Go Ahead And Ask Me, Part 1

Truthseeker1

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Several months ago, while at the end of my work shift, I was preforming my last duty before calling it a night. I'm a professional mariner and we were docked at the time, for those whom are curious.
Let's just say the activity was moderately physical in nature, and I was half way through the task when I had a sharp pain in my chest. I'd never had this type of pain and instinctively knew it wasn't heartburn. I figured I would finish my chore and see if any other tell tale symptoms occured; partly from my strong work ethic, but mostly out of denial. It wasn't long before I started sweating even though it was a cool evening.
'Uhh oh, that's not good' I thought to myself. Ok, symptom two....if I feel nausea maybe then I'll take action. I finished the task and felt pretty lousy. The pain hadn't diminished and I detected a wee bit of nausea.
"Maybe it's psychosomatic'' I lied to myself. This was only day 3 of an unexpected and very lucritive contract I was fulfilling. I don't have time for this crap, I grumbled to myself. I told my crewmen I was feeling crappy and headed to my bunk. I hopped into my bunk and it wasn't but a few minutes before I decided that : A] my crew was going to discover my cold corpse in a puddle of urine come morning. B] It would be unfair to put anyone through that unpleasant 'surprise'. C] To hell with money, pride and that certain aspect of my personality that doesn't care anymore......I won't elaborate on that subject.
So, I climb up the stairs and soft sold the situation to my mates.
"Hey what are the symtoms of a heart attack?''
I'll cut to the chase, they called the paramedics and it was confirmed I was in cardiac arrest. I can't adequately describe the helpless feeling of being removed from the galley, shirtless, and sitting in an office chair and then being lifted on to a gurney when I felt capable of just walking to the ambulance under my own power.
A short bumpy ride and several nitro tablets later, I'm being pushed through the doors of the emergency room. The PMs kept talking to me the whole time and it was getting annoying. "So this is how it ends'' I thought.
"So, Michael, how are you doing?'' one of the medics ask.
" I'm dying, how do you think I'm doing?" was my reply.
At this juncture, it occured to me that perhaps I should be bargining with God [I'm really agnostic] , and make promises I'd likely never keep; but that seemed pointless and hypocritical. Honestly , I had resigned myself to the probability that my next stop would be the morgue.
END PART 1
I'll post the remainder of the story in this thread. There's no need to comment until it's complete [if at all], so if you're interested you'll have to wait for my next entry.
 
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The Irish Ram

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So how did your Father do? Did you live?
You may be agnostic, but your Father isn't. Do you think maybe He heard you mulling over your options, and decided to give you a little more time to get to know Him?
 
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Truthseeker1

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OK, I'm assuming you died and there is no Part 2. RIP Oh my brother.

Are you going to finish this for me and did you not pay attention to what I posted?
Sorry you didn't recieve instant gratification, but I tend to tire easily these days.
 
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Truthseeker1

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I was wheeled into the cath lab and bombarded with questions, had forms to sign and the over head lights were oppressively bright. Finally I informed them I didn't want to answer any further questions or talk at all. The sight of several half masked, unfamiliar faces staring down at me was disconcerting and I asked them to drape a towel over my face. I was hooked to vast array of medical monitors and was administered a small amount of morphine into my IV drip. I have a fairly high resistance to pain meds, possibly due to a serious back injury I suffered 20 years ago. At that time I was on a battery of high test pain killers until I weaned myself off them. I know some people enjoy the effects of narcotics, but I preffer to have a clear mind. The pain dulled a bit, but to be honest I've had heartburn that was more painful. I suppose that's why it took me awhile to accept the fact I was having a heart attack.
I was trying my best to not focus on the chatter between the technicians when I suddenly felt a coldness beyond anything I've ever experienced. In my career I've fished Alaska commercially and that was like a weekend in Figi in comparison. I asked for a blanket but realised that I really wasn't cold at all. My body was convulsing uncontrollably.
About this time my conscious mind was gradually detaching from my body. It seemed absurd that I had no control over my body, surely I could take command and stop this nonsense. I never 'left my body' as some have reported but I was aware that I was rapidly drifting away from any physical sensation. At this point time seemed to stand still.
"We're losing him'' were the last words I heard.
I was jarred back to reality when I heard a female voice calling my name.
"Michael , you're in the hospital"
It was very surreal, "I thought I was dreaming'' I muttered as my senses slowly returned.
"Your heart stopped, we had to bring you back with the defibrillator''
"So I died?'' I was confused.
"Well, in essence. We had to restart your heart." she replied in an uneasy voice.
The next voice I heard seemed a bit panicked.
"Michael, Michael..'' the nurse repeated several more times."You're in the hospital.''
"Oh my God , not again.'' This time I knew it wasn't a dream. I was as close to the point of no return as possible.
"We had to defib you again. ''
The Doctor informed me I had a 100% blockage in my coronary artery and an 80% blockage in another.
"You're very, very lucky' he repeated over and over.
They had inserted two stents into the one artery, but couldn't risk addressing the other.

