Helga B's Experience
It was the single
most joyful and serene experience in
my life. I have been in chronic pain
for over five years, and certainly as a fresh post-op
I was in acute pain- a
lot of it.
But there was no more pain. I felt as if I were weightless, as if I could
fly from the freedom from the weight that have been surrounding me for the last
20 years. It was ecstasy!
I was free and comfortable- free from worry, pain, illness, etc.
I felt as if I were perched on a plateau, getting ready to fly.......and
wanting to just go ahead and fly out of my disaster of a body and a disaster of
a life. The peace that had descended
upon me was total: no more anything but comfort, serenity,
love, and the feeling of being
enwrapped in the strength/warmth of someone else's arms.
I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia
and Chronic Fatigue syndrome, collapsed in October 1998, have been more or less
disabled ever since. When I went
into the ER for treatment, it was the third attempt that year to seek treatment
for my incredibly painful and bloated abdomen.
Once I was ignored completely, the second time, the ER docs told me I had
IBS and to take a laxative....the last time, December 19th, I went in because my
abdomen was larger than it had ever been, I was in constant pain, had night
sweats that soaked through
the pillows...I went to the hospital again after telling my husband that I was
dying and if I wasn't
treated this time, I would be dead by January.
I was fortunate enough to have one of my private docs be at the hospital,
so he was called in for a consult and after a bunch of tests, I was admitted.
The pain was horrible, my abdomen was so large it was constricting my diaphragm
and I couldn't
breathe properly. I screamed in pain
all night. the next day I had more tests. During
that time, I was being given generous amounts of Demerol as well as a number of
antibiotics, as my tests indicated something wrong- but what my doc didn't
know....So Thursday afternoon, he came in and told me that it was time for
surgery- which I had expected, so that wasn't
a great shock. I signed a consent
for whatever they wanted to do. I
"knew" I was dying without it. I
had a two and half hour surgery, Friday, Dec 21st, and ended up having a Toal
Abd. Hysterectomy. I had peritonitis
going into surgery, a dirty wound, which luckily for me, they were able to close
with staples. My abd was still very
enlarged, but about half the size than pre-op.
I developed cellulitis following surgery, was running high temps, was on
tremendously potent IV antibiotics, a PCA Demerol pump, and was running fevers
of at least 101F. I do not feel that
the medications played a part in this experience as I have been a chronic and
acute pain pt, and I know the difference between nodding out from pain meds and
this experience, which was unlike any other I have ever had.
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate?
It occurred at night, I believe in the
late hours of the night. the nurses
had been coming in and out, taking my temp, giving me Tylenol
(I think), hanging all kinds of IV
etc....and then, I found myself in a dark, comfortable place.
I was calm, serene, warm, loved, pain
free, and knew that I could slip away
to that place. It was so joyful
and wonderful that I wanted to stay forever wrapped in that place.
know how long I was there. It was
the most incredibly happy state of being I have ever been in.
Somehow, I came back to the world, back to the hospital bed, nurses
flying around, etc. I wonder if I had been left alone for some period time
longer, if I would have just slipped away to that place of wonder.
At the time of the experience, was there an
associated life threatening event? Yes
Describe: As mentioned before, I had peritonitis and cellulitis with associated high fevers. the doctor told me that he had no idea how long my Fibromyalgia/Chonic Fatigue symptoms had masked the infection, but that I had had it for a very long time. On my first visit to the office that I saw him post op, he called me his "miracle patient"
Was the experience dream like in any way? No.
It was REAL.
Did you experience a separation of consciousness
from your body?
Describe your appearance or form apart from your
Yes. My body was wracked with fever and
pain, infection and illness.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Noted
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? No.
It was quiet and lovely.
was no time. I just was THERE.
Describe: Now I believe deeply in NDE's or OBE's. Before I was a bit skeptical. Now I KNOW the reality of them
Has the experience affected your relationships?
Daily life? Religious
practices etc.? Career choices? N/A
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
Describe: My husband cried, because he has always believed in NRE's and he realised how close I had been to to leaving.
What was the best and worst part of your
Best- being there.
Worst- leaving there