Leighton S's Experience

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Experience description:   

      During this major operation to save my life as I was obviously totally under heavy anesthesia it was only to well after I eventually came out of hospital @ 96 days later that I began to have visions and feelings that during my major operation I actually traveled to the planet Mars. I had a feeling that I felt extremely cold being on this planet. The sense that it was actually Mars was because I believed Mars was one of the furthest planets from earth and thus a long, long, way from home! There was no such perception of colors, though a distinct feeling of either darkness or blackness. Just recently I attended a lecture in our city by a Dr from the Greenwich Observatory in London. He gave a lecture on the latest pictures that the Hubble space telescope produced. His lecture was amazing. It was very informative. During the lecture he mentioned planet Mars. He then went on to say that the atmosphere around this planet was very cold. At that stage I was not exactly sure what the temperature was around the planet. When he said this I got the tingling sensation up and down my spine that I felt as a result of knowing that I had felt cold in my experience of Mars.

This was not the only vision I had. Either a few hours after my operation or the days that followed I was hallucinating that I felt and saw the grim reaper a few meters away from my bed. He was beckoning me to 'come over and join me, it's comfortable over here'. He appeared in the black hooded cloak along with the staff held in one hand.

However, the most fearful experience in Intensive Care was when I really believed a nurse was going to actually kill me. Believe me I say this. Fear of death is worse that actual death itself. Looking back on this experience it was obvious the mega dosage of morphine was producing the paranoia or the 'monkey on the shoulder' feeling. However it was the most scariest moment in my life that I will always remember. Evidently the nurse was at the time having difficulties, relationship wise, with her much younger boyfriend. I could sense or feel these feelings that she seemed very anti males. Actually at one stage during the night that I had recuperating after my major operation, this nurse was required to turn me over from lying on my back to lying on my chest. When it came time to do this procedure I received a shot of morphine injected into my hand IV line, on top of the morphine that was being drip fed into my body so as to reduce the pain. Amount of reduction in pain...O! or none. Once lying on my chest the pain slowly creeps in to breathe properly. I could normally only take about an hour in this position, however this time the pain was more severe. After only about 30 minutes I could take no more so I pressed the buzzer to call a nurse. She answered and I told her the pain was unbearable and could she turn me over. She replied she was very busy but she'd come back shortly and turn me over. She of course didn't come back. I rang the buzzer again. This time she told me not to ring the buzzer again. I asked her again to turn me over as the pain was unbearable. She said there was no body else to help her turn me (@ 3-4 people were needed to lift me). She then left. After about 45 minutes on my chest I grabbed the buzzer and rang it again and this time I never let go of it ringing. She arrived and made some sort of derogatory comment to which I screamed fu....g turn me over now! She eventually did though I will never forget the intensity of pain I felt.

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience:  Yes

      Explanation:  Morphine

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Yes

      What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate?  Whether or not the experience was real. It was difficult to feel how real the whole experience was perceived. Yes the perception of reality or even the perception of intensity as to to the reality. I could comprehend the perceived images though the experience as a whole was difficult to comprehend in perceived reality. This produced the feeling of confusion more than anything I guess.

At the time of the experience, was there an associated life threatening event?  Yes

      Describe:  Very much so. As I have mentioned in describing the location, the experience took place in an operating theatre in a public hospital. The operation being performed was a hemipelvectomy on my left leg. As I had septicemia (severe blood poisoning) in the remaining left leg (it had been amputated at the knee upon impact with a concrete fence post as the motorcycle and I slid uncontrolled on the road). The surgical team were very concerned that septicemia had spread in the remaining leg into oblique muscle tissue of my lower back. They had to obtain a blood supply into the area before the poison spread any further into my body. It was reported I almost ran the blood bank in the hospital out of its supply of blood. There was a total of 9 units of blood I believe pumped into me before a supply could be circulated by my own body/heart system. This supply was obtained at the rib area of my left torso. In other words, the surgical team obtain a blood supply only when my primary surgeon who was responsible for the whole operation after both hands were virtually digging out the rotting infested flesh right up to the left rib cage! At this area he obtained a fresh blood supply form my own body's capabilities. If he had not been able to obtain this fresh supply of blood it could have proven fatal as the infection may have spread further into critical organs resulting in certain death. So one could say it was against time to save my life. Yes

What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience?  As above I was totally anesthetized. I was to be anesthetized another 6-7 times for every day/second day while they changed the dressings that were placed over the huge wound. I have always wondered where my spirit/soul goes under anesthesia. Also at the time of my accident I never lost consciousness. So I can remember almost everything about the accident. The only parts that I do not remember was when I actually impacted the fence (at very high speed) and impact on the ground in a farmers paddock. As the accident was in darkness about 11.20pm it was a miracle somebody discovered me. A local farmer and his wife were driving home in their car when the driver noticed something on the road as they drove past the accident sight. It was a piece of fiberglass fairing from my motorcycle that was lying on the road. He said to his wife that it was never there when they drove past earlier on their way to some friends house. he stopped the car with it's headlights shinning in to the paddock and he saw me lying and screaming in agony. I would not be alive today if it hadn't been for that man. So I do not know how much blood I had lost as my leg was amputated at the knee from the impact. I remember everything from when the farmer spoke to me lying in the paddock.