To Be Concluded Tomorrow
 
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Truthseeker1

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I have a few thoughts to share before I conclude this thread. Having participated in many message boards, I realise there is going to be a certain amount of mocking, sarcastic responses. I don't understand what motivates these type posts or what benifit the responder achieves. I know it goes with the territory of open forums, and if you derive some twisted pleasure in doing so, by all means be my guest.
One of the reasons I've broken this into short posts is the tendency of many readers to avoid a long column of text. I've also noticed that most people that act as trolls tend to have a short attention span and will likely not return to the thread. Finally, this is not only a much needed exercise in composition [I haven't writen much in the last couple of years], but mainly it's a cathartic attempt at coping with the entire ordeal.
I've had second thoughts about articulating this experience, but since I've gone this far, I might as well procede.
 
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Truthseeker1

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The entry point to preform the stent insertion was through my groin area. The doctor had to press down hard on the area to prevent severe bleeding upon completion of the procedure. This resulted in excruciating pain for several days there after. I was told it was unusual to harbor residual pain, but it ached for a week there after. I was surprised to discover how small the incision was.
After being transfered to an ICU room I was periodically administered pain meds. Other than the pain in my groin area, I felt remarkably well, but couldn't sleep for almost a day. The nurses were extremely kind and attentive and I felt fortunate to be treated at such a first rate facility , but then it's considered a wealthy person's hospital.
I was attended to by a myriad of technicians, all polite and very professional. They would engage in small talk and express well wishes, but eventually most of them had the same inquiry.
" So, I don't mean to sound forward, but....Did you see the light?'' or ''did you experience anything while you were....out?" This seemed to be a universal inquiry amongst the staff. In fact, to this day people I barely know, but whom are familiar with my circumstances invariably make the same inquiry.
The doctor made a call on me the following morning about 11 AM. Again he repeated several times how lucky I had been. I was informed that in a few weeks, once I had regained my strength, I'd have to undergo a further procedure to manage the second artery with the 80% blockage. He told me it had been impossible to attempt it the night before.
"I guess I scared you, didn't I ? I'll bet you thought I was a goner'' I said.
"Oh no no'' he insisted. "I knew I could save you" I could see in his eyes he wasn't being truthful.
"Had you waited a few minutes longer though, you'd have died en route" he added "Most men with that type blockage die before we can help them........You're very lucky...''
He also warned me that my cigar smoking was the contributing factor to my coronary attack. My excessive consumption of energy drinks exacerbated the problem.
I was instructed on changing my dietary routine and recieved a small pile of informative pamphlets and personalized guide lines.
On day three I was discharged from the facility and drove the 250 miles home. I had obtained the necessary drugs I would be taking daily for the rest of my life. I discarded my supply of tobacco and vowed to never smoke or consume energy drinks again.
Although tired for a few weeks, I was feeling better than I had in years. It's amazing what proper blood flow can accomplish. Six weeks later I checked into my hometown hospital for an angiogram, my cardiologist wasn't convinced another stent was required. Sometimes another artery will appear worse than it truly is during cardiac arrest. I checked out of the hospital the next day with a third stent. There was indeed an 80% blockage.
In the following weeks I was feeling much stronger, tobacco and caffine free and felt I had really turned the corner, health wise. A month later I had a general physical examination scheduled with my GP. I recieved the results about a week later. My stage ll diabetes was controled to the point that it's as if I no longer had it. My blood oxygen levels were optimum. Apparently any heart damage from my incident is minimal. It was all good news delivered via telephone by the nurse.
"uhh, I hate to tell you, but your liver functions are very elevated. You really need to see the gastroenterologist as soon as possible''.
Damn it! This is the third time I've heard this, but this time it seems more urgent.


