Jennifer W.

I had undergone stabilization surgery for my unusually severe scoliosis and for a spinal fusion. I spent 13 hours in the operating room and I was told that I had been admitted to my own room for about 3 hours. The nurses were monitoring me as I woke from the anesthesia. After about 10 minutes, I told the nurse that I was starting to have trouble breathing. She asked me to describe what it felt like. I told her it was only on my left side and it was progressively getting more difficult to breathe. As I was talking to her, it was as if my lung was shrinking. She could see I was scared, but she told me I was going to be fine. She had to administer emergency anesthesia and said that when I awoke that there would be a hose surgically inserted into my side between my ribs to drain the toxic fluid from my left lung. She told me, as I fell back under, that the fluid development is normal post-surgery. The next thing I knew… I found myself in a wonderfully, beautifully lit space. There were no walls, ceiling, or even a floor. Everything was pure white with light. I felt so happy, so free, and so loved. Even though I didn’t see anyone or anything around me, I didn’t feel alone. Contrarily, I felt as if I was surrounded by unconditional love and acceptance. I did not feel like I was in my body. I didn’t even think about this aspect until much later, but I recall feeling unrestricted by gravity and completely pain free. I remember wondering if I was in heaven, but though I never actually spoke such words, I felt an affirmative response to my wonder. The best way to describe that interaction would be to say it was kind of like telepathy, but on a supernatural level, if that makes sense. Then I asked, ‘Can I stay? Please?’ with genuine eagerness and hope. The response came loud and clear, yet so gently, ‘Not yet.’ At that moment, I felt sad and betrayed as I remembered that I had just undergone a serious and painful surgery. Then I felt two very strong, yet very gentle hands push me back into my body on the operating room table located in the intensive care unit. All of this happened within 2 minutes according to my surgeon, but it felt like 2 hours. Ha!