A Near Death Experience, No. 75.

She's not Breathing.

Had a request tonight to write about near death experiences. For those of you who have not personally had a near death experience, you will think I'm telling a tall tale. For those of you who have had one, you will relate, nod your head and smile.

In 1978, I went in for surgery. It was to take less than an hour with no complications expected. All of the others had been a snap, so why not this one. The last I remember, I was asking the Doctor if he had had to much to drink the night before. He squeezed my hand and said: "Put her out".

Surgery lasted nearly three hours, but I lost all track of time. Time means nothing on the other side or so I have been led to believe. I had plenty of time to watch what they were doing and to look through everything that was in that operating room. The blanket they wrapped me in after surgery, was in a device I associated with being a microwave oven. I stayed in it for a while because it was very comfortable and the way it kept the blanket warm was fascinating. There are so many, many packages, instruments, tubes and sterilizing equipment ... I was having a ball! The things the two Doctors and the surgical Nurses talked about were very funny and not at all what I expected them to discuss during surgery. One of the Nurses was more concerned with a problem at home. She kept thinking if they'd just shut up she could think. And then, surgery was over.

But then ... the Anesthetist began to get upset. His heart rate jumped awfully high and he kept saying "She's not breathing! Breathe damn you, breathe." I watched over his shoulder for a while and wondered why they did not cover my body up. He was patting my cheeks with force and talking to me like I couldn't hear him. Some of his language wasn't on the polite side. With the first breath I was back in my body telling him I was cold. Within seconds, they had the blanket wrapped around me and I was warm as toast.

The Anesthetist came in later that night as they always do. When I told him I had tried to breathe for him the first time he told me to, he asked what I was talking about. I told him about how he had slapped my face and cussed because I wasn't breathing. He said I was just dreaming. I asked about the one nurse with the problem. I asked him about different things I'd gone through in the operating room. I told him several things he knew I could not have known.

I was in the hospital for nine days, but he never came back to see me after that first night. He did finally admit that it startled him when I did not breathe. He also assured me that he would not have let me die. He said he would have done everything and breathed for me as long as necessary.

That was the first time...



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