Not Meant for This World: My Near Death Experiences

I was born purple. I was born my favorite color because I came into this world wearing my umbilical cord for a necklace. My mom said it was because even when in the womb, I was doing pirouettes. On the day I was born, I barely weighed five pounds. I was not premature, but right on time. To this day I do not like wearing things around my neck (chokers, turtlenecks�). On September 19, 1981, my first day in this world, I had my first near death experience. It would not be the last.

I don’t remember the day of my birth. But I do remember sitting on the bottom of my grandmother’s swimming pool 3 years later, watching as if watching a movie, and seeing my dad dive in and scoop me up out of the water. I remember I was wearing a little pink bikini. I don’t know how I got into the pool, but I remember looking up from the bottom, seeing the glistening lights at the top (which was probably the sun glinting off the water) and it seemed like I was down there for a really long time. I remember being afraid to go under water at all after that, and being afraid of the dark shadows in the deep end of the pool. To this day I have a fear of drowning. Sometimes I have dreams about being under water, and I wake up out of breath and gasping for air.

My next near death experience occurred at the age of 13. This near-death experience was self-inflicted, as I was going through a clinical depression. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I tried to take my own life. For months I had saved up dozens of pills, including my sister’s Ritalin, my mom’s birth control pills, sleeping pills I found in the medicine cabinetâÂ?¦I took the pills one night and I slit my wrist several times. I did it the right way too. When I woke up in the hospital I was almost embarrassed to be alive. Embarrassed because I did not accomplish what I set out to do.

After that incident, I saw a therapist for a few years (and I tried many anti-depressants, most of which did not work. I was on prozac for almost 10 years, and I went off of it myself because it was not doing anything for me, aside from giving me really bad side-effects. During the course of my therapy I discovered what I wanted to do with my life, my purpose: psychology. I read voraciously anything on the subject that I could get my hands on.

That’s when I became fascinated with near death experiences, and when I found out the reason for my aversion to watches: Time. Duh! The symbolism is so apparent I could not believe I never noticed it before. All my life, every watch I have ever worn has stopped, after being worn on my wrist for a few hours. At first I blamed the batteries. I’ve gone through many batteries and many different kinds of watches over the years, and have gotten the same results.

Now I believe that my here is limited, that I was not meant to be in this world for too long. I think that’s why I love having my picture taken. How the photographer grants my image eternal life, and makes time stand still by pushing a button. I am not afraid of death. I’m okay with it. I just want to accomplish all my goals before I go.

Things were going pretty smoothly (no more NDE’s) until I turned 21. It was then that decided I wanted to go on a birth control pill. I didn’t even have a boyfriend at the time, I just thought it would be neat to be able to skip my period for special occasions or whenever I didn’t feel like getting it.

I paid little attention to the warning pamphlet that came with the pills. Never in a million years could those “rare side effects” such as blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks ever happen to me. That only happens smokers over 35 and people who are out of shape. Or so I thought.
The first day of the pill was my first day back at College. I was taking a dance class and felt very dizzy and hot all of the sudden. I collapsed. When I woke up, I thought I was at home in bed, and I wondered how all these people got into my room. A classmate brought me some water, which I drank and promptly through up. The ambulance came and took me to the emergency room. My EKG was fine, so I was allowed to go home that day. My fainting was not attributed to the pill, and was thought to be caused by dehydration.

During the next few weeks I developed a cough. I also felt an enormous pressure right near my heart, as if I was being tightly squeezed. The pain was constant, but still bearable. I have a very high tolerance for pain. I did not see a Doctor about the pain until I started to cough up blood. That really scared me, especially since I did not have a sore throat.

My Doctor said that my chest was probably just sore from coughing, and that I had a sinus infection that had moved to my chest wall. He prescribed antibiotics and rest for the next few days. I rarely listen when a Doctor tells me to get some rest, but the pain in my chest had gotten so bad that I skipped my dance classes.

I woke up in the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. That says a lot, because I have been in some pretty strange and painful accidents in my 24 years. I practically crawled to the bathroom, since I was so out of breath and dizzy from the pain in my chest. I was gasping by the time I walked downstairs to the kitchen table. My dad was there and could tell I was not doing well at all. I could barely walk. So my dad, who had just had knee surgery the day before, took me to the Doctor’s again. I felt like I was dying.

My Doctor suspected pneumonia and told my dad to take me to the emergency room right away. Once there, my chest was x-rayed and I was hooked up to an I.V. The x-rays came back negative. I was actually disappointed. If I didn’t have pneumonia, the Doctors might not be able to make this pain go away.

Several painful needles later, the nurse taking care of me told me I was going to have a Cat-scan of my chest. She assured me that blood-clots were extremely rare for someone my age who does not smoke and is as active as I am, and that she was just testing me for her own peace of mind.

The results showed that there was a blood-clot between my heart and lung, called a pulmonary embolism. I would not be going home. After being on “the pill” for less than a month, I was told to stop immediately, and never take it again, since having a blood-clot increases the risk of getting another one. I was given narcotics for pain and a shot of a fast-acting blood thinner in my stomach, of all places.

My first two days at the hospital were spent on the heart floor. I had 4 different roommates in 2 days. Morbidly I wondered if they died.

Those first 2 days were a blur of needles and nurses. After that I graduated to the first floor, which meant I could go home in a few days.
After I got home, I had to take a blood thinner called coumadin everyday. I was not allowed to have alcohol or vitamin K, which might interfere with the blood thinners. I had to go to the Doctors once a week, where they would prick my bruised arm to test the level of clotting in my blood. That went on for almost a year.

That was 2 years ago, and so far (knock on wood) I haven’t had any more near death experiences.

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