Near Death Experiences

  1. How many nurses have encountered patients who claim to have had a near death experience and what have they stated to you... I have a patient who is a quad due to a history of drug abuse. One night patient X was having a great deal of anxiety so I gave him his prescribed antianxiety med. I stayed with him for awhile until he calmed down and he told me a story of how once when he was hospitalized he died on the table. He went on to say that it was as if he were floating above his body and that he could see them working on him to try to bring him back. He use to work in the hospital and assisted in some way with codes so he new what the team was doing. I asked him if he saw the bright light that is often talked about and he said "NO"! What he recalled was after he drifted away from seeing the team working on his body that there was no bright light to lead him on his way, only darkness... Then he was suddenly being pulled back into his body. This was the story that he told me and the source of his anxiety tonight, the fact that he saw no bright light and only darkness... I have to wonder how truthful he was being with his story and I'm not quite sure that I believe what he was saying. He is a drug abuser and I think possibly he wanted me to tell the doctor he needed a higher strength of antianxiety medication? I stayed with him until he was calm and then checked on him later and he was asleep. I haven't wanted to bring it up since then. Has anyone else had any experiences with this sort of thing, near death experiences?
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   fedupnurse
    Yeah, my mother when she was giving birth to me (guess that's why I'm the youngest of 5). I was 22 days late because I was transverse and it sounded like she may have become eclamptic. She said she remembered a peaceful feeling and seeing them working on her. She said she didn't care if she never went back because of how at peace she felt. They got her back and apparently no harm was done. I have also had several patients tell me about "the light". I find it comforting-there is a life after this. Something to look forward to rather than fear.
  4. by   nursegoodguy
    Funny thing... I remember my mom telling us about something similiar too, but it was nothing like patient X's... I come from a big family, (10) kids and several miscarriages. Anyway I don't remember how it came up but my mom told us, (back in the 70's that during one of her pregnancies she died too and they had to bring her back. The only thing she told us was that she saw her life flash before her eyes and felt at peace but then she remembered her children that needed her. I hadn't been born yet when this took place. I do believe that there is something afterwards, and I too feel that it is comforting to know that someday I'll be able to see her again.
  5. by   NurseDennie
    hi! another spooky thread! i love it!!

    i have heard a wonderful story or two. a lady i used to work with died on the table and came back with a wonderful description of a place of incredible pastoral beauty, friends and family who had gone before, a beautiful castle-like city.....

    another story is a man who temporarily died during a procedure to remove a cancerous tumor. they didn't get it all, or even much of it - it was in the 60's and they pretty much just closed him up and told him to make his preparations. well, he had the near-death experience and not only came back from that, he came back healed. completely inexplicably cancer free.

    i've had a.... well, not a near-death experience, but maybe an almost in the neighborhood of death experience a couple of times. after my older daughter was born, i had a postpartem infection and my temp was just unreasonable. it was as high as my home thermometer could register. when i went to the hospital, i was pretty much unconscious and i understood the meaning and the purpose of the universe!!! it all had to do with wheels and circles and cycles... yeah, it's obvious and trite, but it was more involved than that, and i can't remember it all, but it actually held together at the time! of course, when i was moved from a gurney to an examining table, i felt my body flatten and spread out, becoming like one molecule thick and take up the entire room, sort of like an enormous sheet of paper.... so that's where that all falls down.

    but i have experienced that feeling of peace a couple of times, too. once when i nearly drowned and once when i was eclamptic *before* my older daughter was born. it's not a bad feeling at all.