Ok, so far you've endured a boring recount of an unpleasent medical condition, at least those of you that I didn't lose several posts ago. Remember I warned you this was also a brush up exercise in composition.
I need to take a short break and then I promise to get to the point of this thread.
 
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Truthseeker1

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As I stated previously, I'm an Agnostic, not to be confused with Atheism.I was raised a Christian and attended Parochial school. I have read the Bible and several other Holy Books.

ag·nos·tic
[ag-nos-tik] Show IPA

noun
1.
a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. Synonyms: disbeliever, nonbeliever, unbeliever; doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist; heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.

2.
a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

3.
a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.



That being restated, I'll continue. I discovered I have a blood disease several years [no, it's not aids] and so far my condition has been stable. Now the infection is very much active and the strain I contracted is the most aggressive and treatment resistant of this ailment. I'm not a good candidate for the one year of chemotheropy treatment. I know several people that have undergone similar treatment and most of them wished they were dead before the year had passed. I have no plans to seek further medical advise.
After I recieved the news, I bought several quality hand made cigars and spent the day on the lake fishing. I don't consume energy drinks anymore, but will enjoy an occasional cup of coffee.
I worked this past season and felt pretty good for a while. The last month I started enduring SEVERE arthritis until now most days are a living hell.


For the few of you that are still reading this, here's the answers to my most commonly asked questions.

Were you scared about dying?
Initially, but I just accepted my fate as the outcome seemed obvious. I'm not afraid of death anymore.

Was it really painful?
Yeah, a heart attack is very unpleasant, but not near as painful as you might imagine, at least from my experience.

How horrible is it going through the death process?
As I stated, my mind detached from the body during the most dramatic stages. I was aware of what was happening but it really did seem absurd to discover how weak and frail we truly are.

Did you see the light, deceased loved ones or even hell fire?

Now here's the payoff, if you want to call it that. NO, I didn't see, feel or experience ANYTHING and my life didn't flash before my eyes. The second time I was summoned back, it was like waking from a dreamless sleep. However, once I was revived I KNEW I had been dead.


So, sorry to waste your time. From my perspective once you die that's about it. When I was younger the thought of ceasing to exist, oblivion ,terrified me, but not now.
The world will go on without you and it'll be as though you'd never been here at all; and you'll never be aware of it [or anything else for that matter].

I have to admit I've been depressed since this event happened, but I'm learning to accept it. I still have good days, but I'm sure not looking forward to a lingering death from liver disease. I've seen a few cases , and it's grim.

I have no intention of giving up cigars, I enjoy smoking very much, and there's no compeling reason I can think of to quit.
There's a greater than 30% chance I'll have another heart attack within 10 years, probably higher since I'm smoking. When I do, I'll sign a DNR document. I wonder just how lucky I really am to have pulled through.
I don't consume alcohol but when the pain get's worse, I plan to discontinue all meds and drink a pint of congnac a day. A week or two of that ought to settle all accounts.
 
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PainefulTruth

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OK, I'm assuming you died and there is no Part 2. RIP Oh my brother.

Are you going to finish this for me and did you not pay attention to what I posted?
Sorry you didn't recieve instant gratification, but I tend to tire easily these days.
Big diff between instant gratification and dragging things out.

As I stated previously, I'm an Agnostic, not to be confused with Atheism.

