|On March 5, 2015 I died. This isn't made up for Writing.com it really happened. From what I am told, that afternoon I dropped from my desk chair and hit the floor dead.It's called a cardiac arrest. Luckily my mother was in the room and tried to wake me and realized I wasn't breathing. She called 911 and paramedics & police arrived and began working on me and the police officer took her outside so she wouldn't see them hit me with the paddles and zap me. If that's still how they do it. The paramedics apparently got a pulse and took me Code 3 (lights & sirens) to the nearest ER. My mom called my sister at work in Los Angeles and kept telling her "Patti fell down, you have to come home!" My mom's always been like that though, she never hits the point or explains or goes back to give the info correctly. Finally my sister said she was on the way and hauled ass home in LA traffic. My mom hauled ass after the siren. She doesn't know how to work a cell phone. Somehow, she contacted as many of the family she could or at least Hannan, my oldest niece and she called everyone. Some surprising people showed up at that ER: my oldest nephew's first & ex-girlfriend (I wanted her for him and no I didn't arrange that or introduced them), my second nephew's ex-girlfriend (who I wanted for him too--again not machinations) and of course, my niece, mother and sister. If I'd been conscious, I'd have thanked them profusely.
I was in ICU about 8 days and the doctors took a grim view of my recovery, telling my family that I'd probably be a "vegetable" and never use my hands again. But the nurses told my family and the doctors, "No, she's tracking with her eyes. She'll be okay." They told my family not to worry, that they'd seen worse than me come back. I think that thin string was all my family held onto in those days. Finally I was taken down to the next lower, less intense hospital level where I was in a coma for another 8-10 days. I was very agitated and kept moving my head back and forth so my hair was one big rat's nest and my mom and sister just cried all the time, figuring that was the best I'd get.
Another niece, Goldie, Hannan's sister flew out from Tennessee to stay with my mom while my other sister worked during the day (BTW, my mom is 80 years old) so she could keep an eye on her.
She stayed in my room while my puppy laid outside the door, guarding her mommy's room. She also came to the hospital every day. My oldest nephew flew out as well several times. No doctor believed I would ever respond, kind of like Seinfeld's "Prognosis Negative" and if I'd been awake I'd have told them that too), but my family would see major signs of response while in the ICU.
"You're just seeing what you want to see," those doctors responded. Finally Hannan and Elliott decided to show them. To say it was miraculous is an understatement. While Elliott hit video, I was laying with tubes in me every place plus one or two I didn't even know a tube could go, Hannan's voice is heard say, "I'm gonna ask Patti if she wants to see me dance for her," and that's what she did, loudly and close to me but out of camera shot. Without warning, I turned my head, opened up my eyes and said "Yeah!" So she did and when she stopped, I closed my eyes and went back to comatose. All on video.
Finally, they took me to a rehab facility and put me in a bed with no more tubes not counting the catheter. Again my family cried because they had no idea how this place would be and it looked like a nursing home.
It was a house of angels. There was not one bad nurse or CNA (Certified Nurse's Assistant) and they treated us all like they loved us. And we loved them. At one point (later) my mother and I sat outside and my mother watched a CNA push a wheelchair up to table and make sure the patient was okay before he returned inside, my mother turned to me and said, "Patti, do you see all these nurses and CNAs? They are all angels. Real ones. Most people couldn't do it." I agreed.
Other amazing things things happened too. When I saw my roommate for the first time (I'd just seconds earlier transferred to that room) she came out of the bathroom walking with her walker, she stopped mid-stride and looked at me.
"You," she said, pointing an outstretched arm and finger. "Are a walking talking miracle!" She was wonderful too. I couldn't ask for anyone better.
Also, I was told that Elliott came to ICU as well and he'd told my sister that every time he started to cry he'd focus on something else so he didn't. When I was in rehab, he visited me again. He told me the same thing. But then he added,
"I was in the ICU and I was looking at you and thinking, 'this is the woman who raised me'. I'd always hoped that those kids would know that I did have a major part in their growing up from babies to young adults but figured they wouldn't since they were so small and they lived in other cities, about twenty minutes away. That statement was worth it all.
All of my giant extended family prayed for me and friends and old business partners. Some of them brought me things that I didn't realize I needed and some of them worked wonders for me, like the longtime family friend who got a mass said at the Vatican for me. Another old friend had his church (a huge Christian church) pray for me. One of my younger sisters flew out and I told her, 'My God, I must have had a thousand people praying for me!' she looked me straight in the eye and said, "No. You had about five thousand people praying for you."
It reminds me of Jesus feeding the five thousand with with only a few bread and fish. Not to be disrespectful but that's what He did for me albeit in a different manner.
Hannan once asked me if when I was dead I saw anything like angels. At that time I said no.
And as I write this I realize that no, I didn't see angels or even God when I coded out dead.
I saw them/Him in real life and wide awake.