Near death experience
A patient I had not seen for a while recently came to my office for a follow-up visit. She appeared to have a completely different outlook on life than any of her previous visits. When I inquired about the radiance, joy, and serenity that she seemed to exude, she related the following account:
“Doctor, after our last visit, I developed a serious medical condition that necessitated a CT scan with iodine contrast; as the contrast was injected into my veins I noticed the room closing in on me. In a few seconds, I could no longer breathe and my tongue was swelling and shutting off my breathing passage. I heard someone calling an emergency code and a doctor with a long-needled syringe approached me and stabbed my heart with it. I don’t remember all the details, but I felt like vomiting and lost control of my bladder and bowel functions. I then saw myself floating above my body with at least thirty people around it! I moved through a tunnel and reached a half-open door. I could not see what was behind the door but had an amazing sense of calm, peace and serenity that I have never experienced before in all my life. I knew for a fact that my deceased parents and Christ were waiting behind that door to welcome me. Suddenly I realized I had a clear choice to go through the door and leave everything behind, or return to my physical body. The thought of my cat being left alone in the house came to me. I told myself I really wanted to go through the door, but not yet. At that moment I found myself back on the hospital bed, hearing a nurse assuring me that everything was going to be alright. Doctor, this world the way we see it is not all there is! There are realities beyond that only words like love and serenity can describe.”
This was not a person with a history of psychosis or histrionic confabulation. I had treated her for depression and ADHD symptoms. I will let you contemplate the implications of her account in light of your own experience and take from it what would make you more loving, less anxious, more trusting and affirming of the purpose of your own life!