    love

    dennie
  6. by   Huganurse
    I had a patient that upon admit was acting bizarre. At first I thought she had dementia. Her status worsened and I called the family to find out her baseline. Once they said she was normally A+O, I knew something was very wrong. I went into the room to assess her once more and found her looking to the ceiling talking with her sister, who I later found out was already dead. She was talking to her father also and asking me if I saw the bright light and was pointing diagonally upward and in front of her. That was my que that this lady was on her way out right now and I acted accordingly. We brought her back around and I was thankful for that, she didn't remember a thing. Was A+O later in the shift.
  7. by   Jenny P
    I have had DNR pts. who were dying and I have told them to "go towards the light" and have also encouraged family members to do so also and to also tell their dying loved one that it was all right for them to go; and they die with the most peaceful expressions on their faces!
    I believe that that expression of peace is my promise of life after death.
  8. by   JeannieM
    We had a pediatric patient who was around 3 years old, brought in after an apneic spell at home (?post ictal?). She told a very innocent and chilling tale of seeing her grandmother...who had died several months before.
    I also cared for a man who came up extremely combative after a code. He told a chilling story of fighting with "demons" who were trying to drag him to hell. The first near-death I've heard of from someone who may have been going to a different place...!
  9. by   Jas honey
    I am an electrophysiology nurse, and have dealt with many many people who have had cardiac arrests and other life-threatening arrhythmic events. I have heard many near-death experience stories, and most of them included the light, (although not all see that light) or people who had died, or life event reviews, green pastures, God, heaven, all kinds of things. Most people were really impacted by this experience, and I loved listening to them. There are lots of theories that this is purely a neurological event relating to hypoxemia and metabolic changes and can be reproduced by drugs (I think I saw this on Discovery health channel) but *I* believe they are real, and true. So many people could not have the same story. I started asking patients if they had anything they remembered when they had their arrest, and let them know it was safe to discuss it with me if they wanted to. They are often very tentative about it. But I think a greater insight belongs to them after having this experience, and try to help them explore this. It is very meaningful.

    Nancy
  10. by   Ted
    I don't think I'm alone with this fear. However, I'm scared to think that there may be no "life after death"; that there be no more "Ted" when I die.

    I've had at least two patients who shared that they experienced the "near death" phenomenom (sp?). They said that they were not afraid to die because they KNEW they were going to be with God. I believe them.

    Still, though, that doubt remains.



    Ted
  11. by   azgirl
    I was pronounced dead at age 11. I did see them working on me and I saw what my experience at that time thought to be a paper towel roll and I was spiraling toward the other end. When I awakened later and told my mother she told me to never tell anyone about that because they would think I was crazy. It wasn't until I married my husband at age 30 that I ever told another person about that and then he found a book that had described what had happened to me.

    For years I had no fear of death but as I am older now that is no longer true.
  12. by   LasVegasRN
    Wow! Makes you wonder... perhaps there was a reason this guy saw no light... HMMMMMMMM. I'm with Ted, I know I should have faith that our end is not final, but yet I don't want to find out any time soon!!

    I fear death moreso out of leaving my daughter. The thought of my Ex raising her... ugh!!.... ::shuddering:: :uhoh21:
  13. by   mc40421
    My own personal experience happened after my hysterectomy at the age of 29. After I was discharged and sent home I started to bleed and was readmitted. I had vaginal packing done by my doc in hopes that I wouldn't need surgery and left to rest. At the time I didn't realize that the nurse had left without leaving a call bell for me and shut my door tight. Across the hall was a family that was grieving very loudly by wailing and crying, so when the packing came out and I started to bleed excessively no one could hear my cries for help and I was too weak to get out of bed. I'm not sure how long it was before someone checked on me but I remember the person coming in and saying, "oh my God!" and hurrying out of the room for help. Everyone came running in and the next thing I remember I was "floating" above the bed looking down at them working on me. I then went through a long dark tunnel and came out into a beautiful and very peaceful meadow where the sun was extremely bright. The funny thing was though that the bright light didn't make me squint my eyes. I looked around and it was then that I saw my mother who had died when I was 16 years old. She spoke to me but it was not in words, more like telepathically, and she let me know that I had to go back and it was not my time to die. I felt such an incredible sense of peace. The next thing I know I was waking up in the recovery room. It was a few days later that I talked to my doctor and described what had happened, and he said he wasn't surprised because other patients had similar experiences. He confirmed everything I told him about what I had witnessed. Since that time I'm not afraid of dying but I do get fear how it might happen. It's left me with a peaceful type of feeling inside though.
  14. by   LasVegasRN
    Wow, Mc40421 - thanks for sharing! That is awesome!

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