Claire F.

I woke up in the night with severe cramping. As I sat up, I lost consciousness, fell on the floor and had my first seizure. I became aware of my husband shouting my name. Apparently, I was very white with my eyes wide open. Although I felt conscious, I couldn’t speak or move my body. My mind was free and I filled the space around me as I became filled with euphoria. I was thinking, ‘Wow, this is amazing!’ I recall my husband ringing the ambulance and placing the phone beside me on the floor, which I thought was really funny. I recall the paramedics testing my feet for a reflex but there wasn’t one.

I could hear them talking about me having a stroke and I thought, ‘Interesting. So this is what a stroke is like?!’ The seizures were suffocating my physical body. Then I heard one of the paramedics say, ‘Claire, tell me what’s happening.’ So I turned into my head and I could see bright halos of light rising through my brain, which felt like a swimming hat that was being pulled directly off my brain. I realized I could travel around my body and check on how it was functioning and all was good in my body except my brain. At the next seizure I went back into my brain, slowed it down, and then stopped it. Again, I heard the paramedics saying my name and asking, ‘What’s happening.’ So I chose to leave my expanded self and return back into my body, so I could tell them what was happening to me.

Unfortunately, I still couldn’t speak. I thought I was telling them about my experience but my husband said I just made senseless noises despite sounding ok to me. In the ambulance, the paramedics kept asking me my name over and over, which was really annoying. I thought I was telling them the information continuously, but then I heard myself talk. I was just blowing air between my lips. At that point, I had a panic attack and needed help breathing. Once at the hospital, I was able to continue stopping the seizures. I had a CT scan that was normal. Yet, I still couldn’t walk or talk. I improved slowly and the next day went home. Once home, it was clear that I had a brain injury that affected my reading, ability to do math, and my short-term memory. After 6 months, I improved enough to return to work part-time. Now, a year later, I feel almost normal except I suffer with fatigue, blurred vision, and minor short-term memory loss.