Around 1980 I fell and broke my back. I crushed three vertebrae and chipped two in my neck. It's been 30 years of worsening pain year by year, and the need for disability since age 55. Previously I had been a Pastor/Evangelist in the Charismatic and Pentecostal arena. I had many gifts of the Spirit that operated through me for years, so I think that is helping me with the spiritual side. In other words, I didn't wake up freaked out over the energy of the Spirit; however, this is different from what I had experienced for 30 years.
My wife and I then moved to Louisiana. After years of pain killers, screws, plates, spinal stimulator (and the list goes on), I decided to take a year and detox myself because I was on such a high dose of pain killers. I actually was losing my will. I was just dead emotionally and dying physically. This started in November 2009. The doctors had me on 180 mg of oxycodone, 120 mg of methadone, plus many other meds such a muscle relaxers.
I made a commitment to myself that by the grace of God I'd be free from anything that could take my will and life. I started. It was the most horrible 11 months I ever had experienced. I blew out all my stomach muscles from throwing up so much; they still need repair. However, as I got weaker and weaker I continued the detox. In June 2010, I took my last oxycodone, and then it was me and methadone. After being on this medication at the highest legal dose for so long, the odds of getting off of it were one out of four. I made up my mind that it or I would die. Well it won! When I got down to 40 mg, I started getting sicker daily. I would go 20 days sometimes and never leave the house; just too sick and in just too much pain to move.
During the dosage reduction period from 40 mg to 30 mg, I went to the emergency room twice and stayed in the hospital for five days once. After being released from the hospital, I had been home for only one day. (I thought I was going to die soon so I prepared my wife by making calls about life insurance and telling her passwords and the location of personal things, etc. We were as prepared as we could be on my gut feeling.) On my second day home, a Sunday in September, I got very sick. I told my wife to call 911 because I was in the process of dying. It was about 10:00 a.m. I remember parts of the ride to the hospital. The last thing I remember on this side was a nurse putting a nitro patch on my chest. For months my blood pressure was running as high as 250/115 and my pulse rate was at 30. Doctors could not get my vital signs to balance out. Around 2:00 p.m. my daughter who is a registered nurse, had her hand on my chest. She said that I said, "My chest hurts." and immediately I flatlined.
My doctor told me that I could have been without a heartbeat for five minutes or so. I had filled out a living will the week before and it stated do not resuscitate. I was so tired and sick. Every day I was praying to die and just have rest from my wounded emotions and body.
When I came around after an induced coma, I was confused. My ribs were broken. The pain was horrible. I was angrier than I could ever remember. I stayed that way for almost two weeks. I could not believe I was still here, back in the painful body of emotions. As previously mentioned the living will stated do not resuscitate. As the emergency room doctor picked up my chart to see my living my daughter started screaming "code." The doctor immediately dropped my chart, came to me, started CPR and all that follows. I was angry because this was surely not my plan, but it was for sure God's plan.
It was a few days before I remembered my NDE. It so puzzled me. I went into complete darkness. As one person who had the same experience told me, it was velvet dark and I said, "YES!" It was velvet dark but as I write as a mortal I cannot put into words how peaceful, warm, protected, pain free, and most of all emotional pain did not exist. I said earlier that I was so puzzled that I didn't see lights, tunnels or loved ones who had crossed over, none of that. I believe God gave me the perfect heaven. As I said, I did not want resuscitation. I just wanted to be at rest, no sickness, pain, drugs, etc. The place I went was exactly what I needed. It was like the lights were out and life was finally over.
Because of my conservative religious background the darkness puzzled me. I would have said before that darkness was evil and light was good. However, I would have been so wrong. I still can think of a few minutes and go back to that place in my memory of the great protection and love.
Then trouble started. I thought I was fine and that all was well because the hospital was unfamiliar. I thought nothing about maybe I was disconnected from the world as I had known it before. When I walked into my house in which I had not left for a year, it was as if I'd never been in that place before even though it still was familiar yet unfamiliar. I knew then something had happened and it was not good at all.
After about an hour being home I started having an inner child experience. I'd been molested as a child, but had so repressed it that I just knew it had happened. I didn't recall the details, but I had thought it had been dealt with. I was about to find out the root of my behavior for the last 47 years. I fell on my knees and put my face in my wife's stomach and started to weep uncontrollably. As I cried, I started seeing the reality of the suppressed memory. I began to see that I was repeatedly molested at least 25 or more times in a year's span by a music evangelist who had been brought into the church. At that time people just put the guest in the bed with the kids, bad move. I was overwhelmed; I knew why I had great bitterness toward my mother since childhood. The reason I felt so protected in the black velvet was that most of the molestation took place no less than five feet from my parents. In those days you just didn't talk about things such as that. After several hours, I called my 82 year old mother and explained to her why I'd been so difficult. I felt that she and my dad did not protect me when I needed it the most. I explained all that to her. I completely understood how in those days things would happen, get found out, but never mentioned again.
The next few days I spent dealing with four other issues that needed to be taken care of. I had been wrong in having anger toward the issues for years. Three involved issues that resulted from the wounds of the molestation. I began to talk. I thought everyone would see what I had seen etc. It was a wrong move. The sooner one sees the truth and stops talking to everyone, the better. I have only a few people that I can trust with this issue. I must watch my words as I describe things in order to live in the good old Bible belt. They did not change; I was the one changing.
The after effects are the most challenging. Tomorrow is the eighth week since my crossing over. I feel so uneducated. I did not sit around and stare beyond a week or so. I immediately began to research. Thank God for www.iands.org. The people have been so wonderful. NDErs are so blessed with people such as P.M.H. Atwater. She had no information, help at the time of her NDE, but found some on her own.
Now let's get to the healing of my body. Before I crossed over, I used two walking sticks. I tried to buy a wheel chair that would go through the doors of our house, etc. I loved to play golf, and it was the one thing I still wished to do again. I had kept my clubs, but gave away every golf ball. Why would I keep golf balls while on two canes? Five weeks after my NDE I went out and hit about 50 golf balls, ran with my 10 year old granddaughter and walked about another two miles. This past Sunday I went out and hit 60 golf balls, most with a driver. My memory has returned. I had lost my sense of smell years ago. I smell again!! My blood pressure was 225/115 plus 30 before the NDE. Now, less than eight weeks later, I'm off blood pressure medication with 120/70 plus 60, nothing short of a miracle. The only thing left is bad arthritis pain; however, I kind of think it may keep me humble. After all, I realize I still have a body.
Previously I had been a vegetarian, but stopped. Several months before my NDE I had started back, eating about 70% of my food raw. I had switched to vegetarianism to try and get my health back. I love my diet now; I have no desire for much cooked food. I lost 50 pounds by just eating right. I am blown away at how great I feel after the NDE. My energy level is out the roof.
I learned what most NDErs learn. All that matters when we cross over is: Did we love and how did we treat people? I try and read 1 Corinthians 13 as often as possible. Whether one claims to believe the Bible or not, this whole chapter is talking about agape love which is the God kind of love, the love that loves the unlovable or even those who we may think deserve no love. Only God can love through a person such as this chapter speaks about. When most have a NDE they come back more loving. I just try now to allow the Christ in and around me to see people through God's eyes. What made them the way they are? What stress are they in? All people are dealing with something, now. I never want to get so busy that I can't see people anymore. All we need and can give in this life is love.
I wish us all the best. I now see this as the most wonderful event in my life thus far. Every day is like a child at Christmas. I wonder what will happen today.
Why me? At first I said this was a curse and I believed it, but just in eight short weeks I know for sure this is the greatest blessing in my life. May love always guide us.