So, sorry to waste your time. From my perspective once you die that's about it. When I was younger the thought of ceasing to exist, oblivion ,terrified me, but not now.
The world will go on without you and it'll be as though you'd never been here at all; and you'll never be aware of it [or anything else for that matter]
.

So, for all intents and purposes, you are an atheist, which is probably the source of your depression.

Not knowing, means not knowing, nothing more or less, including things being ultimately unknowable. Agnosticism isn't a belief, it just is...not knowing. The only two reasonable positions on God and an afterlife are deism and atheism, and the only difference between them, for us in this life, is hope. If there is no afterlife, you'll never know it, but if there is you will--and some, unable to stand who they were, will choose oblivion anyway, I presume.

Sorry to hear you've drawn the short straw in this phase of your life. But as with all suffering and injustice, this life is but a blink against the backdrop of eternity.
 
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Truthseeker1

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Thanks for sharing your story. I like the idea of you smoking your cigar and maximizing your enjoyment with the time you have left. We should all be doing that. Thanks again.
p.s.
Your composition skills seem pretty damn good.
Thank you, but I'm pretty rusty at this point. My immediate goal is to catch up on the numerous tales I have outlined. I have a thick stack of short pieces I've penned over the last several years. Ultimately I'll copyright the entire collection as an anthology and leave them to my heirs to do with as they please. Whether they have any value isn't for me to decide.
 
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Truthseeker1

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@ PainefulTruth
I'm really not sure what your point or intention is, but clearly I've somehow offended you. Nobody forced you to read this thread, but then I assume I'm not near as wise as yourself.
Should you survive a similar experience, by all means please share it with us. I'll try not to be presumptuous and judgemental with someone I don't know.
In any case, I wish you well.
 

theword

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As I stated previously, I'm an Agnostic, not to be confused with Atheism.I was raised a Christian and attended Parochial school. I have read the Bible and several other Holy Books.

ag·nos·tic
[ag-nos-tik] Show IPA

noun
1.
a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. Synonyms: disbeliever, nonbeliever, unbeliever; doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist; heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.

2.
a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

3.
a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.



That being restated, I'll continue. I discovered I have a blood disease several years [no, it's not aids] and so far my condition has been stable. Now the infection is very much active and the strain I contracted is the most aggressive and treatment resistant of this ailment. I'm not a good candidate for the one year of chemotheropy treatment. I know several people that have undergone similar treatment and most of them wished they were dead before the year had passed. I have no plans to seek further medical advise.
After I recieved the news, I bought several quality hand made cigars and spent the day on the lake fishing. I don't consume energy drinks anymore, but will enjoy an occasional cup of coffee.
I worked this past season and felt pretty good for a while. The last month I started enduring SEVERE arthritis until now most days are a living hell.


For the few of you that are still reading this, here's the answers to my most commonly asked questions.

Were you scared about dying?
Initially, but I just accepted my fate as the outcome seemed obvious. I'm not afraid of death anymore.

Was it really painful?
Yeah, a heart attack is very unpleasant, but not near as painful as you might imagine, at least from my experience.

How horrible is it going through the death process?
As I stated, my mind detached from the body during the most dramatic stages. I was aware of what was happening but it really did seem absurd to discover how weak and frail we truly are.

Did you see the light, deceased loved ones or even hell fire?

Now here's the payoff, if you want to call it that. NO, I didn't see, feel or experience ANYTHING and my life didn't flash before my eyes. The second time I was summoned back, it was like waking from a dreamless sleep. However, once I was revived I KNEW I had been dead.


So, sorry to waste your time. From my perspective once you die that's about it. When I was younger the thought of ceasing to exist, oblivion ,terrified me, but not now.
The world will go on without you and it'll be as though you'd never been here at all; and you'll never be aware of it [or anything else for that matter].

I have to admit I've been depressed since this event happened, but I'm learning to accept it. I still have good days, but I'm sure not looking forward to a lingering death from liver disease. I've seen a few cases , and it's grim.

