I felt as if I was passing into a new stream of consciousness.July 5, 2011
This is the first time I’ve ever written this out, or shared this story with people other than a psychiatrist or my family.
Four years ago, almost to the day, I was pronounced clinically dead for two minutes after undergoing cardiac arrest which subsequently was caused from a seizure.
I was 20 at the time. I remember it was incredibly hot that evening. Me, my boyfriend, my best friend, and a few other kids I went to high school with were all going to see a local band play in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It was around six in the evening and at this time I had only an espresso all day; no food, no water. We decided to smoke a blunt while we were waiting for the band to set up. All was good! It was my last last get together with friends before I left for school.
About a half hour later, after a few cigarettes, we decided to smoke some more. The band was almost ready to start playing. I was feeling really, really good. By this time, I had totally forgotten that my body was deprived of food and water for the entirety of this incredibly hot day in August…I was sweating bullets.
10 minutes later, the band is ready to go on. My boyfriend brings out a Monster energy drink from his bag. My breath starts to feel a little shallow. I grab to get a hold of the drink, but it slips from my fingers and drops to the ground. This is where things start to go awry. I looked at my hand in confusion, then at my best friend who was looking at me with a strange face.
“Are you ok?”
I thought I had answered, “I’m not sure” but I guess the response happened in my head. Not 15 seconds later, I felt the extreme urge to sit down right where I was. I hit the ground hard, landing flat on my ass, but barely feel it. I hear someone in the background go, “woah there!” but my body is failing me, and I can no longer react to the outside stimulus.
I don’t remember much of what happened to me in a physical sense after that. My best friend told me how things unfolded after that: she was trying to hold me up, to get me over to an EMT. The safety guys I guess didn’t notice that there was a problem so essentially my friends screams for help was useless. A big guy noticed the severity of the situation, slung me over his back, and pushed through the crowd to get me to help. Apparently I wasn’t breathing, my body had gone stiff, and my lips and fingertips were turning blue. I was having a seizure. I was put in an ambulance. During the ride I underwent cardiac arrest, and after two minutes of using CPR and a defibrillator, my pulse returned followed by my breathing. I regained full consciousness as I was entering the hospital.
While all of this was happening, my mind was somewhere else. As soon as my body hit the ground I felt detached from it. I could hear everything going on around me but I felt like my viewpoint was from miles away. The feelings themselves are hard to explain. It was peaceful, almost dreamy. I felt as if I was passing into a new stream of consciousness. I also “saw” myself. It seemed like my viewpoint was in “god mode” or something similar. I watched my body get carried out of the crowd, put onto the stretcher, and loaded into the ambulance. I suppose at the point when my heart stopped beating completely was when things got even more wacky. I couldn’t see myself anymore. I couldn’t see anything. It wasn’t black, it wasn’t white. I didn’t see a tunnel…it was just a feeling. An utterly tangible feeling of absolute peace and fulfillment. Later, as I regained consciousness in the hospital, I felt as if I had awoken from the best nap ever.
After getting a few tests done and telling my story to doctors, they really didn’t have a straight explanation for what happened to me. Here are some facts that I think attributed to my seizure: I was dehydrated, I had been drinking and smoking all day, I was also taking anti depressants at the time.
I do not believe in heaven, I do not believe in hell. I DO believe in a higher power, I do have faith. But I don’t really believe this experience proved or disproved those beliefs, for the record.
Whew…okay thats all I can think to write about right now. Its kind of overwhelming putting that entire experience into words.