It was the beginning of the Christmas holiday where I worked. I had not been feeling well for quite sometime, but thought it was just the holiday rush. I went to my best friends house for a Christmas party, but left early because I was feeling worse. I began vomiting uncontrollably on December 24th and thought I had the flu. I remember sitting in the bathroom after a bout of vomiting and noticed a red line moving from my left wrist traveling almost up to my elbow. I did not connect this to my illness at the time. All I knew was that I missed my husband, who passed away in 2001,and that I was so sick I wanted to die. My daughter had come home to go with her brother and myself to my in-laws for Christmas Eve. I told her to take her brother and go without me as I was in bed with severe chills. She refused to listen and insisted on taking me to the hospital.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I started moving in and out of consciousness. I remember a nurse scolding me that I hadn’t noticed blood in my urine. The next thing I remember was two nurses lifting me on to a CAT Scan table and them saying ‘She’s so small.’ In my head I was insulted and thought ‘I’m not so small’ At the time I was 5’2′ and weighed 105 lbs. So I guess, yes I was small. The Cat Scan showed I had a considerably large kidney stone that had blocked one of my kidneys. They prepped me for surgery to put a stent in to bypass the kidney stone. I remember my daughter and her boyfriend walking down the hall and kissing me. The next thing I remembered was I was feeling so sad that the nurses and doctors had to be working on Christmas Eve and it was my fault. This part I was told by a nurse. They inserted the stent, but when they tried to bring me out of anesthesia I would not wake up. I was taken to intensive care unit and put on full life support. My daughter was told that I had less then a 50% chance of making it through the night.
While this was going on I found myself out of my body and at my place of work. I was seeing the shop floor through a cool-aid orange color. I was not walking, but felt as if I were gliding. My peripheral vision was expanded almost to a full 360 degrees. My thoughts were ‘Where is everyone? Why are there no people working?’ Later I believe it was because it was a holiday and the plant was shut down for the week.
I started to search for something and found myself at the warehouse where my husband had worked for over 10 years. Now I was on a mission. I saw a door with an EXIT sign and was feeling that what I wanted was on the other side of that door. As I reached to push the door open, I heard my daughter calling me from behind. She was yelling ‘MOM! MOM! Just as I started to turn towards her voice, I was slammed back into my body.
My daughter was yelling ‘Mom, Mom STOP! You have a breathing tube in your throat.’ My first thought was, ‘Oh crap I’m back!’ I felt like a freight train had hit me and my body was so heavy and confining. My last thought before I went unconscious again was ‘I almost made it’. I spent the next week in and out of a coma. I remember laying in the bed and listening to my daughter and her boyfriend argue about how she should go home and rest. Somehow I could see them. The boyfriend was playing checkers with my son and she was going into the bathroom to blow her nose. In my head I was yelling ‘Yes Bran you need to go home and take care of yourself. Listen to him.’ She later told me she could tell when I was there and when I wasn’t. While I was laying in the bed I felt like there was a huge space behind me, but later I saw the room that I was in and it was small with a wall right behind the bed. There came a point where they said if I didn’t start breathing on my own I would never come out of the coma. It was now the second week in January. The breathing tube was removed and I started to breathe on my own. It took 2 months of therapy an lung treatments before I was released to go home.