Was the experience dream like in any way?  Certainly. As I have stated I felt as though I was on Mars. This planet also happens to be associated with  my star symbol: scorpio. So it has a connection with me personally.

Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body?  Yes

Describe your appearance or form apart from your body:  I believe I was in the middle. There was me in the operating theatre. Me on Mars. Then me somewhere else observing both.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?  Almost a sense of void if one can describe this. I do not remember any strong feelings that I would normally feel since I am a scorpio and therefore associated with intense feelings.

Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises?  No. And I am a very musically orientated person. I love music.

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?  No

Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?  No

      Describe:  As I have stated I believe I traveled to Mars. Possibly experienced a feeling of unlimited dimensionism (if there exists such a word). Yes quite a strong feeling in that context. Unlimited dimensions. Almost seeing 'everything' feeling 'everything', almost total connection of dimensions to be as one connection even though you feel all dimensions i.e. infinity. Yes a sense/feeling of infinity. Infinite dimensions as such? This feeling I believe I felt for several months after returning home from hospital.

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?  Uncertain

      Describe:  Almost as if time ceased. There was no then, no now, no future. Possibly no then and future certainly. So maybe just now.

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?  Yes

      Describe:  Certainly some intellect beyond human consciousness.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?  No

Did you become aware of future events?  Uncertain

      Describe:  Possibly a sense there may be mass destruction on earth at some point in time though not in immediate future i.e. 100 years.

Were you involved in or aware of a decision to return to the body?  Uncertain

      Describe:  Am demonstrating increasing bouts of procrastination as age increases. This is on the contrary to life earlier when ruled by spontaneity. With this question I am perceiving an angle towards alien life. In this respect my belief there may be higher intelligence in this universe is growing.

 Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?  Yes

      Describe:  Sense of time. Increased perception of. Was reported in nurses notes as experiencing 'sensory overload' during period in Intensive Care Unit in Dunedin Public Hospital. Ability to experience physical pain seems to have increased i.e. have a higher tolerance to physical pain/ higher physical pain threshold.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?  Yes

      Describe:  No doubt about this question. We are not alone. May be a cliché. Don't sweat the small stuff! Another cliché though very cognitive now. We as humans here on this amazing planet seem to be preoccupied with the materialistic world. As Sting (lead vocalist of the rock band The Police) sings in one his many songs "We are spirits in the material world" could be no further from the truth. And yet day after day we preoccupy ourselves with the material world. "He who has the most toys wins"! "She the most power"! We constantly join in the power game. Life = power! Especially when it's over someone. We are totally absorbed in the power struggle. And yet there is only one power struggle we need to be concerned with...and that is within ourselves...and not against or with anybody else. Mastery over the self is the purpose of this very short time period we experience so called 'life' here on this earth. OK so how do we do this is the obvious question everybody asks? Well to begin with it ain't gonna cost as much money as what you think it might. What it does cost however is something we're all capable of supplying yet so few bother...effort! We are living here on this earth each day to make the most of what we're given the moment we're born. Chance. Fortunately I've been given a second one because I do not believe for one moment that I should still be here after how I treated life before an accident awakened in me a will I never, ever, ever, thought I had...we all have...inside us somewhere...but where you may ask? Well, I can assure you it ain't on the outside that faces everybody each day. It's very way inside...like a water well so to speak. The best water is at the bottom and this takes effort to reach.

Has the experience affected your relationships?  Daily life?  Religious practices etc.?  Career choices?  Certainly different than before my accident that's for sure. Before my accident I would see a rose and carry on past it thinking nothing more about it. Now...stop...observe closely, feel the color, texture, shapes of leaves etc, smell the aroma if there is any, feel the aroma...and finally touch the flower if you want to and feel the nature of this plant

Have you shared this experience with others?  Yes

      Describe:  Not too sure.

What emotions did you experience following your experience?  Many

What was the best and worst part of your experience?  Many

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?  I do not have time

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?  Yes

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?  No

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?  No

Please offer any suggestions you have to improve the www.nderf.org questionnaire?  I have already taken too much time to complete this.