I have no intention of giving up cigars, I enjoy smoking very much, and there's no compeling reason I can think of to quit.
There's a greater than 30% chance I'll have another heart attack within 10 years, probably higher since I'm smoking. When I do, I'll sign a DNR document. I wonder just how lucky I really am to have pulled through.
I don't consume alcohol but when the pain get's worse, I plan to discontinue all meds and drink a pint of congnac a day. A week or two of that ought to settle all accounts.
I know many people who have had near death experiences and everyone of them are different except that they all experience living once they're pronounced dead. The fact that they keep experiencing life is all we saints need to hear to know that the prophecies are right on the money.

Isaiah 65
16: So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hid from my eyes.
17: "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
18: But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19: I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.


However, our created invisible "being" in the mind of our Creator will get new flesh that will never experience death again.

Life is but a dream my friend.
 

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I wish you all the best health you can have at this point.

Not everybody has NDE and it does not mean there is no afterlife.
 
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Truthseeker1

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I wish you all the best health you can have at this point.

Not everybody has NDE and it does not mean there is no afterlife.

From my research on the subject, most people's experience is closer to mine. I never stated I don't believe in God at all, but I do have serious doubts. The turn of events in my life recently has shatttered the small amount of hope I did harbor.
Unfortunately ,and much like another person that posted in this thread, I see far more malice and cruelty in this world than anything else. One thing I fail to see is any purpose or reason in this realm.
My current view of life is that it's nothing more than random chaos. I really do appreciate the kind thoughts though.
 

Vox

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I wish you all the best health you can have at this point.

Not everybody has NDE and it does not mean there is no afterlife.

From my research on the subject, most people's experience is closer to mine. I never stated I don't believe in God at all, but I do have serious doubts. The turn of events in my life recently has shatttered the small amount of hope I did harbor.
Unfortunately ,and much like another person that posted in this thread, I see far more malice and cruelty in this world than anything else. One thing I fail to see is any purpose or reason in this realm.
My current view of life is that it's nothing more than random chaos. I really do appreciate the kind thoughts though.
I would not concentrate too much on that. You can still try non-traditional treatments of your chronic ailment and it might work, which i wish you wholeheartedly.
 
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Truthseeker1

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I wish you all the best health you can have at this point.

Not everybody has NDE and it does not mean there is no afterlife.

From my research on the subject, most people's experience is closer to mine. I never stated I don't believe in God at all, but I do have serious doubts. The turn of events in my life recently has shatttered the small amount of hope I did harbor.
Unfortunately ,and much like another person that posted in this thread, I see far more malice and cruelty in this world than anything else. One thing I fail to see is any purpose or reason in this realm.
My current view of life is that it's nothing more than random chaos. I really do appreciate the kind thoughts though.
I would not concentrate too much on that. You can still try non-traditional treatments of your chronic ailment and it might work, which i wish you wholeheartedly.

You're very kind. I would definately be open to an alternative treatment, but I'm not aware of any. I won't subject myself to chemotherapy; why suffer further when my odds of a cure are low?
Some people assume I'm AntiChristian, or disrespect other religions or beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I meet a person of true faith, I'm very happy for them and would never belittle or question their conviction. In fact, I view it as admirable. I often wish I could find my own reason to share their faith. Sadly, I just don't feel it and can't seem to find justification based on my own rationale and experiences.
Perhaps one day I might feel differently, but presently my view of life and the 'here after' are admittedly bleak. I can't bring myself to grasp at an insincere or half hearted faith in the hope of gleaning some sort of 'death insurance'.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
 

PainefulTruth

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@ PainefulTruth
I'm really not sure what your point or intention is, but clearly I've somehow offended you. Nobody forced you to read this thread, but then I assume I'm not near as wise as yourself.
Should you survive a similar experience, by all means please share it with us. I'll try not to be presumptuous and judgemental with someone I don't know.
In any case, I wish you well.
Nobody gets a pass on being reasonable no matter where they are in relation to their death--and I wasn't being sarcastic, snide or whatever. You said you're an agnostic, then proceeded to show that you're an atheist. I think everyone has the right to think whatever they want, but if they aren't reasonable, they're only fooling themselves.
 

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