I was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Thursday the 12th August, suffering from a ruptured appendix. On arrival I was subsequently mis-diagnosed as having only a "rumbling" appendix and spent 12 hours deteriorating but drugged and not in too much pain. When operated on that afternoon (Friday 13th) the mistake was discovered and frantic major surgery took place to try and remove the poison from my abdominal cavity. I was finally taken back to a side ward with the expectation that I would die within hours.
Apparently I drifted in and out of consciousness for a long time and I remember wondering why my mother, who lived 300 miles away, was by my bed; she had been called as I was expected to die. I remember it being dark, really dark and then I became aware that I was actually looking down at my body from the ceiling. I remember thinking this was a bit odd but I mostly remember thinking how much awful pain my body seemed to be in and how relieved I was not to be in it. I experienced only complete calm and an indescribable sense of peace. I was sad for my body but not too bothered about that situation.
The next thing I remember was that to my left a deep black valley seemed to appear and also that the woman in the bed next to me appeared beside me. She was elderly and was also singing to herself. She didn't seem to notice me but I was happy to be with her. She then called out, "Can you help me with this mother?" and I felt a very warm and benign presence coming from the place beyond the dark valley. I knew it was her mother, coming to meet her and indeed, the mother took her hand and they both went across the valley to the other side, singing as they went. I tried to follow but was held back at the boundary to the valley. I was acutely aware of the "other side" to which they had gone...I sensed an indescribable sense of joy and peace emanating from the other side. I could sense a tremendous light also and I desperately wanted to go over to it but then I was turned away very gently and I could once again see my body in agonising pain and I knew with absolute certainty that I was going to return to it. I remember being distressed about this but then it was all over and I came to in the side ward knowing that the elderly woman in the bed next to me was dead although the nurses hadn't yet realised it.
Much later, my partner told me that at the same time as this was happening to me she was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of a terrible noise of a dog howling. She eventually plucked up the courage to look out the window and saw a very large black dog in our driveway, head thrown back and howling in a terrifying way. She decided she should try to scare the dog away so went downstairs and opened the door only to find the dog was no longer there and that there was no sign anywhere of it along the street. She was not given to flights of fancy and it took a long time for her to tell me of this very strange and sinister dog. She also said she knew it was something to do with me and that I was in very bad trouble at the hospital. She fully expected that I had died and rang the hospital for reassurance. Despite having blood poisoning and the poison having reached the cellulite level I then staged an unexpected turn around and began to recover much to the relief of the surgeons and amazement of the nurses. A very long process of recovery then ensued accompanied by multiple injuries sustained during the frantic cleaning out attempts by the surgeons.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 24 June 2006 04:54 )