I’m sure many sickle cell warriors can relate to having near death experiences. I’ve been deathly ill a quite a number of times, but out of those numerous admissions, only once can I quantify as being near death.
The first was in 1993. I had Malaria, Cholera and Pneumonia when I was 13 in Nigeria. I had passed out about 10 blocks from home when I was walking home from the bus stop. One of the women on the street recognized me and carried me all the way home. She didn’t know exactly where I lived, but some other neighbors saw me and showed her my house. My parents rushed me to the hospital. I don’t remember much from that time, but I was in the hospital for 3 weeks.
The second was in 2001. I had gotten acute chest syndrome, and it was so bad that I was placed on BIPAP. In addition my liver enzymes were so high, I was beyond jaundiced, and had to have my a hemapheresis done. This is like dialysis, but they drew out all my blood and infused me with 6 units of fresh blood. My sister said the blood coming out of my body was almost black, the doc said there was no oxygen and the cells had been completely broken down (I had very few viable red blood cells).
The third was just last year, a few days after I started taking Nicosan. It was the flu turned to pneumonia, turned to Acute chest, and I had to be placed on the Ventilator for 2 days as they forced oxygen to my lungs. When I was extubated, I was so grateful to be able to breath normally! I was in in the hospital for 10 days that time.
Most of the time, when I get really, really sick, I don’t remember anything at all. I think the forgetfulness is my mind’s response to how frightening the whole encounter must have been. I really fear getting into respiratory distress, pneumonia or acute chest syndrome again. It seems to be the pattern of my near death experiences.
What about you? Any near death experiences?