Ruei H.

I was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2014. My lethargy during the day became uncontrollable; therefore, the dosage of my medications had been increased to the point that my body couldn’t take it any more. During this time, I also had a car accident caused my shoulder hurt badly. Even with rehabilitation, it was getting worst until one day I felt like dying. After counselling with the doctor who had diagnosed my symptoms previously, he suggested that I see a cardiac doctor and asked him to evaluate my conditions to see if I could take higher dose of stimulants. With the completion of the assessment, the cardiologist said I had no heart problems and it was safe to increase the dosages. I asked him how to treat my prolonged dizziness or temporary absence seizures. He arranged a medical procedure for me.

A few days later, I was on the tilting table for my procedure. I felt my heart racing and then it changed to a vibration. Within a couple seconds, I was under cardiac arrest. Medical personnel gave me emergency CPR, however I did not remember it completely.

Still, I knew I had a ‘dream.’ I was under the veranda of a roadhouse building. It looked like the Da Dao Cheng square in Taipei. While I was walking, I met a few anxious men who were smoking and talking amongst themselves, but I could not hear them clearly. Then I walked around to the corner. There was my guide whom I could not tell his appearance, but he seemed to be my deceased maternal grandfather. He was talking to a gatekeeper from the other realm about me. He was impatiently telling me, ‘Hurry up! We will be late.’ The gatekeeper’s face was very distinct. But when I focused to have a close look, he looked blurry to me. He was holding a spear, wearing a hat, and was tight-lipped. We communicated telepathically about concepts and emotions.

In a split second, time appeared to be very fast but again slowed down somehow. It also might have been a long period. Suddenly, I fell into a long dark tunnel that was shaped like a cylinder. The tunnel kept changing from big, to small, then big again. It was elastic. The darkness had not been seen on Earth. It was very dark, but yet, it was a bright dark. It might have been illuminated from the light afar. I noticed myself as a ball. I had no body form, but was just a ‘dot.’ I eagerly wanted to pass this dark tunnel, because I felt bewildered. Intuitively, I knew that once I arrived in the light I would have all the answers.

Abruptly, there was a loud voice from a distance, I could not recognize its gender. It seemed like a mixed male and female voice. It was calling me, ‘Come back, Hurry back.’ At this moment, I had my doubts, but replied, ‘Back to where?’ Right after my question, I was pushed forcefully. I could not tell where was the touch was coming rom because I was in a ball form.

I knew which part of my body was nudged after waking up from resuscitation. It was on my chest.

I felt my soul being sucked back to my body through the back of my neck. Looking at a beam of bright light, I saw a doctor holding a medical penlight to check my eyes. Although I was saved, I did not remember where I was, what was my name, or who were my family. Glancing at nurses and doctors, all of a sudden I was in a self-defense mode. I came to realize that I did not know them. A nurse spoke to me: ‘We pulled you back finally,’ she grabbed my right arm and would not let go. I was confused about time, not remembering the date. I even thought I should be in bed at home. I told the nurse that ‘I had a dream.’ Still I was not aware of being on the table for the medical procedure. They decided to notify my family and told me what had happened to me. I was diagnosed an onset of asystole half-way through the examination. The doctor gave me CPR immediately; I regained my memories afterwards. I was diagnosed with a sensitive Vagus nerve reaction. One of the doctors strongly requested me to see a cardiologist for a follow-up. I went home after a 15-minute rest.

After this experience, I always found conflicts between my mind and body. When I sat by the bed, I did not know where those memories came from. My mind was telling me that things I had known or done before were wrong. Things I thought they were right and good decisions made back then, nonetheless they were all wrong. Yet things or perceptions I thought were wrong or unacceptable, they all were corrected. Up to this point, my morals were totally fallen apart. I was not sure why they all were incorrect for the past 20 years? I could not accept myself like this anymore. Besides, I was not sure how to continue my life. I simply lost track of time. So, I decided to hang myself. I tied a belt on a door knob. Before I proceeded, suddenly I had an idea. It was if I could take the pains from suicide then why shouldn’t I wait until the end? After all, if I did not wait up to the end, I would never know what could have happened now, regardless whether it might be good or bad. Although my view of ethics had been broken down, I did not know all the results or answers yet. I decided to live instead of seeking death. Because I still wanted to know what kind of journey that my life would be.

After my first NDE, I never thought it would happen again in six months. It took place when my heart unexpectedly stopped. I was seen by a cardiologist. Later, he told me my case was rare in Taiwan. He suggested that I stay in the hospital to undergo the Electrophysiology test to find out if there was a real heart problem. After the pre-procedure test of EKG and the heart ultrasound, the doctor told me everything was normal so I could finish my procedure tomorrow morning then I would be released.

The next day during the procedure, there was 6 seconds of ventricular fibrillation appeared on screen, then it disappeared immediately during my procedure. The cardiologist asked me if I was feeling all right. I knew that I was fine. Then, I heard a set of numbers called out. Promptly, I was in the roadhouse building again. I saw the gatekeeper. However, my guide had changed. This time it was a hunchback old grandmother with a voice that was loud and strong. I did not know her though. She yelled at me saying, ‘Follow me!’ I replied, ‘Yes.’ I went back to the reality. I could not see precisely everything was in front of me. I only saw an oxygen mask on me, but I was not breathing voluntarily. I was panic that without oxygen support, I would immediately die. I focused myself on breathing in the oxygen.

I was surrounded by medical staff. I was not sure what had happened to me and I could not hear what they were saying. While my eyelids could move, my eyes could not. My whole body could not move and my chest was in pain. I could not talk, but my mind could answer doctors’ questions. As time went by, I started to move my right hand to point to my chest, telling them it hurt. I heard my doctor say that the pain was due to the electric shock burns. He then placed ice cubies on my chest. The doctor told my mother that I had an Acute Cerebral Infarction. To my knowledge, it was temporary. I was sent to the intensive care unit for recovery. I also went through an eight-month rehabilitation therapy after being released from the hospital.