After the first heart surgery, I was sent home and told I should be fine. I began to feel faint and my chest started hurting after a couple of days. We went back to the emergency room and they ran tons of tests. The doctor came in and said everything came back normal and then, “you’re fine, go home”. As he was walking out of the room, this is what I remember.
The heart screen was right next to my bed. I remember seeing the back of his shirt, then looking over at the screen. My heartbeat, according to the screen, jumped to 140bpm, then immediately dropped. The last number I remember seeing was 40bpm. Quickly after seeing the number, I saw blackness, but heard the monitor flatline. Immediately, I was taken out of myself. It was like I became my spirit. I was floating high up in the corner of the room looking down on my lifeless self. I remember seeing nurses and doctors rush in, push Matt (husband at the time) out of the room, and scramble around me. They started CPR, then they used the paddles on my chest. I remember seeing paddles placed on my chest.
The next I know, I’m back in my body. I’m overcome with panic. The doctors are telling me to stay calm, I will be taken to surgery. They lifted my upper body and placed a large square sticky patch on my back and a round one on my chest. These were automatic paddles or something. I remember getting jolted a few times as they ran me down the hall. Then blackness again.
I awoke in intensive care. I don’t remember much, but here’s what I do remember. They had given me something so I couldn’t move my legs. They told me it was because they had to put a temporary pacemaker in me and it went up through my groin. I also remember Matt being there, not seeing my son, and seeing my grandparents. My grandpa joking said, “welcome to the zipper club”. He had had bypass surgery earlier that year.
I’m not sure how long I was in intensive care. But, they took me back to surgery and put a permanent pacemaker in me. That is a whole story in itself. See Pacemaker Mishaps coming soon.
The one thing that sticks out is the overwhelming peace I felt. Except for the moment they brought me back, I was calm and peaceful. Not scared, or worried. I never saw a white light, or people that had passed on before me, just myself.