've tried to substitute judging with praying for the person.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I cannot think of any.
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